Our tests are independently conducted and reflect the test editor's honest and objective opinions. Selection of products and test results are in no way influenced by manufacturers, retailers or other internal or external parties.
We carried out the test ourselves and tested all of the shampoos as they are meant to be used. We tested each of the silver shampoos over several weeks. Every shampoo was tested through repeated washing to see if this led to any changes in the results, and each shampoo has also been tested with a longer leave-in time. We tested the products on coloured, bleached and naturally white or grey hair.
Our assessment was primarily based on the characteristics below:
Colour: How strong is the colour change on the hair? How much cooler is the shade produced by the shampoo and how quickly does it fade? What result does the shampoo achieve in different types of hair? Does the hair have a shine and a nice lustre after using it? How intense is the blue or purple colour of the shampoo? Is it an effective silver shampoo for blonde hair and help avoid brassy hair?
Drying: How much does the shampoo dry out the hair? Is the shampoo gentle or does it cause a lot of damage to the hair - or even a dry or oily scalp? Is it a silver shampoo and conditioner rolled into one?
Use: What is the consistency of the shampoo like, and what does it feel like to apply? Can you apply it frugally or do you need to apply a lot? Does it produce a good lather? What does the product smell like, and how good is its packaging?
Between the testing periods - in which we tested two shampoos - we used a normal shampoo so that the hair was neutral when starting the next test. The score we gave each shampoo is based on our overall experience with the product in relation to its price tag.
A good silver shampoo which softens hair and gives a good lustre without drying it out!
Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Weak Perceived colour intensity: Medium
Is there a good silver shampoo that can both cool the tone of your hair while nourishing it at the same time? Yes, now there is! The L'Anza Healing ColorCare is an all-round fantastic product for your brassy and damaged hair. This shampoo is extremely nourishing and leaves the hair feeling lustrous and looking shiny. Alongside this, it also manages to achieve quite a cool hair tone, which was quite an unusual combination in this test. Admittedly, this isn't a shampoo that can achieve huge hair tone shifts, but the results are still perfectly acceptable. The cooler colour shifts it can produce are even across the whole head, while also leaving the hair feeling soft and looking healthy in an all-round great condition.
The lather of this good silver shampoo has an unusual consistency; it has bubbles so small that it hardly feels like a lather at all. Unlike other shampoos that also don't produce lather, we found no problems in spreading L'Anza Healing ColorCare evenly throughout the hair. Nor is it a problem that the consistency of the shampoo is essentially that of a gel; we felt that this was a positive aspect of this shampoo. However, a slightly negative aspect of this product is the shape of its bottle. It's tall and rectangular with a square base that means it's quite difficult to get the last bit of shampoo out of the bottle. However, just like with L'Anza's other products, the appearance of this bottle is also quite luxurious. The shampoo’s salon-style scent also reinforces this luxurious feeling. While the price tag is pretty steep, L'Anza Healing ColorCare affords results worthy of its luxury packaging.
An extremely intense silver shampoo, ideal if you’re brave enough to experiment
Available as pump bottle: No Dehydration: Little to none Colour intensity: Very strong
Fanola No Yellow is a silver shampoo that gets rave reviews and is frequently ranked among the best products for grey or lightened hair. But is Fanola really as good as they say? The answer is yes and no.
There’s no doubt about it: Fanola No Yellow is a highly effective silver shampoo. It’s actually almost too good at its job. Unless you want purple hair, you need to be careful and only leave it on your hair for a short time. A really short time. The instructions say 1–5 minutes, but our tester had to lather it up and rinse it out immediately. Leaving it on any longer turned their hair too purple. This was still the case when we diluted Fanola No Yellow with another shampoo.
Diluting Fanola No Yellow with another shampoo seemed to work best. While this may vary from person to person, of course, in our test Fanola was simply too strong to be used on its own and we achieved the best result by mixing Fanola with a regular shampoo.
The fragrance is subtle, slightly sweet and somewhat chemical. The rather austere bottle has the look of a pharmacy own brand. The bottle doesn’t have a pump and the shampoo is very runny, but easy to apply and a little goes a long way. It lathers up beautifully when massaged into your hair and doesn’t feel dehydrating. But it doesn’t leave your hair particularly shiny.
Fanola No Yellow can achieve a more or less perfect icy tone if you find the right amount of shampoo to use and the right amount time to leave it in. And a word of warning about leaving this shampoo in for too long – start with a really short time to discover what’s right for your bleached hair.
