Purple highlights | The best ways to rock the trend in 2023.

Do you want to know how to rock purple highlights this year? You’ve come to the right place.

We’re to tell you everything you need to know about this show-stopping trend. You’ll learn what they are, why they look great and who should be wearing them – and how!

Plus, we’ll show you the best way to get your locks looking this popular colour and how to make it last when you do.

So let’s go!

What are purple highlights?

This is the colour of creativity and imagination. They look fab on dark or light hair and mixed with stunning shades of blue and pinks to create multi-dimensional effects.

It’s a bold choice for those whose sense of self can’t be defined by rules or convention!

Leading models are rocking this look, including top blogger Chiara Ferragni who has several purple highlights on her hair.

Lighter, pastel tones like periwinkle will suit blondes whereas intense hues like burgundy and plum work best with darker hair.

We love the look for it’s versitality – you can go bold with all-over pastel tips or opt for subtle ombré or balayage effects instead.

Check out the latest looks for ideas and inspiration.

purple highlights collection pinterest board

Best colours for purple highlights.

Dark hair

  • Violet
  • Plum
  • Burgundy
  • Aubergine

Light hair

  • Lavender
  • Mauve
  • Grape
  • Amethyst

Will purple highlights suit me?

Anyone can try this look, but they won’t be flattered by all shades.

Deep, striking hues are best suited to darker hair whilst pastel tones look good with lighter locks.

Subtle ombré effects are also flattering on blondes.

Blonde’s should steer clear of the boldest examples in this trend though – you’ll lose your sense of definition if you go too bright!

You can always add in some subtle purple tips for a sweet styled look.

The great thing about purple as a hair colour is that there are so many shades on the colour chart – both warm and cool.

Warm colours generally suit a range of darker hair tones, whilst cooler tones suit lighter shades.

So all you need to do is figure out the right one to match your skin tone and natural colouring.

If you’re unsure whether you suit warm or cool colours, just use our handy checklist below!

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

If you’re still unsure, take out quick quiz!

This will tell you what hair colours will suit you.

Just answer a few quick questions and you can apply this colour theory to your hair, your wardrobe and your life!

Just click on the image below!

which hair colour suits me

Do I need to bleach my hair to get purple highlights?

If you want to brighten up your hair with highlights, you need to first lift the natural pigment from its base shade.

This will result in a lighter tone than your natural hair colour as it removes some of the darker pigments.

Bleaching your hair is the most effective way of doing this and is simple to use at home or at a salon.

Just apply bleach according to instructions and then let it set for around 10 minutes before washing out.  

You can use a shampoo for blonde/lightened hair if you don’t want a brassy tone – this will keep your locks looking cool and fresh!

Generally it’s advised you get highlights done professionally as they have special bleaches which won’t damage your scalp or hair.

As a guide, you’ll need to lift your hair to at least a level 9 (think ‘strawberry blonde’) if you want bold ombré highlights and lighter shades for all-over colour.

Level 10 or 11 is needed for full on colour!

You can also use toners in between bleach applications to add in some blonde tips without fully bleaching the whole head (although if you’re going this route it might be worth visiting a salon).

Watch and learn: How to do purple highlights.

YouTube player

Best hair styles for purple highlights.

Purple highlights with brown hair.

brunette pink instagram post

Purple hues look amazing with brown locks.

The two shades work really well together to give you some awesome contrast!

From rich burgundy effects, subtle violet strands and deep purple blends, the colour combination is pretty much endless!

Just play around with different shades of purple on your hair and see what suits your style!

Purple highlights with blonde hair

light blonde base instagram post

Blonde hair looks stunning with purple babylights or bold all-over colour!  

Light shades of lavender work well if you want to keep the overall look natural and subtle, whereas rich plum tones always make a fantastic statement.

Combining pink and purple is your best bet for a gorgeous pastel rainbow effect!

Purple highlights with black hair

dark brown black base color instagram psot

If you have dark or black hair, purple will need to be the brightest colour it can go to make that colour pop!

Just think of those stunning violet locks and rich wine or maroon on more dense strands.

