How to Dye Your Hair Purple
Bright hair colors are more popular than ever, and a 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 all kinds of 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
How to Choose a Purple Hair Dye
Before you can dye hair purple, you need to decide which shade you want to use, because this will determine exactly how you proceed towards the color. Dark colors like indigo, deep purples, 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. Other 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.
You also have the choice of a temporary, semi-permanent, or permanent purple dye:
- Temporary: Lasts for one to three washes, depending on how well your hair soaks it up.
- Semi-permanent: Lasts for anywhere from three to six washes, also depending on how porous your hair is.
- Permanent: Pretty much lasts until your hair grows out and shows your natural color in your roots. The general window for this is about four to six weeks before you need to start thinking about refreshing your color.
Temporary and semi-permanent dyes offer the widest range of shades, but they will need to be retouched fairly often to keep your color vibrant. If you want to wear purple hair for longer, a permanent hair dye is suggested. Many salon brands like Indola and Fudge Headpaint have fashion shades of purple varying from more natural burgundy shades to intense magenta color. These dyes will last a few weeks before they need to be refreshed.
To help you choose a shade of purple hair color, you can use the table below. By looking at the purple color you want to reach, you can 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 wanted a bright indigo color and have dark hair, you would 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.
What Base Hair Colors Do You Need to Get Certain Shades of Purple?
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 in order to lighten it enough so that the color will actually take. By using the table above, 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 to the degree needed.
Supplies for Lightening Your Hair
To lighten your hair, you will need:
- Bleach powder
- Tinting bowl
- 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. You should have your four quadrants to work with.
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:
- Though bleach is a powerful product, 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 about a week.
- Never apply bleach twice in the same day.
For more in-depth information about the bleaching process, check out my Bellatory article devoted to How to Bleach Hair.
The bleach you use is very important. Cheaper bleach powder causes more damage and won't lighten your hair as well as salon products. Wella Blondor is an excellent bleach powder to use, with the potential to lift up to seven levels (from dark brown to light blonde) in one process.
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—anywhere from three to six washes before they lose much of their vibrancy.
Fudge Paintbox Hair Dye
Fudge Paintbox is one of the different semi-permanent dyes available to you when you want to dye hair purple. These dyes are a conditioning cream that can be applied after shampooing your hair and left to soak in for half an hour to dye your hair a bright or vibrant color.
Purple Haze can be used to dye your hair a bright purple color, whilst 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 could even mix different shades to create your own color. For example, mixing Pink Moon and Purple Haze creates a bright magenta shade.
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. Once applied, the product is left 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.
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 Manic Panic dye together to create new colors and get the exact shade you want, and these dyes are applied in exactly the same way as Fudge colors.
Note: If you want to see an in-depth breakdown of someone dyeing their hair with this particular product, check out this helpful Bellatory article on DIY: How to Dye Your Hair Purple.
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 should give you an idea of what dyes you might need to add to get your desired color.
How to Get Certain Shades of Hair Color
Add blue dye
Add red dye
Add red dye
Add red dye
Add blue dye
How Permanent Purple Hair Dyes Work
If you want to wear a purple color for a longer period of time, then permanent hair dye is the best option.
How to Choose a Shade
Before you get to work on dyeing, you will need to choose a shade first. Salon brands like Indola and Fudge Headpaint have developed a wide range of fashion shades, including vibrant purple colors, pastel violets, lilac, and even violet black hair.
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.
Indola 1.7 is an intense violet black color that can be considered the purple version of blue-black hair. Their 8.77x is a very bright magenta shade, whereas darker options like 5.77x and 3.77x correspond to medium and dark purple.
How to Modify a Color or Shade
You can also modify either of these color ranges through the use of their color intensifier products. These are tubes of hair dye that are a straight tone, and you can add purple intensifier to any other shade to increase purple tones in the color you're using. In the same sense, red or blue intensifiers can be used to make a purple shade more burgundy or indigo respectively.
