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How to Color Your Hair Purple Without Using Chemical Dyes

Learn how to dye your hair purple the natural way, and skip the harsh chemicals.

Learn how to dye your hair purple the natural way, and skip the harsh chemicals.

DIY Purple Hair Dye

Trying new colors can be fun. It is even more fun when you know you're not damaging your hair in the process.

Purple is a beautiful color and one of my favorites, too. It has been worn by the brave and bold for quite some time now. If you are going for a fun color but are tired of the same natural-looking shades, try purple. It can be anything from cute to royal. Purple also looks great in streaks as an accent.

These techniques are semi-permanent, so they will fade over time. They don't have any harsh chemicals, so they are also safer to use and better for the environment as well.

Note: These methods work best with blonde or light brown hair. If your hair is dark, you'll have to lighten it first to see results.

Blackberries are one natural method of dyeing your hair purple.

Blackberries are one natural method of dyeing your hair purple.

All-Natural Blackberry Dye

You can use blackberries to dye your hair purple. This way is easy and all-natural.

What You Will Need:

  • Two cups of blackberries
  • Gloves so the berries won't stain your hands
  • A bowl to put the berries in

What to Do Next:

  1. Dampen your hair since this method works best with your hair a little damp.
  2. Put the blackberries in the bowl.
  3. Mash them up as best you can.
  4. Put on the gloves.
  5. Work the mashed-up blackberries into your hair like shampoo.
  6. Let it set in your hair for a couple of hours.
  7. Rinse out with water and towel-dry your hair.

This is a great method for coloring your hair. The only downside is that you cannot pick the shade of purple you want—it just takes on the color of the berries that you have.

You can use red and blue food coloring to make a purple dye.

You can use red and blue food coloring to make a purple dye.

Using Purple Food Coloring

Food coloring can be used to dye your hair, too. This is not all-natural, but there are no harsh chemicals so you don't have to worry about damaging your hair. This way is also very inexpensive, costing less than five dollars.

What You Will Need:

  • Red and blue food coloring
  • Half a cup of conditioner
  • A small bowl
  • A paintbrush to apply the mixture (optional)

What to Do Next:

  1. Put the conditioner in the bowl.
  2. Add a few drops of red dye.
  3. Add a few drops of blue dye.
  4. Mix well and check whether the mixture is your desired shade of purple.
  5. If it is, then you can apply the dye. If not, then you can adjust the shade by adding a little more red or blue food coloring.
  6. When applying, try to get the hair covered evenly to avoid streaky or blotchy spots.
  7. Leave the dye in for four to six hours.
  8. Wash the dye out with just water.
  9. Towel-dry your hair.

Try not to wash your hair with shampoo or conditioner for a few days so that the color does not wash out and has more time to set in.

Using Drink Mixes

You can use just about any kind of powdered purple drink mix to color your hair. Even Jell-O mix will work. This way gives you more shades of purple to choose from without having to create the specific shade yourself.

What You Will Need:

  • Your choice of drink mix
  • Half a cup of conditioner
  • A paintbrush to use as an applicator (optional)
  • A small bowl

What to Do Next:

  1. Pour the drink mix into the bowl.
  2. Add the conditioner.
  3. Mix the two ingredients well.
  4. Apply the mixture to your hair evenly using the brush.
  5. Let the dye set for four to six hours.
  6. Rinse out the dye with water.
  7. Towel-dry your hair.

If you want the shade to be deeper or brighter, you can add another packet of drink mix.

More Tips

  • All of these techniques work well, but they are still semi-permanent. This means they will fade over time. Try not to wash your hair for a few days after trying any of these.
  • A good way to lock in the color is to rinse your hair with vinegar before washing out the dye.

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.

I Would Love to Hear What You Think!

Lydia Calibo on April 13, 2020:

I have jet black hair, do you think the kool-aid, blackberry, or food die method would work on me?

Sharlean on June 15, 2019:

Wow! So happy ti stumble onto your site..

So i made two mistakes. Ive had Grey hair mixed with dark blackish for 6yrs.

I couldn't commit to a color. It was virgin hair. I haven't had that forever. I wanted a deep brownish red shade. I picked L'Oreal Feria Paris Permanent dark redish brown. I hate it. And frim past times using this brand. I didnt get much luck. BUT I thought virgin hair.

Nope. Red seems lighter without much brown. Not orange. Just to light and nothing special about it.

Love crazy colors. Made a big mistake trying it again.


Duh Im not in high school anymore. I HAVE to pick a brand with GREAT 100% Grey coverage. I didnt even think about it. Feria says grey coverage. Yeah sure.

