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How to Dye Your Hair Purple

This article will tell you everything you need to know to dye your hair all kinds of shades of purple, as well as how to care for your hair so that those colors stay as long as possible.

This article will tell you everything you need to know to dye your hair all kinds of shades of purple, as well as how to care for your hair so that those colors stay as long as possible.

Bright hair colors are more popular than ever, and purple hair color is the star of this trend. When you dye hair purple, you have a lot of different shades to explore, ranging from dark indigo to a pastel lilac. You also have the option of using either a temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent purple dye to get the color you want, meaning the color can last for as long as you want it to.

This article will cover everything you need to know to dye your hair in various different shades of purple and provide tips and tricks for making your vibrant hair color last as long as possible.

How to Dye Your Hair Purple

Dyeing your hair purple might seem like a difficult task, but it's actually not all that hard if you follow certain steps and guidelines. Here's a quick overview of what will be covered in this article:

  • Choosing Purple Dye
  • Base Shades
  • Bleaching Hair
  • How Temporary Hair Dye Works
  • Mixing Semi-Permanent Dyes
  • How Permanent Hair Dye Works
  • Caring for Dyed Hair
Incredible colors like this need a lot of maintenance but look amazing.

Incredible colors like this need a lot of maintenance but look amazing.

How to Choose a Purple Hair Dye

You need to decide which shade you want to use before you can dye hair purple because this will determine exactly how you proceed towards the color. Dark colors like indigo, deep purple, and burgundy are easier to achieve and take less work when you have dark hair.

Lighter shades of purple like lilac, magenta, and pastel tones require you to lighten your hair significantly if it's dark. In general, for a pastel purple hair color, you need to lighten your hair to a pale yellow color before you apply the dye, or else it won't take.

Some purple colors like lilac require light blonde hair, whereas darker purple colors can be applied to brown or dark blonde hair, depending on how light you want the color to be.

Types of Dye

The shade of dye you choose is only one factor in choosing a product. You can also choose whether you want to use a temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent purple dye:

  • Temporary: Lasts for one to three washes, depending on how well your hair soaks it up. If your hair has been bleached or dyed a lot previously this kind of dye will last a lot longer than expected because of higher hair porosity.
  • Semi-permanent: Lasts up to six washes in natural hair before the vibrancy starts to fade substantially. In porous or previously dyed/damaged hair, this dye will fade more slowly but a faint trace can continue to linger near-permanently on lighter hair.
  • Permanent: Contrary to what the name suggests, fading will still occur over time with this kind of dye. Much of the pigment will be permanent but you'll need to refresh the shade to maintain the same brightness and vibrancy over the long term.

Temporary and semi-permanent dyes offer the widest range of shades, but they need to be retouched fairly often to keep your color vibrant. However, these kinds of dyes don't cause any damage to your hair and typically contain a conditioning base. If anything, they usually make your hair feel nicer after use and you can reapply often.

If you want to wear purple hair for longer though, a permanent hair dye is suggested. Be aware that this will still require touch-ups with other products from time to time if you want to maintain bright purple hair color. Subtler shades can be left for several weeks before a retouch.

Many salon brands like Igora and Fudge Headpaint have fashion shades of purple varying from more natural burgundy shades to intense violet or magenta colors. These dyes will last a few weeks before they need to be refreshed depending on personal preference.

To help you choose a shade of purple hair color, you can use the table below. Look at the purple color you want to reach to see what color stage you need to lighten your hair to, or what natural hair color can be dyed over to reach the shade.

For instance, if you want a bright indigo color and have dark hair, you have to lighten it to the yellow stage before you can dye it that color. If you have light blonde hair though, you can apply it straight away without any lightening.

Being able to determine this kind of information is the first step to getting a great color result at home. It helps you plan how you will approach the process and prevents mistakes.

What Base Hair Colors Do You Need to Get Certain Shades of Purple?

Purple ColorLightening RequiredNatural Hair

Pastel tones

Pale yellow




Light blonde



Light blonde



Light blonde

Bright indigo


Light blonde

Medium purple


Light brown



Light brown

Dark purple


Medium brown

Dark indigo


Medium brown

Violet black


Dark brown

This graphic should help you get a sense of what colors you might want to choose.

This graphic should help you get a sense of what colors you might want to choose.

Do You Have to Bleach Your Hair to Dye It Purple?

If you have dark hair and the purple hair color you want requires you to lighten your hair, you will need to bleach your hair to lighten it enough so that the color will actually take.

Using the previous table, you can ascertain the lightening stage you need to reach for your chosen shade. It will also help you choose an alternative shade if your hair is too dark to lighten in comparison to what is needed or if you'd rather avoid damaging it.

Supplies for Lightening Your Hair

To lighten your hair, you will need:

  • Bleach powder
  • Developer
  • Tinting bowl
  • Brush
  • Sectioning clips

As with applying any chemical process, your hair should be sectioned out into four easy-to-work-with sections—and you need to work quickly so that your hair lightens evenly. To do this, part your hair from the middle of your forehead to the back of your neck, then part it again from ear to ear.

This gives you four quadrants to work with and this will simplify the application process greatly. There are other ways to section hair out depending on the result you want but this is the easiest, quickest, and most reliable method if you're not familiar with any of them.

Tips for a Successful Bleaching

When using bleach, it is important to be realistic about the results. So here are a few tips to guide you through the process:

  • Bleach is a powerful product but it can't lighten black hair to pale yellow in one process. If you have very dark hair, you will either need to settle for a darker purple color or bleach it more than once.
  • Should you decide to bleach it a second time, do so only if your hair is in good condition and only after it has rested for a period of at least a week.
  • Never apply bleach twice in the same day or to hair that is dry, brittle, or breaking.
  • Apply to unwashed hair to minimize irritation to your scalp during the process.
  • Check it often while it processes!

For more in-depth information about the bleaching process, check out my Bellatory article devoted to How to Bleach Hair.

Plum hair like this is an incredibly vibrant shade

Plum hair like this is an incredibly vibrant shade

How Temporary Purple Hair Dyes Work

If you don't want a permanent purple color, you can use a temporary or semi-permanent purple dye to color your hair. Temporary colors last for one to three washes, depending on how porous your hair is. Hair that loves to soak up color will hold on to a temporary hair dye for much longer than hair that is resistant to coloring.

Semi-permanent hair dyes last slightly longer and may remain to some extent for several weeks in hair that has been colored previously, especially if applied right after bleaching. Fading will still occur no matter what though. You'll probably need to retouch the color again every 6 washes if your shade is particularly bright.

Fudge Paintbox Hair Dye

Fudge Paintbox is one of the different semi-permanent dyes you can use to dye hair purple. These dyes are a conditioning cream that can be applied after shampooing your hair or even directly after lightening. Leave the color to soak in for half an hour to dye your hair a bright or vibrant color without any damage.

Purple Haze can be used to dye your hair a bright purple color, while their Raspberry Beret color is a deeper burgundy shade. The Purple Haze can be applied to blonde or yellow bleached hair, whereas Raspberry Beret is a darker color and will take on darker blonde or light brown hair.

You can even mix different shades to create your own color. For example, mixing Pink Moon and Purple Haze creates a bright magenta shade. Understanding color theory lets you make a huge variety of different shades.

To apply one of these colors, simply squirt the required amount of product into a tinting bowl and apply it by brush to your hair. You can even use your hands to apply the dye if you want by squirting it into your hands and massaging it through your hair thoroughly to ensure evenness.

Once applied, leave the product in your hair for about 30 minutes. Leaving it in longer won't have any negative effects on your hair, however, and may make the color last longer. It will also condition your hair thoroughly at the same time.

Manic Panic Hair Dye

Manic Panic is another popular dye brand that manufactures bright colors and offers a range of semi-permanent purple hair dyes. Their Mystic Heather dye is a lilac shade, Purple Haze will give you a bright purple color, and Electric Amethyst is a darker purple.

As with Fudge Paintbox, you can mix any variant of Manic Panic dye together to create new colors and get the exact shade you want. These dyes are applied in exactly the same way as Fudge colors.

