How to Dye Your Hair Purple: A Review of Arctic Fox Violet Dream Semi-Permanent Hair Dye

Updated on January 14, 2020
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Tori loves dying her hair all colors of the rainbow and shares her tutorials with others.


I dye my hair just about every three months and love choosing bright and interesting colors. Luckily for me, over the past decade, there has been an explosion of semi-permanent hair color brands that provide an impressive variety of colors. Recently I've been working my way through Arctic Fox's line of colors. I've also been on a cool-tone color streak, so the Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Hair Dye in Violet Dream fit into my lineup perfectly.

Notes Before Starting

  • My hair is naturally a medium-dark blonde, and very thick. I have found that most semi-permanent dyes don't stick to my hair if I don't lighten it first. I dye my hair frequently which means it gets lightened often, so I only lighten my roots now.
  • You may need multiple bottles of dye depending on how long your hair is. My hair is just below my shoulders, so I typically purchase two bottles: one 8-ounce and one 4-ounce. That is enough to generously cover my entire head.
  • Arctic Fox is a vegan, cruelty-free brand, which earns them major points. Because of their ingredients and formulation, you can think of this dye like a leave-in conditioner with coloring properties. You shouldn't have to worry about allergic reactions or damaged hair.

Supplies List

Where to Buy
Arctic Fox Semi Permanent Dye in Violet Dream, 8 Oz
Sally Beauty, Amazon
Arctic Fox Semi Permanent Dye in Violet Dream, 4 oz
Sally Beauty, Amazon
Ion Color Brilliance Bright White Creme Lightener
Sally Beauty
Ion Color Brilliance Sensitive Scalp Volume 20 developer, 4 oz
Sally Beauty, Amazon
Hair Dye Bowl
Tint Brush
under $5
Sally Beauty, Amazon
Here's the list of supplies I used to dye my hair this pretty spring purple.
Arctic Fox Violet Dream bottle.
Arctic Fox Violet Dream bottle.

Step 1: Lighten Your Hair

The first step to dying hair any semi-permanent color is to lighten it. If your hair is naturally light blonde already, you can most likely skip this step. But if it's dark blonde, brown, or black, you'll need to lighten it. But be careful—lightening your hair too much or with the wrong products is what causes the most damage.

For lightening products, I am loyal to Ion Color Brilliance Bright White Creme Lightener mixed with 20 volume Sensitive Scalp developer. The creme lightener is much easier to work with than a messy powder lightener. This one also doesn't smell nearly as bad as others on the market. I have also experienced more even lightening and much less damage to my hair versus others on the market.

I lighten my roots only, right before I dye the ends. I mix a 1:1 ratio of developer to lightener, brush it on my roots using a tint brush, and process no longer than 10–15 minutes. If this is your first time lightening your hair, I recommend taking a look through this tutorial on how to use the product.

Once your hair has been lightened, let it air dry and wait a day to apply the dye. This gives your hair a chance to rest and dry naturally, since applying heat can cause damage.

If your hair was previously a bright color, try to fade it as much as possible using clarifying shampoo or jumping in a pool (I work at a pool, that's why I suggest this as an effective option), but you don't have to worry if there is still a little bit of color remaining. My hair was previously blue and there was a tiny bit of blue left once I faded it. I didn't mind having that underneath the purple because it helped provide a dimension as the purple faded.

This is what my hair looked like after fading it from my previous blue, and before lightening my roots.
This is what my hair looked like after fading it from my previous blue, and before lightening my roots. | Source

Step 2: Applying the Dye

I always start by applying dye to my roots, following the below steps:

  1. Section hair into four parts and tie them off, working with one section at a time.
  2. Using the tint brush, paint the dye onto the root, making strokes about two inches in length.
  3. Using the end of the tint brush, draw a thin line underneath the hair you just painted (like you would if you were parting your hair). Paint the back-side of that line of hair, and then paint the new section.
  4. Keep drawing parts and painting the dye on until the whole section of roots has been covered.
  5. Once the section of roots has been covered, use your gloved fingers to rub dye into the rest of the section of hair.
  6. Once the whole section is saturated, pin it up onto itself and begin the next section.
  7. Repeat steps 1–6 until all hair is saturated.

If you need to see how this is done, the video below from ElleBangs is a great visual example!

Step 3: Allow the Dye to Absorb

Because Arctic Fox hair dye contains only natural ingredients and no chemicals, it ends up being like a conditioning treatment. I prefer to let the dye stay in for 1–2 hours before washing it out. The conditioning portion of the dye really helps my hair feel hydrated and smooth. As far as the dye itself, two hours may be overkill, but it makes me feel like it will stay longer—especially since I work at a pool!

Step 4: Rinse and Dry

When it's time to rinse, DO NOT USE SHAMPOO THE FIRST TIME. Shampoo will pull out some of the color and ruin the evenness of the color deposit. You only want to rinse until the water runs clear.

After rinsing, I typically will dry with a hairdryer set to medium heat so as not to burn my hair.

Step 5: Maintain Your Color

  • Due to my work schedule at the pool, I typically only wash my hair twice a week: Tuesday evenings and Saturday mornings. If you don't work at a pool and can make it to where you only wash your hair once a week, then the color will last longer.
  • Use dry shampoo in between washes to keep the greasiness at bay. My favorite is Batiste Dry Shampoo.
  • When you do wash your hair, make sure you are using a sulfate-free shampoo. Follow immediately with conditioner and lukewarm water, which I have found keeps the color runoff to a minimum. Rinse until there is no color runoff left.

Review and Conclusion

I already have a very positive view of Arctic Fox due to using their dyes in the past, but this color is really gorgeous and lasts a pretty long time. I loved this color so much I ended up dying my hair twice with it. I kept the color for two months, re-dyed at the two-month mark, and kept it for another two months before switching colors. Here are my takeaways:

  • This dye makes your hair feel amazing.
  • It is long-lasting and fades to a color that is just as pretty.
  • The packaging isn't great. You lose about a half-ounce of dye because it's not a squeeze bottle and the dye isn't liquid (the bottle is hard plastic and the dye is conditioner consistency, so you can't squeeze the last bit out).
  • I love that the company is vegan and cruelty-free. I would love it if they could add to that mission by eliminating plastic from their packaging and using something biodegradable, such as sugar cane resins, or simply using recycled plastics to manufacture their bottles would be awesome too.

Here, you'll see what my hair looked like (left) before I dyed it, (middle) right after I dyed it, and (right) what it faded to after 7 weeks.
Here, you'll see what my hair looked like (left) before I dyed it, (middle) right after I dyed it, and (right) what it faded to after 7 weeks. | Source

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

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