Important Things to Know Before You Dye Your Hair Purple

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If you are considering dying your hair a bright color, you’ll definitely want to take a look at these important things to know before you dye your hair purple – from what to expect, what they don’t tell you and how to maintain your new look.

Dying my hair purple – I had been wanting to do it for a while. I hemmed and hawed because I’m a pretty low maintenance girl.

I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve rocked a minimal partial highlight in the last decade, so committing to 4 – 6 hours in the salon chair and touch-ups every four to six weeks seemed like a huge commitment.

Plus we all know that brown hair, and especially dark brown hair and bleach is always a crapshoot and more difficult than blonde or light brown hair.

So I decided, baby steps. After doing a little research and soul searching I decided to take the plunge. I would go with a tri-toned purple Balayage – it’s a term. Trust me. 

Dying my hair purple

I arrived at my colorist (the amazing Brookelyn) wielding the results of an exhaustive google image search and unrealistic expectations of brevity.

I searched high and low, from trying just the ends dyed purple, to purple ombre, to everything in between. I decided I wanted a little more than just my hair tips dyed purple.

And so it began, the bleaching and toning and painting and butterflies.

Then, the reveal, and I fell madly in love. It was when I got home the real lessons began.

Turns out, purple hair comes with baggage. A lot of it.

Should I dye my hair purple?

Should I dye my hair purple? This is a question many of us have asked ourselves at one time or another. But the answer isn’t as simple as you might think!

Read on to find out what to know before dyeing hair purple and deciding whether or not to go through with it.

In summary:

  • Purple died hair fades easily and may turn your natural hair color grayish, so if you’re looking for a temporary change, this one’s not for you.
  • It’ll take about four hours (or more!) to get all of your hair covered in purple dye and then about an hour every four – six weeks for touchups.
  • If done correctly, the results can be fabulous – but there’s no guarantee that will happen since everyone has different types of hair.
  • Purple hair is high-maintenance, so if you’re not ready for that kind of commitment, you may want to hold off on this trend.
  • Bleach will damage your hair – especially if you have dark brown hair. Be ready to commit to a better conditioner and a once a week hair mask in order to keep your purple tips looking healthy.

What does purple hair symbolize?

Both dark purple hair and light purple hair have been a popular trend with celebrities and influencers, but what does it actually symbolize?

I think the real question is, does it have to symbolize something? For most people, dying your hair purple is just a way to show off your personality and style.

Whatever what your reasons for wanting to dye your hair purple are, keep in mind that this color can make quite the statement. Some people can have intense reactions to the color of your hair. Weird, right? YOUR hair – not theirs.

So if you’re not ready for all the attention that comes with dying your hair purple, you might want to reconsider.

What You Need to Know for Purple Tips on Brown Hair

Been thinking of adding purple tips or purple dye on dark brown hair? Here’s what you need to know before you take the plunge.

It will look like you murdered blueberries. Everywhere.

A peek inside my bathroom revealed the remains of what one could only guess was a blueberry massacre.

A splatter of light purple residue cascaded down tiled shower and along the basin of my sink. Smears of it ran along the towel rack.

The scene of the crime extended to my bedroom where purple stained my pillow cases and the collars of my shirts. Even the towels were caught in the crossfire.

I didn’t think my bathroom would ever recover.

But eventually, after the 3rd or 4th wash, things returned to normal.

You Will Become Obsessed with Maintaining Your Purple Hair

You will experiment with skipping wash day, taking cold showers and even the risky business of adding dye back into your hair in an effort to extend the time between settings.

Fun fact, in the summer the cold showers weren’t too bad but they would be miserable in the winter. 

Important Things to Know Before You Dye Your Hair Purple

Tip: Wash your hair right away in cold water. Then put it on top of your head and switch the shower to warm. 

Skipping Showers Isn’t Worth It

For the first three days after you dye your hair, it shouldn’t be washed. At first I was like, a legitimate excuse to not wash my hair for three days? Mark that one down in the win column.

However, in an effort to extend my time between visits to the salon I attempted to forgo washing my hair for 3-4 days on a routine basis.

Now, this might not be an issue for those of you with straight hair. But for us curly haired girls?

By day 3, I was running on caffeine and dry shampoo. Even still my tightly wound greasy bun was the only way to look decently presentable.

And then I discovered these easy travel hairstyles

And so the cycle began. Eventually, I decided that extending the time was no longer worth it and opted to wash my hair by day 3 at the latest.

What good is spending hundred of dollars on gorgeous hair if I can’t show it off?

Dye Conditioner IS Worth It

You have two options here, like a choose your own adventure! Play it safe like I did with Viral Shampoo Conditioner.

You can pick it up on Amazon and have it to your house in two days. It’s one of the easiest ways to maintain purple hair.

what to know before dyeing hair purple

Or, for the adventurous type, you can pick up actual dye from your local salon supply store and add a bit to your conditioner.

You will repeat “It’s just hair” over and over

While silently flipping people the bird.

There is something about dying your hair purple (or any other non-traditional color) that makes people feel they have the right to question your life choices.

From “what will your boss think?” to one of my personal favorites, “what did your husband think about that?”

Some people will act as though the process of dying your hair purple is a desperate cry for help.

should i dye my hair purple

“Is she depressed? Is it because her husband is deployed?” They whisper.


It’s just. hair. 

You say you’re never doing it again

At some point, the mess of purple on your favorite top, the stains in the shower you don’t think will come out, and the oil in your bangs will make you convince yourself you’re never doing this lavender hair dye on brown hair thing again.

But you will.

Because, I mean it goes so nicely with your skin tone. And your hair is already bleached. And purple only gets prettier as it fades – some people even call it ash purple hair fade. So it’s a win, win – right?

Plus, you have a Groupon so…

19 thoughts on “Important Things to Know Before You Dye Your Hair Purple”

  1. 8 years ago, I walked into a salon and they transformed my light brown hair into a purple mermaid. It was glorious, I loved it. I cannot however, stop having purple hair. Everything you said here is true. The maintenance is outrageous. Eventually I could no longer keep up with the salon appointments, and I learned to dye it myself. Even still, the maintenance is oppressive. I have tried many times to summon the courage to grow out my roots, with no success. I got close once, but then I had a dream where I had purple hair, and I knew in my heart it was my soul telling me that my hair is, on a spiritual level, purple. It is just my curse that it requires me to bleach and dye it to achieve that. I think I will have purple hair for the rest of my life.

    Purple hair is no joke. If you are reading this and you are thinking of taking the dive, heed these words. You may very well become enthralled to purple for the rest of your days, and it is not a picnic.


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