I Tried oVertone’s Purple for Brown Hair and It’s Miraculous

We’ve all fantasized about dying our hair that color but the bleaching and lightening process can be enough to scare anyone away. Ever since middle school, I’ve heard (and seen) horror stories from friends about botched ombrés and box dye disasters. “No way I’m doing that to my hair,” I told myself. Even though my heart always yearned to break free from my boring brown strands, I stuck to my guns and stayed away from color…until now.

Earlier this summer, I was scrolling through Instagram when I came across a video ad for a hair color company called oVertone. “Go bold without the bleach,” the sleekly-edited clip said. Yeah right, I thought at first. No way that would ever work on me. But sure enough, I watched in awe as the model in the video applied the bright purple product to her chestnut-brown strands, reentering the frame moments later with her hair transformed to a stunning shade of violet. Needless to say, I was shook. After dreaming about it for so many years, could my hair really look like that?

Courtesy: @overtonecolor on Instagram

I decided to do a little research, starting with oVertone’s website. After scouring their FAQ page, I learned that oVertone isn’t a dye, it’s a semi-permanent, color-depositing conditioner. While most salon and box dyes contain bleach and other chemicals that are meant to make your color last a long time, oVertone conditioners are meant to gradually replace the color you lose every time you wash your hair, simultaneously healing and hydrating your strands in the process. oVertone products contain no peroxide, ammonia or heavy alcohols. They’re also vegan and cruelty-free! A mind-blowing rainbow of colors are available, each ranging in intensity from “Pastel” to "Extreme.” Something I appreciated about their website is that they provide before-and-after hair swatches to give you an idea of what any given shade would look like on your hair.

Courtesy: oVertone Blog

Unfortunately, most of the shades they offer won’t show up too well on darker hair like mine. Luckily for my fellow brown-haired beauties, oVertone carries three shades formulated especially for darker tresses: Red, Purple and Rose Gold. I opted for the Purple Complete System for $47, which includes a tub of Deep Treatment and two bottles of Daily Conditioner, one full-size and one travel-size. The Deep Treatment is what you apply first to get your cool new shade, and they recommend you reapply it whenever you need a major boost of color. In the meantime, the Daily Conditioner takes the place of your normal conditioner while helping replace some of the pigment you lose every time you wash your hair. If you choose not to maintain the color, it’ll wash out in roughly two weeks. Simple enough, right?

Courtesy: Teen Vogue

I could barely contain my excitement by the time the package arrived, but I was also hella nervous. There was no way I was about to trust myself to apply this correctly, so I made an appointment with my wonderful stylist, Amy, so that she could put it in for me. She gasped as soon as she opened the tub of Deep Treatment “Holy sh*t!” she said, “This is so purple!” It didn’t take her long at all to work the minty-scented product through my hair with a dye brush, and she sent me home in a hairnet. When it was finally time to rinse it out in the shower, it practically created a purple river in my bathtub. It got everywhere, but luckily it came out easily with a quick scrub.

Once my hair was dried and styled, I did what any of us would do in this situation and took a truckload of pictures because it looked AMAZING. I was immediately smitten with how subtle it was; not too flashy indoors, but vibrant and stunning in natural light! Not only did the color come out great, but my hair felt so much silkier, too.

Courtesy: Grace Hayes

When I went out, I got a bunch of compliments that warmed my heart. Some people noticed the difference right away, but others took a little longer. One friend said the color looked so natural that he couldn’t tell exactly what I had done to my hair, he just knew I’d done something. Which is just the way I like it. Gotta keep ‘em guessing.

After waiting two days to shampoo my hair again, it was time to try the Daily Conditioner. This was a lot less stressful than the Deep Treatment, but I still refused to touch it without latex gloves. Luckily, all I had to do was work in a quarter-sized amount with a comb and leave it in for five minutes. Easy!

Courtesy: @gracehayes52 on Instagram

After about a week and a half of using the Daily Conditioner with my washes, it was time to refresh my color with the Deep Treatment, this time without my stylist’s help. I won’t lie, it took a lot of trial and error (and some dye stains on my forehead), but eventually, I was back to the OG purple. I’ve been following this cycle of the Deep Treatment and Daily Conditioner combo for just over a month now, and the purple hue still looks as awesome as ever!

Courtesy: Grace Hayes

So the final verdict: Do I recommend oVertone to anyone who wants to take the color plunge, especially my dark-haired friends? YES, a thousand percent! It’s a more high-maintenance upkeep process than if you get your color done at a salon, but it’s a small price to pay for keeping your hair healthy and damage-free. I can say that I’ve never felt more confident in my hair than I have while using oVertone. Living out your rainbow hair dreams feels pretty good! Plus, I have to respect how well-done and inclusive their marketing is.

Courtesy: Grace Hayes 

To be honest, I do wish the application directions on the packaging were more detailed. The instructions provided are vague and work best if your starting hair shade is light or platinum blonde. Had I followed them exactly, my color wouldn’t have come out as well as it did. So just in case you’re itching to try one of the “For Brown Hair” shades, here are the unofficial steps I took to get my color just right!


  1. Start with dry hair. Put your hair into a loose ponytail using a scrunchie or hair tie that you don’t mind getting stained.
  2. Put. On. Rubber. Gloves. If you don’t, you’ll be seriously channeling Violet from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory after she chewed that weird gum.
  3. Take a small section out of your ponytail and apply a little bit of the Deep Treatment, just enough to saturate the strand. Work it through with a fine-toothed comb if you need to.
  4. Repeat with the rest of your hair. Patience is a virtue, girl.
  5. If you missed any dry spots, catch them now.
  6. Now the fun part: wait! The packaging says 10-15 minutes, but depending on how dark your hair is, you’re going to want to wait a lot longer than that. For reference, I usually let it sit for about an hour and a half. Don’t worry: it’s just conditioner, so leaving it in for a while won’t wreck your hair at all.
  7. Rinse COMPLETELY in the shower with warm water, switching to cool/cold water halfway through. Use your comb to help get all the product out.
  8. Dry and style. Hello, color!



  1. Shampoo hair. Wring as much water out of your hair as possible.
  2. Put those gloves back on!
  3. Bend over and work a quarter-sized amount into your whole head of hair. Don’t worry about the whole “don’t apply conditioner to your roots” thing. We’re maintaining color here!
  4. Rinse COMPLETELY (again, the comb is your friend).
  5. Dry, style, and slay.

Convinced? Confused? Just curious? Check out oVertone’s website to see if there’s a shade that’s calling your name!

P.S. This isn’t a sponsored article. I just can’t shut up about how obsessed I am with this product. (But hey @oVertone, if you wanted to sponsor me, I wouldn’t complain.)

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