If you have lighter tips don’t be afraid to blend in silver or white blonde too – the contrast will look unreal!

Violet highlights

violet hair color instagram post

Violet is a show-stopping shade that has hints of blue in it which brings out the contrast beautifully against any hair colour.

A gorgeous choice for those looking to lighten their locks, violet is a perfect vampy shade that can also ‘soften’ darker shades too.

For those who want an alternative to a bright pink, this colour nails it.

Blonde hair with purple highlights underneath

underneath hair color instagram post

The contrast between deep and light tones in peekaboo hair is gorgeous.

This is a great way of adding colour that’s not too overwhelming. It creates a beautiful blend that works much better than just having traditional highlights.

The peekaboo purple, which can be subtle or bright as you like, shows off your natural blonde locks beautifully and brings out those tones with an understated colour POP!

Purple ombré

ombre color instagram post

Ombré is an on-trend style that is definitely an eye-catching look.

The light shades gradually become darker, with the darkest strands being at the roots.

This creates a nice gradient effect which is incredibly stylish and easy to maintain for those with busy schedules who can’t be bothered with the maintenance of all-over colour.

Silver and black ombré look particularly awesome with this sultry style.

Hair purple streaks

streaks plum color instagram post

Having purple hair streaks really makes your look stand out and they’re a great way to get the splash of colour without committing to having it done!

It looks fabulous on short, long, curly or shoulder length hair.

You can use this colour in any shade of purple, from subtle plums through to bright pinks and rich crimsons.

Purple balayage

dark purple color instagram post

Balayage is a wonderful all-over highlighting technique that looks stunning on anyone.

This look works best with base colours like honey blonde, caramel browns or even soft greys (and you guessed it – any shade of purple!) to really make the most of this style.

Purple and midnight blue highlights

unicorn hair color instagram post

How cute are these purple and midnight blue locks?

This dark brown, almost black base is the perfect place to put your bright colours on.

The high contrast between light and dark works really well, giving you a powerful look that still has a touch of femininity. Perfect!

Mermaid hair

mermaid hair color instagram post

A stroke of brilliance, this comes pretty close to completing the purple highlight spectrum!

This style is the most striking of them all with bright pastel tones that fade into darker shades on top.

It’s guaranteed to get you noticed wherever you go!

Purple and silver highlights

silver and mauve base instagram post

This is the perfect style for those looking to rock a trend rather than make a statement.

It’s subtle and classy and looks great on a silver or grey base.

The shades blend really well and it works best if you mix pinks, ash purple hair dye and even pale pastel blues to create a stunning, multidimensional effect.

How long will purple highlights last?

The lifespan of your highlights will depend on how they were put in as well as how they are maintained!

All-over purple will fade the fastest, whereas streaks or balayage highlights will look fresh for longer.

The more you wash your hair, the quicker the colour will fade – dry shampoo is your friend!

If you use semi-permanent hair dye, you can expect your colour to start washing out in around 8-10 washes.

If you use permanent hair dye – you can get to around 6 weeks before it starts to fade and new root regrowth will show through.

The best way to keep colour like this looking bright and fresh is to get it done every 6 weeks by a professional.


How to care for purple highlights.

Any of these styles are easy to care for, but needs a little bit of extra TLC in comparison to other shades.

Make sure you’re using quality, sulphate-free shampoos and colour-safe conditioners to keep your colour looking bright and healthy!

To prevent fading, opt for a deep conditioning treatment every time you wash your hair to restore moisture and shine.

Products that will help keep your locks protected include those which contain UV filters, as well as those with moisturising properties.

If you want your colour to look bright and glossy then we recommend using a good heat protector every time you heat style your hair.

Parting words.

It goes without saying that this trend is the perfect way to spice up your look.

It’s an easy, affordable way to get that pop of purple colour without spending too much money or time on it.

You can create dramatic highlights, streaks, ombre, balayage or just subtle highlights.

Whatever your heart (and head!) desire, we hope we’ve helped you to achieve the best results possible!

Good luck!