- Purple toning shampoo recommended by professionals
- Neutralizes brassiness and yellow undertones
- Brightens grays and silvers and creates shine
- Natural extracts gently cleanse without drying
- Corrects color unevenness and fading
- Leaves hair soft and manageable
- Brightens dull hair
- Gentle formula for daily use
- Purple shampoo doesn't stain tub or grout
No one likes getting older, but if there’s one thing that’s being embraced these days, it’s salt and pepper hair.
It’s nothing to hide – as a matter of fact it’s even sexy. Men with salt and pepper hair have a certain gravitas to them – think Patrick Dempsey or Jeff Bridges.
And women look so fabulous embracing silver and grays nowadays that younger women are dyeing their hair to achieve the salt and pepper look in their youth!
If you’ve got natural or colored grays, you may find that your hair needs some special love. Both the natural aging process and coloring can change the texture of your strands, so it’s important to adjust your shampoo to your hair’s needs.
Whether it’s getting rid of brassiness and yellowing or adding more volume to thinner hair, you’ll want the best shampoo for salt and pepper hair to brighten and strengthen those grays, whites and silvers.
- Best Shampoos For Salt And Pepper Hair
- Best Rated: MATRIX Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo
- Best for Revitalizing Hair: Oribe Silverati Shampoo
- Best Daily Shampoo: Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo
- Best for Fine Hair: Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo
- Best for Gray Transitioning: Sachajuan Silver Shampoo
- Best for All Hair Colors: Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo
- Best for Silver Foxes: Jhirmack Silver Brightening Ageless Shampoo
- Eco-Friendly: UNITE Hair Blonda Shampoo
- Best for Highlights: Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde Silver
- Salon-Grade: Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra Violet Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo
- Shampoo For Salt and Pepper Hair Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- In Summary
Best Shampoos For Salt And Pepper Hair
The Matrix Total Results, So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo is highly recommended for salt and pepper hair.
As a purple shampoo, it contains pigments that help reduce the brassy, yellow tones that can make blonde or silver hair appear washed out and dull.
Purple pigments in the shampoo balance out any yellow undertones that make salt and pepper hair look like dirty dishwater. The result is a brighter, more vibrant ashy tone instead.
It’s particularly great at brightening any gray and white stands, making them look much healthier.
Many users also find the Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo great for giving their hair lots of shine as well.
Some people feel that it dries out their strands, so if you have dry or damaged locks, be sure to condition your hair well afterwards. You also don’t need to use a lot if you use regularly – a little goes a long way.
- Recommended by professionals
- Pleasant scent
- Great for colored/balayaged hair
- Removes yellowish undertones and brightens hair
- Excellent for natural blondes going gray
- May dry out some hair types
Best for Revitalizing Hair: Oribe Silverati Shampoo
The Oribe Silverati Shampoo is another great silver shampoo for vibrant, healthy-looking and feeling hair.
This is a particularly good shampoo for those who want to ensure they are using a product containing natural extracts.
As you age, the quality and texture of your hair changes too, not just the color. Aging hair tends to be drier and brittler to the touch, in addition to losing shine.
The Oribe Silverati Shampoo contains watermelon, European Silver Fir and lavender extracts, among others. These ingredients help protect strands from oxidative stress, which makes hair age prematurely.
If you’re looking for a brighter silver, the Oribe Silverati Shampoo corrects color unevenness and fading in addition to reducing yellowish tones that contribute to lackluster hair.
It even contains vegetable proteins designed to help strengthen strands.
Besides a more vibrant appearance, you’ll also notice a softer, silkier feel to your hair for healthier locks all around.
There’s really not too much to complain about with this product other than it’s premium price tag.
- Great for strengthening hair and creating shine
- Contains natural extracts to prevent brittleness and premature aging
- Brightens silver and gray strands
- Leaves hair feeling soft and silky
Best Daily Shampoo: Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde/Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo
If you have dull, lifeless gray and silver strands, here’s one for you.
The Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo contains optical brighteners, which are designed to bring out the vibrancy of silver hair.
It also makes sure that salt and pepper hair stays shiny and healthy.
Now, with most purple shampoos, you need to keep the shampoo on for a minimum of five minutes — depending on your hair shade and quality.
With Philip Kingsley Pure Blonde Silver Brightening Daily Shampoo, this isn’t necessary. It only needs to be lathered on for 60 seconds to work.
That means it should cause the hair to be less dry, and it’s great for those who hate the hassle of waiting several minutes for purple shampoo to work.
- Gentle enough to use daily
- No animal products/cruelty-free
- Brightens gray and silver hair beautifully
- Pleasant scent (contains lavender oil)
- Not as potent as the previous formulation being a daily shampoo
Best for Fine Hair: Tea Tree Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo
As we age, hair naturally starts to thin out in addition to going gray. If you already have fine or thin hair to begin with, a great option to bring some volume back is with Tea Tree’s Lemon Sage Thickening Shampoo.
Part of the John Paul Mitchell company, Tea Tree shampoos and conditioners are used in professional salons worldwide.
It’s got a refreshing citrus scent, and a little goes a long way – a dime-sized dollop will give you plenty of lather.
