can you use purple shampoo for brown hair

Can You Use Purple Shampoo For Brown Hair?

Can you use purple shampoo for brown hair? Find out here! Also learn which is the best purple shampoo for brown hair and what does purple shampoo do to brown hair with highlights.

Whether you are a natural brunette or have dyed your hair one of the many shades of brown, you know how tricky it can be to maintain the color. 

I think the wonders that the right shampoo and other hair care products can do to maintain hair color is often underestimated. Unfortunately, there is no one shampoo that fits all. 

As a natural brunette, I learned the hard way that even natural color needs some maintenance. After many trials (and disasters), I found purple shampoo. 

Yes, purple shampoo. Now, hear me out. Brunettes need toning just as much as blondes do. Brassy tones are pesky intruders that occur not only on lighter colored hair but also on darker colored hair.

But before you add purple shampoo to your hair care routine, you need to know what purple shampoo is.

What is purple shampoo?

best purple shampoo for brown hair

Purple shampoos have a toning effect on hair. Most people think that purple shampoo is designed only for light colored hair like blonde hair and platinum.

Purple shampoo has a toning effect on hair. That means it works to neutralize the unpleasant brassy tones. 

Brassiness is the unpleasant yellow and orange tones that hair gets. This can occur for reasons like too much exposure to the sun, chemicals like chlorine, using hard water, heat styling tools, fading color, or bleaching hair. 

does purple shampoo lighten hair

To have a better understanding of how purple shampoo works, let’s consider the color wheel. Purple and yellow are on opposite sides. We can connect this to how the violet pigments in purple shampoo neutralize the brassy and yellow tones on hair. 

So can you use purple shampoo for brown hair?

Of course, you can! Personally, I think that purple shampoo works best on brunette hair. 

Can You Use Purple Shampoo For Brown Hair

While purple shampoo is generally used on light colored hair, brunettes can benefit from adding it to their hair care routine. 

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Purple shampoo is particularly effective when you have dark hair with highlights. The shampoo will help tone the lighter strands and maintain their color. 

Incorporating purple shampoo into your hair care routine will not only get rid of unwanted orange and yellow tones but will also help keep your brown locks looking healthy and vibrant. 

What does purple shampoo do for brown hair?

Your lovely brunette tresses can often fall prey to some uninvited golden hues. They often go unnoticed until all of a sudden they are all over. 

This is especially noticed when you color your hair using a base that is more golden brown like caramel or chestnut.

Many trending styles that use brown hair color tend to combine shades of blonde and brown like ombre and brown balayage. This makes hair more prone to brassiness and requires toning. 

Purple shampoo is your saving grace in these situations. Alternating between using your regular shampoo and purple shampoo is a great way to maintain the vibrancy of your hair color and keep brassiness at bay. 

How to use purple shampoo for brown hair

Purple shampoo doesn’t lighten hair color as many believe. The violet pigment only neutralizes and tones down brassiness. 

You can either swap your regular shampoo for purple shampoo or use them both alternatingly. Purple shampoo will have a similar effect on hair as regular shampoo with the added bonus of a toning effect. 

You are required to leave the purple shampoo in your hair for a few minutes before rinsing so that it can work its magic. How long you leave it in depends on your hair type. 

It boils down to how quickly your hair absorbs color, what your current hair color is, and if you have dyed your hair, what kind of dye is used. 

what does purple shampoo do to brown hair with highlights

Generally, if you have lighter brown hair, leaving the purple shampoo in for about 2 – 3 minutes will be more than enough. For darker shades of brown with more stubborn brassiness, you may have to leave the shampoo in for up to 10 minutes before rinsing. 

This may take a few uses to figure out. It’s important to remember that purple shampoo contains purple pigments that get deposited into hair every time you use the shampoo. So this may leave a purple tint on your hair. 

Another thing to remember is to not leave purple shampoo in your hair for more than 20 minutes. 

While purple shampoo may not lighten hair, it most definitely can leave hair with a lilac tint if left in for too long. This is because the purple pigment in the shampoo gets deposited on the hair shaft. 

