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What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair?

what does purple shampoo do to black hair?

What does purple shampoo do to black hair? This is a common question with a simple answer, it cleans it and that’s all.

So let’s get into some details.

Brands like Redken's color deposit purple shampoo are often used on lighter-colored shades like blonde hair to get rid of yellow and brassy tones. It also helps bleached or white hair look cool and more vibrant.

If you have black hair (in this case when we say “black hair” we’re talking about hair color, not hair belonging to people of African descent) or…

…darker hair, you may wonder if purple shampoos are good and if they will be effective! People with black hair often ask “what does purple shampoo do to black hair?”...

This NHP tutorial will give you a full explanation about why using purple shampoo on black hair may not be a good use of your time and money!

We will be covering the following: 

  • The effectiveness level of purple shampoos on black hair. 
  • How purple shampoos work on non-black hair.
  • How you can select the best color altering products that suit black hair.

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What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair? Not Much & Here’s Why…

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair? Answer: nothing much.What does purple shampoo do to black hair? Keep scrolling...

I don’t mean to disappoint you if you’ve searched for answers about “What does purple shampoo do to black hair?”, but the answer is Purple shampoo doesn’t do much more than simply cleanse black hair.

Purple shampoo doesn’t work to change the color of black hair whether the hair is naturally black or color-treated black hair.  

Purple shampoo doesn’t make black hair any darker because it’s  not possible to darken black hair any further.

If you have very dark brown hair that may not be the case, but black hair has pretty much reached its limits of darkness and purple shampoo will definitely not lighten it.

Again though, it’s not as if purple shampoo does ABSOLUTELY NOTHING for black hair.

If you wash your black hair with purple shampoo, it’ll cleanse your hair as if you washed it with any other premium grade shampoo (NHP recommends Moroccanoil hydration shampoo). 

Your beautifully black hair will be clean, but don’t expect drastic color changes. Why? Because purple shampoo works to neutralize yellow tones in blonde hair.

Purple shampoo  doesn’t lighten black hair, if you need to lighten it you should use premium grade bleaching products on both naturally or chemically-colored black hair.


Contrary to online forum rumors, purple shampoo doesn’t add purple pigments to black hair in order to achieve a different luminosity.

All in all…

What does purple shampoo do to black hair for changing your hair color? Answer: Purple shampoo won’t have much of an effect on black hair or do anything more to it than clean it.

That being said…

Purple shampoo will not do anything HARMFUL to black hair…

Is Purple Shampoo SAFE To Use on Black Hair?

If you’re wondering if purple shampoo does anything unsafe or harmful to black hair, the answer is no.

Any premium-grade purple shampoo is safe to use on black hair, it simply will not not result in altering its appearance, doesn’t matter what brand, there's no secret formula either.

Your hair will still be black but undamaged.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair With Light Highlights?

Some women ask, “What does purple shampoo do to black hair with light highlights?

Now, that’s a different situation because the whole head of hair isn’t black. The lighter highlights can benefit from purple shampoo.

 If you have light-colored highlights in black hair and you’re looking to get rid of any brassiness and unwanted yellow and orange tones, using a good purple shampoo can be a brilliant regimen change! 

Let’s be real, highlights that begin to look too orange, dingy or brassy can ruin your whole look.

So handle your business sis!

While purple shampoo isn’t a miracle hair dye for black hair, you can grab some and effectively work on improving the look of the lighter-toned highlights in black hair.

You can flaunt cooler highlight colors by using purple shampoo!

The purple shampoo will help neutralize the unwanted highlight tones helping you achieve the highlights of your dream!

[LEARN ABOUT: What's The Best Pre-Poo for Dry Scalp...]

How To Add Purple Tones To Black Hair Without Purple Shampoo

If you’re wondering if purple shampoo does anything to add purple tones to black hair the answer is no.

Here’s what you need to do:

If you want to add some purple tones to your naturally black or chemically colored black hair, you need to use hair dyes that are specifically designed for black hair, whether purple or another hue.  

Does Purple Shampoo Lighten Black Hair?

The answer is no. Purple shampoo doesn’t do anything to lighten black hair, instead you should look to find and use high-quality bleaching products on both naturally or colored black hair.

