Silver Shampoo Best in Test

Silver shampoo

Last updated November 2017

Silver shampoo is used to neutralise yellow or orange tones in blonde, white or grey hair and to create that popular cool result. The product can also be used on brown or red hair to obtain a new shade, although you need to be very careful to make sure the shampoo isn't left on for too long as this can produce a rather drab result.

Silver shampoo dries the hair somewhat, but in recent years many new products have been developed. Some people say that silver shampoos damage the hair and these shampoos did previously make a greater impression on the hair, but now they are much gentler. However, it's a good idea to end with a nourishing product like a normal hair mask. If you want a really cool shade for your hair, you can also buy both silver conditioner and silver hair masks. The result won't be as intense because they are intended to close the hair cuticle and therefore don't provide as much pigment, but can still produce a very attractive finish.

It's important to remember that silver shampoo doesn't remove the yellow tones in 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. This is just a way to keep your hair attractive between visits. Nor is silver shampoo the same as a colour bomb, which have also become extremely popular recently. A colour bomb is more like a kind of toner with a lot more pigment and which gives a more permanent result.

How should silver shampoo be used?

Silver shampoo can be used on coloured or bleached hair as well as natural hair. It was initially intended for people with naturally grey or white hair to remove yellow or gold shades without having to dye it, but it is now most commonly used by people with blonde hair. When you shampoo the hair the cuticle opens, which means that the violet pigments in the product can attach to it, creating the cool result. With some silver shampoos it can be useful to wash your hair with normal shampoo once before application. The hair absorbs more colour when 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 a normal shampoo. The fact that dry hair absorbs more pigment also means that the shampoo can produce different results on different hair. Bleached hair is often drier, which means that it absorbs the pigment quicker and to a greater extent. It's therefore important to be extremely careful if you have bleached or dry hair, to avoid the colour tipping over towards violet instead of staying at an attractive ash blonde shade.

How often you should use silver shampoo varies, but hairdressers recommend once or twice a week and that you should leave it to work for 3 to 5 minutes. A good tip is to leave it for 10 to 15 minutes every now and then to get a more intense result. However, this is very individual and depends on your hair type and the product you are using.

People often wonder if you can use silver shampoo on hair extensions. And yes, hair extensions are just normal hair if they are real, so of course you can use it. However, you have to remember that it may not react the same way as when you use shampoo in your own hair. It's difficult to know how hair extensions have been treated before you buy them, so you may end up with an unexpected result. So you have to be careful during application to make sure you get the result you want.

Products tested

Best in test How the test was made

We carry out our tests ourselves and test all products as they are intended to be used in reality. Every test of silver shampoo took place over several weeks. Every shampoo has been tested through repeated washes to note any changes in the result and has also been used with a longer leave-in time. The products have been tested on coloured, bleached and naturally white/grey hair. The assessment has primarily been based on the characteristics below.

Colour: How strong is the colour result on the hair? How much cooler is the shade and how quickly does it fade? What result does the shampoo give on which types of hair? Does the hair have shine and lustre after use?

Drying: How much does the shampoo dry out the hair? Is it gentle or does it cause a lot of damage?

Use: What's the consistency of the shampoo like and what's it like to apply? Is it economical or do you need to apply a lot? Does it produce a good lather? What does the product smell like, and how good is the packaging?

Between test periods of two shampoos, normal shampoo has been used so that the hair is neutral when starting the next test. The score is based on an overall experience of the product in relation to its price.

Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo

Fantastically effective, creates good lustre and leaves the hair feeling great

Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Medium Perceived colour intensity: Strong

Wow, what a shampoo! If you're looking for something that gives a really visible result, this is the one. Fudge Clean Blonde gives an intensely cool shade with great lustre after only one wash. White and blonde areas become really icy without tipping towards the blue/violet spectrum, but the shampoo works well on grey or coloured hair too. If you want a still more intense result, you can increase the leave-in time, but you need to be careful that it's not in your hair for too long as the colour can become too violet. But if you're careful you can get a fantastic result. If your hands are dry, it's recommended that you wear gloves when applying the shampoo, because the colour effect is so strong that dry areas of your skin and scalp can also take on a blue shade.

The consistency of the shampoo is nicely dry, but the toothpaste-like tube means that it's rather difficult to apply and easy to get more than you need. After washing, with quite a lot of lather, the hair is left with volume without being too dry. The hair feels light and looks lustrous. The scent is relatively strong but not too irritating. This is an incredibly effective silver shampoo that's well worth its price, which means it's our best in test.

