If you’re blonde – natural or bottled – is it worth investing in a special shampoo targeted at your haircolour? We’d absolutely say ‘yes’ on the strength of the feedback for these winning products. The right blonde shampoo can counteract any brassiness and deliver amazing, light-reflective shine. Next time round, we’ll test these as duos with the ‘matching’ conditioners – but these all did well when used solo. (The many others we trialled fared pretty poorly, NB.)
GOLD AWARD - muk Blonde Toning Shampoo
muk? What kind of name is that for a hair product? Well, it’s a name you’d do well to remember if you’re striving to keep brassy tones from your bleached blonde hair, because this shampoo – from a salon brand founded in Australia in 2006 – put on a head-turning performance in this category. It’s designed to be used all the time on blonde hair – like a normal shampoo – unlike some, which are good for an occasional ‘blitz’; it can even be applied immediately after bleaching the hair. Blue-based, it’s suitable for white, blonde and grey hair, leaving it shiny and soft, lightly scented with a cantaloupe fragrance. As writers who get bombarded with ridiculously high-tech whiz-bang c**p about why some products work, we love Muk’s ethos: ‘The vision was to create a product range that not only out-performed the market leaders, but grabbed the imagination and attention of a marketplace constantly bombarded with “scientific” jargon and magical claims.’
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Usually my hair is extremely difficult to manage and most shampoos dry it out. I was a little worried about using a violet shampoo after a bad experience with one previously, but the muk shampoo has gone into my favorite brands. It took all the frizz out of my hair without having to add serum, my hair was soft and shiny and easy to manage, which is unheard of. It really made a difference to the colour of my hair, brightening it and adding a slight silver tone to my platinum blonde lights’ • ‘Normally I wash my hair everyday but with the muk shampoo it only needed washing every other day – could easily have been three days. It got the hair clean and was very good at getting the yellow tones and brassiness out’ • ‘My naturally dark hair is bleached very light all over, and is dry and brittle. This product is affordable, effective and easy to use! Usually purple shampoos would leave my hair feeling awful but this left it soft and smooth. I was surprised by the results and even more so when I found out the price of this shampoo. Would definitely recommend’ • ‘My highlighted hair was dirty, lank and lifeless. This colour correcting shampoo lives up to its name. Lathered very well and feels really conditioning. Didn't need to use a conditioner to get a real radiant shine. The lovely lavender colour neutralised the yellowness’ • ‘Definitely improved the condition of my hair and saved my bank balance as my colour stayed more radiant for longer. And it doesn't sting my eyes!’ • ‘I have all-over colour with highlights at the front. This made my hair shinier and brighter. It looked really healthy and swishy afterwards – great! And it really did get rid of unwanted brassy tones. Will definitely keep using it, perhaps on a monthly basis’ • ‘It is a really good shampoo and made my hair feel soft afterwards. Lots of purple type shampoos make my hair feel stripped but this was completely the opposite’ • ‘It took out any brassy tones, and toned down my blond highlights and made then quite ashy blonde. The effect stayed in my hair for one to two weeks. I will only need to use it every four to five washes’ • ‘I loved this product, which toned down my normal bright blonde hair colour just the right amount whilst giving my hair a slight sheen and an easy comb- through.’
