There’s a myriad of hair products dedicated to concealing gray hair, but what about those of us who want to keep our grays or dye our hair to get the silver-toned look prematurely? That’s where the best shampoos for gray hair step in. Silver hair, natural or not, is similar to blonde in the fact that it needs a bit more TLC than darker hair tones to look its brightest and shiniest. Whether you naturally have icy-white hair or sat in the salon chair to get the look, the best shampoos for gray hair are essential for creating a dullness-defying hair-care routine that your cool-toned hair color will benefit from.
Yes, counteracting yellow tones to minimize brassiness is one concern for those with gray hair, but New York City-based board-certified dermatologist Joshua Zeichner, MD, previously told Allure that gray hair can also change and become thinner, coarser, and drier since your oil glands produce less sebum as you get older, leading to drier hair follicles. “It is unclear why, but the biological process that affects the color of the hair likely also affects the structure of the hair being produced as well,” he said. Therefore, finding a shampoo that not only neutralizes brassy tones but also replenishes moisture is key to keeping gray hair in tip-top shape.
Ready to embrace your silver-fox era? Below, take a look at the best, nourishing, and hairstylist-approved shampoos that will make going gray a total breeze.
Our Top Picks:
- Best Overall: Sachajuan Silver Shampoo, $31
- Ultraviolet Color: Matrix So Silver Purple Shampoo, $20
- Best for Damaged Hair Types: Redken Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo, $25
- Best Drugstore Classic: Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo, $11
- Best for Color-Treated Hair: DpHue Cool Blonde Shampoo, $28
- Best for Dry Hair: R+Co Bleu De Luxe Reparative Shampoo, $59
- Best for Thin Hair: Better Not Young Silver Lining Purple Brightening Shampoo, $29
- Best Bond-Building Treatment: Olaplex Bond Maintenance No. 4 Shampoo, $30
- Allure Best of Beauty Winner: Pureology Strength Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo, $36
Best Overall: Sachajuan Silver Shampoo
Sachajuan’s ultraviolet Silver Shampoo is such a deep aubergine purple that it almost looks black, and there’s a reason for that. Its dark violet pigment was developed specifically for white, gray, and silver hair colors to counteract brassiness for an icy-cool, vibrant finish. It’s also worth mentioning that this shampoo is also formulated with Sachajuan’s proprietary ocean silk technology, which is a combination of different algae that improve shine and malleability.
Ultraviolet Color: Matrix Total Results So Silver Purple Shampoo
Matrix Total Results So Silver Purple Shampoo
The Matrix Total Results So Silver Purple Shampoo has a neon-purple hue that looks like paint but works like brass-blasting sorcery on yellow tones. Its vibrant color not only cuts down brass but also brightens hair color for a fresher-looking tint.
Best for Damaged Hair Types: Redken Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo
Redken Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo
The not-so-secret ingredient that makes the Redken Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo such a great choice for damaged hair types is citric acid. This active ingredient is a popular additive in hair care products since it balances the pH of hair, tames frizz, enhances shine, and reduces hair breakage by reinforcing damaged bonds all at once.
Best Drugstore Classic: Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo
Clairol Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo
New York City-based hairstylist Valerie Vanessa calls Clairol’s Professional Shimmer Lights Shampoo a drugstore classic for its brass-busting formulation. This under-$15 shampoo balances cool undertones with purple pigments to diminish brassiness while its protein-rich formula also strengthens delicate hair and protects it against breakage.
Best for Color-Treated Hair: DpHue Cool Blonde Shampoo
DpHue Cool Blonde Shampoo
Lather up with DpHue’s Cool Blonde Shampoo if you have color-treated hair. This color-safe option gently cleanses hair of product buildup, flakes, and sweat without stripping your freshly-dyed hair of pigment, thanks to its mild yet effective, sulfate-free formulation. To keep brassiness at bay, this shampoo is infused with violet pigments to counteract yellow tones.
Best for Dry Hair: R+Co Bleu De Luxe Reparative Shampoo
R+Co Bleu De Luxe Reparative Shampoo
If your main focus is less on color-toning and more on damage control, allow us to introduce you to R+Co Bleu’s De Luxe Reparative Shampoo. According to Los Angeles-based hairstylist Glenn Ellis, it’s one of the go-to’s for damaged hair since it’s infused with a blend of moisture-retaining tananu, marajuca, and argan oils to intensively condition damaged and brittle hair for a smoother, softer, and shinier finish after every wash. “It’s super moisturizing for gray hair and helps restore hydration while tackling dullness,” says Ellis, making it an excellent choice for dry hair.
