Home Hair Black Hair Turning Brown – What’s Causing It?

Black Hair Turning Brown – What’s Causing It?

by Gabbi
Black Hair Turning Brown

It can be challenging to maintain your hair color regardless of its shade. In addition, your natural hair color can also fade or alter throughout time. For example, if you have gorgeous black strands, you may notice that it’s faded to a brown hue.

If you’ve always wanted brown hair or you color your hair frequently, it may not be that big of a deal that your hair color is changing. However, what happens when you want to keep your black strands looking fresh and saturated?

Whether you color your hair or not, it can still be prone to fading. However, this process can be more visible or accelerated if you dye your strands. Chemical treatments like color are bound to change the texture and shade of your hair.

However, other environmental factors can fade your hair color even if you don’t dye it. This can be frustrating, especially since you don’t know why your black hair is fading, and it can be challenging to find a solution.

Why is your black hair turning brown? Your hair color can change due to frequent dye jobs, the sun, water, etc. These factors can take a toll on your hair and cause black strands to fade or appear brown.

We’ll go over all these reasons and more so you can figure out how to maintain your black locks for longer between salon visits.

Can Natural Black Hair Color Fade?

When we talk about hair color fading, it’s mainly about dying or coloring. However, your hair is still prone to fading even if you don’t alter its color with dye. So virgin hair can still fade in color due to other external factors.

Have you ever squeezed lemon in your hair to get highlights from the sun? But, even without citrus, the sun can alter your hair color. For example, spending too much time in the sun can eventually cause your strands to lighten and fade.

So both dyed and natural hair can fade in shade or tone. 

Why Is My Black Hair Turning Brown?

Are you wondering why your black strands are turning brown? Unfortunately, there are multiple reasons why your hair can fade. For example, you may find out that you’re not preserving your hair dye effectively or spending much time outside.

In addition, some other explanations as to why your hair is fading are due to genetics. While some uncontrollable factors may cause hair color to fade, you can still learn to prevent, fix, and care for your black strands in the future.

Whether you have naturally black hair or dyed it, a few things can cause your color to lighten. 

Color And Chemical Treatments

Any chemical treatment, such as coloring, can significantly impact your strands. Hair dye can already tend to fade within a few weeks. However, you can establish a proper hair care routine with your stylist to persevere your hue for a little longer.

Also, opting for a permanent color will give your hair long-lasting results. However, what if your hair is natural? Chemical-based shampoos, conditioners, and other hair products can slowly fade your hair color over time.

Chemical treatments and chemical-based products may lighten your strands, especially if the formula is harsh.

The Sun

We briefly mentioned how the sun could also impact your hair color. Would you sit out in the sun without protection? You would most likely apply sunscreen to shield your skin from those harsh rays. However, what can you do about your hair?

Your hair and scalp can get damaged by the sun. In addition, the sun can quickly fade away your hair color, whether it’s natural or dyed. The sun can decrease the amount of melanin in the hair, which can explain why it turns lighter.

So, if you have naturally dark hair, sitting outside for an extended period of time can lighten your strands. 

Hard Water

Do you live in an area where there is hard water? Hard water can irritate your skin and scalp and cause irritations like dermatitis or eczema. However, it can also have a harsh impact on your strands if the minerals build-up on your hair over time. 

Hard water can alter the color of your hair, but it can also change its texture. For example, you may notice your strands can feel rough, dry, or brittle. It can also lock out moisture from the hair, causing it to look dull and alter in color.

Overall, hard water can have many impacts on the skin and hair. 


Lastly, another reason why your hair may fade from black to brown is simply genetics. Unfortunately, there is not much you can do to change your genetic makeup, but there are other ways to preserve your hair. 

Our genes tell us how much melanin we produce. In addition, melanin is what gives our skin and hair pigment. So, the less melanin you’re able to produce; the less pigment will take place. Not having enough melanin can cause your hair to fade. 

If your hair turns from black to brown, it could simply be due to your genetic makeup. 

How To Fix Faded Black Hair 

How can you remedy hair that’s faded into a brown hue? If you want to preserve your black strands, you can start by establishing a high-quality hair routine. You’ll want to opt for natural products that don’t contain overly-stripping ingredients. 

In addition, you may find it beneficial to invest in a color-depositing product to keep your strands saturated. Finally, nourishing your hair daily at home can ensure that your strands can continue to grow healthy.

Lastly, if you’re ever in doubt about saving your hair color, consult with an experienced and licensed stylist. 

Invest In A High-Quality Shampoo And Conditioner

A good shampoo and conditioner (like this set from RedKen on Amazon) can take your hair a long way. 

These are products you will most likely use often in your routine, so it’s crucial to find what fits your hair’s needs. However, finding something that will also preserve your color can be challenging.

First, you’ll want to find a shampoo and conditioner free of any harsh or potentially sensitizing components. For some people, this will include sulfates, parabens, and phthalates. A natural alternative could help maintain your color.

Next, you’ll want to search for products that fit your hair type, texture, and porosity levels. 

Use A Color-Depositing Mask

One easy way to maintain black hair at home is by investing in a color-depositing mask (like this one from Four Reasons on Amazon). Color-depositing masks are usually semi-permanent dyes that will last for 4-6 weeks, depending on how frequently you wash your hair. 