Wella Color Fresh Create

Wella's Color Fresh Create line is a longer-lasting, modern product line that features several ready-made shades as well as pure color additives and intermixability to completely customize the color. Use as-is or mix to find your ideal look.

If you want a vibrant shade of magenta like this one, be sure to add in some red dye.

If you want a vibrant shade of magenta like this one, be sure to add in some red dye.

Can You Mix Semi-Permanent Hair Dyes?

If you can't find your exact color, it is completely fine to mix any Fudge Paintbox or Manic Panic hair dye to get the color you want, or you can design a color that nobody else has. Mixing darker shades with lighter shades will create a medium shade. You can add varying amounts of blue or red color to change the tone of your purple dye.

You can experiment with this yourself, or you can visit either of the companies' websites for detailed mixing instructions and examples of the colors that are produced through mixing. The table below is designed to give you a base idea of what dyes you might need to add into a purple color to get your desired shade.

How to Get Certain Shades of Hair Color

Purple ColorMixing Instructions

Indigo purple

Add blue dye

Burgundy purple

Add red dye


Add red dye


Add red dye

Electric purple

Add blue dye

If you want to get a shade like this one, then you're probably going to have to bleach your hair first—unless you already have really light hair.

If you want to get a shade like this one, then you're probably going to have to bleach your hair first—unless you already have really light hair.

How Permanent Purple Hair Dyes Work

Permanent hair dye is the best option if you want to wear a purple color for a longer period of time. These days, salon brands cater to the style of 'fashion shades' which are bright, vibrant, unnatural colors designed for anyone who wants a more unique hair color.

There are many purple fashion shades in most high-quality brands, making it possible to get long-lasting results that are bright and exciting like temporary shades.

How to Choose a Shade

Before you get to work on dyeing, you will need to choose a shade first. Trendier color brands like Igora and Fudge Headpaint produce a wide range of fashion shades, including vibrant purple colors, pastel violets, lilac, and even violet-black hair.

As well as bright, fun colors like this, these brands also have intense color additives that can be mixed into any of their other permanent dyes to enhance a certain tone or even mix a new color entirely.

How to Mix and Prepare Your Perfect Shade of Permanent Purple Dye

If you're feeling lost, Fudge Headpaint 6.22 is a bright purple shade, and the color will get progressively deeper as you move up to 5.22 and then to 4.22. You can easily mix blue intensifier (088), or red intensifier (066) to alter any of these shades, or do the same by adding violet intensifier (022) and/or the blue to a bright red shade to turn it magenta or bright purple.

Igora has not only fashion shades and similar additives to Fudge's intensifiers but also a range of metallic shades that can be used to create dazzling pastels with a touch of purple for something truly special and out-of-the-ordinary. Wella Koleston also has an ever-expanding selection of fashion shades and gives you the ability to modify each shade with the color additive of your choice.

Of course, these aren't the only brands that offer permanent colors like this, look for brands with an emphasis on modern or trendy styles and you're bound to find more.

Purple can also work really well in the form of highlights and other styles of dyeing that don't involve a complete adoption of one color.

Purple can also work really well in the form of highlights and other styles of dyeing that don't involve a complete adoption of one color.

How to Maintain Purple Hair and Prevent Fading

Purple hair is vibrant and the color will fade regardless of whether you use a temporary or permanent dye. If you're using a Fudge Paintbox or Manic Panic dye, you will need to reapply the color every one to two weeks to maintain the vibrancy and prevent fading.

Permanent dyes won't fade as quickly, but you will still need to retouch them every few weeks. You can do this either by applying the same color again or by using a semi-permanent dye to add vibrancy back in.

Preventing Fading With Shampoo

Color refresher shampoos are another great way to keep your color vibrant and prevent fading by adding tone back in while you shampoo your hair. Celeb Luxury Viral Color Wash shampoo is one such product line that can be used to maintain various different colors including purple.

Products like this can be used to slow fading in darker shades but also can be used to achieve pastel shades alone. Try washing light blonde hair with a little of your chosen shade mixed with plain silver shampoo to get a faint pastel fairy floss shade, or even use the product straight on light hair for violet or lilac results.

General Hair Color Maintenance

Hair dye will fade no matter what you do but there are things you can do to slow down this process. These are some of the factors that can affect how quickly purple hair fades:

  • Washing your hair
  • Humidity
  • Chlorine and minerals in hard water
  • Heated styling tools
  • Porosity
  • Hair products

Washing Your Hair

You needn't neglect to have clean hair at the expense of color fading, but keep in mind that washing your hair is the primary cause of fading because of the way shampoo works. The emulsification that helps remove dirt and oils also strips dye out of your hair.

Unfortunately, you can't really avoid this process because doing so makes the shampoo clean less effectively. However, you can and should limit washing your hair to only as often as necessary to keep it feeling and looking good. As mentioned earlier, a colored shampoo can basically ameliorate much of this problem.

Humidity and Moisture

Just as washing your hair can cause the dye to fade, other forms of humidity and moisture can increase fading to a lesser extent. This won't happen immediately but will be noticed after washing where a greater amount of fading will occur.

To prevent this, you can use a good hair serum applied after washing to protect from humidity and seal the hair until the next time you wash it. They also act to reduce frizz and dryness which tend to be other common problems in dyed hair.

Chlorine and Minerals

Chlorine has a bleaching effect and can also cause a subtle yellowing or greening to your hair color. While this won't dramatically change your hair's appearance, it will lead to slightly increased fading and dullness if you spend a lot of time swimming in chlorinated water. Minerals like iron in hard water don't increase fading but they do change the look of your shade very slightly over time.

If you can't limit your exposure to chlorine, consider the use of a clarifying shampoo every few weeks. This will cause more fading than a regular wash but it will remove built-up chlorine stains and minerals to prevent dulling after a retouch. If you have hard water, consider a water softener or shower filter.

Heated Styling Tools

The heat from tools like straighteners, curling irons, and blow-drying opens the cuticles of your hair and can cause more color to be released. You can limit this form of fading by using a heat-protecting spray or a hair serum but keep in mind that your hair will still fade more rapidly if you expose it to heat often.


The more porous your hair is, the quicker that permanent or demi-permanent dyes will fade. On the other hand, temporary and semi-permanent dyes on lighter hair might not fade as quickly past a certain point. If you color your hair purple with one of these kinds of dyes it will cling much more readily to the increased surface area present from processes like damage and broken cuticles.

Even natural hair can be porous though, in which case heat, alkalinity, and shampooing all exacerbate it. Try to avoid these and use a serum on dry hair, as well as a good sealing conditioner during washing.

Another option is to add a little white vinegar to your conditioner. Don't worry, it won't smell like vinegar after drying. This is a natural, inexpensive way to seal and smooth your hair for less porosity and frizz by correcting its pH balance.

Hair Products

Sealing conditioners, hair serums, and oils all lock in color and protect against fading. Products that wet the hair or contain alcohol like mousses and hairspray can all potentially increase fading. If a product works for your style, don't stop using it, but do be mindful of anything you can change.

For more extensive information on how you can best keep your hair color, check out my Bellatory article on How to Take Care of Dyed Hair.

Purple Hair Inspiration

Looking for some inspiration for your next hair color? Check out this fun video from Kristen Leanne about mixing and using semi-permanent dye for a pastel purple:

Share Your Questions and Insight

Do you have a question about dyeing your hair purple? Perhaps you have an interesting experience with purple hair? Leave a comment below for tailored advice, and share your insight with other readers.

And if you're looking for more information on dyeing your hair in different colors, feel free to check out my other Bellatory articles on How to Dye Your Hair and How to Dye Blue Hair.

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.

© 2014 Maffew James


Maffew James (author) on August 17, 2020:

Hi Mia,

A lot will wash out in the next week or two with shampooing even if it was a permanent dye. If it's semi-permanent you can use a clarifying shampoo to try and speed up the fading until it's not too dark, then re-dye with a different purple to make it look vibrant again.

Mia on August 16, 2020:

Hi! I kinda accidentally ended up with my whole head blond (long story) and today I went to Sally’s beauty to get color to make it purple.. it’s now more on the black side rather than purple

Helen on June 08, 2020:

If my hair is very light can I go straight in with a dark purple colour?

