You either have purple hair or you’re thinking of getting it.
And I get you.
Purple is my favorite color – almost everything I own (including my iPhone) is purple.
Purple hair looks stunning.
However, it is a very difficult hair color to maintain. It just doesn’t last as long as you want it to.
And purple hair dyes fade really fast compared to most other shades.
It’s a very tricky color and this is something you need to consider before dying your hair purple.
I’ve talked about it in this post how to maintain and keep lilac hair for longer.
When you’re dying your hair purple, you need to keep in mind that it is going to fade with time.
And if you are okay with the colors that it fades into, then definitely get the purple color hair dye.
Otherwise, if it gets very light, you can always color over it again – mix your purple hair dye into your shampoo. I’ll talk about how you can do this later.
Let’s dive in and understand what colors purple hair fades into.
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Does purple hair dye fade fast?
Unfortunately, yes. Purple hair dye fades very quickly and will fade within 4-5 washes. For some people, that’s 2-3 weeks and for some, it’s a month depending on how often they wash it and how well they maintain it.
Purple hair dye molecules are naturally bigger than other colors and this means that purple hair dye doesn’t penetrate the hair cortex (the inner layer of the hair) as deeply as other color hair dyes.
This means, that purple hair dye washes out more easily and lightens or fades quite quickly – making it a very difficult color to maintain.
How long does purple hair dye last? /How long does purple hair take to fade?
The amount of time purple hair dye lasts on your hair depends on several factors:
- The vibrancy of the purple pigment in your hair dye
- How light your hair was before coloring
- What brand you used
- How much time you left the dye to process in your hair
- Whether your hair was very porous or damaged while dying – highly porous hair actually holds on to color better.
Purple hair usually lasts for 4-5 washes.
For some people, it could be 2-3 weeks. And for some who maintain it very well and don’t wash their hair often or stay away from swimming entirely – it can last a lot longer, like a month or more.
What color will purple hair fade to?
This color your purple hair will fade to depends on 3 factors:
- What color your hair was when you colored it purple
- What purple color hair dye you used (violet or medium purple for example will fade into 2 different colors)
- The external factors that affected your hair (swimming or bathing in hard water will make your purple hair more yellow-toned)
- If you dyed over already dyed hair
1. What color your hair was when you colored it purple?
If you started out with blonde hair and colored your hair purple over that, then it will fade to a lighter shade of the purple hair dye used.
For example, this woman bleached her hair blonde and then colored it with purple hair dye, so the purple is fading naturally and still looks purple even when faded.
It’s kind of muted, but the color doesn’t really change – it’s still obviously purple.
Now, if you dyed over very light blonde hair or almost platinum blonde, then the purple will fade into a beautiful lavender or lilac like this:
You can also read this post to learn how to fade purple hair to lavender.
2. What purple hair dye you used
You need to understand that purple contains mostly red and blue pigments.
If the purple has more red in it, it will fade to a pinkish color – for some, that’s bubble gum pink. It will look something like this:
Purple hair dye faded on curly hair looks very different – you can see this woman who has dyed her curls purple – I feel even her curl pattern has changed slightly after bleaching and coloring and it is more pink than purple.
I feel she’s pulling it off very well
But if it has more blue pigment, like violet, lilac, royal purple, and so on, then your hair will definitely look bluer like ultra-violet.
Basically, the purple won’t be very pigmented or vibrant when it fades.
You will never have to worry about bright pink or bright blue – because as purple fades, so does the intensity.
Meaning even if it is pink or blue, it will look more faded and won’t be as pigmented as you think it is – this makes it easy to dye over it.
3. External factors
If you swim a lot or bathe in hard water, you could get yellow tones in your hair – the purple hair dye will also fade a lot faster and it won’t last very long.
Additionally, you might have different tones in your hair if you swim in chlorinated water or beach water.
And you might develop a streaky look like this:
Notice how some strands are more purple than others and there is some yellow in her hair too.
4. If you dyed over already-dyed hair
If your hair was pink, and you dyed it purple, then your hair is going to look more red and pink.
Because as the purple dye fades, the color underneath the purple will begin to show.
Sometimes, the purple will also fade to silver or white depending on what color hair you had before that.
What to do with purple faded hair? How to keep purple hair from fading?
If you are worried about your purple hair fading and you genuinely don’t like the color it is fading to, then there are loads of options you can consider:
1. Do not shampoo your hair for 3 days after dying it purple
For the first 72 hours after coloring your hair with a semi-permanent dye (direct dye), your hair cuticles will be open.
