Purple hair | How to get the look at home.

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You want to know how to dye your hair purple at home? We don’t blame you!

Few hair colours are as versatile as this one right now. From violet to lilac, lavender to deep plum and amethyst, there’s a colour to suit every mood.

Add balayage, dipped ends, ombre and highlights to the mix and it’s no wonder celebs and the rest of the hair dye loving world are getting super passionate about this colour.

We’re here to tell you everything you need to know about how to find the right hue for you, and how to get the perfect look at home.

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What is purple hair?

This sultry colour is a mix of blue and red tones of varying degrees to create a huge choice of shades and colours.

From long hair to short, light to dark, red and purple hair to pastel purple highlights, pink and purple hair and purple streaks, the fantastic choice of ways to wear your hair means there’s a perfect hue for everyone.

This colour instantly gives your hair texture and you a boost of confidence, however you wear it.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

short purple how to dye your hair purple at home pinterest

Will purple hair suit me?

Yes it will! Hooray! It’s easier to pull off than other colours with a range of hair dyes and tones that will work for dark or light hair. It frames faces, makes skin glow and looks amazing with blue and green eyes.

Since these shades contain both warm and cool undertones, it’s pretty much guaranteed you’ll find one to complement your skin tone.

Use our checklist to find out if you have warm or cool undertones.

If you have cool undertones:

  • Your skin tone is pink or pale.
  • You blush easily!
  • Jewel and pastel colours are so your thing.
  • The colour yellow washes you out and does not look good on you.
  • You have blue not green veins in your wrist.
  • Pearls and silver jewellery look awesome on you.

If you have warm undertones:

  • You have red or golden tones in your natural hair.
  • Your skin tone is golden, tan or olive.
  • You might have freckles.
  • You have green not blue veins in your wrist.
  • You suit bright or rich shades better.
  • Gold jewellery looks awesome on you.
Cool or warm undertones infographic

You can find out what shades will suit you by taking our quiz! Just click on the image below for ideas and inspiration tailored for you.

which hair colour suits me

You can also try on some virtual hair colours with the Best hair colour changing apps you need to use in 2021!

Can I get purple hair at home?

The good news is that this is an easy colour to achieve using an off the shelf box dye at home. You’ll need to take the base colour your hair is now into consideration to achieve the best results.

If you have blonde or light hair:

You have a great base to start with, although you will need to lighten your hair a shade if pastel purple shades and light colours like lilac, lavender, silver and even mauve float your boat.

lilac hair Instagram post
purple pastel at home insta 2

If you have brown hair and dark hair:

You have options. Lighten your hair with a lightening kit (this means hair bleach!) and the sky’s the limit.

Try pastel hair dyes like on-trend lilac and lavender. Keep your base dark and go for deep dark shades like plum, burgundy, red and purple hair and violet for a gorgeous statement look.

burgundy purple color instagram post 3
purple maroon wine instagram post

What do I need to dye my hair purple at home?

  • Clarifying shampoo to remove dirt, debris and styling products from your hair. 
  • A hair dye kit that will give you all the tools you need to apply it like a pro.
  • A hairdressers cape to protect your clothes. Towels will get stained and keep falling off.
  • A barrier cream to prevent the colour getting on your skin. (We love good old Vaseline!)
  • A wide toothed comb to separate your hair and comb through the dye.
  • An excellent colour-safe shampoo.
  • And excellent colour-safe conditioner.
  • A heat protection spray to protect your colour before drying your hair.
  • An excellent hair dryer that’s suitable for coloured hair. Check out our Dyson Supersonic hair dryer review.

And your permanent or semi-permanent hair dye of choice! Read more about each one in more detail in our Best purple hair dye reviews.

Best purple hair dyes at a glance.

Hair dyeLooks likeBest for Buy it now
Schwarzkopf Live Ultra Brights Pretty Pastel Lilac Hair Dye.

Schwarzkopf Live Lightener+Twist 104 Cool Lilac by Schwarzkopf

Subtle pastel wash.
Clairol Colour Crave Semi Permanent Hair Dye, Lavender

Clairol Color Crave Semi-Permanent Hair Dye, Orchid Hair Color, 1 Count

Purple vibrance for blonde hair.
Schwarzkopf LIVE Permanent Lightener+Twist, Mauve Kiss.