AKJohn on May 27, 2020:

I am a fiction writer, and want to write a scene where my main character needs to change her appearance in order to hide. A friend who is a former hair dresser will handle her hair. What the friend comes up with is dying it the pastel grey-purple popular in some manga and anime. The MCs natural hair is jet black. Would you please give me an idea of what it would take to make this happen, including time requirements? Part of the complication for the MC is, she is penniless and the friend is a homeless person. Getting supplies might take a bit of thievery, so the required supplies might factor into the realism of this scenario. Thanks for any assistance you're able/willing to provide.

Jamie Cox on May 20, 2020:

Hello. Thanks for all the advice. I am a natural blonde and I want like a deep black purple. What would be the best way to accomplish this?

Kelly on January 09, 2020:

Hi, I have burgundy brown hair and want to achieve a purple color how do I do that? Can I do an all over color with the color I have now or do I have to bleach

Maffew James (author) on December 30, 2019:

Hi Sara,

Typically a single bleach won't cause much of a noticeable decrease to the condition of your hair. It's more likely to be noticeable in hair that is very thin or fine.

You'd mostly notice afterwards that it has some slight textural changes, like naturally curly hair can have a little less curl after bleaching. You wouldn't usually see problems like increased frizz, breakage, or dryness without lightening and/or dyeing your hair multiple times so it should be fine.

Sara on December 25, 2019:

Hey I want to dye the ends of my hair purple I haven’t dyied or bleached my hair before .im scared I have dark brown hair and my hair is rather thick . Do you think it will be less damaging cause it’s not my roots? And can you have a semi healthy hair even after bleaching it?

Maffew James (author) on December 16, 2019:

Hi Sara,

If the brand has a lighter purple, that can be mixed into the shade you have to make it less dark. How much to mix depends on the difference between both dyes and how much lighter you want it to be. Eg, if you mix a level 5 and 7 in equal amounts, you'll get something close to a 6 usually.

You don't want there to be a really big difference though, preferably only 3 levels or less before the result becomes kind of erratic since the lighter and darker dyes do have different base tones underneath the purple color that give depth to it.

You also can't reliably lighten it up if there isn't a lighter purple shade. Any other shade you use would dilute the purple out greatly and lead to a dull result. If you had no other choice to use a shade other than a purple, an intense red would be the best choice, but it would still lead to a more magenta result.

Sara ahmed on December 16, 2019:

Hello i am a natural hair i want to dye it purple i couldn't find the shade i want in my country i only find a darker shade of a perminant dye what is the right color to add to it to make it a little lighter. I already bleached my hair

Tana Jade on November 24, 2019:

Thanks !I think I have an idea how to do it ,you are right layers in her hair and highlights, the lightning. ...Thank you ☺

Maffew James (author) on November 23, 2019:

Hi Tana,

Had a look, not sure if I found the right video, is it the one where the colour looks more red or purple as she moves around the room?

Hard to be sure what's going on there exactly, but one thing he does towards the end is to direct her to go into the "warm light" at which point it looks very red. That's an optical effect there, the warm light gives off a lot of yellow and orange colour which neutralises the appearance of the purple while under that light.

It's possible that the effect is enhanced a lot by having different lighting (warm, cool, brighter, dimmer) within the room, and directing the model to move around to show that. Really bright and vibrant hair colours will do that when you move from dimmer environments into the sunlight or say, under fluorescent light etc.

Another part of it is the way the hair is curled. That creates this appearance of so much dimension in the colour. It also might not be one straight colour and he's used subtle brighter and darker layers to work with the layers of her hair, the curls, and the lighting in the room.

Basically a long answer to tell you that I'm not sure how you can replicate it because it's not clear how much of it is created through technique and how much is the lighting setup. I can say that adding dimension to your hair with subtle lowlights/highlights and encouraging movement in your hair with layers, texture, etc is going to make the colour appear to change in different light like this though.

Tana Jade on November 23, 2019:

My hair is now red ,coloured with 6rose red mydentity permanent haircolour by Guy Tang I've had pale yelow -orange lifted hair before from black (it is healthy because of olaplex &keratin treatments ),on RR6 mixed with inch of red love dualbooster I did ovarlay with Crimson spell direct dye.Now it's deep red beautifull for 3 weeks it didn't wash of I sealed it with w.vinegar diluted in the water . The color I want but I can't find formula anywhere is cool deep red on yhe yellow light and deep purple on white light (there's a video on YouTube -changing color red to purple by Guy Tang ).Can you help how to achieve that colour with the same effect? ???Please he doesn't want to give the formula and you are the specialist for purple with other colours! PLEASE I NEED AN ANSWER ???!!!THANKS!

Maffew James (author) on November 14, 2019:

Hi Jessica,

Depends a lot on what your natural hair colour is. If it's a dark shade, higher developer strength lifts out more of it and the primary tone in the new shade becomes more prominent. In this case, the primary tone is violet, so the plum black has a more noticeable 'plum' tinge with use of the 40 vol--it'll look more purple.

On lighter natural hair it wouldn't really make a noticeable difference so you'd go with the 10 vol for less damage because it will turn out visually the same either way.

As you only have 10 vol and 40 vol but want 20 vol, here's a little calculation to help - mix those developers in a 2:1 ratio to make 20 vol. Eg, if you wanted 60 ml of developer total you'd mix 40 ml of 10 vol and 20 ml of 40 vol, then add that to the dye instead of either alone.

Or if that'd be confusing for any reason you can also mix half of both to make 25 vol, which is pretty close without having to measure things out more strictly.

Jessica on November 14, 2019:

hi -

curious so i have my “forever” Age Beautiful 1v plum black color- ive honestly usually aleays used a 40 vol idk why INSTEAD of the instructed 20 vol- BUT i have no more 20 vol / only have 10 and 40 .... WHAT WILL HAPPEN if i use either vol???

the 10??

the 40??

Maffew James (author) on November 12, 2019:

Hi Candace,

Wouldn't recommend it. Theoretically the main ingredients to all permanent dyes are very similar between brands, but no way to guarantee you won't unintentionally cause some kind of unsafe reaction mixing products that haven't been tested for that purpose.

Candace Barron on November 11, 2019:

Can I add an intensifier from one brand, like ION, to a box dye, like Loreal's Feria?

Sharlean on June 15, 2019:

Main questions.. are there any purples that cover Grey.

And when bleaching red out. It usually turns orange to yellow. Wont purple make green?

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


Wdym on June 12, 2019:

I have light brown hair naturally. I want dark purple hair that ombres into a pastel purple, so i do an ombre bleach, and then dye it all purple? Or do i dye it purple differently? Im new at this can someone help? :)

Holly on May 21, 2019:

Great article. I tried using ION radiant orchid yesterday on bleached hair (it was pretty darn blonde), but when rinsed with cold water, it just rinsed out to like a faded pink. Yet the magenta held really well (hair was rinsed in sections to avoid bleeding). Any advice as to why that might be? I'd prefer two colors, but if this is a problem I'd be fine with one color, just as long as it's the color intended. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. It's fairly frustrating haha.

Mamahack on March 25, 2019:

I have a dark plumb color can I put 5v deep medium raspberry over the dark and get a great verity of tones?

Paola Bassanese from Ireland on February 07, 2018:

Thank you for a well-researched and comprehensive article! I tried dyeing my hair lilac today and then realised I had to bleach it first. Your article is so useful!

Donna on December 20, 2017:

I color oopsed my hair and it is a very light orange color. Can I use adore purple rage over it or do I have too lighten firther

Rhonda on November 27, 2017:

How many tubes of sparks do I need for shoulder length hair

Lisa Tellis on August 03, 2017:

Rusk has very brilliant purples. Pre lighten hair to PALE yellow to almost white,rinse use Olaplex, then shampoo. I use their purple and mix teal together. Beautiful results. The good thing about RUSK color is it is a Demi, and you can apply different colors to different strands and it won't bleed. The porosity ( the ability to absorb moisture) has a lot to do w/ the way hair will take color evenly. So if your hair is dry or porous you need to use a protein clear filler before applying hair color. And hair Must be dry , when applied. Happy Coloring!

