Color-correcting shampoos come in different shades that react with your hair color to give you the perfect output, in terms of hue. The various pigments in these colored shampoos balance and/or neutralize any unwanted colors that show up as colors/dyes fade from treated hair.
For example, blue shampoos introduce warmth to red hair, while purple shampoos get rid of the brass undertones in blonde hair.
If you’re a brunette, you’ve probably seethed at the fact that there exists a plethora of tone-correcting products for other hair colors, even if they are nestled somewhere at the back of the supermarket shelf, but none to level up the gorgeousness of your deep, cool, raven-hued hair. You’ve often had to trek to the salon, and we all know that doesn’t come cheap!
Finally, though, our prayers have been answered—enter green shampoos and conditioners, the holy grail of color correction for brunettes.
If you’re a brunette, you may want to continue reading, as we cover everything you need to know about green shampoo and conditioner, from what they are to how to use them!
What Are Green Shampoos and Conditioners?
Like purple and blue shampoos, green shampoo, named for its color, comes with color-neutralizing superpowers that correct hair color.
Those who have colored their hair a dark shade know that unwelcome red tones can show up at some point, ruining the beauty of their dark brown tresses.
Red, rusty undertones show up when colored brown hair is exposed to hard water or chlorine, harsh sunlight, constant heat styling and treatments, hair lighteners, and chemical straighteners or perms. The natural fading and lightening of the dye further compound the redness.
This underlying red hue can make colored hair look dull, fiery, and less rich.
Therefore, just as green color correctors are used in makeup to disguise red acne scars or blue is used to neutralize the orange of hyperpigmentation and dark spots, green shampoo neutralizes the red tones that tend to show up in dark, colored hair.
Though the green may look intimidating and leave you on the fence, consistently using a green hair mask once or twice a week or washing colored hair with a green shampoo at home can restore the natural brunette beauty of your hair, saving you the need to run to the salon for every small color correction.
The shampoo and conditioner wash out without leaving any unnecessary or excessive green traces behind.
How Do Green Shampoos and Conditioners Work?
Green shampoos and conditioners work as all color-correcting shampoos and conditioners.
To understand how color-correcting shampoos and conditioners work, we’ll need to revisit a bit of color theory from elementary school!
Imagine a color wheel. Science shows that colors exactly opposite to each other neutralize each other perfectly, with the degree of neutralization decreasing as they move closer to each other. This is why purple neutralizes yellow and why blonde-haired folks use purple-colored shampoos to reduce the brassy undertones in their hair.
Green and red sit almost directly across from each other on the color wheel, which means that green neutralizes red; this is also why neither violet nor blue will work on red undertones.
The neutralization of red is achieved by the green product depositing a controlled amount of green color or dye into the hair, restoring the rich, original darkness of your brunette hair.
Many people with extremely dark hair also supplement green shampoos and conditioners with pigmented masks for the best results.
In fact, brands, celebrity stylists, and hair professionals recommend using a highly pigmented green shampoo to cleanse your hair that doesn’t damage or cause the strands to fade, a colorless protective conditioner, and a pigmented color-depositing mask, once a week as a deep treatment, for the best results.
Who Can Use Green Shampoos and Conditioners?
As mentioned earlier, green shampoos and conditioners are meant for brunettes.
However, the term “brunette” can be quite vague—it can involve everyone, from warm, honey-brown-haired folks to cool, cafe-noir enthusiasts. Green shampoos work best on medium and deep brunette shades, where the red undertones tend to show up the strongest.
If you’ve got light brown hair, a blue-pigmented product may be a better option, reducing brassy and orange undertones. Green shampoo may make the hair darker and inkier with just one wash, so stay away from these if you want to retain the light warmth of your hair color.
Therefore, before you resort to green shampoo, identifying your shade of brunette will help you figure out whether or not you need the product in the first place.
When Should Green Shampoos and Conditioners Be Used?
If you’ve recently decided to go brunette or are blessed with naturally brown locks, green products should start making regular appearances in your haircare routine.
Start using these products when you see the red undertones start to pop up in your hair.
How Are Green Shampoo and Conditioner Used?
To get the best results, it’s essential to correctly use the tools you have at your disposal—the same applies to green shampoo and conditioner.
Keep the following points in mind when using green shampoo, conditioner, and pigmentation masks:
- Color-depositing products shouldn’t be used every day, unlike regular shampoos. These products aren’t intended to replace your regular haircare products—they’re meant to supplement them.At most, green shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks should only be used once or twice a week, at most, and as mentioned earlier, only when you see the red undertones appear.
- Follow green shampoos with a conditioner that sufficiently moisturizes your hair and efficiently combats any drying out the green shampoo might cause. Hair masks and leave-in conditioners are great options.
Green conditioners are, anyway, colorless; if they’re sufficiently hydrating, you can stick to these on days when you use green shampoo.
- Avoid getting the shampoo on your scalp; you could end up with a colored scalp!
- Always use gloves when using green shampoo to keep the shampoo from staining your hands.
- Remember—green shampoos, conditioners, and hair masks are meant for dark brunette hair. Don’t use these products if you’ve got light highlights, light brown hair, or blonde hair, as they will turn your hair green.
Green Shampoo and Conditioner Recommendations
From being quite rare and restricted to one brand a few years ago, green shampoos, conditioners, and masks are now offered by several hair care brands, many of these products being of excellent quality.
Additionally, green shampoos today not only protect your hair’s color but also contain ingredients that make them volumizing and nourishing, leaving your hair smooth and silky.
The star ingredients of such products vary from oats from the gorgeous Mississippi Valley, that both strengthen and clarify your hair, to clarifying and cleansing lemon and tea tree lavender.
It also doesn’t hurt that while cleansing, protecting, and volumizing your locks, many of these products also leave your hair smelling as lovely as a field of fresh spring flowers!
Whichever brand you do opt for, make sure you’re going for a sulfate and alcohol-free product. Sulfates and alcohol can severely dry and damage your hair; their effects are even worse on colored hair, which is already delicate and damaged to an extent by bleach and dyes.
With constant evolution, we’re finally receiving hair care products that are specialized to different needs, instead of resorting to one size fitting all. Green shampoo can work wonders for brunette hair (provided you use it right) and is vouched for by everybody, from celebrity stylists to everyday folks.
If you’re a brunette, give this miracle product a try—keeping those pesky red undertones away has never been easier.