Been tryimg to get as much re out with clarifying and dandruff shampoos. All the color is gone at the roots. About an 2 inches. And i only dyed it 2 months ago. The rest has not done anything.

Sorry so long. I just wanted the situation known when asking my question.

Would any of these at bome turn your hair to purple? Any AWSOME purples require bleaching or lightening it with NO Orange or Yellow. Yeah right.

And dont cover Grey.

Or do you recommend any box dye FYI a darker shade with purple in it. And do that over the red.

My roots will be darker than the rest.

There is always Burgandy(spelling)

Or purple... most all dark purple/black.

Ive done black... Love black... but dont want black.

Just afraid dark reds will turn more black without bleaching.

And then Purple on the yello/orange you get from bleach. Well ill get green.

I found a new haircut. Cant wai. Want dye done first. And i WISH i would have seen the cut first. Snow white(im grey already) with a dark blue streak. Or the Snow White with a very pretty pink under dyed bottom.

Now ill never get that. And id lobe that.

Please please please


Im begging here!

Ravenn WeBer on August 22, 2018:

@Pat Stone the purple dye and kool-aid was actually done before manic panic came out the women who created Manic panic came out with it so people did not have to mix kool aid and hair conditioner together and more. I have waist length hair so to afford the bleach and such would be roughly 40 to 60 dollars for me. SO I combine koolaid with food coloring with hair conditioner. I wrap my head with plastic (hair only) and sleep with it in my hair then I rinse it out the next day. Also another thing is to not do this the same day you bleached it unless you wash it with dandruff shampoo reasoning is dandruff shampoo is not rough on your hair and will keep it from being stripped.As bleaching by it self strips your hair of it's natural oils that you actually need to have it healthy.

Kylee on June 21, 2017:

Kool-aid does work and so does food coloring I did blue kook-aid and purple food coloring

Natasha on January 04, 2017:

Don't do! I have light hair and it didn't do a thing. Blackberries just made a mess and too many seeds left in hair

DEZI on December 09, 2015:

I have dark brown hair. Last yearbi used Kool-aid to dye my tips red. It worked great. It did only last a few weeks. And for about a week it looked like I killed someone in the shower. About 7 months later I still had a tiny bit of red hue in my hair. I think all depends on you hair. I plan on trying with purple kool-aid soon. I hope it works.

kati on April 19, 2015:

reds will stay in light hair to medium brunette had for a lonnng time. like 2 months or more. especially if done with koolaid. it does tend to dry your hair out a lot if you decide to not do the conditioner method though so you've been warned

Jessica Freeland from Florida on February 16, 2015:

One of my best friends told me I would rock the purple hair, but I'm very sensitive to chemicals, so chemical hair dyes are out (plus, I like my hair too much to damage it). This gives me some ideas for something like highlights (I'm not brave enough for all-out purple)!

syd on December 22, 2014:

I have done the koolaid method before and used two packages to achieve purple. I have medium brown hair and it was only truly very purple in the sunlight otherwise it was only a purple tint in inside lighting

sarah on May 09, 2014:

I currently use splat to dye my hair purple, i may try the food color as a booster!

IslandBites from Puerto Rico on June 07, 2013:

Great idea!

emilyna on June 03, 2013:

Thanks for sharing it with us :)

Rumana from Sharjah, UAE on May 23, 2013:

That's an awesome tip....Thanks for sharing it with us :)

Dalila C from Denver, CO on May 20, 2013:

My hair is black, will it show up if I use the blackberries? I want to try it!!

Mattie Mae on March 13, 2013:

I used to dye my hair purple all the time with Kool-Aid and food coloring. Never even thought about using blackberries. :)

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 23, 2013:

Strawberry would work.

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on February 23, 2013:

It will show up as more of a tint than vibrant color.

Miraby on February 15, 2013:

How long does the food colouring dye last? Great methods by the way

iguidenetwork from Austin, TX on January 17, 2013:

Wow, this is the first time I've heard about an actual fruit being used as a hair dye. Really really interesting. :)

Brittanie Anne (author) from Seattle WA on January 06, 2013:

Yes you can use strawberry :) The hair dye lasts for a few days to a week.

Marilyn Kee from Penang, Malaysia on January 06, 2013:

Omg! Are you serious?

If I'm looking forward to a pink dyed hair, do I use strawberry then? ;/

Yaneth Uvario on January 03, 2013:

Will this show up on dark hair?

Chantele Cross-Jones from Cardiff on December 16, 2012:

I have always liked a splach of colour in my hair, originally having a strip and I now have my tips. I would never have thought of any of these ideas, how long do they usually last?