Jenny on July 27, 2017:

Hi there. My daughter has natural dark brown hair which has previously been coloured. She asked her hairdresser for a dark burgundy or deep cherry colour and asked for it not to be bleached as it severely damages her hair making it frizzy and fragile. Her hairdresser said it would look silly if it wasnt bleached as it was lighter on the ends. She has come home with vivid blue/ violet hair. Is there any way she can reverse this colour to achieve a more natural dark brown with a burgundy or plum tone?

nadine rodriguez on July 13, 2017:

Wow i love the information giving here about how to treat, care and process the hair.

Ginger on July 05, 2017:

What effect does this have in red hair? I'm not sure if I want temporary or permanent yet.

Jennifer Cook on June 29, 2017:

My hair is like a dirty blonde shade and I want to put some purple in it, however, I'm a teacher and not allowed to have colored hair. I tried a temporary color, Colorista, but it came out in one wash. How long will a semi-permanent color last? I've seen anywhere from 4-12 washes, which is doable for me, but if it's 4-8 weeks then it's a no go. Thanks for your help!!

Nik on June 19, 2017:

I have naturally lightish brown hair and I have it highlighted with some more blonde highlights and some more caramel highlights. I really want to get my hair to go to a deep violet purple. What products and steps to you recommend for that process? Thank you!

Nazeiby Gonzalez on June 04, 2017:

Hi so i dyed my hair black some time ago and recently i wanted to go to a magenta/burgandy color. I went to sally's and they recommended the loreal hi light color since it was for dark hair seeming as i always dye my hair using loreal hi light colors i assumed it would work. However when i finished dying it only my roots were the desired color the rest of my hair is still black. How could i fix this? I want a magenta/ burgundy color all over not just roots

Erika on June 03, 2017:

Can I dye my "dyed" grey hair ends purple?? I have ombré extensions that I want to change to purple....

Ariel on June 01, 2017:

I have never dyed my hair before and it's dark brown, looks brownish only in the sun. I have been wanting to get a deep purple shade but I don't want to bleach. Would the L'oreal casting creme 316 plum/burgundy work on my hair? What colour protection products should I use to maintain the colour after dyeing? Will using the l'oreal purple shampoo be enough?

Katie on April 24, 2017:

I've been going to the salon for a ballyaged fashion color for a couple of years and I started off with a bright, beautiful (though reddish, imo) magenta fading up into my dark brown hair. However, lately I just cannot get the color I want, and it always seems dull to me, no matter how much I touch it up. It also always skews "red" instead of the magenta I desire (I want color like the first pic in your post), and if I add too much purple, it turns too dark and not bright enough. I've tried many different mixes, and my stylist has even stripped it and re-dyed it.

I believe part of the problem is that I have to have my roots dyed to match my natural dark brown color, so my hair probably can't get as light as it needs to be for brighter colors to show, after my stylist bleaches the lower parts. I've pushed her lately to brighten it up, and now it's kind of fried, so I don't dare lighten it further.

The colors i have tried have been: Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink on its own or mixed with Ultra Violet, or the two with Cotton Candy Pink added to the mix in order to lighten it. Then on someone else's advice, I tried Special Effects Cupcake Pink in place of the Manic Panic Hot Hot Pink (at first I tried it mixed with Atomic Pink but I found that color to be too red and too dark). I've also Special Effects Joyride but it didn't even show.

Is there anything I can do differently? I'm about to give up.

Crystal on February 27, 2017:

My hair is between light and medium brown. I tried to get a purple tint to 3rrv and it turned to burgundy red. How can I get a dark purple now without bleaching my hair with the color I have now

Laurie on February 10, 2017:

I dyed my hair bright purple and blonde I now what to dye it again to burgany but don't know if getting a box dye is the right thing to do?

purplesadness on November 25, 2016:

hi, thank you for your article and I wish I read it earlier.

I had golden blonde highlights with caramel/beeline honey hair but my dark brown roots started so i was hoping to dye my hair to Overtone's plum purple or rose purple at a salon. The stylist bleached my hair to sunflower blonde but due to previous use of pink dye that couldn be lifted completely, thr were some slight tinge of pink... applied the purple dye to my hair which turned out great at freshly bleached roots but elsewhr it just was dark brown/grey, very minimal tinge of purple if any!!it's there a way to fix this?! so sad that I bleached it light just to get back to a darker-than-natural-hair-color-mostly-grey...makes me want to shave myself bald...hope to hear from you soon


Maffew James (author) on November 21, 2016:

Hi GC,

Apologies for the late reply. You can apply it without lifting the hair first, but keep in mind how dark the area of application is, and how bright you want it to be. When applied over a darker base, like a darker shade of brown, temporary dyes give more of a tinge rather than a bright colour, which is often what you want for that 'oil slick' effect. If you want the shade to turn out brighter in an area where your hair is dark though, lift that area before dyeing.

Kelly Rife on November 16, 2016:

Thank you!

Maffew James (author) on November 16, 2016:

Hi Kelly,

Your hair colour is a level and a tone. The level is how dark the colour is, eg 1 is black, 3 is dark brown. This varies by dye brand though and is mainly just a reference to use to compare your hair colour to that of a new colour using a particular brand of dye. Tone, on the other hand, is the dominant colour that is present, eg a red tone. Think of tone as the colour that is present, and level as a representation of how concentrated and thus dark that pigment is.

In regards to your natural red tone always showing through any dye you use, this would be rectified by using an ash tone to counteract the red tone. You see, even if you dye your hair lighter or darker, it it still primarily red due to its natural colour, and this red tone will show through the new shade if not neutralised. Of course, if you like the look there's no need to do this though.

As for the bright red fading, this happens because all dyes will fade, no matter whether they are only temporary or actually permanent. A lot of the pigment in a permanent dye will stick, but the more vibrant shades like bright reds and violets tend to suffer a lot from fading because they are intense shades and it takes a lot of pigment to keep them looking that rich. Any fading appears more significant.

There are a few things you can do to try and prevent fading, like washing it less and keeping any blow drying or heated styling to a minimum, but it will happen over time unfortunately. It tends to be easier to treat the fading rather than hope to prevent it, and you can use products like semi-permanent mousses/dyes, or coloured shampoo for this purpose. These products won't damage the hair like reapplying a permanent dye would, so they can keep it looking vibrant and drag out the time before you need to dye it again.

If your hair feels a little damaged, you may also want to try a protein treatment as the damage may be contributing to the fading. Damaged hair is often porous and will fade very quickly. A protein treatment used once a week after shampooing helps to strengthen hair and reduce porosity. It can also be applied as clear protein filler before applying a permanent dye to augment areas of high porosity and ensure even penetration of the dye from root to ends.

As for the dye you use, choose a brand you're comfortable with. Red shades are easy because your hair is naturally red and they will work with your natural tone. Violet shades, however, can look more mahogany because of the way the violet tone in the dye mixes with the red tone in your hair. Add a little blue intensifier / concentrate if available in the brand and this will make it more of a purple violet. Alternatively, mix an ash shade, ash intensifier / concentrate, or green intensifier / concentrate to cancel out some of your natural red tone and allow the violet tone in the new shade to become dominant.

Kelly Rife on November 14, 2016:

Hi, my name is Kelly

You stated in an earlier post about there being 2 levels of the hair that needs to be considered before dying the hair, one being tone? Could you please help me understand what my 2 levels are and how to find the right permanent hair color that won't fade within the first two or three washes. My natural hair color is medium brown / Auburn and every time I've ever dye my hair any color but red my natural red seeps through the color which I don't mind because I like the red. I have recently dyed my hair bright red a couple days before Halloween but my hair faded to a Strawberry Blonde by the time Halloween came around. I am wanting to dye my hair a dark but vibrant violet or a dark bright red. I want to find the right dye for the job and figure out a way to keep it from fading so fast



GC on November 13, 2016:

I am very gray. My roots get colored a brown and then I have an oil slick mid to ends. I use joico. Hair was lifted in June at salon and colored oil slick. Have been to salon twice since for color touch up and husband has done it twice at home.