Best Bond-Building Treatment: Olaplex Bond Maintenance No. 4 Shampoo
Olaplex Bond Maintenance No. 4 Shampoo
We’re major fans of Olaplex’s Bond Maintenance No. 4 Shampoo, and so is Ellis. This Allure Best of Beauty-winning formula got our seal of approval for its protein bond-repairing properties that instantly strengthen hair, reduce frizz, and boost shine, making it a great choice for those with fragile, thinning hair. Ellis adds that this sulfate-free option is one of his favorite shampoos for just about anyone with color-treated hair because it makes his clients’ color treatments last longer.
Allure Best of Beauty Winner: Pureology Strength Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Pureology Strength Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Pureology’s Strength Cure Sulfate-Free Shampoo formula impressed the entire Allure team so much that it won a 2022 Best of Beauty Award, so trust us when we say it’s great for damaged or color-treated hair. As it washes away excess oil and product buildup, the antioxidant-fueled shampoo moisturizes hair and protects hair from environmental damage.
Buildup Buster: Klorane Anti-Yellowing Shampoo
Klorane Anti-Yellowing Shampoo
Banish brass for good with Klorane’s Anti-Yellowing Shampoo, an ultra-purple formula that tones while cleansing hair of buildup and excess oil. The beauty of this shampoo is that it not only neutralizes brassy tones in gray, silver, and blonde hair but its buildup-removing formula is also gentle enough to use daily without drying out your hair or scalp.
Best Silicone-Free Shampoo: Iles Formula Shampoo
Another one of Ellis’s favorite shampoos for gray hair is Iles Formula’s Shampoo, which is free of silicones and sulfates in order to wash hair without compromising color fade. This cleanser is also spiked with antioxidant vitamin B5 to retain moisture for a silkier, softer feel before you even reach for your conditioner.
No-Fuss Formula: L’Oréal Paris EverPure Purple Shampoo
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Purple Shampoo
We at Allure always believe that a proper beauty routine can be executed with a slew of affordable picks, like L’Oréal Paris’s EverPure Purple Shampoo. This under-$10 shampoo is sulfate- and paraben-free and utilizes hibiscus extract to act as a conditioning ingredient and a brass-counteracting dye.
Best Luxury Shampoo: Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo
Kérastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo
Kérastase’s Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo is a prestige best-seller that’s known for its brass-busting abilities, thanks to its indigo hue. It’s also worth mentioning that this formulation is spiked with hydrating hyaluronic acid to bind water into the hair cuticle, making it shinier and softer in the process.
Pigment-Free Shampoo: Fekkai Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Fekkai Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo
Vanessa says that though Fekkai’s Apple Cider Vinegar Shampoo doesn’t contain any pigments, it still brightens and balances the tone of gray hair with total ease. “This shampoo has a pH of 2 to 3, which is mildly acidic and removes pollutants while sealing the cuticle to keep them out,” she says.
Best for Dry Scalps: Unite Hair Blonda Daily Shampoo
Unite Hair Blonda Daily Shampoo
Softer hair and brighter shine are just a bottle of Unite Hair’s Blonda Daily Shampoo. Its purple-colored formula is packed with ingredients like scalp-soothing oat kernel flour and moisturizing bisabolol extract to enhance the look and feel of your hair from root to tip.
Glycerin-Packed Formula: Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo
Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo
Dullness be damned because the Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo will boost glossiness and shine in as little as one wash. This gentle yet effective formula can be used daily to tone hair as ethylhexylglycerin, a derivative of hydrating glycerin, replenishes moisture for high shine and smoothness.
Free Radical Defense: Shu Uemura Yubi Blonde Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo
Shu Uemura Yubi Blonde Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo
Ellis says the Shu Uemura Yubi Blonde Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo is one of his favorite recommendations for gray hair types because it’s a luxurious formula that instantly neutralizes brassy tones. On top of its purple pigment, Shu Uemura’s formulation also contains white peony extract, which is rich in free-radical-fighting antioxidants that prevent damage and breakage.
Strengthening Shampoo: René Furterer Okara Silver Toning Shampoo
René Furterer Okara Silver Toning Shampoo
The magic of René Furterer’s Okara Silver Toning Shampoo comes from two ingredients: violet pigments, which neutralizes yellow undertones for a cool-toned finish, and the shampoo’s signature okara extract. This extract is rich in amino acids, a molecular compound that strengthens and fortifies hair.
Meet the Experts:
- Joshua Zeichner, MD, a board-certified dermatologist based in New York City; Associate Professor of Dermatology and the Director of Cosmetic & Clinical Research in Dermatology at Mount Sinai Hospital
- Glenn Ellis, a hairstylist at Andy Lecompte Salon in Los Angeles and at Marie Robinson Salon in New York City
- Valerie Vanessa, a New York City-based hairstylist