  • +
    Fantastically effective, gives lustre, medium drying
  • Packaging difficult to handle
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5
  • Rating 5/5

5 of 5

L'Anza Healing ColorCare

Softening shampoo that gives good lustre and doesn't dry the hair

Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Weak Perceived colour intensity: Medium

Is there a silver shampoo that cools the tone of your hair while nourishing it too? Well now there is! L'Anza Healing ColorCare is quite simply fantastic for your hair. The product is extremely nourishing and gives loads of lustre. Despite this it also gives a cooling effect to the hair tone, which is quite an unusual combination. Admittedly, this isn't a shampoo that gives maximum effect, but the result is still perfectly acceptable. The colour is an even cool tone across the whole head, and the hair also feels soft, looking healthy and in great condition.

The lather has an unusual consistency, in that it has bubbles so small that it hardly feels like lather at all. Unlike other shampoos that don't produce lather, it's no problem spreading L'Anza Healing ColorCare evenly throughout your hair. Nor is it a problem that the consistency is essentially a gel – instead, this is helps add to the positive impression. However, L'Anza get a small minus mark for the bottle. It's tall and rectangular, and each side is the same width. This square base means that it's quite difficult to get the last bit of shampoo out of the bottle. However, the appearance of the bottle is quite luxurious, just like with L'Anza's other products. The hairdressery scent also reinforces this luxurious feeling. The price tag is pretty steep, but you aren't just paying for the packaging, as L'Anza Healing ColorCare also produces results.

  • +
    Nourishing, good consistency, economical, gives plenty of lustre, softening
  • Slightly weak colour effect, poor packaging
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5
  • Rating 5/5 Rating 4.5/5

4.5 of 5

Schwartzkopf Bonacure Color Freeze Silver Shampoo

Volumising, gentle shampoo that gives quick results and goes a long way

Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Low Perceived colour intensity: Medium

This Schwartzkopf silver shampoo gives quick and effective results. After just one wash, the hair has a markedly cooler and attractive shade. The colour of the hair is more white than violet, which is positive. After the shampoo has been used 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 to work a little longer, but this isn't necessary as you get enough of an effect immediately. After use the hair feels good as the shampoo is relatively gentle without weighing down the hair. Instead the shampoo gives volume and light, airy hair.

The bottle the product comes in is attractive but unfortunately slightly unstable. The narrow base does mean that it's easy to squeeze into a shower caddy, but it also topples over easily and ends up on the floor. 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. There is relatively little lather and it's easy to get the right amount of the shampoo, which means that it goes a long way. This is a good value for money shampoo that gives results.

  • +
    Quick result, gentle, volumising, economical
  • Unstable bottle
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5
  • Rating 5/5

4 of 5

Matrix Total Results Color Care So Silver Shampoo

Gives quick results and a clean feeling and comes in a very attractive bottle

Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Medium Perceived colour intensity: Medium

The shampoo produces a medium amount of lather and has a pleasantly viscous consistency that leaves you with a clean, light feeling in your hair. The hair is a little dry after use, but still feels smooth when it has dried. The shampoo also gives some volume. After just one wash it produces quite a visible result in terms of colour shade; unfortunately the shade is relatively hard and the result verging on the drab. It works better after one wash for white hair than on coloured or grey hair. But after the shampoo has been used a few times, the result is better and the hair takes on an attractive lustre regardless of whether it's coloured or natural. Leaving it in for longer doesn't produce any obviously different results.

One positive aspect is that the product doesn't colour hands or scalp too much, which means that you can be less careful when applying it. The flask containing the economical cream is attractive and modern and feels luxurious. It's sufficiently narrow to easily fit into the majority of shower caddies, but at the same time wide enough to feel stable. The scent is very mild and neutral, which means that it's also suitable for people who are sensitive to smells.

  • +
    Clean feeling, quick result, attractive bottle
  • Slightly drab result after the first wash
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5 Rating 3.5/5
  • Rating 5/5

3.5 of 5

Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning

Produces plenty of lather and gives a fine cool tone on coloured hair

Available as pump bottle: Yes Perceived drying: Low Perceived colour intensity: Medium

Dumb Blonde Purple Toning is a light violet silver shampoo with a pleasant scent reminiscent of vanilla fudge. Unlike some of Bed Head's other products, the scent isn't too strong. A major plus is that the hair won't become too dry after use. Of course it will be drier than with normal shampoo, but you simply need to apply conditioner afterwards. Dumb Blonde comes in a neat pump bottle, which makes it easy to get the right amount. Each squirt of the pump gives relatively little shampoo, which means that the pump solution is suitable regardless of hair length.

Applying the shampoo creates a soft, white lather with small bubbles. It produces quite a lot of lather, but with a relatively loose consistency. Results were visible after only one application using the shampoo for the shortest leave-in time – one minute. The hair takes on a clearly cooler shade. On treated or white hair it works very well, while the result on untreated grey or brown hair is a little bit drab and yellowish. This can be problematic if you are starting to get grey/white hair but don't yet have an even colour all over. If the leave-in time is increased, the result doesn't get noticeably more intense than after the first application. But this does mean that you don't need to worry about whether it's going to go too far and turn purple. It's also worth emphasising that the hair gets a pleasant, airy feel and a lot of volume.  If the hair is already a cool colour or simply needs a boost, Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning can be a very good option. 