Question is ... do we need to relift at this point or can he just add color to what we've already done. He puts volume 10 deep brown on roots ... do we need to add semi permanent as well??? And can he just put the oil slick colors on top of what I already have after so many months. Or do we need to re lift.


color addict on October 18, 2016:

Hi, I have been using color on my hair for 44 years. it is very healthy and I always get tons of compliments. I was using a darkest brown. But it looked black. My hair is long and the last two times I colored I did only my roots with a medium brown, then put my hair in a pony tail and colored the tail a vivid red. loved it. But I want to go back to the purples I used 20 years ago. my problem is that my hair is still very dark, almost black on top except fot my "silver" roots. what do I need to do to get a even color from the purple, actually plum color. and not have any dark/black cancel the plum

Shy on October 16, 2016:

I want to dye my hair purple with a red dip dye sort of style. I have a light ash brown/blondeish hair. I was wondering if I could somehow dye my hair a somewhat bright shade of purple without bleaching it? on October 16, 2016:

I dye my hair with Body Art Quality Henna and I'd love to do my hair, at least part of it in REAL royal or electric purple. My natural color is med/dark brown and gray. Using the henna, it is a BRIGHT almost iridescent orange/red on top getting darker toward the bottom until it is bright burgundy/red. Because I do use BAH, and have been for YEARS, I'm not sure I want to do a full head of purple and know I want nothing more permanent than semi purple. My question is if I decide to not redo it after the temp or semi wears off, it won't affect the henna on my hair will it? And I want to stress I use 100% henna powders which is imported from India or Pakistan. It is the REAL thing, no chemicals. I does a super job covering my gray and my ugly brown. I'd love to try purple, but I'm scared!! :D

Jenny on September 30, 2016:

I dyed my hair a purple ombre, lightened the lower half and left the roots dark. Unfortunately my hair came out almost the same shard of purple all the way through, which is just too dark for my liking. Is there anyway to safely lighten the ends back up without fully losing the colors or starting over? I saw a clarifying shampoo night help but I'm scared to try it. Please help

A on September 29, 2016:

I was wondering I got my hair done had brown hair and had it bleached and dyed purple. I want to do it myself I have salon dye need to know should I use a 10 peroxide or a 20? with the dye that I have?

Amy on September 29, 2016:

Hi there.

Last weekend I bleached my hair using the amplified bleaching kit made by manic panic. I wanted to dye my hair electric amethyst (manic panic) but hot topic didn't have two tubs of it so i used one tub electric amethyst and one tub purple haze. I mixed them together before putting it on. Now when I bleached my hair it was a medium brown with some red tints. It bleached pretty well but I ended up with a couple spots that were yellow and some that were white. Some parts of my hair are BRIGHT purple which is what I wanted, some parts are like plum coloured a little and some are brown! It's super frustrating. I want to dye it again but I'm not sure if I can just dye over it with purple again or if I'd need to bleach it again and then dye it. I don't want it to be dark purple, I want it to be bright. I also wanted to know if I decide to do it lets say, pink, after the purple do I need to bleach and colour or can I just colour over.

susan j on September 29, 2016:

Hi my natutral hair colour is dark brown but I dyed my hair blonde from the age of 16and Iv;e been blonde since then so just 3weeks ago I dyed my hair with the Schwarzkopf live intense pure purple and it was permant and anti fade well my hair was lovely when it was done but now it has faded on the ends realy quick it's still nice but just wondering what I could do to keep it from fadeing so quick because am wanting to re dye it the same colour and keep the colour for a while

Cassie on September 08, 2016:

I'm coloring my sisters hair blue, purple and pink on top. My question is she has grey roots can I just put semi-permeant color on the grey. I am a hair stylist but I haven't done these colors in grey before. I hope you can help.

kitty on September 08, 2016:

I have ginger hair... any idea of what would happen if i tried to dye it purple without bleaching?

Karina on September 01, 2016:

Hi there! You mentioned in one of your comments above that after dying hair blue once it fades out that the green left behind is unavoidable and the best answer is to re-dye it or tone it out. I'm very as to what toners you would recommend to do that as I've dyed my hair purple in the past when I was a platinum blonde and was left with a very pale green at the ends and the only way I got rid of it was bleaching it out which severely broke my hair :( I would love to dye my hair purple again (I have a more golden blonde with ashy lowlights) but want to avoid the green or at least know how to properly tone it out of my blonde hair once it happens

Living Dead Girl Nicole on August 29, 2016:

Has anyone used the Iso i.color chart to get any of the fun mixture of purples they recommend on the last page? The basis seems to be the 4VV African Amethyst mixed with 10AA Lightest Ash Blonde and Blue Intensifier. Any idea why the add in of the Ash Blonde? Is that to lift more? I ask because I am naturally a dark brunette. I could easily lighten my hair before doing this color but I am concerned about root touch up/faded end time.

Anne on August 27, 2016:

Hi,,i have been colouring my hair with directionsviolet purple for a while now,,,but always have to blonde it first,,,i have a friend & her hair is almost white/grey all over & she would like to dye her hair the same colour but was wondering if you could advice on a permanent purple that can go straight on to grey hair as she does not want to lighten & directions just does not stay in for very long(all ready tried that for her)!!!,,,many thanks A x

CLO on August 27, 2016:


I have been dyeing my wife's hair for about a year now, from her stubborn thick black hair to a successful red to now dark blonde/copper colour with grey roots.

She really loves the deep purple look. I was thinking of using half of the 100ml Kitoko 5.01 Natural Light Ash Brown for the roots, followed by mixing the rest with the 2x 100ml Kitoko 4.22 Damson & Blackberry to get that even deep purple she loves, or would you recommend another alternative.

If it wasn't for you Maffew I would not been successful like every other so called colorist that failed & destroyed her hair. At least I can say now with your guidance I can put a big smile on her face which makes her feel & look beautiful.

Her friends & strangers that comment on her hair colour still can't believe a big, rugby, construction looking bloke like me would successfully get a professional result she has. The problem now they all ask me about their hair probs. I just mention your name & page & go from there.

People learn from people like iron sharpens iron. Thanks a million bro.

Emma on August 24, 2016:


This is my first time using hair dye! I am planning on using Manci Panic's Mystic Heather. I'm going for a nice pastel look. I have one question, would I have to bleach my hair beforehand? My hair is a medium/dark blonde and it's pretty fine. If I do have to bleach, do you know any good, low/medium cost brands? Thanks!

Kathi on August 01, 2016:

I hope someone is still answering questions here. I have dark blonde and white hair and want purple. Oh and I am 62, if that helps ;)

My 'salon', she mostly cuts hair and does some traditional dying, has tried Joico and Prevana and both washed out in 4-6 shampoos or less than a month. With the Prevana she did add a bit of peroxide to open up the cuticle.

Any suggestions??

Pocahantas on July 29, 2016:


I have natural black hair and would like to dye my hair purple - like the shade of violet in one of the pictures above. Is this possible without damaging my hair?

Thank you.

Sarah on July 15, 2016:

i want to dye underneath purple so I bleached my light brown hair and its tunred out kinda brassy orange but still blondish if I dye that purple will it not be purple?

LoriAnn Townley on July 01, 2016:

Hi Maffew!!

I need your help! I recently got married and dyed my hair naturally VERY dark brown/black hair purple with a mixture of Pravana Violet and Wild Orchid! It literally took forever to get my hair to lift enough for the purple to show but it was beautiful! Its now fading quite quickly though and some parts of my hair are a funny Rust color....I am still wedding poor and can't afford to go back to the salon to get it done! What dyes can I use at home to get the purple color back that will get this ugly rust out but not cause much damage???

Maffew James (author) on June 09, 2016:

Hi Axel,

Fudge Headpaint, Indola, Pravana, and Matrix all make effective dyes for this, but whether they are available near you without ordering online is another question. I'm not sure whether there are any box dyes that are particularly useful for this.