It is always best to test your shampoo’s strength. You can do this by mixing the purple shampoo with your regular shampoo. 

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If you feel like your purple shampoo is a little too overpowering, you can use it once or twice a week while alternating with your regular shampoo. 

How to choose a purple shampoo for brown hair

It is important to choose the right shampoo that is best suited for you. Here are some things to keep in mind while choosing a purple shampoo for your brown hair:

  • Since purple shampoos are generally designed keeping blonde hair in mind, it is best to choose the darkest purple pigmented shampoo for brown hair.
  • Pay attention to the ingredients used to formulate the shampoo. You want something that contains more natural ingredients. Stay away from products that contain sulfates as these can damage your hair and cause breakage. 
  • Try to pick a purple shampoo that has a moisturizing effect on hair. You don’t want to strip your hair of its natural oils and cause further damage.
  • Make sure that you are choosing a shampoo that is suited for your specific hair type. What may be working magic for your friend’s hair, may be disastrous for yours because like I said before, there is no one type that fits all. Doing a small patch test is also advised to make sure that the shampoo suits you.

Best purple shampoos in the market for brown hair

So now you’ve seen what purple shampoo can do for your brown locks, but how to know which one to choose?

purple shampoo on brown hair with grey

Most purple shampoos will mention that they are designed for blonde hair, but they do help tone brown hair. There are so many brands in the market that sell purple shampoo and you will be spoiled for choice. 

Here are some purple shampoos to try:

  • Redken Color Extend Blondage Shampoo
  • L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate Free Color Care System Purple Shampoo
  • Schwarzkopf Goodbye Yellow pH 4.5 Neutralizing Shampoo
  • Davines Alchemic Shampoo
  • Shea Moisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo
  • Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo
  • Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo
  • Kérastase Paris Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Shampoo

If you have damaged, dry hair I’d suggest going for the Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo as it’s very nourishing and also sulfate-free. However, for curly or natural, 4c hair you can opt for Shea Moisture Purple Rice Water Strength & Color Care Shampoo as it suits your hair type best.

Is purple shampoo the only solution to get rid of brassiness from brown hair?

While purple shampoo is a great way to address the brassiness in brown hair, blue shampoo is another option to consider. 

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As a brunette, you have the choice of purple as well as blue shampoo to tone down unwanted hues. 

Here are some things to consider when you decide to add purple shampoo to your brown hair care routine:

  • You will need to use purple shampoo often because the violet pigment will wash out and fade.
  • Purple shampoo is not a substitute for hair dye. You cannot color your hair with shampoo. It only works to tone hair.
  • Since you are using purple shampoo for brown hair, opt for the darkest purple shampoo you can find. 
  • Purple shampoo can do only so much to get rid of brassiness. The statement prevention is better than cure is very suitable for this situation.
  • If you are trying to figure out which is better- blue or purple shampoo, then take a look at the color wheel. This will help you figure out which shampoo will tone your hair better. 

FAQs about Using Purple Shampoo for Brown Hair

Is purple shampoo a toner?

Yes, purple shampoo works as a toner. It neutralizes brassy tones and helps keep hair color. 

Can purple shampoo lighten your hair?

Purple shampoo doesn’t lighten hair because it doesn’t contain any chemical component that changes hair color. The shampoo contains violet pigments that may actually make hair temporarily darker. 

What causes brassiness in brown hair?

Some of the causes for brassiness are:
Overexposure to UV rays
Use of heat styling tools
Exposure to chemicals like chlorine and bleach
Fading of hair color

Summary on Using Purple Shampoo For Brown Hair

Here’s something I find helpful to remember. If you are dealing with lighter yellowish brassiness, the purple pigment in purple shampoo will neutralize the brassy yellow tones. 

Purple shampoo is ideal for lighter browns. If you have darker hair like copper or reddish brown, then blue shampoo world is great to even out the color. 

Based on my personal experience, I think blue shampoo is a slightly better option when it comes to tackling brassiness on brown hair. 

However, we cannot ignore that purple shampoo does have many benefits when used on brown hair. 

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Can You Use Purple Shampoo For Purple Hair