How Topical Vitamin C Can Brighten Hair Color, From Experts

Just as topical vitamin C serum can help brighten your skin tone, vitamin C in hair care formulas can also help enhance shine. See, vitamin C has powerful antioxidant properties, which help neutralize oxidative stress and free radicals that contribute to hair aging—and hair aging often results in a duller color. It’s why many brands will fold vitamin C into their serums, masks, shampoos, et al., since it’s top-notch for strong, healthy strands. 

You can even find vitamin C powders, like dpHUE’s Brightening Powder, to restore shine with a single wash. “Vitamin C, when paired with a gentle chelating agent, helps to not only brighten your hair but also remove buildup,” says celebrity stylist and hair expert Justin Anderson, co-founder of the brand. “This combination works to prevent dullness and brassiness that can occur from hard water, pollution, and excessive product use.” 

At this point, you’re probably wondering: How does vitamin C hair care differ from other brightening products, like purple shampoo? Well, the two are slightly different, and you can absolutely include them both in your routine. “Toning shampoos work to neutralize any unwanted brassy tones in your hair,” notes Anderson, while vitamin C powders “contain chelating agents that act as a magnet to help remove the metals, chlorine, minerals, and product residue that make hair look dull.” If you already use a purple shampoo, you can go ahead and stick to your regular cadence and add vitamin C powder once a month as needed. 

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