The shampoo doesn’t leave behind any residue that can weigh strands down, nor does it dry your hair out either, even when used daily.
For best results, pair it with the corresponding Lemon Sage Thickening Conditioner to help prevent tangles and split ends. It’s a great combo for giving you fuller, manageable hair.
- Great for plumping thin, fine hair
- Leaves hair clean and soft
- Fresh citrus fragrance
- Don't need to use a lot
- Contains sulfates
- May exacerbate oily or dry scalp
Best for Gray Transitioning: Sachajuan Silver Shampoo
Transitioning from colored hair to gray is never fun, but the Sachajuan Silver Shampoo can help ease the process.
It contains violent pigments to reduce warm undertones, both in colored and natural hues. So if your natural color is brown, blonde, or somewhere in-between, it subdues the yellowish tint where new growth occurs and makes the demarcation line less glaringly apparent.
This is perfect when it comes to salt and pepper hair since it’s able to blend various shades of browns, reds, or yellows along with your grays and whites.
Plus, Sachajuan Silver Shampoo contains Sachajuan’s Ocean Silk Technology, which contains algae extracts to nourish aging strands.
Importantly, the product also contains UV protection to prevent sun damage and keep hair looking healthier for longer.
However, some users mention that it actually dries their hair out. If that’s the case for you, use sparingly once or twice a week between washes with your regular shampoo.
- Reduces brassy tones on both colored and natural shades
- Small amount needed for lathering and washing
- Brightens grays beautifully
- Blends transitioning hair
- Can be drying - follow up with a good conditioner
Best for All Hair Colors: Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo
The Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo is a great option for anyone looking to banish brassy and yellow tones.
That’s because Aveda Blue Malva Shampoo uses blue and violet pigments, which are super effective at getting rid of unwanted brassiness.
This product contains mallow, aloe, as well as almond extract, which is critical for making hair soft and healthy. It contains wheat amino acids, which are designed to strengthen the hair.
Natural salt and pepper hair needs to be strengthened due to aging, but dyed salt and pepper also need to be strengthened — due to the harsh chemicals used.
Plus, this shampoo also contains ylang-ylang, lemon and eucalyptus extracts — which not only smell amazing but help to keep hair cleansed and healthy!
- Effective at removing brassy, yellow tones
- Suitable for natural and dyed salt and pepper hair
- Contains lots of natural extracts for healthy and strong hair
- Mild, pleasant scent
- Can be drying if used too often
- Not ideal if you don't want silvery white strands
Best for Silver Foxes: Jhirmack Silver Brightening Ageless Shampoo
Yeah, you know who you are. If you’ve ever been called a silver fox, your silvery strands are your signature!
Jhirmack Silver Brightening Ageless Shampoo contains hydrolyzed collagen, as well as macadamia oil, which helps strengthen and soften hair.
Plus, the shampoo works brilliantly to brighten silver, gray and white hair.
The shampoo is formulated to prevent split ends and breakage, while keeping those pesky yellowish undertones away.
Aging makes hair weaker, so this is crucial for anyone with salt and pepper hair. It’s great for those who bleach or color their locks too since chemical processing is so damaging.
Plus, this shampoo generally retails on the cheaper side, making it one of the most affordable shampoos for salt and pepper hair.
- Helps prevent hair breakage and split ends
- Brightens silver, gray and white strands
- Good on colored/processed hair
- Might leave lavender streaks if left on too long
- Contains sulfates
Eco-Friendly: UNITE Hair Blonda Shampoo
UNITE Hair Blonda Shampoo is an effective shampoo for salt and pepper hair, due to its unique formula.
The company is an American brand that prides itself on using natural ingredients that are cruelty-free. As a matter of fact, they are a PETA-certified company.
Aside from not testing on animals, UNITE has also earned Amazon’s sustainability certification for compact packaging that helps reduce carbon emissions.
In terms of the actual product, it contains no parabens, sodium chloride or sulfates, which are known to dry and damage hair.
While the product is designed to help blonde hair, it helps salt and pepper hair equally well. That’s because it brightens strands and cleanses without leaving hair dry.
The shampoo only needs to be used for one minute, so if you’re a busy bee, this could be the shampoo for you.
It has a grape scent, which many people love, but is a turn off for some. As with most toning shampoos, a good conditioner should be used afterwards to prevent dryness.
- Effective on salt and pepper as well as blonde hair
- Contains no parabens, sulfate or sodium chloride
- Gives hair lots of shine
- Cruelty-free and environmentally-friendly packaging
- Can dry hair out if used more than once a week
Best for Highlights: Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde Silver
Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo Blonde Silver is one of the best shampoos for bright and bold hair. That’s why it’s called shimmer lights because it makes hair so shiny and shimmery!
For salt and pepper hair, this can be a real transformation and can make each shade of gray, silver or white look healthy and vibrant.
Plus, this shampoo is packed full of proteins that strengthens hair, meaning no more damaged locks. The proteins also help with frizz, making it much more manageable.