These masks can nourish your hair while also depositing color all in one step. You can leave them on for about 30 minutes or follow your brand’s instructions. This will ensure your black hair is even and saturated without visiting the salon.

You can also opt for a regular deep conditioning mask to use weekly to ensure your strands stay hydrated. 

Try A Leave-In Conditioner Or Suncare Product For Hair

Leave-in conditioners (we love this one from BioSilk) are also an excellent way to protect your hair while you’re out and about. It’s crucial to keep your hair healthy and resilient while restoring your color. It may also be an excellent time for a trim to make way for smooth strands.

Also, invest in sun protection for your hair! We mentioned how the sun could damage your strands, and more products are popping up on the market that offers sun protection. This will ensure your scalp doesn’t burn and your color stays opaque.

Both of these products can help restore your hair’s shine. 

Consult A Hairstylist

Finally, you can always see a hairstylist. Trying to preserve color at home can be challenging, especially if you have a limited amount of hair theory. Some stylists spend years mastering color theory to ensure your hair color can always look its best. 

A hairstylist can analyze the current state of your hair and offer an effective solution. In addition, they will be able to track your hair journey and make adjustments every step of the way. This will be incredibly helpful for black hair that wants to stay vivid. 

Black hair can quickly fade or turn a different color like brown, so it will be helpful to have an expert to remedy your strands. 

How To Prevent Black Hair From Turning Brown 

What steps can you take to prevent your black hair from turning brown in the future? First, it’s crucial to understand that your hair may always be prone to fading and that it can be inevitable. However, you can slow down the fading process.

Thankfully, you can take a few steps to prevent your hair from fading down the road. These will be great to implement, especially if you’re looking to stop a saturated color like black from fading or turning into another shade.

Invest In A Shower Filter

Your skin and hair will thank you if you invest in a shower filter. Installing a shower filter will be incredibly helpful if you live in an area where there is hard water. Minerals can quickly build up on the strands and cause lackluster hair.

However, a shower filter will eliminate the harsh minerals found in your water so your color can shine. You’ll also notice an improvement with your skin and how your hair feels. Also, you’ll see your hair will feel and look healthier with time. 

A shower filter is a quick and easy way to preserve your hair color. 

Stay In The Shade

Another helpful tip that won’t cost extra money is staying in the shade. Your hair can quickly get impacted by the sun, so it’s wise to avoid it if you want to maintain your hair color. However, if you plan to stay outside, you can still shield your hair.

For example, you can wrap your hair in a scarf or wear a hat. If you feel the need, you can also invest in a sun umbrella to ensure your hair stays out of the sun without needing to go inside.

The sun can break down the melanin in your strands, so it’s wise to protect it. 

Keep Your Hair Routine Simple

A simple and effective hair routine is all you need to keep your color from fading. Some essential products you can include in your routine are shampoo/conditioner, styling product for your hair, and a heat protectant. 

Also, double-check your product’s ingredients to ensure they don’t contain harsh chemicals that can irritate your strands. Using a few essential products will also ensure you don’t overload your strands with various chemical-based products.

Less is more when it comes to your hair, so invest in effective products that won’t require you to maintain a ten-step hair routine.

Use A Heat Protectant

Another way to keep your black strands lasting for as long as possible is by investing in a heat protectant (one of our favorites is this one from Kenra). Most people use a heat protectant for heat styling, which is a must to avoid damage. However, heat protectants can do a lot more for your hair. 

Nowadays, some heat protectants also offer to combat UV rays. So, next time you’re out in the sun, your heat protectant can keep your color and strands in pristine condition. This is a simple way to nourish your hair even when you’re outside.

A few sprays are all you need to maintain your color from the sun.

Shower With Cold Water

Hot water can quickly fade your color, especially if you dye it. When you color your hair, you’re lifting the cuticle to deposit pigment. However, hot water can also lift the cuticle so that color can leave your strands every time you wash your hair. 

So, if you’re looking to keep your black strands saturated, try washing your hair in cold water instead. Cold water will ensure that no pigment will leave the cuticle. However, it may not feel the most comfortable for the rest of your body. 

Nourish Your Scalp And Roots

Finally, you’ll want to nourish your scalp and roots. Your hair’s health is also determined by what’s on the inside. So, you’ll want to maintain a well-balanced diet and consume the nutrients your hair needs to grow long and strong. 

In addition, the right lifestyle choices can promote growth, shine, and resiliency. Also, it’s crucial to care for the scalp. If there is too much build-up present, it can hinder your hair growth and cause other irritations that can affect your strands. 

The Takeaway 

Your black hair can fade regardless if it’s natural or dyed. In addition, there are multiple reasons why your black hair can turn brown. For example, chemical products/treatments, genetics, hard water, and the sun can alter your color.

Thankfully, you can easily prevent or fix your black hair so it can remain saturated. You’ll want to invest in a hair routine that fits your hair’s needs. In addition, you may also want to develop healthy hair habits that can slow down the fading process.

Investing in a water filter, showering with cold water, and using a heat protectant are all ways to keep your hair color looking as good as new. Also, you can stay in the shade, nourish your scalp, and have a consistent hair care routine.

A hairstylist can also help you with your own hair journey. You can even see a color specialist if you’re looking to maintain a shade that’s saturated like black. Now you can rest assured your black strands won’t have to fade into brown anymore. 

Which tips will you be implementing in your hair regimen to keep your hair color looking vivid? 

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