What Does Purple Shampoo Do to Brown Hair? Does it lighten or darken it?

  • The purple shampoo has no effect on brown hair. It won’t lighten, darken, or change your hair color. It doesn’t matter if your hair is natural or colored brown. The purple shampoo won’t do you any good, and I’ll tell you why.
  • If you’re looking to neutralize unwanted tones, which will probably be orange or copper, you should use a blue shampoo. It’s the opposite color to orange. I’ll explain more about this later.
  • If you want to lighten your brown hair, you should use a lightening shampoo.


removing brassiness

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Next thing you know, we’ll be singing odes to the purple shampoo. Do you know what an ode is? It is a poetic composition in a tone of praise.

Why do I say that we’ll soon be singing an ode to the purple shampoo?


Since it became popular due to social networks’ power, people think they can use it for everything.

  • Do I have dull blonde hair? I use purple shampoo.
  • Do I have red hair that lacks shine? I use purple shampoo.
  • Do I have brown hair and horrible orange highlights? I use purple shampoo.


Only one of those scenarios is correct.

It’s the first.  The purple shampoo is meant to be used on blonde hair. 

Why? Because its purple pigments neutralize those yellowish tones that usually appear after a few washes.


I’m going to say it one more time.

The purple shampoo doesn’t lighten any hair color, neither brown, blonde, nor red.

Its only function is to neutralize the bright yellow tones that can appear after bleaching.

It can also maintain an ash tone in blonde hair. That’s as far as its power goes.


Therefore, if you apply a purple shampoo to your brown hair, it’ll have no effect unless your undertone is yellow. According to my experience as a colorist, that’s almost impossible. Yellow undertones are unlikely both on colored and naturally brown hair.


So, if your brown hair has any bright undertones, it’ll be orange or copper. If you want to neutralize them, you’ll need to use a blue shampoo.

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Why should you use blue shampoo?

toning unwanted orange tones

Blue shampoo won’t lighten or darken your colored or natural brown hair. It’ll only neutralize unwanted orange or copper tones. In other words, it won’t change the rest of your hair.

It makes sense considering neutralization rules. They’re about applying the opposite color to the one you want to eliminate. Do you know them?


They are simple:



Both colored and naturally brown hair contain reddish and orange pigmentation.

According to the color breakdown, that shade results from mixing green with red and a bit of yellow according to the lightness you desire.

  • A light brown shade will have more yellow than red and green.
  • A neutral brown will have equal parts.
  • A dark brown will have more red than yellow and green


 So, a purple shampoo won’t work on brown because its undertones will always be orange or reddish. 

If you’re looking for a shampoo that works on those unwanted undertones, you should use blue shampoo. It’ll completely eliminate the annoying orange or copper color.


How to use blue shampoo on brown hair


The blue shampoo creates a film of pigment that is deposited on your hair to neutralize unwanted tones.

It means that every time you wash your hair, you add pigments. Then, your color will be neutralized for longer.

It doesn’t lighten or darken the brown in your hair. It just neutralizes the unwanted tones.


There’re several toning shampoos for brown hair:

  • MATRIX TOTAL RESULTS: this blue shampoo for frequent use will bring you top-quality pigments.
  • FANOLA NO ORANGE: a blue shampoo to be used a maximum of 3 times a week. You should leave it on your hair for up to 5 to 8 minutes.
  • REDKEN: it’s another great brand of blue shampoo for frequent use.


What if you wanted to lighten your brown hair? As I told you before, blue shampoo won’t work for that. You’ll have to use another type of product. You can make it at home.


How to lighten brown hair with homemade shampoo

lighten her hair

If you want to lighten your hair slightly without bleaching it, you can use a homemade lightening shampoo.

Remember to use a moisturizing shampoo to protect your hair. Also, a 10-volume developer. It’ll be strong enough to lighten your hair slightly.


 Don’t use another developer because your hair may end up completely orange.  In that case, the blue shampoo won’t fix the mess.


shampoo and conditioner

What are the best moisturizing shampoos to make a lightening shampoo?

  • Dove Daily Moisture Shampoo
  • Pantene Pro-V Daily Moisture Renewal Shampoo
  • L’Oreal Paris Elvive Total Repair 5 Shampoo
  • Moroccanoil Shampoo

Once you’ve chosen your shampoo, you’re ready to get to work.


What do you need?

  • Moisturizing shampoo
  • 10-volume developer
  • An empty shampoo bottle


Step by step:

  • In the empty shampoo bottle, add 250 ml of moisturizing shampoo and 250 ml of the developer.
  • Mix until the shampoo and developer are fully integrated.
  • Wet your hair and apply the 10-volume shampoo and developer mixture.
  • Leave it on for 20 to 25 minutes massaging every 5 minutes.
  • Rinse with plenty of water until there’s no residue of the mixture.
  • Condition your hair, rinse, and dry.


Wait at least 15 days to reapply the lightening shampoo. Although this mixture is not as aggressive as bleaching, it can also dry out your hair fiber.



The purple shampoo has no effect whatsoever on brown hair. It neither lightens, darkens, nor neutralizes unwanted tones.

If you want to neutralize orange or copper tones in your brown hair, you should use blue shampoo. Alternatively, if you want to lighten it slightly, use a lightening shampoo.

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