A volumizing and gentle shampoo that goes a long way - as well as offering quick results!
Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Low Perceived colour intensity: Medium
This affordable Schwartzkopf silver shampoo manages to achieve both quick and effective results. After using it for just one wash, it left our hair a markedly cooler and more attractive shade. This colour change was whiter than violet, which is a positive thing for a silver shampoo. After you have used the shampoo a few more times, it also produces an attractive lustre in both coloured and natural hair. This result is also visible if you leave the shampoo in the hair to work a little longer, but this step isn't entirely necessary as the shampoo produces enough of an effect using it normally. Your hair will feel good after using this shampoo as it manages to be relatively gentle without weighing down your hair. Instead, the shampoo helps to give your hair volume, allowing you to achieve light and airy hair.
The bottle that the product comes in is attractive but unfortunately is slightly unstable. While the narrow base means you can easily fit it into a shower caddy, it also means that it topples over easily and ends up on the floor more than you would like. It's also rather difficult to open with wet hands. The thick cream that comes out of the bottle has a faint sweet scent with a hint of vanilla. When using it there is relatively little lather and it's easy to dispense the right amount of the shampoo, meaning that one bottle can go a long way. As a result, this reasonably priced shampoo is good value for money as well as a shampoo to get good results.
A clean feeling shampoo in an attractive bottle that gives quick results!
Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Medium Perceived colour intensity: Medium
The Matrix Total Results shampoo produces a medium amount of lather and has a nice viscous consistency which leaves your hair feeling clean and light. Your hair might feel a little dry right after using it, but it will feel smooth once it has dried. The shampoo also succeeds in boosting the volume of your hair. After just one wash, it produced quite visible results in altering the hair’s colour shade; unfortunately the shade it produced was relatively harsh and the results verged on being fairly drab. We found it to work better after one wash in white hair than on coloured or grey hair. However, after you have used the shampoo a few times the results are clearer and it will leave your hair feeling lustrous regardless of whether it's coloured or natural. We found that leaving the shampoo in for longer didn’t produce any clear differences in final results.
One positive point of this shampoo is that it doesn't colour your hands or scalp too much, which means that you don’t have to be as careful as other silver shampoos when you apply it to your hair. The bottle containing this value-for-money shampoo is also attractively modern and feels luxurious. It's sufficiently narrow to easily fit into the majority of shower caddies, but at the same time, wide enough not to fall over. The shampoo’s scent is particularly mild and neutral, meaning that it's also suitable for people who are perhaps more sensitive to stronger scents.
A shampoo that produces plenty of lather and cooler tones on coloured hair.
Available as pump bottle: Yes Perceived drying: Low Perceived colour intensity: Medium
The Dumb Blonde Purple Toning is a violet coloured silver shampoo with a pleasant scent reminiscent of vanilla fudge. Unlike some of Bed Head's other products, its scent isn't too potent. A big positive feature of this shampoo is that your hair doesn’t become too dry after you use it. Of course, it will be drier than when using normal shampoo, but you can counteract this by simply applying conditioner afterwards. The Dumb Blonde Shampoo comes in a neat pump bottle, making it easy to dispense the right amount. Each pump of the bottle disperses a convenient amount of shampoo, which is a useful feature regardless of your hair length.
The shampoo creates a soft white lather with small bubbles. It produces quite a lot of lather which has a relatively loose consistency. We found the results to be easily visible even after only one application of the shampoo using the shortest leave-in time of one minute. The resulting hair takes on a clear cooler shade. The shampoo works particularly well on treated or white hair, while the results on untreated grey or brown hair can be a little bit drab and yellowish. This can be problematic if you are starting to get grey or white hair but don't yet have an even colour all over. If you increase the leave-in time, the results don’t get noticeably more intense than after the first application. The upside of this is that you won’t need to worry about the results of the shampoo going to go too far and turning purple. It's also worth emphasising that we found the shampoo to give the hair a pleasant airy feel with lots of volume. If your hair is already a cool colour and simply needs a boost, the Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning could be a good option for you.
A silver shampoo for the very blondest of hair
If we were going to give an award for the most attractive bottle, Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo would have been a winner. It’s very simple but luxurious and makes you think of old apothecary bottles. But it’s what’s on the inside that counts. So how does this salon brand compare to other silver shampoos?