What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Non-Black Hair Colors? Blonde, Red, Brown, Etc.

There are many benefits for other lighter colors of hair that black hair doesn't get from purple shampoo.

Lighter colors benefit more because purple shampoo products have a dark purple pigment that can more easily alter their hue.

The dark purple color works to effectively neutralize some of the yellow/orange discoloration that’s often seen on unnatural chemically-altered blonde hair that results from bleaching. 

Bleach works to effectively remove much of your hair’s pigment but red pigment color is the most difficult to get out. That's why bleached hair will often have a dingy yellow or orangish appearance because of the stubborn red pigment that’s refusing to disappear.

If you have orange hair the purple shampoo will do nothing because the purple pigment isn’t greater than the red in the hair. Same goes for black hair, the purple shampoo will not do anything other than wash your hair.

Purple shampoo is most effective on bleached hair that contains little red pigment (if the hair is only light yellow) purple shampoo - sometimes called “silver shampoo” - will effectively neutralize the yellow hue to give a lighter or more silver effect. 

Naturally blonde hair can also be washed with silver shampoo to give a light more silver or platinum look effect.

The purple hue is used for canceling out warm, yellow tones. These tones are found in light to pale blondes due to remaining pigment or natural undertones. In dark brown hair it hasn't quite made it to the yellow stage.

You’re more likely to see red, then orange if trying to lighten the hair. So, if you are trying to cool down warm red-to-orangish tones in dark brown hair, blue shampoo may be a good choice.

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what does purple shampoo do to black hair with highlights.TUTORIAL IMAGE: What does purple shampoo do to black hair...

Can Purple Shampoo Make Non-Black Hair Darker?

If you are wondering if purple shampoo can make your hair darker, the answer is yes for hair that isn’t black or dark toned.

It actually can alter the color of your hair toward a darker shade, all depending on what color your hair is to begin with.

For example…

If your hair is a very light hue such as whitish gray or ice blonde, a high quality purple shampoo can add a slightly darker hue to it up to a couple shades darker.

Purple shampoo won’t give your hair a drastically darker tone but it will darken your hair enough to notice. This slight darkening effect is due to the high color pigment in the purple shampoo.

This pigment will enter your hair cuticles and if you keep using the shampoo for several months or sometimes for only several weeks, your very light-hued hair tone will look darker. It may look more intense as well. 

As a result, your hair color will become more vibrant, it will also become more defined and a little darker.

But if you have medium blonde hair or anything darker than the ice or ash blonde, you shouldn’t worry about this side effect. Purple shampoo will not make a visible difference to such hair colors. 

[LEARN ABOUT: Should You Use Aloe Vera as a Pre-poo?]

what does purple shampoo do to black hair - Learn today.TUTORIAL IMAGE: What does purple shampoo do to black hair...

Conclusion: What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair? It Cleans It, Nothing More…

Purple shampoo was a revolutionary product since it appeared on the market several years ago. But you need to use it the right way if you want to make the most out of it. 

What does purple shampoo do to black hair? It cleanses it well, don’t expect a color difference.

The majority of purple shampoo users don’t suffer any harmful side effects regardless of hair color or hair type.

But, if you do experience any unpleasant side effects make sure to talk to a hair and scalp specialist. It is crucial to choose the right products for your hair type and even try to invest in hypoallergenic ones.

Nowadays you can find all types of premium purple shampoos on the market so this shouldn’t be an issue. 

Just remember:

If you have black hair, then using purple shampoo will only be effective at changing colors if you have very light-colored highlights. 

For changing your actual black hair color, purple shampoo won’t do much or have a noticeable effect on black hair.

[RELATED ARTICLE: Moroccan Oil shampoo & condish ratings]

Follow Author of "What Does Purple Shampoo Do To Black Hair?" Article...


Melissa Lee is a Contributing Editor to NHP and a former owner of the BlackhairOMG website. She formed 4C Trichology Growth Services, LLC., a US based hair care consultation service. She has also contributed as a writer and consultant for various hair and beauty websites. Melissa can be followed on Twitter here.

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