How To Dye Your Hair Purple At Home Without Accidentally Going Bald

Posted by Whitney | Filed under Hair, Hair Color

Dyeing your hair purple (or green, or blue…) is a fun and relatively easy way to change your look dramatically without actually doing anything majorly drastic or irreversible to your appearance. Because hair is kind of like a renewable resource that refreshes and replenishes itself over time, a little bit of spontaneity and craziness in regard to hairstyle and hair color choices can generally be enjoyed without too much worry about long-term consequences.

Unfortunately for those of us with tight budgets, however, paying someone at a salon to take a mighty heap of thick, luscious locks from brown or black to vivid purple is likely to cost quite a bundle. In some cases, they may not even stock the necessary supplies for crafting an unnaturally colored look (there’s probably not a lot of demand for bright purple hair dye coming from the majority of the clientele).

On the other end of the spectrum, there is the option to process your own hair in the comfort of your own home, which is frequently perceived as being somewhat risky – but that perception is probably not entirely deserved. Sure, it’s possible to make a mistake that could result in temporary baldness or scalp irritation, but it’s also not that difficult to read and follow simple directions pertaining to the dyeing process.

Always refer to the instructional pamphlet included with the particular brand and formula of neon purple hair dye or light purple hair dye or whatever you are using – it’s not a case of “one size fits all.” Horrific, hideous blunders caused by pure negligence are obviously avoidable blunders, so don’t be skipping any directions, plain and simple; err on the side of caution.

To Bleach Or Not To Bleach

cartoon girl with purple hairYou may be wondering where to buy purple hair dye for dark hair, but the truth is that there’s not necessarily any such thing. See, the best purple hair dye for dark hair is the best purple hair dye for light hair, too, because the dye itself is not responsible for lifting dark pigments out of the silky strands to which it is applied – in fact, that should already be done and over with before any permanent or semi-permanent purple hair dye ever hits your hair shafts.

Unless you happen to have incredibly pale hair that’s almost white in color, you will need to enlist the assistance of a popular and potent product known as bleach (not to be confused with the household cleaner). If you want a bright, bold, true purple to be your result – as opposed to some rich, subtle highlights – then bleaching is simply non-negotiable.

The most challenging part of dying your hair purple at home will be trying to bleach the existing colors out of your tresses without harshly frying, irreparably drying or utterly destroying them. Sadly enough, a certain degree of damage is to be expected whenever you’re dealing with bleach or dye. Bleach is far more chemically abrasive than dye and should be used very sparingly, and always in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or the guidance of a qualified professional.

If you were to lose all of your hair because of a horrendous mishap with chemicals and processing (which is extremely unlikely, by the way), it would almost definitely be related to the bleaching part of the procedure, not the dye. However, following the manufacturer’s instructions virtually guarantees your success, so there’s no cause for alarm.

I Just Dyed In Your Arms Tonight

After bleaching your hair to the lightest possible shade, you may need to apply a toner like Manic Panic’s Virgin Snow or Wella’s White Lady in order to remove any lingering oranges or yellows or other brassy tones from the equation. You’ll want to eliminate as much color from your hair as you can realistically eliminate, leaving it in a state of snowy, white-blond paleness.

Rinse thoroughly and towel dry to remove all traces of toner before massaging a tub or two of Manic Panic hair dye throughout your soon-to-be-supremely-sassy locks (while wearing latex gloves to protect your hands from staining). Keep a lid on potential messes by laying towels on the floor beneath your workspace to catch unauthorized drips, and be sure to cover your hair with a disposable shower cap or plastic grocery bag while the color is processing.

Manic Panic is always my first choice for outrageously colored hair dye, and that’s partially because their formula is so gentle on the hair. In my experience (and in the experience of many “dyehard” friends of mine), it is completely safe to leave Manic Panic dyes sitting on your hair for hours and hours at a time – the longer, the better, in fact; let your dye soak in overnight, if you can.

Upon rinsing, it’s reasonable to expect that your bathtub will wrestle with some temporary staining issues, but don’t worry too much about that because the snappy tint will fade in time. Pillows and hats are also subject to picking up wayward pigment (and never letting go of it), so keep that in mind as well, and plan accordingly.

strands of dyed purple hairA semi-permanent purple hair dye is probably the longest-lasting product you will be able to find. Bummer though it may be, semi-permanent is as good as it gets for the moment. As far as I know, there’s no legitimately permanent purple hair dye currently on the market (and I have gone hunting for such items, so that is saying something).