Generally speaking, Davines is a safe brand to invest your money in, because you’re rarely disappointed with their haircare products. Unfortunately their silver shampoo isn’t as convincing. Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo has a discreet flowery scent. But sadly it’s not just the scent that’s discreet – the same applies to the results.
Some silver shampoos have a tendency to verge on the violet if you leave them in the hair for too long. But our testers didn’t run into this problem with Davines. In very light hair, the shampoo gives a cooler shade. But if your hair isn’t very light it doesn’t make much of a difference. It’s quite simply lacking the oomph you need to brighten up hair that’s starting to turn yellowish.
The shampoo produces plenty of lather, and unlike many other silver shampoos, the hair doesn’t feel dry and rough after use. On the contrary, it feels lovely and soft, which is a positive point.
Because the results in hair that isn’t very light are so minimal, it’s difficult to give Davines Alchemic Silver Shampoo more than a moderate score. But if you have very blonde hair, this is a shampoo that will give your hair a cooler tone.
An incredibly gentle and good shampoo for bleached hair that achieves good lustre and smells good!
Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Low Perceived colour intensity: Low
Maria Nila market their products as extremely gentle on the hair and this is certainly true of this silver shampoo that smells good. This was probably the gentlest product for toning your hair in our test with it feeling pretty much like a normal shampoo when we used it. However, the colour changing results from this shampoo were also very mild. On naturally grey/white hair and coloured hair, the results were barely visible. Leaving the shampoo in for longer also didn’t make any difference towards achieving a cooler hair shade, even though this did produce improved lustre. However, this shampoo could be a solid alternative if you already have a cooler shade of bleached hair and simply want to freshen it up from time to time. The shampoo weighs down the hair slightly, which also makes it suitable for bleached or dry hair crying out for an extra gentle product.
The shampoo’s gentle profile is also noticeable in that it has almost no scent at all, making it particularly suitable for people who are sensitive to stronger smells. The bottle is stylish and attractive and has a luxurious feeling. The fact that the bottle has a wide diameter makes it a little bit trickier to squeeze between other bottles in the shower caddy, but on the other hand, it's stable and won’t topple over easily. The handy bottle cap also means that you can open it with just one finger and use the bottle with just one hand. The shampoo is fairly blueish with a smooth consistency. Because it produces a relatively flat lather you may find yourself using more than you need, but if you manage to get it right, this shampoo will make your hair feel really nice. All in all, this is a good shampoo for bleached hair.
A shampoo that achieves intense and long-lasting results with a low-price tag!
This affordable purple shampoo achieves fantastic colour effects and produces very cool and intense shades. We found grey hair to become greyer, white hair to become whiter and blonde or blonde dyed hair becomes a nice cooler shade. The results are visible even after one wash, and if you leave the shampoo in your hair for longer, the results become even more intense. However, this shampoo also left the driest results out of all the products tested. You’ll find your hair to become as dry as crisp autumn leaves after using this shampoo and using a hair mask or moisturising conditioner afterwards is essential. On uncoloured and undamaged hair this might be an OK product, but on bleached hair that is already dry - it's simply not practical.
The bottle is small and cone-shaped, making it easy to take with you while travelling. The shampoo is also available in a larger bottle format with a pump dispenser. Despite the fact that this L'Oréal shampoo is low cost and slightly cheaper than the majority of other silver shampoos, and that it manages to produce a greater effect in terms of colour intensity, these factors really don’t make up for the hair dryness that it leaves behind. If you want to be kind to your hair, there are definitely other alternatives which are gentler. However, this shampoo is certainly an affordable purple shampoo due to its thin consistency and ability to produce a moderate amount of easily applicable lather.
A strongly pigmented silver shampoo with a powerful scent
Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: High Perceived colour intensity: Strong
It’s probably a good idea to get the biggest disadvantage of Label M Cool Blonde Shampoo over with first – and that’s the smell. Because this quickly turns out to be a shampoo that smells so strong - somewhat chemical-like - that it’s hard to use.
And it’s not just when you’re washing your hair that it smells strong. The scent stubbornly hangs around throughout the entire working day. It feels like you’re in a room that’s been cleaned with strong disinfectant, only the smell is coming from your hair. And you just can’t get used to it.
In terms of pigment, this is a silver shampoo you need to use with a special amount of care. If you don’t pay attention and leave it in for too long, your hair will take on a purplish tint rather than the cool shade you’ve been hoping for.
After use, it makes your hair feel really dry; it feels like the shampoo causes quite a lot of damage. It does give a certain amount of shine, but that’s little consolation when your hair smells of chemicals and feels so dry.