How to Take Care of Your Purple Hair
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. You can also use color refresher shampoos to keep the color vibrant and prevent fading by adding tone back in whilst you shampoo your hair. is one such product that contains an intense violet pigment and can noticeably reduce fading in purple or burgundy hair. De Lorenzo violet shampoo
Purple hair requires maintenance to prevent fading and keep your color looking its best, but it is undoubtedly one of the most interesting colors to dye your hair. If you're willing to take care of your color, you can wear purple hair that looks great and helps you stand out from the crowd.
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. But here are a few quick tips to keep in mind:
Wash Your Hair With the Coldest Water Possible
Regardless of how long it's been since you originally (or most recently) dyed it, you should try to avoid washing or rinsing your hair with hot water whenever possible. Hot water opens up the hair cuticles, which in turn allows color to escape. Washing with cool water also helps reduce the process of color bleeding, which is particularly important if you're trying to use multiple colors. So try to wash and rinse your hair in the coldest water that you can take. And once you're done with your hair, you can always pack it into a shower cap and finish out your shower or bath with warmer water.
Avoid Hair Products With Sulfates and Alcohol
A good amount of popular shampoos and other hair care products include sulfates and alcohols, which can both speed up the fading of your colors more than you might think. So be sure to check the ingredients list next time you're picking out a shampoo, and try to go with a sulfate-free one.
Try to Only Occasionally Shampoo
Even if you manage to find a sulfate-free shampoo, however, you should still try to only shampoo your hair when you find it to be particularly oily or dirty and really in need of a wash. This is due to the fact that even if you have a high-quality product, shampoo removes the natural oils your body produces to care for your hair. Shampooing also strips the colors you add in as well.
So if you've washed your hair recently but still feel as though it is a little too oily or dirty for your taste, consider applying a dry shampoo to just suck up some of those excess oils. And of course, try to opt for one without sulfates or alcohol.
For the times when you just really have to wash your hair, try to focus on shampooing mostly just your roots—where a lot of the grease tends to accumulate—rather than the middle and ends of your hair. Also, gently blot your hair dry (instead of rubbing it with a towel), and don't brush or comb it until it's fully dry.
Add in Some Dye to Your Conditioner
If you only have one color or at least various shades within a single overall color, you can also add in some dye to your conditioner to help prolong its life. In fact, there are also various brands that make their own conditioners with added dye already pre-mixed in, usually ranging across most of the main colors. These can not only help keep your hair healthy and strong but can also extend the life and vibrancy of your color.
Don't Swim in Chlorinated Water
Though it might be considered common knowledge, it's important to remember to entirely avoid swimming in chlorinated water if at all possible. This is a surefire way to trigger fading and greatly reduce the lifespan of your color.
Avoid Prolonged Exposure to the Sun and Other Heat Sources
Much like it does to clothes, the sun can slowly drain the color from your hair if you stay outside in direct exposure to it for too long.
Similarly, try to avoid using blowdryers or curling wands if you can, as this will also shorten the lifespan of your color. Though if you have to heat style your hair every now and then, try to use a thermal protectant to help mitigate the damage.
Note: You can also add your favorite lightweight oil (such as argan) to the tips to help lock in the color for longer as well.
Share Your Questions and Insight
Do you have a question about dyeing your hair purple? Do you have an interesting experience with purple hair? Leave a comment below for tailored advice, and share your insight with other readers.
- Leiva, Courtney. 6 Tips For Dyeing Brown Hair Purple Without Completely Ruining Your 'Do. (2015, October 15). Bustle. Retrieved on 26 2018.
- Stroup, Kaylah. 7 Tips for Maintaining Bright Hair Color. (2014, September 30). The Dainty Squid. Retrieved on 26 November 2018.
- 26 Tips to Help Protect Color-Treated Hair & Keep It Looking Fabulous. Matrix. Retrieved on 26 November 2018.
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.