Manic Panic dyes and similar colorants will fade gradually as the days and weeks pass, becoming lighter and lighter with each wash. Color maintenance can be a serious pain in the neck, if you’re not efficient about it. To preserve bold colors and improve the general health of your hair, limit shampooing to once or twice per week. Initially, your hair might feel greasy and dirty because of the change, but it will ultimately adjust to your new routine.

Picking The Perfect Purple

Manic Panic’s Purple Haze is a deep purple hair dye with rosy, crimson undertones. It’s a classic, regal sort of purple that fades into a super adorable pinkish color after several washings. The pigment in this purple is particularly strong, according to its developers, and it has earned a reputation for being one of the longer-lasting shades offered by this brand.

When applied to natural browns and blonds, Purple Haze can produce gorgeous highlights ranging from the barely noticeable to the stunningly bold. If you’re looking for a bright, deep, vivid plum, then this color might be the right up your alley. It’s available in Manic Panic’s traditional cream formula (which has been around forever), as well as the newer “amplified” cream formula that costs more and is supposed to last around thirty percent longer than the original.

Ultra Violet is another semi-permanent purple hair dye created and distributed by the lovely people at Manic Panic. It’s louder, lighter, brighter and more vibrant than its sophisticated sister, Purple Haze. Because the pigment is not tremendously deep and dark – but rather more luminous and intense – it’s not likely to produce much of an effect when used on brunette hair that hasn’t been heavily lightened beforehand.

Available in both the classic cream and amplified cream formulas, this dazzlingly brilliant hair color was actually used to dye Milla Jovovich’s movie star locks for the film “Ultraviolet” back in 2006 (and the dye is worlds better than the movie, I promise). Grab this shade if you’re in the market for a semi-permanent purple hair dye with a blueish base. This shade is a rich, powerful, true violet with a ‘tude.

Electric Amethyst is a fresh, intriguing, neon purple hair dye that – believe it or not – literally emits a subtle glow when exposed to black light. It is only available in Manic Panic’s much-beloved, long-adored standard cream formula at the present time, and it’s worth noting that this pigment usually works best when applied to properly bleached, properly toned hair.

Although Electric Amethyst is technically the lightest and the palest of the purple dyes listed here, it definitely doesn’t leave anything to be desired in terms of vibrancy or luminosity. It really packs a punch! Released in May of 2011, this color is comparatively new and still finding its place among the pack. Choose Electric Amethyst as your dye du jour if a lively, energetic, eye-catching purple is your heart’s desire.

Do Your Thing, Cutie

As far as I’m concerned, oddly colored hair is the bee’s knees. My dear, if you’ve got the urge to dabble in captivating dyes and lose yourself in a sea of scintillating hues, don’t fight that urge – but bring some common sense along for the ride, always; remember to read the instructions carefully every time, read ‘em like it’s going out of style. If you are appropriately cautious and reasonably knowledgeable about bleach and hair color practices, there simply isn’t much of a downside to indulging that nagging impulse to color your hair in a bold and crazy way.

Even in the unlikely event that you absolutely hate the results of your earnest dyeing efforts, a worst case scenario would involve dyeing over it with a darker color or simply waiting for your silky mane to grow out again. So, why not buy some dye and bring the funk? You’ve got nothing to lose – and a whole lot of sweet, groovy purple to gain.

Once you have decided what to do about your secret yearning for a head full of vividly violet locks, go ahead and saunter on over to my smokey eye tutorial, or check out my Urban Decay eye palette reviews. Your eye makeup (the eye shadow part of it, in particular) is another area where your signature style can truly shine through, if you’ll let it, and there’s a boatload of potential for creativity and experimentation in that realm because eye makeup simply washes off at the end of the day – virtually no commitment necessary.

If you don’t know how to apply eye makeup at all, there’s a tutorial for that, too! As per usual,‘s got you covered. (There’s even a comprehensive tutorial for dyeing your hair pink instead of purple; can you believe it?) Good luck, ladies. May the cute be with you!

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One Response to “How To Dye Your Hair Purple At Home Without Accidentally Going Bald”

  1. Greeny :) says:

    I’m thinking of doing this because….well I’ve done so much stuff with my hair (and it’s still healthy!! ;p) from braiding to dying to funky cuts and electric colours seem to be the final frontier!

    Your page was exceptionally helpful!

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