As for having your hair bleached in salon and dyeing it yourself, that's perfectly fine as long as you're able to find an effective dye. However, you do need to ensure that there is some red tone present in your hair for the method you're proposing to work properly. As you've mentioned, the tutorial you watched recommends bleaching to dark gold, and this would be because there is still red tone present that makes it look golden instead of pure yellow. The violet dye neutralises this yellow but won't affect the red tone, which is left behind to contribute to that rose gold appearance. If your hair looks too yellow after bleaching, you may find you need to mix a small amount of red into the purple dye to achieve the same effect.

One method I've found to produce a nice rose gold in the past is to use a mahogany or purple shampoo like De Lorenzo Violet for toning. The De Lorenzo Violet is meant for maintaining darker purple hair, rather than blonde, and as such when used on blonde hair properly diluted down with plain shampoo, it imparts a soft rose hue. Diluting it down to the strength you require allows it to be used to achieve anything from a pastel rose colour, to dark rose gold hair, and it's generally easy to find in stores. Diluting down a mahogany shampoo will achieve a similar result because the primary tone in mahogany is red-violet. You can do the same thing with semi-permanent dyes like Manic Panic by diluting them down with conditioner before application and these are also much easier to find in store.

Axel on May 30, 2016:

I wish to colour my hair rose gold and saw a couple of videos on YouTube that used purple dye after bleaching their hair to a dark gold colour. The purple from the dye mixed with the bleached hair, making it a nice rosey gold.

I have dark hair, almost black, and i want to use a permanent dye. I can't find the permanent dye that i want in my city. Can you recommend a permanent purple dye that is widely accessible? Also, will it work if i get my hair bleached at a salon and then apply the purple dye over it after a while?

jess on April 20, 2016:

Hey really good article I was just wondering were can I buy the perment hair color from . I was looking online for indola colour and

couldn't find were I could get the colour from ???

Penny on April 19, 2016:

8 weeks ago I had a reddish brown mouses color, I wanted purple. I bleached my hair then colored with Manic Panic Ultra Violet, my hair was beautiful. Within a week the grey started popping out, so I redyed it and it turned dark purple. don't like it. I washed my hair today with baking soda and head & shoulders to help remove some color. Can I just redye with a form of purple or do I need to bleach then add the purple? Help I'm OCD so a little off of what I want will having me shave it.. No joke. Thank you in advance.

Joan on April 06, 2016:

I was so happy to find this site. .I do hope you are still answering the posts,as I have learned so much from you.

Emma on April 03, 2016:

Hello! So I naturally have medium to dark brown hair, and I'm going for a dark purple color, but I would prefer not to bleach my hair at all. What dye would you recommend to achieve this desired color? I've looked at a few options, but seeing as this would be my first dye job, I really don't know where to look.

Lisa anne on March 10, 2016:

Hi I've been using the live colours but can't get the strong purple colour I want, it's more of a monogamy colour, could you recommend a hair dye to achieve a vivid dark purple please, Lisa anne x

Joanna on February 16, 2016:

I recently colored my hair dark red to blonde ombre/bayalage & now want to go dark purple w/ blonde tips-my question is should I add blue to my red to create a purple shade or just use a purple dye? Also, any recommendations for product are welcome, Thanks

Sam on December 07, 2015:

I'm not sure if you're still answering questions here, but I'm looking to go a vivid medium neutral purple. The cinch is that my hair is currently bright red (via L'oreal HiColor Magenta once every 3 months for the past 9 or so months), and I have no idea what shade to use. I don't want to end up *too* blue, but a medium purple will certainly end up mostly red. I've never pre-bleached and don't plan to, but I'm wondering if I could use my 20 volume developer (I have plenty leftover from my last dye job) with any purple products that you can recommend? I've only seen people refer to pre-bleaching or no bleach at all for purple, so I'm pretty confused about the whole thing. Can you only mix developer with certain products (such as HiColor)?

Jane on October 24, 2015:

I just spend seven hours with my hairstyle bleaching and coloring my hair trying to get that purple look! My roots (or virgin hair) look amazing...the ends look amazing...the shaft in between, not so much. We processed or bleached my hair down to a seven, and it went brown with a hint of purple. While the rest of my hair is bright purple, about eight inches in between, dresser is upset because it should have taken. But that portion of my hair didn't take the black we put on it a couple of months ago. Nor did it take it the time before...need help...getting married in a week and my hair looks funky and not in a good way!!!

marisa on October 14, 2015:

So I have like medium brown red color and want to go a bright purple red color do I have to bleach my hair and what number developer do I use for the bleach and color?

Jessica Judd on October 06, 2015:

I want to dye my hair a specific purple and I just don't know how....I understand I should go to a salon but it's so expensive . I've tried multiple dyes and come no where close to what I want. I Hoping you could help me by telling me the kind of bleach and colors I should you? Please and thank you.....

Krissy on September 28, 2015:

So the first picture with the magenta hair color is purple and red mixed together?

fressita on September 24, 2015:


I have natural brown/black hair, and I only color my grays every 2-3 weeks with darkest brown or black from garnier. I went and got some highlights done by a professional. My hair colour did not turn out as expected. I wanted deep vibrant permanent purple highlights. She bleached to a level 4 and colored with Rusk semi-permanent and did not show at all. ( idon't know why she used semi and not permanent to begin with). A week later she bleached again for a long time(60 min)and applied a permanent booster color cream from kendra for another hour. I rea about this product online and it said it was a booster, not a color itself. My hair stayed bleached and yellow with not color. The next day she applied a RV5 from Kendra and my hair now is weak and far away from been purple and healthy. My ends are very dry like never before, when my hair is wet some hairs look and feel like a piece of elastic and the highlights are red/burgundy over black hair; it does not look that bad but is not what I wanted. I don't know how to fix it. What color brand can I use to get my purple colour and how long do I wait before doing anything for my hair. I don't want to bleach again. Thank you very much for your help.

Helen on September 17, 2015:

I have medium to dark brown hair. I'd like to put purple on it, but the look I want is a deep dark purple that is subtle, shows up but shows up best in sunlight. I was hope to avoid the bleaching if possible. Is that possible and which permanent color would you suggest?

Kitty on August 28, 2015:

Hi! I just recently bleached my dark brown hair 3x to a light yellow kind of colour with a bit of brown streaks more towards the top. and I wanted to dye it purple! I used a liiiiittle bit of pravana violet and mixed it wth conditioner and applied it to my hair and it turned out purple with streaks of brown?.. Even the parts that were really kind of blonde turned out brown too.. I can't bleach it anymore because it'll prolly turn green and I don't want the additional damage.... Would the purple show if I dyed it over again but this time with more of the pravana dye in the mixture? I'm looking for a medium muted purple preferably blue based. The purple parts of my hair looks great tho. just the brown parts!!!!!!

Maffew James (author) on August 05, 2015:

Hi Erika,

It could be the dye, as if the purple shade is darker than the colour you want, this will lead to a darker result even if you've only taken your hair to a certain level. Otherwise, the colour in the picture is about a level 6, so you'd want to have lightened to at least a level 7 for that shade to show up like that. It also looks like there's a strong blue tone, which is what gives it that indigo look and you'll need to replicate this to get it exactly the same.

For now, I'd recommend letting the dye fade a little and seeing how it looks once this occurs. This will give you a better idea of whether it's the dye that's too dark, or whether you will need to lighten your hair a little more. Once you know this, a bleach bath should take it the rest of the way relatively gently and then you can recolour it.

erikasarusr3x on August 02, 2015:

Thanks so much, Maffew!

I did the bleach bath about a week ago, and got a very even orange-blonde shade...about a Level 6. My hair is still in good condition. A little dry but nothing to be worried about that a good hair mask can't nourish in a few weeks. I used Adore's Fiesta Fuschia, Sparks Purple Passion and Kiss Express Intense Purple and got a pretty plum shade. Indoors it looks dark brown though :(

Did I mix it too dark? Or do I need to bleach once more? I'm attaching a photo from Inthefrow's Instagram of the vibrancy I'm hoping to achieve under indoor lighting. Please guide me once more.

