A serious warning – What happens if you put brown dye on purple hair?

POSTED ON June 22, 2018 BY Thomas Taw

Stylist? Fresh? Youthful? These are all the characteristics that purple tells about you. Quite? Noble? Clever? Sounds very “brown”, doesn’t it? So what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair? Many ladies with purple-dyed hair want to add a bit of mystery, seduction, and intellect with brown, but is this good or bad for the hair? We will find out right away.

What happens if you put brown dye on purple hair in theory?

what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair
What happens if you put brown dye on purple hair? – Puce hair color

On paper, purple and brown are secondary colors [1]. Purple is made up of red and blue, while brown is red and green. Thus, unlike the primary color,[2] the combination of these two colors will not make the third color that is completely different to the two but will inherit shades of both.

Also, in the dictionary, there is a special term specifically for the combination color of brown and purple. It is called “puce”. Puce is described as darker than brown and purple and contains red. The word “puce” [3] is derived from the French “flea”, meaning the color of red dried blood on the bed sheet. That is in theory, so in reality, what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair?

See more: Is it possible to place semi permanent hair color over highlights?

The many factors affect the dyeing scheme of brown on purple hair

Brown colorants

what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair
Brown colorant

Brown colorant is one of the oldest and most popular colorants on the market today. Normally, there are three main substances in brown colorant: hydrogen peroxide,[4] ammonia [5] and colourants [6]. Each substance has a specific use to dye your hair to brown. But depending on the content of each substance, the results will be varied and only time can tell what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair.

Hydrogen peroxide

what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair
Hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is a powerful oxidant that breaks down the structure of the dye before it facilitates the reactions. The effect of hydrogen peroxide is to remove your previous hair colorant, so that you can apply your new dye color.

For people with purple-dyed hair, it is often difficult to return to the original color of the hair. Simply because purple is a light complex color and also contains the elements of dyed blonde hair. Therefore, when bleached with hydrogen peroxide, we will only get a blonde or silver hair. This causes the hair to become brighter than expected when applied brown colorant.

This is not the complete answer for the question: “What happens if you put brown dye on purple hair?” because when hydrogen peroxide removes the dye from sticking to the hair, it will inadvertently remove the nutrients that help the hair grow, which will make the hair weak and lacking vitality. And when dyeing with brown, the hair color will be easy to tarnish and fade.


what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair

Ammonia is one of the substances found in dyes. Having ammonia in colorants is still a subject of controversy. The ammonia breaks down the cuticle of the hair so that the dyed color can stick in. The problem is that when the cuticle is gone, the hair is extremely vulnerable to damage. There are many cases of hair becoming weaker noticeably after dyeing.

One possible solution is to use ammonia-free dyes. However, the problem is that with the lack of ammonia, the color will be extremely difficult to stick to your hair. And surely your hair will get just a creamy yellow, instead of a charming brown. And that is only one outcome for the question: What happens if you put brown dye on purple hair?


what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair
So how can dyes make color?

So how can dyes make color? With brown dye, the substance that makes the hair color change is PPD [7]. During the 150 years of dyeing history, people have not found a hair colourant that is better than PPD. But the problem with PPD is that it is an oxidizer [8] and very easy to affect the hair during dyeing.

In order to decide the resulting shade of brown, you need to pay attention to the amount of PPD contained in the colorant. To get the color you want, you need a particular amount of PPD in the dye. Too little PPD will make your hair purple rather than brown. But too much PPD also causes your hair to become tangled and damaged. It’s hard to figure out what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair.

The characteristics of your hair

what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair
The characteristics of your hair can affect your colorant

First of all, in terms of moisture, the more dry the hair, the more colorant it will need. In contrast, the more moisture the hair has, the dye will be more easily attached to the hair. So when you use brown dye, you need to be sure to identify your hair type, so as not to waste dye and get the results you desire.

The size of the hair is one of the things we need to keep in mind when dyeing. The thicker the hair, the longer the diameter and the more dye it needs. Of course, no one can measure the thickness of each hair. But you can count on factors such as races and hair types. For example, Asians, Europeans and Americans often have thicker hair than Africans. And curly hair is usually thinner than straight hair.

Finally, about the shape of the hair. The rounded hair gives the evenly colorant on the hair, as well as keeps the hair damages at a minimum. Flat hair is different. Flat hair will increase the area of contact with the colorant. Colorant penetrating deeply into the hair core irregularly will cause damage to the hair, as well as not the color you want.

Understand what happens if you put brown dye on purple hair is extremely difficult as it depends on tons of external factors from the colorants, the bleach to the characteristics of the hair. We deeply recommend you to seek for expertises from hair salon for the best result.

SourceWholesale Hair Vendors – Virgin Hair Distributors/ Manufacturer – Hair Extensions Supplier


1 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Secondary_color
2 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Primary_Colors
3 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Puce
4 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hydrogen_peroxide
5 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ammonia
6 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Colourant
7 Panfili E, Esposito S, Di Cara G. Temporary black henna tattoos and sensitization to para-phenylenediamine (PPD): two paediatric case reports and a review of the literature. Int J Environ Res Public Health 2017; 14: 421. PubMed Central
8 Drs.illinois.edu. (2014). Oxidizers – Safety Library | Division of Research Safety – Illinois. [online] Available at: https://www.drs.illinois.edu/SafetyLibrary/Oxidizers [Accessed 23 Feb. 2019].
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