£9.75 for 300ml - click to buy
SILVER (JOINT) AWARD - Jo Hansford Platinum Shampoo
Haircolourist Jo Hansford’s products have consistently done well with our testers since way back when, and this maintains that record. It features Jo’s signature ‘Heliovita Colour Care Complex and Anti-Fade Formula’, working to shield hair against oxidation (which can change haircolour) and UV radiation. Sunflower seed extract, Keratek (a keratin-based protein shield), Ecocert-certified sweet blue lupin peptides and sulfate-free cleansing agents work to minimise colour face from washing, while the violet tones neutralize any yellowness that can develop in blonde, white or grey hair.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘I love this shampoo and my hair does too. Every time I use it my hair is clean, more full, bouncy and shiny. I don't use it every time I shampoo because it does slightly lighten the colour. It’s a miracle when my hair is limp or going that yellowy colour. Wow! This whips it into shape, but without any harsh stripping’ • ‘When my hair is looking dull and lifeless, this always brings it back to great condition and refreshes the colour. I love how my thick coarse dry damaged hair becomes more manageable. Friends and family are commenting on the shine and volume so I recommend it to everyone! I have hundreds of shampoos and very few live up to their claims but this one really does (once you get over the violent violet colour…). I call it a hair refresher because it really does make colour brighter. This size will last and last because you only need a small amount to lather up. I never want to be without this shampoo’ • ‘I’m really impressed. It's so hard to get shine or gloss on blonde hair, but this product delivered a lovely shine, as well as fantastic manageability and bounce’ • ‘This lathered really well, was easy to rinse out and I liked the slight fragrance. It gave shine and brightness to my dry dyed blonde hair. Hair felt light, was more manageable and easier to blow dry’ • ‘I used this with the matching conditioner (LINK THROUGH) and together they gave my hair a good gloss. It was easy to brush when damp and also when dry, and it behaved well when I put it up. I think the shampoo did live up to the claims that it would brighten and clarify blonde, highlighted or grey hair’ • ‘I LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS SHAMPOO. I have had so many compliments since I started using it. Everyone thinks I just got my hair done. It looks smoother and the colour is AMAZING. My hair is bleached and I had asked the colourist about putting a silver-grey tone in it. Don't need it now! This shampoo has done it for me’ • ‘The shampoo lathered nicely, leaving my hair clean and not matted or knotty. My hair is chemically processed – overall highlights on my natural grey - and dry, frizzy and prone to breaking. I heat style it too. But I do protect it and deep condition regularly. This did brighten my hair and made the platinum/white colour really bright. Over time the shampoo has changed it to a lovely grey/lavender colour: I do leave the shampoo sitting in my hair for a while, as I love the colour so much.’
£19 for 250ml - click to buy
SILVER (JOINT) - Philip Kingsley Pure Silver Shampoo
Like Jo Hansford’s, Pure Silver Shampoo – which tied for the Silver Award – is a beauty classic, from the UK’s famed trichologist brand, now headed up by Philip’s daughter Anabel. The key feature with this shampoo is that it ‘fluoresces’, so we’re told, under UV light – making hair appear brighter and healthier. The purple tones work to reduce that yellow discolouration, but they don’t stain or build up on the hair – so this, too, is suitable for daily use. The lovely lavender scent was a hit with testers, too.
OUR TESTERS' COMMENTS:
‘Great product. It’s a purple, quite thin shampoo that doesn't lather quite as much as other shampoos and you need to apply it evenly to get clean hair. It was easy to rinse out of my long hair. It does make my all-over peroxide blonde colour look shiny. I used it with the conditioner [LINK} and my hair feels smooth and easy to brush. It makes my hair colour look nicer, a better proper blonde, which lasted longer than usual. I only started re-dying after the roots became very obvious two months later’ • ‘I usually avoid products that contain the detergent/foaming agent SLS [sodium laurel sulphate] because I tend to get a rash on my face, neck and chest. However, this does have SLS but I didn't get any skin reaction at all, which was a pleasant surprise’ • ‘Very practical packaging, plastic container with a flip lid. Hair felt lovely and clean as long as I used a fair bit of product. Very easy to rinse out and not stinging when it went in my eyes’ • ‘This left my bleached blonde hair with front highlights looking shiny and glossy and brightened my hair a little, lightening the blonde and also prolonging the colour, which was a great bonus. It didn't actually make my hair more manageable but I liked the other results so much that I would buy it again’ • ‘I have never used a purple shampoo and conditioner before so was apprehensive about that. But the lovely shine and colour-keeping properties were both fantastic. Only downside was that it did make my hair a bit static-y’ • ‘The blonde was visibly brighter and more ashy, and the nice ash blonde lasted longer than usual. The shampoo had a really lovely fragrance’
£19.50 for 250ml - click to buy