This is the shade of purple I'm hoping to achieve eventually. I would like my hair to appear purple both indoors and outdoors.

Maffew James (author) on August 01, 2015:

Hi Erikasarus,

Apologies for the very late reply. It'd be better to continue bleaching it for the time being. When hair is dyed with dark dyes, subsequent dyes don't tend to lift very well. Eventually you get to a point where another dye won't lighten it further, whereas the bleach will continue to gradually lift.

If you want a dark purple, you also don't want to lighten it too far anyway because you need pigment underneath the dye to form the foundation of the colour. Otherwise, the lighter you take your hair, the lighter, albeit more vibrant, the purple dye will turn out. If you definitely want a dark purple, it'd be best to go no lighter than orange. Of course, this is just the point where a purple dye that is dark enough will cover properly to look dark purple, and how it turns out is dependent on how dark the dye is that you're using.

Maffew James (author) on August 01, 2015:

Hi Aislingpm,

Apologies for the very late reply. When you apply a strong tone like violet to grey hair, what happens is that the grey won't darken; it will just grab the violet tone only. The result is a very bright colour where any grey hair is, but this is perfectly fine if this is the kind of effect you want. If your grey hair is more diffuse, it should just make the overall colour look more vibrant, whilst if you have patches where the grey hair is more prominent, these areas will be noticeably a different colour.

If you did want to get around this effect though, the way to do it is to either fill your grey hair first before dyeing with the violet, or mix the violet with a natural tone. Filling replaces missing pigment into the grey hair because you add it back in during the process, whilst a natural tone is a balance of the three primary colours, so this darkens and dyes grey hair more effectively because of this. Mixing with a natural tone will dilute down the violet tone on the rest of your hair though.

As for why not many older women tend to have violet or purple hair, there's probably a few reasons. Careers, time, and personal taste factor in. Often, younger people are just more experimental with their style, have jobs that are more permissive of outlandish hair, and more time available. There's also a generational shift towards bright colours and pastels because there are so many dyes available to do this these days and these styles are very popular right now, whereas the older generations are more into other styles like highlights.

Aislingpm on July 24, 2015:

Hi. Thanks for your article. It's really great and informative. I have another question for which I cannot seem to find an answer anywhere on the internet. I have naturally dark brown hair and at least 25% grey, especially around the temples and front but also generally throughout the hair. I have been covering the grey with a mixture of Olia Golden Brown 5.3 on the roots and the occasional visit to the hairdressers to get lots of blonde hi-lites in. The result is pretty good. However, I would really love to go an exciting purple or magenta shade. I notice that on, say, the Feria Violet Vendetta (a shade which looks like a deep bluey purple) box it advises against putting the the colour on grey or blonde hairs because the result would be very intense, but is this not what one would want? Anyway, intensity of colour aside, I guess that what would happen is that on first application, I'd have intense colour on my hi-lites, fading to a softer effect on the hair coloured by the Olia Golden Brown, then far more muted (if even visible) effect on my dark natural colour and then, the effect in which I am most interested, an intense pop of colour on all my grey hairs which would increase as I let my grey grow out and continue to colour with the purple? Would this work? Would it look too mad to begin with? Or could it be a really interesting effect? Like purple hi-lites all through the hair? Or am I completely off track here? Is there a reason that you never really see this on older women? Any direction on this would be really appreciated. Thanks.

erikasarusr3x on July 23, 2015:

I'd also like to go the purple route. I have Level 1 hair that has previously been dyed dark brown. I was hoping to use the bleach bath method to lighten it (maybe to an orange-ish shade) enough for a dark purple, that would be visible both indoors and outdoors. I'll be using Sparks Purple Passion, which is a very blue based purple dye. Anyway, would you recommend using a high-lift dye in the Ash family to further lighten it from the orange stage, in case I wanted to go lighter/pastel in the future? The only high-lift dyes I have access to are the Alfaparf Evolution of Color dyes. Can you recommend a shade from that brand for this process, if you do think it's a good idea. I have very healthy/strong hair.

Maffew James (author) on July 21, 2015:

Hi Yanina,

The reason for this is that the dye wasn't dark enough to cover properly. What ends up happening is that abundance of red tone in your hair will overpower the colour from the dye so it looks more reddish than a true purple.

There are a few ways you can deal with this:

1. You could use a darker purple. This will cover properly, but it may be a darker colour than what you want.

2. You could lighten your hair further and then re-dye. By doing this, you can get your hair lighter so that the purple you want will cover properly. You still might want to mix a little blue tone in if possible to adjust for all the warm tone in your hair.

3. You certainly can add blue to it right now. The blue mixed with the red already in your hair combines to create a purple colour because blue + red is purple.

Yanina Pacheco on July 19, 2015:

I want my hair to be a purple color not so dark and my hair is really dark brown with red undertones(only show in sun light)

I bleached my hair to a light brown but looked a little orange in pictures, I used a bright purple color, don't remember if it was semi permanent it came in the kit with the bleach, and left it for 25 min like the box said and it turned to this red brick color with some hints of violet, it's a hard color to describe. Someone suggested I try dye it blue to make the purple but I don't know what to do. What do you suggest

Maffew James (author) on July 18, 2015:

Hi Stephanie,

Bleach to light brown at least for it to show up properly and look vibrant. Anything darker you're still going to get a purple tone, but the darker your hair is, the less visible it will be.

If your hair is currently its natural colour, it will be a light orange colour, right before it begins to turn gold when it reaches the light brown level during bleaching. When you're done with the purple, you'll need to dye it dark brown again to return to your previous colour.

As the colour you're using is a semi-permanent dye, be aware that it will wash out over time too, so if you want to keep it for a while, you may need to repeat the dye after a few weeks to keep it vibrant.

stephanie on July 18, 2015:

I recently decided that i would like to dye my hair purple. However, my hair is a dark brown. How light would I have to bleach my hair if I am using ion color brilliance in purple? I dont want a vibrant color. I'm going for a dark purple but I am worried about it turning a different color rather than what I intended to get.

Maffew James (author) on July 05, 2015:

Hi Raelyn,

You can dye over it, but there is the chance of an uneven result. It's similar to using highlighters on different coloured paper. On white paper, the highlighter is bright and intensely coloured, whilst on darker colours it is duller and starts to look more like a tinge of colour.

A lot depends on what kind of dye it is though. Permanent purple dye will usually contain a foundation of gold, copper, and red pigment beneath the actual purple colour you see, so this will often fill in the difference and turn out perfectly even depending on brand and constitution. Semi-permanent dyes are more of a problem and you can expect a greater chance of unevenness because they're more of a pure purple colour. The darker the dye is though, the less chance you'll notice the difference.

Raelyn on July 02, 2015:

I recently bleached my hair using Blue Flash and some parts of my hair turned plafinum while others turned yellow could I dye a dark purple over it? Or would the end result be uneven?

Maffew James (author) on June 26, 2015:

Hi Wicked Wench,

Not possible unfortunately. HiColor doesn't have intensifiers. You'll need to use a professional brand if you want to modify the shade with these, as they aren't generally produced in any at-home brands.

A few options depending on what you can get: Fudge Headpaint - 4.22, 5.22, or 6.22, depending on how light and bright you want it to be. All these shades are a very strong purple colour, but you can mix Headpaint 088, 022, or 066 in to modify it. 088 is blue, 022 is violet, and 066 is red.

Matrix SoColor - VR or RV shades. VR is more purple in colour because the violet tone is more dominant, whereas an RV shade has a dominant red tone. You can modify SoColor shades with blue, violet, or red-violet intensifiers.

Wella Koleston - 55/66 specifically, which is a very intense purple shade. The '6' after a slash is a violet tone in Wella Koleston. You could modify the 55/66 or other more red shades with 0/88 or 0/66 to get a more vibrant purple. 0/88 is blue. 0/66 is violet.

It will just depend on what you can get though. If nothing else is available, lighten using high lift or bleach and then dye with semi-permanent colour, which you can mix until you're happy with how it looks.

w1cked wench on June 22, 2015:

Hi Maffew!

