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How do I go from purple to brown hair?

Going from vibrant purple hair to a natural brown hue can be a big change. While it may seem daunting, with some planning and the right products, you can transition your hair color smoothly and safely. Here are some tips on how to go from purple to brown hair.

Prepare Your Hair

Before dyeing your hair brown, you’ll need to remove as much of the purple color as possible. This will ensure the brown dye takes evenly and avoid any discoloration or uneven tones.

  • Use a clarifying shampoo several times to strip color and buildup from your hair.
  • You can also use a color remover or fading treatment specifically designed for color-treated hair.
  • Avoid using harsh bleach or stripping your hair completely, as this can damage your strands.

Once your hair is a lighter purple or nearly blonde again, it’s ready for the brown dye. Make sure to deep condition and use a hair repairing mask or treatment before coloring.

Choose Your Brown Hue

When going from purple to brown, you’ll want to choose the right shade to complement your skin tone and achieve the look you want.

  • Cool brown tones like ash or chestnut brown work well if you have pink or red undertones.
  • Warm shades like golden brown, caramel, or maple suit peachy or yellow undertones.
  • For a natural but beautiful brunette color, try a rich chocolate or espresso brown.

You can ask your stylist for guidance on finding the most flattering brown shade for you. Bring examples of brown colors you like to your appointment.

Dye Your Hair Brown

When you’re ready, apply the brown dye according to the product directions. Here are some tips for getting it right:

  • Wear gloves to protect your hands from stains.
  • Work the dye through clean, dry hair in 1/4 inch sections.
  • Start applying the dye about 1/2 inch from the roots to avoid a blunt line of demarcation.
  • Process the dye for the full development time.
  • Rinse until the water runs clear.

Use an at-home hair color kit or have your stylist apply the brown dye professionally at the salon. This will help control the color results.

Maintain Your New Brown Hair

Once your new brown locks are in place, be sure to keep them looking shiny and healthy. Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner made for color-treated hair. Only wash hair every 2-3 days to prevent fading. Here are some more tips:

  • Use a leave-in conditioner or hair mask weekly.
  • Limit heat styling tools to reduce damage and fading.
  • Rinse with cool water and avoid chlorine to keep brown tones vivid.
  • Get a gloss treatment at the salon every 4-6 weeks.
  • Use a tinted shampoo or conditioner to refresh color between dye jobs.

How Long Does it Take to Go From Purple to Brown?

The time it takes to transition your hair from purple to brown depends on a few factors:

Factor Timeframe
Your original hair color Darker natural hair means less processing time to reach brown
Porosity of your hair More porous hair absorbs dye faster
Length and thickness Long, thick hair requires more time to color evenly
Chosen brown shade Dark brown is quicker than light brown
Use of color remover Removing purple first speeds up brown coloring

In most cases, you can expect the purple to brown transformation to take:

  • 1-2 bleaching or color removal sessions
  • 1-2 hours to apply brown dye
  • 4-6 weeks for full fading of purple tones

Have patience as your hair transitions shades. Avoid over-processing or bleaching too aggressively.

Can I Dye My Hair Brown Right After Purple?

It’s best to avoid dyeing your hair brown immediately after purple or other vivid shades. The underlying pigments can mix together and create a muddy, uneven result.

Here are some tips if you don’t want to wait weeks between color changes:

  • Use a color remover to strip out purple dye first.
  • Try a filler or dye the hair a brownish-red hue before applying the brown.
  • Opt for a darker brown shade that has more cool undertones.
  • Schedule several toner or gloss treatments after dyeing brown to neutralize purple tones.

While you can dye freshly purple hair brown in the same day, it’s safer to wait a few days or a week whenever possible. This prevents color mishaps and damage from overprocessing.

Should I Bleach Before Going Brown?

You only need to bleach your hair first if:

  • Your natural hair is dark brown or black.
  • The purple dye has stained your underlying pigment.
  • You want to achieve a light brown shade.

Otherwise, bleaching isn’t mandatory when going from purple to brown. You can use a color remover specially designed for direct dyes instead. Here’s a comparison:

Bleaching Color Remover
Process Lightens overall pigment Targets and removes purple dye
Damage Level Highly damaging to hair Less damaging than bleach
Results Lifts hair to pale blonde/yellow Fades purple back to natural shade
Ideal For Light brown or blonde hair Darker brown hair

Avoid over-bleaching when possible. See if you can use color removal and brown dye alone to achieve your desired results.

What Are the Steps to Go From Purple to Brown?

Transitioning from vibrant purple locks to brown hair entails a precise step-by-step process. Here are the basic stages:

  1. Remove buildup: Clarify hair with a deep-cleaning shampoo.
  2. Lift color: Use a color remover or bleach wash to strip purple dye.
  3. Tone and hydrate: Apply a repairing hair mask or treatment.
  4. Dye hair brown: Color your hair with an ash, golden, or chocolate brown shade.
  5. Neutralize tones: Schedule a toner treatment in 2-3 weeks to cancel out lingering purple.
  6. Maintain color: Use sulfate-free shampoo and limit washing to preserve brown.

Following these steps minimizes damage while allowing a smooth, gradual shift from purple hair to brown.

What Are Some Problems to Avoid?

When transitioning your hair color from purple to brown, be cautious of these issues:

  • Brassy orange tones – This can happen if the brown dye doesn’t take evenly over pale yellow bleached hair.
  • Spotty coverage – The brown may apply unevenly if purple tones weren’t lifted enough first.
  • Blunt roots – roots can look harsh if the brown isn’t applied skillfully from mid-shaft down.
  • Dry, brittle texture – Over-bleaching and coloring can damage the hair’s moisture.
  • Purple and brown mixing – This muddied shade occurs if purple isn’t removed fully before dyeing.

Avoid these issues by getting your hair professionally colored at a salon. Take each step slowly and give hair time to rest between processes.


Going from a vibrant purple hair color to a natural brown is a big change. But taking it gradually and using the right hair products can make the transition smooth. Remove purple tones, nourish hair, and then apply a brown shade that complements your skin tone. With some patience and TLC, you’ll soon be rocking beautiful brunette locks!