  • +
    Good lather, nice cool tone, neat pump bottle, creates volume
  • Doesn't produce more intense result from a longer leave-in time, drab results on brown/grey hair
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5 Rating 3.5/5
  • Rating 5/5

3.5 of 5

Maria Nila Palett Sheer Silver Shampoo

Incredibly gentle, mildly scented shampoo that gives a good lustre and comes in a clever bottle

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 also true of their silver shampoo. This is probably the test's gentlest product and in use it feels pretty much like using a normal shampoo. The colour result from this shampoo is also very mild. On naturally grey/white hair and coloured hair, the result is barely visible. Nor does it make any difference to the cool shade if you leave it in for longer, even though it does produce a good lustre. However, this can be a good alternative if you already have a cool shade of bleached hair and simply want to freshen it up a bit. The shampoo weighs down the hair, which also makes it suitable for bleached, dry hair which needs an extra gentle product.

The gentle profile is also noticeable in that the product has almost no scent at all. This makes it particularly suitable for people who are sensitive to smells. The bottle is stylish and attractive and gives a luxurious feeling. The fact that it's wide means that it can be difficult to squeeze in between other bottles in the shower caddy, but on the other hand it's stable and doesn't topple over. The clever cap that you can open with just one finger also means that it's easy to use the bottle with just one hand. The bottle contains a blueish, smooth cream. Because it gives a relatively flat lather you may use more than you need, but if you get the right amount it feels really nice in your hair. Quite simply a gentle shampoo that's best suited to bleached hair.

  • +
    Very gentle, mild scent, intelligent bottle, lots of lustre
  • Almost no colour result, gives heavy hair
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5
  • Rating 5/5

3 of 5

L'Oréal Serie Expert Silver Shampoo

This shampoo has a fantastic effect on colour and leaves a very cool, intense shade. Grey hair becomes greyer, white becomes whiter and blonde hair becomes a cooler shade. After only one wash the result is visible, and if you leave the shampoo to work for longer it becomes even more intense. However, this is the shampoo in the test that leaves the driest result. Your hair becomes dry as crispy autumn leaves after use and a hair mask or moisturising conditioner is an essential. On uncoloured and undamaged hair, this might be OK, but on bleached hair that's already dry it's just not very practical.

The bottle is small and cone-shaped, which makes it easy to take with you while travelling or keep in the shower. The packaging is also available as a larger bottle in a pump variant. Despite the fact that L'Oréal is slightly cheaper than the majority of other shampoos and gives a greater effect in terms of colour intensity, that doesn't really make up for the dryness it produces in the hair. If you want to be kind to your hair, there are other alternatives that are gentler. However, this shampoo has a thin consistency and produces a medium amount of lather, which makes it easy to apply and it's very economical.

  • +
    Intense result, low price, different sizes of bottle, economical
  • Very drying
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5
  • Rating 5/5

3 of 5

Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Wash

Gentle, economical shampoo with firm consistency that produces a lot of lather

Available as pump bottle: No Perceived drying: Low Perceived colour intensity: Low

This silver shampoo smells like cola and has a pleasant, firm consistency without being too dry. It produces a good amount of lather, which means that you don't apply too much so it goes a long way. When you squeeze the shampoo out into your hand it has a dark, intense violet colour. However, this colour almost completely disappears when the cream is applied to the hair and the lather is almost entirely white. On coloured/highlighted hair, it gives practically no result at all, while on white/grey hair it gives a mild cool shade which becomes slightly stronger on repeated washing. Leaving the shampoo to work longer doesn't seem to give a more intense result. The hair becomes slightly drier than when washing with a normal shampoo, but it's significantly more gentle than several other silver shampoos. However, it also produces less of a result.

The packaging the shampoo comes in feels modern and attractive. Because the cap is at the bottom, it's easy to get the shampoo out even when the bottle is almost empty. However, the position of the cap means that it doesn't work at all in shower caddies. It's also worth noting that it's hard to get the bottle to stay closed. If you're going to be travelling, we recommend that you put this inside a bag in your case. The modest results of Kevin Murphy Blonde Angel Wash make it most suitable for hair that's uncoloured or already a cool shade.

  • +
    Firm consistency, economical, gentle
  • Weak colour intensity, bottle leaks
  • Rating 1/5
  • Rating 2/5 Rating 1.5/5
  • Rating 3/5
  • Rating 4/5
  • Rating 5/5

1.5 of 5