So I have used feria's Cherry crush for about 5 years. I recently decided I wanted to go purple but want to do as little lightening as possible. I was looking at the loreal hi color highlights in magenta. Can I add either a blue intensifier or a violet to get it more purple?

Maffew James (author) on May 04, 2015:

Hi Kadie,

Splat Purple Desire has that more blueish purple colour whilst a lot of permanent purple dyes are more of a true violet, which looks redder. There are a few shades you can use to get close to the same shade though. Fudge Headpaint 6.22 is one example. It's a similar light purple colour with that blue tinge, but because the Headpaint range has a blue intensifier (088), and red intensifier (066), you can do a strand test, see how it looks on your own hair, and then modify it with those pure tones to make it bluer or redder if necessary to get the closest match.

Wella Koleston 55/66 is another option. It's a level darker than the Fudge shade, but Wella doesn't make a lighter shade that is this purple. The closest colours that are lighter are more violet-red. You could modify them with the 0/88 concentrate to add blue tone, but being further away from what you want will make it harder to get the shade you want.

Matrix SoColor 5VR could also be used. Again, this one is a level darker than the Fudge example and there are no close matches in lighter shades. You can modify the colour with blue or red additive.

As for the bleach, I have an article listing a few excellent brands that may help you here. As your hair is already dark blonde, you don't need too much lift though, and these are high quality salon bleach powders so they are stronger and you can use a weaker developer and still get the same result as other bleach powders. If you need more help with choosing or using bleach, let me know and I'll give you more advice on this.

Also, keep in mind that permanent dye can lift natural hair. You can use this capability to lighten and colour your hair at the same time. For example, if you were using the Fudge Headpaint 6.22 on your regrowth for a touch up as your hair grows, 30 vol can be used as the developer and this will lift your hair up to 3 levels during dyeing. The colour turns out just as vibrant without the need for pre-lightening with bleach. Of course, this won't work properly if there is a lot of dye in your hair. Dye only lifts natural pigment, so hair with a buildup of artificial pigment from dyes won't lighten from more dye in most situations.

Finally, one last recommendation I like to make for purple hair is De Lorenzo Violet Shampoo. It's a deep rich purple colour and is used to maintain colours like purple, mahogany blonde and brown, violet blonde, and violet brown shades. You can use this when washing your hair to help decrease fading and maintain your purple colour if you find it is fading quickly.

Kadie on May 03, 2015:

Hi Maffew!

I just recently dyed my hair purple for the first time, and I used Splat Hair Color's Purple Desire. I didn't want to spend a lot, since I was experimenting and wasn't sure I'd like it. Now the color is starting to fade quite a bit (totally expected--it's been about a month), and I've decided the purple is definitely the way to go and have been looking into different products. I'm looking for a perminant dye that I can use on the lower half of my hair, as I have a lighter blond on top. My natural color is a dark blond, and the bleach that came in the Splat dye took it to a very pale blond. I'm nervous to pick out a bleach because, while I know the Splat mixture worked for me, I don't know what that mixture was.

Do you have any recommendations of products that would work for me? Both for a bleach and a purple dye?

Thanks for your help!

Maffew James (author) on April 27, 2015:

Hi Missy,

The numbering system used by L'Oreal's box dyes is somewhat unorthodox, but it appears to be about a light to medium brown in terms of darkness. When applying a darker colour like this on top of light blonde hair, the result will be richer and closer to how you expect it to look if you fill your hair first. With some shades, applying on darker hair can actually lead to strange colour results, but this isn't usually the case with an intense red or violet shade like the colour you're planning to use.

If you want a very rich colour that looks closest to how that shade is meant to look, fill first using a copper protein filler or a medium copper blonde dye before applying the violet. Otherwise, don't worry too much about using the violet alone. The colour may look more violet, or more red than expected (Depending on how much of each tone is in the dye), but you won't end up with anything weird.

Missy on April 24, 2015:

Hi I want to dye my very light blonde hair to power violet from fiera which is a purple with red in it. I'm not sure if it will turn my hair a weird color. Just wondering if you could help me with this! Thanks

Maffew James (author) on April 14, 2015:

Hi Paola,

It's the same colour, just one level lighter. You need your hair to be slightly lighter before using it because of this.

Paola on April 13, 2015:

...oh thank you so much, everything is clear. So if I want to have a lighter purple I can always switch the fudge 4.22 for the fudge 5.22 ? Can u show me how 5.22 colour looks ? Thanks once again

Maffew James (author) on April 13, 2015:

Hi Paola,

It really depends on how 'blueish' you want it to be. It's a strong tone, so you don't need to use too much to change the tone of the purple. The Fudge 4.22 by itself is already a nice deep purple colour, similar to this:

If you want it to be more blueish than this, add a little intensifier. The rule of twelve can be used by subtracting the level of the dye from twelve. This gives you '8', and this is approximately how many centimeters of intensifier it takes to create a strong tone. Use half this for a more subtle tone, or use anywhere up to 25% of the amount of 4.22 you are using for a very strong effect.

As for how much dye you'll use, this depends on how long your hair is. You'll only use a small amount of the 088 and you'll have a lot of it leftover, but you'll probably go through most, if not all of the 4.22 for hair that is longer than shoulder-length. If you have very long hair and are worried you'll run out of dye, buy two tubes of 4.22 just to be safe. Only mix up one tube and mix the second tube if you need it. That way you can keep the second tube for use refreshing the colour later on if you don't need it.

For mixing, take the total amount of dye and add the same amount of 20 vol developer. It's best to use 20 vol with Fudge Headpaint as it's a dual-use dye that doubles as a demi-permanent with a lower volume of developer. You want it to oxidise properly or else it doesn't last as long as it should and this is why 20 vol is required here, whereas most other brands you'd be using 10 vol when no lightening is required.

As an example, say you use 60 ml of colour. You need to add 60 ml of 20 vol developer to this.

As another example, say you use 60 ml of 4.22 and 10 ml of 088, that gives you a total amount of dye of 70 ml. You need to add 70 ml of 20 vol developer to this. Whatever the total amount of dye is, combine this with the same amount of 20 vol developer.

Finally, yes you can mix it into shampoo, but you need to add a small amount of 10 vol developer to it first to oxidise it as it's permanent colour and it requires developer to work. Best to do this as needed in a tinting bowl right before washing your hair. Mix the 088 with a small amount of 10 vol developer, wait for the colour to turn blue, and then add shampoo, mix thoroughly and use. Don't get it in your eyes, and yes it will stain your hands, so use gloves. A much better option is to use De Lorenzo Violet shampoo to tone your hair. This is a dark purple colour and designed for maintaining purple hair. You could also mix semi-permanent blue and/or purple dye into shampoo without the need for developer.

Let me know if you need any further clarification or haven't understood any of this.

Paola on April 12, 2015:

Hi thanks for the quick answer. Can you please help me with a step by step instruction on how to mix the fudge 4.22 , fudge 088 , and how much of peroxide ? And what volume to use ?

My hair is mid length and I've already got it bleached . Are the dye's I've mentioned above the correct ones for me to use if my goal is to get purple blue hair ? Oh can you also give me an idea of how many dye tubes I might use up ?

Last but not least will I be able to add the fudge 088 to my shampoo to keep my color vibrant ? Will it stain my hand blue?

Thanks in advance .

Maffew James (author) on April 12, 2015:

Hi Paola,

Fudge 088 is pure blue pigment which can be added to any of their other permanent dyes to intensify blue tone. Eg, if you added a small amount to a red colour, you can shift it towards more of a mahogany or burgundy. You can add it to violet shades to make the colour bluer and thus more 'purple' rather than magenta or violet, or you can even add very very small amounts to blonde shades to neutralise orange tones, create pastel blue shades, or strong silver results.

Fudge T.01 is a pastel toner. This is used to tone pale yellow hair to a silver colour and is mostly pale violet tone with a hint of blue. It's not generally useful for anything else, although you could use it to dilute down other colours or add intensifiers to it to create pastel hair colours.

Paola on April 12, 2015:

Just one question , the fudge 088 is aka fudge T.01 right? I just wanna be sure I hate doing something to my hair and feeling insecure.