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TikTok Debunked: Does dyeing hair with blackberries cause damage? An expert explains

To get an expert's opinion on the trend, Yahoo Canada spoke to Canadian hair expert Morgan Tully.

Welcome to TikTok Debunked, a series where Yahoo Canada digs into the truth behind popular TikTok health, beauty and food trends.

TikTok users have been dyeing their hair purple using blackberries. But is it safe? (Photos via TikTok/@jakubkurys)
TikTok users have been dyeing their hair purple using blackberries. But is it safe? (Photos via TikTok/@jakubkurys)

This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Contact a qualified medical professional before engaging in any physical activity, or making any changes to your diet, medication or lifestyle.

A few weeks ago, Yahoo Canada unpacked a wacky TikTok hair trend on curling your hair using Dyson touchless hand dryers.

While the app is constantly inspiring new beauty and lifestyle trends, one of the summer's most popular hair hacks might have you heading for the berry patch.

This time around, we're shining the spotlight on "blackberry hair." TikTokers across the globe have been using blackberries to dye their hair purple.

But is it safe? How long does it last? Read on for everything you need to know, according to an expert.

The claim — and how it started

  • In 2020, TikToker @jakubkurys shared a clip of him using blackberries to dye his hair purple.

  • "It did actually make it purple, so yeah, blackberries can dye hair," he said in the video.

  • To try it out for yourself, all you have to do is gather a handful of blackberries, puree them and massage the mix into your hair. After letting the berries sit for an hour, wash and dry your hair to reveal a delicate purple hue.

  • The trend has continued over the years and expanded into hair care professionals. For example, hair colour expert and TikToker @xmondocolor posted a video of her attempting to dye a lock of hair with blackberries a few months ago.

Context

  • Since the original video went viral for transforming hair from flat to fun, many people have ventured to their berry patches or grocery stores to try the trend for themselves.

  • The search term "blackberry hair dye" has 109 million views on videos from stylists and TikTokers posting their results on the app.

  • Generally, people seem to like the trend for the low-cost and low-maintenance hair dyeing method.

  • Historically, using berries for dyes on paper, fabric and leather began as early as the 16th century.

What TikTok users are saying

On @jakubkurys's video, some users commented how "cute" the purple hair looked.

"OK, but this is actually really cute," wrote a fan. "Absolutely love this," said another.

However, other TikTokers were skeptical of the trend — and the stickiness.

"Was this sticky? It would have had to be sticky," commented someone.

"I can see a swarm of flies wanting some of that sweet blackberry," added a user.

On @xmondocolor's video, people got more technical about the hair dye method.

"You can tell the purple in the blackberry sort of cancelled out the slight yellow tint of the hair," penned a TikToker.

"Try boiling [the berries] in water. The hot water will open up the cuticle better," suggested another.

Blackberries are antioxidant-rich fruits that can be used as dyes. (Photo via Getty Images)
Blackberries are antioxidant-rich fruits that can be used as dyes. (Photo via Getty Images)

An expert weighs in

To get an expert's opinion on the trend, Yahoo Canada spoke to hair expert Morgan Tully, the Founder of Toronto's THIC and THIC Studio.

Tully explained influencers have been using at-home items to colour their hair for some time, such as fruit — such as lemons and limes — as well as Kool-Aid and chalk.

When discussing the blackberry dyeing method, Tully said it's "not fail-proof."

"At-home dyeing methods often end up either damaging the integrity of your hair or producing an undesired result ending with having to visit your hair stylist to fix it," she said.

"Hair colour is formulated specifically for the hair, whereas using an at-home technique like berries can yield inconsistent results."

The pigment molecules in blackberries work to dye hair by getting caught in the cuticle of the hair shaft, which holds the colour.

Young woman with dyed hair
When discussing the blackberry dyeing method, Tully said it's "not fail-proof" and can cause damage. (Photo via Getty Images)

While the results and duration are different for everyone depending on the porosity and state of someone's hair, the expert said it also varies based on level of damage.

"If they have damaged and dry hair, the strands will suck up the colour faster but will also fade faster," Tully explained.

"Different areas of the hair can have different levels of porosity which is why the colour could absorb stronger in some areas versus others."

However, the purple could last from a few washes to a few weeks, or even leave a stain that’s tough to remove.

Tully also revealed the removal of blackberry dye is worse than the initial colouring process.

The initial act of using berries as colour will not damage your hair but the removal of the unwanted result could.Morgan Tully

"The solution would be to chemically process your hair to strip the stain off," she said.

Is it debunked?

After studying the trend and learning from an expert, Yahoo Canada has debunked this TikTok fad.

While many users were impressed with the "really cute" results, the possible inconsistency and damage to hair makes this craze a no-go.

While TikTok is a platform filled with fun and useful tips, it's important to remember that the app is unregulated and may not always be in your best interest.

For a safer way to get the blackberry colour, Tully advised to book an appointment with a colourist at your favourite salon.

Additionally, getting regular haircuts every 10-12 weeks, and incorporating scalp care into your hair routine, can help your locks look and feel incredible.

Let us know what you think by commenting below and tweeting @YahooStyleCA! Follow us on Twitter and Instagram.