Does Purple Shampoo Lighten Brown Hair? Here’s everything you need to know about it

no yellow shampoo

  • Purple shampoo will NOT lighten brown hair, nor will it lighten blonde or any other hair color.
  • Purple shampoo tones yellow tones that might end up in your hair after bleaching it. If you want to neutralize those yellow undertones in your dyed hair or if you want to maintain an ashy tone, then purple shampoo will help.
  • If you’re looking to lighten brown hair, you should opt for other, alternative methods, like using a dye 1-2 shades lighten than your hair right now or by using a lightening shampoo.


A lot of women ask me about purple shampoo and its benefits.

It’s like recently purple shampoo has turned into an essential product for many women.

But, it’s not magic!


Its only job is to neutralize yellow tones.

 So, if you were hoping that purple shampoo could lighten your hair, I’m sorry to tell you that it will not. 


Purple shampoo works great on ashy-toned hair or hair with platinum highlights.

It helps to maintain the tone without any bright yellows shining through, and in that, it also helps dye last longer.

But, let’s take a look at in more depth what purple shampoo actually can do and how you can lighten brown hair.


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What does purple shampoo really do and why doesn’t it lighten hair?

for toning the unwanted tones

Like I said in the beginning, purple shampoo does not lighten your hair.

Purple shampoo actually tones or neutralizes unwanted tones that might appear in your hair after you’ve bleached it or after using a dye, either to help maintain an ashy tone or to neutralize yellow undertones.

So, then, where does the idea that purple shampoo lightens hair come from?


It’s a common question.

 Some people think that this shampoo lightens the bright yellow tones that it neutralizes. 

But, that is not the case!


What actually is the case is that toning shampoo contains pigments – in this case, purple pigments – that it deposits in your hair.

And, of course, purple is the color that cancels out yellow.

 By making those bright yellow tones disappear, your hair can end up seeming lighter. 


So, now you know:

  • If you bleached your hair and you ended up with yellow tones, purple shampoo will get rid of them
  • If you used a blonde dye and it ended up too yellow for your taste, purple shampoo will also neutralize that unwanted tone
  • If you used an ashy dye or a platinum dye, purple shampoo would help to maintain that tone


Now you know purple shampoo doesn’t lighten your hair, and it definitely doesn’t lighten brown hair.

In order to lighten brown hair, you’ll need to use other methods.


 Now, if you have highlights in brown hair and they turned bright yellow, you can use a purple shampoo to neutralize those colors. 

All you need to do is replace your normal shampoo with purple shampoo.

Each time you wash your hair, you should use the purple shampoo, which means that if you wash your hair every day, you should use it every day.

You’ll see how after just a few washes, the yellow in your brown hair will completely disappear.


How do you lighten brown hair, then?

If what you actually want to do is lighten your brown hair a few shades, then you’ll need to do something different.

You have a few options for lightening your hair:

  • Lightening shampoo
  • Dye that’s 1-2 shades lighter than your current color

You’re probably asking yourself: Why isn’t bleaching my hair one of those options?


Bleach is a process that does also lighten your hair, but it is much more drastic than either of the other options.

It would lighten your hair at least 2-3 shades.

That means that you aren’t actually lightening your hair, you’re de-coloring it.

Do you see the difference?


Lightening your hair means add light to it or lightening it just one or two shades within the same color.

For example:

If your hair is dark brown and you want to lighten it, you could use a color like brown or light brown to do it.

One the other hand, bleach will take away pigment from your hair, completely changing the color.

For example:

If your hair is dark brown and you bleach it, you’ll end up with a dark blonde color.

That’s why bleach isn’t an option if you’re looking to just lighten your hair.


How to slightly lighten your hair with lightening shampoo

Like I said before, one way to lighten your brown hair is to use a lightening shampoo.

You’ll see that after each time you use the shampoo, your brown hair will change slightly.


You’ll need to use it each time you wash your hair, depending on how much you want to lighten your hair.

Remember that you aren’t taking away any brown from your hair, just lightening the color.

So, don’t hope for any drastic changes.

It’s not like after washing your hair, it’s going to turn platinum blonde. You’ll only lighten it one or two shades.


How to lighten brown hair with dye that’s 1-2 shades lighter than your current color

The other option I proposed is to use a dye that’s 1-2 shades lighter than your current brown color.

For example:

  • If your hair is dark brown, you can use a brown dye.
  • If your hair is brown, you can use a light brown.
  • Or, if you want a bigger change, you can use a light brown dye on your dark brown hair, too.

You’ll get the same results as with lightening shampoo, it will just be quicker.

Which is the best option for you?


You should choose the option that you feel more comfortable with.

 If you’re worried about the damage that either of these two options might do to your hair, I can promise you that either one will do relatively little damage to your hair. 


Dye does contain a 20 volume developer that does do a little bit of damage to your hair, but it’s really not excessive.

If you use a hydrating mask after the dye, that will be enough to protect your hair.


Lightening shampoo also contains lightening agents that can be aggressive to your hair, but, like with dye, damage is relatively minimal.

You can use a few drops of coconut oil with the shampoo to help moisturize it.

As you can see, either of these options works for lightening your brown hair.



Purple shampoo is not a new product, people have been using it for years now.

It’s just that as online sales of hair care products that used to only be used in salons go up, there are a lot of products that are right at your fingertips.

Combine that with the fact that we also have social media right at our fingertips, people often end up confused by rumors and misinformation.  So, that’s how there are often misconceptions about certain hair care products, like purple shampoo. 

But now you know that purple shampoo doesn’t lighten your hair. It doesn’t matter if your hair is brown, blonde or any other color, purple shampoo will not lighten your hair.

And you, what do you hope to achieve using the purple shampoo?

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