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

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.

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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. Purple is made up of red and blue, while brown is red and green. Thus, unlike the primary color, 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” 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?

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, ammonia and colourants.

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. 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 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.

Hair Care Expert at Ivirgo Hair | + posts

I am Thomas Taw, the CEO of CITIZENSNIPS. I have experience in hair product development and chemical research, as well as sustainable resource engineering. In 2009, I co-created Sunsilk, one of the world's leading haircare brands. More recently, I was the CEO of SMOKINGPANDA LTD. I am a professional with a strong track record in delivering tangible results.

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

  1. Avatar of Eņģelis
    Eņģelis says:

    When I have dyed clients’ hair brown, the dye ultimately turns purple. What is missing is the removal of the reds prior to layering the purple on top of brown hair. I have naturally red/gold hair. I’ve been slowly but surely using purple shampoos and toners to calm all my red and gold…with items like Dusty lilac and such in between. This has taken a long time, but I’m not going anywhere and bald is the last place I’m going, hehe. Radiant Orchid over brown (drained of red/gold) is positively stunning. Patience and love of your hair–it doesn’t always ‘just grow back,’ ask any balding 17yo kid–can get your desired results. This process has taken me about 6mos to get from point A to point B.

  2. Avatar of Christabel
    Christabel says:

    Your article was so helpful and awesome!! Last year I had the same experienced when I dyed my hair with purple tone too but it was a really deep violet from a salon. And then after 5 weeks, I wanted to get back to my dark brown. I also made some highlights under my purple. Then I dyed the brown dye over purple hair, which resulted in the reddish color hair, which did not match my skin at all. I was quite freaked out and did not know what to do, then I had to put on a wig until I could dye my hair again. And now my hair has a lighter brown color than my original one. I can never get back to my real natural hair, but I am still satisfied with this color. I think that before dying any color, you should consider thoroughly and read about the color combination in order not to get trouble.

  3. Avatar of Charmaine
    Charmaine says:

    I do not know what the circumstances could be but I also have almost identical hair issue. I used to dye my hair almost at home apart from the time when I was little and my mom often got me to the salon sometimes and when I got my hair dyed the platinum about 3 years ago. I rarely and had almost very little time to study more about hair and dying, but it did not prevent me from desiring hair color and becoming a box dyer! And now my hair with a magenta color is really fading at the moment and then I read your article and there are a lot of things similar to my hair story. I was completely inspired by reading this and I was a very fast decision-maker as I had found out what I am gonna do with my hair. I decided to dye it brown just like yesterday! Thank you a lot for your article, very useful and helping

  4. Avatar of Ceridwen
    Ceridwen says:

    This problem is because of color balance, as when you bleach the hair to dye purple, it appears to have no pigment left, so that the brown that you dye on will not give you the expected brown look as the hair does not get enough red pigment on it to tone up the brown color, so that’s the reason why people first dye it red and then put the final color on top of the hair
    The thing that makes the dyed color become ashy is the blue pigment so that you should try to avoid those tones if you are trying to cover the blonde hair, or you might end up with a green hair.
    These thing I’ve learned from hair professionals for a few years and I am writing this in order to share this useful knowledge with you have a nice day. <3

  5. Avatar of Calliope
    Calliope says:

    I also faced this problem as I needed to dye the brown over my light pink hair, and all the time that I dyed it, the color was still a purple one, so that when become faded it looked so terrible. All I could do that time was to keep on dying red and brown color on it and waited until it finally clear all the purple color away. But I think that this way will not work for you all and wasted a lot of time. Here are my suggestions: First, if you are in the same situation that I was, dye it black, because this color always covered my terrible hair color and when it faded, the color will be quite acceptable with a permanent one. Second. you can totally wear a wig or hair extension. I used to buy and wear a wig to get to work if I did not want to clear my favorite pink hair. That color was so lovely and matched me a lot, and I only had to fix my hair for work in daily life so that I could still keep a good job and my pink hair color

  6. Avatar of Brenna
    Brenna says:

    I followed the advice which is to stick with a long lasting dark brown dye on my purple hair. It was completely fine in the first few weeks, and then the brown color in my hair faded into a wine color and I had major roots. And last week, I made a decision that I was gonna remove the brown color on my hair (and hopefully even some of the purple tones) with the color remover named Color Oops, an amazing product which has been helping me clear away dye colors in the past. I got one bottle of Color Oops to use for my hair. Almost all the brown colors had been lifted by the hair remover, but very little of the purple. This product was not really supposed to clear direct dyes as the purple one; however, I surely thought it would, because it has taken the bright red color out of my hair without any problem.

  7. Avatar of Aurelia
    Aurelia says:

    I have done this thing for 1 time. Last week I dyed my hair purple and now I want it to get back my original brown so I turn purple hair to brown.
    It was a purple-pink as I used a special effect called deep purple. I would like to use a semi-brown in it because I found using the hear dyes is a lot easier than using color box hair dyes from shops. And I was so lucky, my hair got back to a bright brown color with normal root hair.

  8. Avatar of Annabella
    Annabella says:

    It was so cool that you have tried to dye your hair with different colors. Another thing you should remember is the results of your hair color could be affected by permanent styling such as waving, straightening, or it can even be affected by being exposed to the sun, or the past coloring and other factors. I would try a hair strand test first in order to make sure that my hair is on the safe side. A few years ago I dyed my hair on Halloween holiday. I dyed my hair with black, and this color was too dark compared to my origin hair color, and then I decided to turn it back to my real color which is in the dark blonde and the strawberry blonde. However, my hair color turned into something green and also I could not recolor my hair in 2 weeks. I missed my parents’ silver wedding just because of this stupid error in my hair. And from that event, I always feel worried when dying that my hair will fall out..

  9. Avatar of Amelinda
    Amelinda says:

    This was exactly what I did with my hair 1 year ago. I bleached it dyed with bright purple and after 3 months, I dyed it back to the brown color, I put the brown dye over purple hair. It didn’t make a strange color but my hair right now is having a color as a dirty blonde one at some areas that I dyed them with purple. This is because I went swimming which makes the bleach and dye, not in the same with each other. All you gotta do is not go swimming and you will be fine

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