Live 105 Mauve Kiss, 1 Count (Pack of 1)

Longer lasting mauve.
Clairol Nice' n Easy Crème, Dark Burgundy Brown.

Clairol Nice 'N Easy Permanent Hair Color, Natural Dark Burgundy

Burgundy softness and shine.
Garnier Olia Violet Hair Dye Permanent, Deep Violet.

Garnier Olia Deep Violet Permanent Hair Dye, No Ammonia for A Pleasant Scent, Up To 100% Grey Hair Coverage, Maximum Colour Performance, 60% Oils - 3.16 Deep Violet

All over even violet.
Schwarzkopf LIVE Intense Colour Permanent, Ultra Violet

Schwarzkopf Live Color XXL Luminance L76 Ultra Violet Hair Colour

Deep purple perfection.

How to dye your hair purple at home.

Set the scene.

24-48 hours before you plan to dye your hair at home, shampoo your hair TWICE to make sure all dirt and debris are removed. This makes sure the hair dye can really penetrate your hair but also gives you hair a chance to build up natural oils that will protect it.

On the day, you’re going to need to set aside anywhere between 1-1.5 hours to colour your hair at home from start to finish.

Whatever dye you choose will contain magic-making chemicals that work wonders on colouring your hair, but whiff a bit too. So make sure you apply the hair dye in a well-ventilated room.

Don’t skip the strand test. Especially if you are new to hair dyeing! Follow the instructions on the box of hair dye to test for any allergic reactions or colour dodginess.

Put on your hairdresser’s cape to protect your clothes, crack out your hair dye kit and your chosen box of hair dye, cover any surface around you that might get dye on it and put newspapers on the floor.


Step one: Apply barrier cream.

Coat your hairline, ears and neck with your barrier cream before applying dye to your hair. Applying this coating will make and hair dye easier to rinse off and it won’t stain your skin.

Open up your hair dye and mix the colour and developer together as instructed. Pour the mixture into your hair dye bowl from your hair dye kit.

hair dye in a bowl with brush

Step two: Section your hair.

Use your comb to separate your hair into 4-8 sections, depending on thickness. Clip each section using your clips from the hair dye kit.

hair clipped up and sectioned

Step three: Apply the hair dye.

Using your brush, work the hair dye into your hair depending on what you’re wanting to achieve:

  • For previously dyed hair – work the dye into your roots first. Follow the guidance on your hair dye instructions.
  • For hair that isn’t already dyed (virgin hair) – work the dye into the whole of your hair, starting at the roots and painting down to the tips, making sure the hair is totally saturated.
hair dye painted on

Step four: Let it develop.

Pop your hair up in a shower cap to prevent it from touching and staining anything. You can also wrap your hair in a towel to contain heat which will help the colour to process.

Leave the dye in for the amount of time specified on the box hair dye instructions.

If you have particularly stubborn greys to cover, you can leave the hair dye in 10 minutes longer to ensure it really takes.

If you feel any burning or itching – rinse it off straight away!

woman with a towel on her head

Step five: Rinse.

Once your time is up, rinse your hair with warm water in the shower or over the sink. Keep rinsing your hair until the water runs clear.

Don’t panic if you see a lot of colour rinsing out – it’s all part of the process!

Wash your hair twice and condition it with colour-safe products. Leave it in for 5 minutes to really set your colour.

When your hair is wet, the colour will appear darker at first. Time to dry it!

soapy suds on hair

Step six: Style and dry!

Spritz your hair with a hair heat protection spray to protect your colour before using a hairdryer. Make sure you do this every time you dry your hair or use heated styling products from now on.

Dry your hair as usual and admire your new coloured locks!!

Watch and learn. How the professionals do it.

How do I care for my purple hair?

Now you know how to dye your hair at home, you’ll need to look after your new gorgeous colour with specially formulated products.

This colour is like red hair in that it will fade fast. So you need to do all you can to care for your colour. Confusingly, purple shampoo is not what you’re looking for. This is made for blonde hair and will strip your colour.

A colour shampoo will help prolong the life of your colour so look for ones that are sulphate free.

Once a week, use a hair mask to moisturise and nourish your locks.

And as always, make sure you follow the best advice in How to look after coloured hair and keep it luscious for longer.

This article was written by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!