You may eventually get used to the smell, but there are simply too many good silver shampoos on the market for it to be worth living with the scent of this one.
A gentle and economical shampoo with firm consistency that produces a lot of lather!
Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Low Perceived colour intensity: Low
While this silver shampoo smells slightly of cola, it has a pleasant but firm consistency that doesn’t feel too dry. It produces a good amount of lather, which means that the shampoo goes a long way because you don't need to apply too much. When you squeeze the shampoo into your hand it has a dark intense violet colour. However, this colour almost completely disappears when you apply it to your hair and the lather it produces is almost entirely white. On coloured or highlighted hair it produces practically no results at all, while on white or grey hair it achieves a mildly cool shade which becomes slightly stronger with repeated washing. Leaving the shampoo to work for longer doesn't seem to produce more intense results. We found the hair to become slightly drier than when using a normal shampoo, but it's a significantly more gentle product than several other silver shampoos we tested. However, the trade-off of this gentleness is that its results are less distinctive.
The shampoo’s packaging feels modern and attractive. Because the cap is at the bottom, it's easy to use the shampoo even when the bottle is almost empty. However, the position of the cap also means that it doesn't fit in shower caddies easily and it’s also hard to get the bottle to stay closed once you’ve opened it. If you're going to be travelling, we recommend that you put this inside a leak-proof bag. The modest results of Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Wash make it most suitable for hair that's uncoloured or already a cool shade.
Silver shampoo is used to get rid of yellow tones or orange tones in blonde, white or grey hair and to help improve or maintain vibrant blonde hair – known as blonde enhancing - or cooler silver tones. They can also be used on brown or red hair to get rid of brassiness, although you need to be very careful when doing this; if the shampoo is left in for too long it can produce rather drab results.
Using silver shampoo does dry the hair somewhat, with some people saying that silver shampoos can even damage the hair. Thus, finding a silver shampoo that doesn’t dry out hair is key. However, in recent years many new shampoos have been developed which are much gentler. It is also why there is a rise in the number of products promising silver shampoo and conditioner in a single bottle. However, it's a good idea when you have finished using the silver shampoo to use a nourishing product like a hair mask. If you really want a much cooler colour shade for your hair, you can also use a silver conditioner and silver hair masks. While the result won't be as intense because they are intended to close the hair cuticle - and so don't provide as much pigment - they can still produce a very attractive finish.
It's important to remember that silver shampoo doesn't completely remove the yellow tones from the hair or bleach it. If you aren't happy with your colour when you leave the hairdressers, you should go back and have it done again. Silver shampoos are simply a way to keep your hair attractive between salon visits. Nor is a silver shampoo the same as a colour bomb, which have become an extremely popular product recently. A colour bomb is similar to a toner, containing a lot more pigment and giving a more permanent result.
Silver shampoo can be used on coloured or bleached hair as well as natural hair. While it was initially intended for people with naturally grey or white hair to remove yellow or gold shades without having to dye it, it is now most commonly used by people with blonde hair. When you shampoo hair the cuticles open, which the violet pigments in the silver shampoo can attach to and create cooler hair tones. With some silver shampoos it can be useful to wash your hair with normal shampoo once before you use it. The hair absorbs more colour pigment when it is dry, so you should wring out your hair thoroughly and then spread the shampoo on the hair rather than creating a lather, as you would with normal shampoo. The fact that dry hair absorbs more pigment also means that the shampoo will produce different results in different heads of hair. Bleached hair is often drier, which means that it absorbs the pigment faster and to a greater extent. If you have bleached or dry hair, it's therefore important to be extremely careful when using silver shampoo to avoid the hair colour becoming violet, instead of maintaining an attractive ash blonde hair shade.
How often you should use silver shampoo varies by person, but hairdressers recommend most people should use it once or twice a week and that you should leave it to work for 3 to 5 minutes before rinsing out. A good tip is to leave it in for 10 to 15 minutes every now and then to achieve more intense results. However, this varies by the individual and depends on both your hair type and the silver shampoo product you are using.
People often wonder what silver shampoo can do for hair extensions. If your hair extensions are real, they are just normal hair and the answer is yes you can use it. However, you must remember that they may not react the same way as the silver shampoo does in your own hair. It's difficult to know how hair extensions have been treated before you buy them, so you could end up with unexpected results. As such, you should be careful when using silver shampoo on them to make sure you get the results you desire most.