This means, if you shampoo your hair in that time, you will lose a lot of hair color because the color will leak from your hair strands.
So do not shampoo your hair for 72 hours, that will give your hair enough time for the cuticles to close and seal in most of the purple dye.
This it the key to keeping purple hair for longer.
2. Minimize actual hair washes
This is key to keeping the color and making the lilac shade last longer.
The more frequently you wash your hair, the more color will bleed out and your lilac hair dye will fade.
So, minimize the hair washes – wash only if necessary.
If your hair tends to get greasy or oily, then use a dry shampoo like this instead.
I only recommend this one because this particular dry shampoo absorbs all the oil from your scalp and doesn’t leave any white residue in your hair.
It also brushes out very easily and smells amazing!
3. Use cold water or room-temperature water
When you are shampooing your hair, do not use hot water or warm water.
This will raise the hair cuticle and allow the lilac hair dye to seep out faster.
Using cold water will ensure that the hair cuticles are sealed and this will make the color last longer.
Okay, if you’re like me and hate cold water showers – then do what I do.
I cover my hair with a plastic cap to avoid it getting wet and shower focusing the water only on my body.
After washing my body, I then turn the water to cold and bend over and rinse or wash my hair.
It’s a good way to make sure your hair is only being washed in cold water.
4. Use a good purple shampoo (sulfate-free)
You cannot think of using a shampoo with sulfates. It will not only dry your hair further, but it will also cause the color to fade really fast!
A sulfate-free shampoo will work for richer tones of purple.
But since you have a purple shade – it is more prone to becoming yellow and getting that weird brassy tinge. So, you will need to use purple shampoo.
A purple shampoo has purple pigments in it to help neutralize the yellow, brassy tones that your hair is prone to become. Please note that it doesn’t make your hair more purple – it only restores the proper tone that you want the purple to be.
Your hair will be very dry after dying it purple too.
So, when choosing a purple shampoo, look for a moisturizing shampoo that has vitamin E or oils that will moisturize your hair.
This will leave your hair looking healthy and glossy.
I suggest using the L’Oreal purple shampoo and conditioner as it is used by so many people who claim that their hair looks so vibrant and rich after using it.
5. Use a color-depositing shampoo or conditioner 2 times a week
You have to use it 2 times a week but oh gosh… it’s really, really good. Use the shampoo on dry hair like a hair dye and leave it in for 15 minutes.
Use gloves and just rinse in the shower or sink with cold water.
You won’t get much staining and make sure you follow up with a normal conditioner preferably for colored hair.
I’m not kidding when I say it’s one of the best out there – I don’t know how it doesn’t get talked about a lot.
This is a Godsend product for people with colored hair.
6. Protect your hair from the sun
The sun robs all colors from hair.
Even if your hair is naturally brown, it will become more coppery if you spend too much time in the sun.
So, with hair dye, it’s even worse.
If you spend a lot of time in the sun, your lilac hair dye could fade very, very fast.
I highly recommend limiting sun exposure when you have colored hair, especially if your hair is a bright color like purple or pink or blue.
UV rays can also damage your hair and make it drier.
If at all you need to step out during the day, please wear hair sunscreens like this one or a big hat.
7. Protect your hair from chlorine
If you like to swim, then you need to be careful.
Most swimming pools have chlorine in them and chlorine fades color fairly quickly.
To ensure that your hair is dry and water doesn’t seep into your hair, please wear a waterproof cap like this one.
This cap is specifically made for people who don’t want to get their hair wet – if you have long hair or dreadlocks or curly hair, it will definitely work for you.
8. Use a protectant spray before styling
It is advised to not blow dry or use styling tools when you have colored hair because the heat fades the color fast.
Heat opens up the hair cuticles allowing the color to escape much more quickly.
But if you have to blow dry or use any heating tools, use a heat-protectant spray like this to avoid the color from fading quickly.
If you follow all these steps, you can maintain your purple hair for 2+ months. And you can keep using a color-depositing shampoo to make sure that your hair never loses that purple pigment.
Here are a few more posts you may find helpful:
- How to fade purple hair to lavender
- How to maintain lilac hair for longer
- How to fade purple hair to silver
- Bored with your hair? 11 impulsive things to do to your hair right now
- 21 bold and funky colors to dye your short hair!
- I dyed my hair purple but it looks red, how do I fix this?
- Why your hair turned pink when dyed blonde? How to fix it now!