Hey beauty fans, welcome to art class—today we’re learning about color theory. You’ve likely heard of the color wheel (go ahead and Google it real quickly, should you need to). And according to color theory, shades on the opposite side of the circle cancel each other out. That’s exactly the science behind toning shampoos! 

“We use toners to enhance dull tones or cancel unwanted tones,” says hairstylist Natasha Speth. “When we are canceling unwanted tones, we refer to our faithful color wheel to select the proper tones. We would use complementary colors to cancel out unwanted tones.” The basics of at-home toning are using violet for yellow, green for red, or blue for orange. “For instance, if a light blonde with soft golden undertones would prefer to be an icy white blonde, we may use a violet base toner or send them home with a violet-based shampoo and conditioner.” 

Enter, a platinum blonde’s best friend: purple shampoo. These are your standard shampoos made with violet pigments that deposit onto the hair to color-correct brassy and yellow undertones. (Oh, and on that depositing note? Yes, these can start to stain your hair lavender if used too often—although the fix is simple: Just cut back how much you use it!) And because we’re mindbodygreen, all of the below are sulfate-free too. 

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