It’s a great shampoo for anyone with salt and pepper hair, who just wants their locks to look vibrant, shiny and healthy again.
- Protein-rich for strengthening hair
- Makes hair shiny and vibrant
- Gets rid of yellowing and brightens white strands
- Good value
- May leave an uneven purple tint if left on for too long
Like all purple shampoos, Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra Violet Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo has ultraviolet pigments for toning down brassiness and yellowing of blonde or gray strands.
It contains hyaluronic acid, which helps hair stay moisturized and healthy, and also contains tons of wheat proteins which are essential to prevent breakage and strengthen hair.
This shampoo works really well for all hair types, including salt and pepper hair. It’s also suitable for dyed hair, as it doesn’t strip hair of it’s color.
The Bain Ultra Violet Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo also has antioxidants such as edelweiss extract to protect from environmental stressors that age your hair.
Yep, this is more than a toning shampoo — if you’re on a mission to get healthy, beautiful hair, then Kérastase Blond Absolu Bain Ultra Violet Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo might just be the right shampoo for you.
- Makes grays and highlights look bright and vibrant
- Hyaluronic acid formula heals and strengthens strands
- Lather has a luxurious, rich feel
- Pleasant, non-chemical scent
- Can be drying to hair
Shampoo For Salt and Pepper Hair Buying Guide
Finding the right shampoo for your hair can be daunting. There are tons of products on the market, and they all appear to work similarly.
It’s difficult to know which shampoo is right for your type of hair, and it’s not always clear just looking at a product, whether the shampoo will be suitable.
Luckily, there are some specific things to look for in a shampoo for gray or silver hair.
Purple Toning Shampoo
Firstly, purple and violet shampoo toning shampoos are formulated specifically to reduce the yellowish tinge that often appears on gray or white hair.
That’s because purple is the opposite color to yellow on the color spectrum. Depositing violet pigments onto blonde and gray hair neutralizes the warm yellow hue with a cool ashy shade, making hair appear brighter and more vibrant.
Blue toning shampoo is okay, but it’s better used if there’s any tint of orange in the hair. Purple or violet shampoo is the best option for both dyed and natural salt and pepper hair.
Keep in mind, however, that a toning shampoo should only be used twice a week, and in some cases, only once a week.
That’s because the toning shampoo can be very harsh on the hair if it’s overused. You can end up with dry, straw-like hair, so use sparingly.
It’s wise to buy a toning shampoo but also keep your regular shampoo for overall hair maintenance.
If you have a natural salt and pepper hue, a shampoo that hydrates and strengthens your hair is a great option.
Otherwise, if you dye your hair, a shampoo that helps to repair and condition, as well as lock in color, is ideal.
As part of the aging process, hair doesn’t just lose pigmentation – it also retains less moisture. That’s why aging hair is often drier and more brittle than when you were younger.
It can feel more coarse and wiry, and generally thins out too.
It’s crucial to find products that hydrate and strengthen your strands. That’s why almost all the shampoos in the list above focus on keeping the hair strong and conditioned, to keep them looking healthy and vibrant.
Ideally, shampoo without sulfates is ideal for both natural and dyed salt and pepper hair. You’ll find sulfates listed as either sodium lauryl sulfate or sodium laureth sulfate in the ingredient list.
Despite their bad rap, sulfates in moderation can be useful because they help remove excess oil and product buildup.
However, when hair is already struggling to retain moisture, using sulfates is not going to be helpful.
Sulfates are better suited for those with extremely oily hair, which is usually not the case for salt and pepper hair.
It can be difficult to find a toning shampoo that doesn’t contain any sulfates, so one option would be to just ensure that your regular, day-to-day shampoo doesn’t contain sulfates.
That way, your toning shampoo won’t strip your hair too much.
Use A Good Conditioner
While this article focuses on shampoo, it’s vital for anyone with salt and pepper hair to invest in a good conditioner.
Using a good conditioner will help make your hair softer, more manageable, and smoother after shampooing.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Toning Shampoo?
A toning shampoo is designed to remove any unwanted tones that are present in the hair. With salt and pepper hair, unwanted tones are usually yellowish, brassy undertones that make hair look dull and washed out.
Using a purple or violet toning shampoo neutralizes yellow tones, giving you brighter whites and silvers.
How Often Should I Use A Toning Shampoo?
The answer to this question depends on the shampoo and your hair condition.
Usually, a toning shampoo is meant to be used once or twice a week, though some formulas are less concentrated and can be used as your daily shampoo.
Can You Dye Your Hair Salt And Pepper?
Yes, you can dye your hair salt and pepper, but it’s incredibly difficult to achieve unless visiting a hair salon.
That’s because salt and pepper hair has tons of different shades, as opposed to one uniform color.
It contains gray, silver and white hue, along with black. It’s a very popular trend, and most hairdressers are skilled in creating the salt and pepper look.
Salt and pepper hair is an increasingly popular trend, and while it may seem like a daunting task to care for it properly, there are plenty of options available.
You don’t need to spend a fortune on products either, there’s a range of products on the market that should suit most budgets.
So go forth and rock those grays and silvers – and keep them bright and healthy.