Purple is a vibrant and playful color that brings an interesting and unique vibe in each hairstyle. It is especially good when it done in highlights. Purple highlights are not a common look but they do look very eye-catching, particularly on brown hair.
Criteria for Choosing Purple Shade for Your Brown Hair
There are two things that you should consider when picking out a purple shade for highlights: the shade of your natural hair and your skin tone.
You want the purple to only be a shade darker or lighter than the rest of your hair so that the highlights blend in well. If you stray further away in either direction, the purple will stand out more, but it won’t look as professional.
You want a shade of purple that matches your skin’s undertone. As purple helps correct skin tone, you must choose your shade wisely. If you have cooler undertones, choose a type purple with more blue in it than red. If you have warmer undertones, choose a shade of purple with more red in it than blue.
How to Add Purple Highlights to Brown Hair
Purple highlights look awesome in brown hair, but it takes work to get the right color. To get highlights, use the following steps:
Step One: Choose Your Shade of Purple
Before you dye your hair, you must pick out the proper shade of purple for your hair. Consider your current hair color and your skin tone to choose the right shade.
Step Two: Lighten Your Hair
You cannot get most shades of purple to stick directly onto brown hair, so you must dye your highlights blonde first.
Depending on how dark your brown hair is, it might take a few treatments to get your hair light enough.
Step Three: Dye Your Hair
Once you have sufficiently lightened the streaks of hair that you want to dye purple, you are ready to add color. Carefully section out hair so that you are only applying the purple onto the lightened strands.
Use barriers such as aluminum foil as you go through each layer of your hair.
Step Four: Maintain Your Hair
After your purple highlights are in place, you need to maintain your hair to keep it looking healthy, vibrant, and new.
Immediately after dyeing your hair, you should deep condition it to help with any damage that might have occurred when you lightened and colored your hair.
Next, you should limit your hair’s exposure to heat, water, and the sun to keep the color longer. If the color starts to wash out, it’s okay! Over time, your highlights will likely fade to a lighter, more pastel purple. You can always re-dye the highlights to get back to the desired shade!
Brown Hair with Purple Highlights
If you are deciding to do purple highlights on your brown hair, but need inspiration, here are the current 42 trendiest purple highlights for brown hair:
1. Light Purple Highlights
This medium brown hair with highlights presents a mixture of purple and pink. This shade can also be achieved when the color fades a bit.
What is important to mention is that the different brown bases and its undertones will present a different purple look. These purple highlights are warm and soft, perfect for the summer. And of course, the hair styled in waves finishes the job.
The deep purple highlights come with bluish undertones. Still, the purple shade is visible but again, depending on the brown base, it might present different looks.
This hairstyle has a dark brown base on which the highlights come in a vertical position. The dark base mixed with the purple gives a bluish shade and a colder look. The final result is a unique and very attractive hairstyle.
3. Single Braids + Purple Strand
Those who are willing to keep the long brown hair as unchanged as possible can only add one purple strand to make the look different. This purple strand should come in the form of thin highlights but position only in a certain place.
When the hair is braided, the purple strand should be present individual. When the hair is let long, the purple color highlights will disperse through the top.
4. Shades Of Purple
Different versions of purple look great on brown hair, especially in consecutive highlights. The gradation of color and change in this short brown hairstyle perfectly shows that this color suits every hairstyle.
The short bob is wavy, reaching the shoulders and both the purple shades blend wonderfully. The mixture of cold and warm undertones is a hit.
The base of this style is short light brown hair. The top portion of the hair is longer and curly falling to the side, while the sides are shorter.
The blonde and purple hair highlights come on exactly that portion of the hair. They open up the face and make for a cute and beautiful look. The purple shade has a pastel tone.
6. Highlighted Front
Ladies who are reluctant to try a purple hair color but still want to give it a try can try out halo highlights where the strands are colored nearest to the face leaving the remaining mane dark. The curled-in ends of the bob with the side-swept purple fringe set off the look.
7. Violet Curls
When it comes to purple, the shades to choose from are countless. This look features a medium chestnut brown base with chunky streaks of a vibrant violet emerging near the roots. Finish off the style with bouncy curls and a chic hat.
8. Brilliant Streaks
These purple highlights on brown hair will surely set you apart from others. Dye the hair in a dark brown shade with ultraviolet streaks peeking through the darker strands. The blonde babylights, although subtle, take this look to another level.
9. Add Some Blue
A touch of blue won’t hurt anyone! The hair is chopped into a short pixie with the long top tapering towards the sides and back. Add chunks of denim blue and aqua blue to accentuate the purple creating a gorgeous galaxy on the head. These hues will fade out beautifully.
10. Lavender Chunks
Keep it low-key yet noticeable from a distance. The A-line bob falls on the shoulders with layers creating a lot of movement on the head while the wispy bangs graze the brows. Add chunks of lavender particularly on the side locks focusing all the attention on the front.
11. Funky Pixie Mullet
Women can show off their wild side with a pixie mullet consisting of piece-y textured layers. The top falls at the front as choppy bangs with short sides while the back is the longest. Cover the entire hair in a pastel purple hue leaving just a hint of the brown base beneath.
12. Peekaboo Highlights
Flaunt them or hide them, that’s the benefit of peekaboo highlights! The underlayer from the front to the back behind the ears is dyed in a deep plum shade with a hint of lavender. Pin up the front creating a jaw-dropping hairstyle.
13. Just a Hint
African-American women can take part in the purple hair trend too while sporting their kinky afro curls confidently. The dark brown strands are layered to fall around the face flawlessly. Ask the hairstylist for fine electric purple streaks all over the head for a two-toned look. Sexy!
14. Pastel Hues
If those dark roots have outgrown your brown hair color, refresh the look with minimal effort. Separate a few strands and dye them in a pastel purple shade. This style buys you some time before making a visit to the salon becomes inevitable.
15. Balayage with Undercut
Turn around some heads with this emo girl-inspired hairstyle. The raspberry pink undercut contrasts with the remaining side-swept mane that exhibits a gorgeous balayage with the ashy brown top transitioning into the purple seamlessly. This look however is high maintenance requiring regular touch-ups.
16. Pop of Color
Go for a chic retro hairstyle with a modern twist to it. The choppy shag is dyed in the darkest shade of brown with bright stripes of electric purple and hot pink popping through. Brush all the strands to one side with the front ones covering the forehead. Voila!
17. Single Strand
Another look for the ones setting step into the world of purple. Dye one chunk at the front in a lilac tinge to contrast against the remaining dark brown locks. This style is easy to achieve at home. Also instead of a single streak, try out money pieces using the same technique.
18. Funky Appeal
Not ready to bleach and dye the tresses? Try out hair extensions. Twist back the side locks into a low ponytail sparing the side parted fringe at the front. Add purple, pink, and green extension to the ponytail creating a colorful yet temporary hairstyle.
19. Striking Ombre
An ombre is impossible to ignore when tried with contrasting hair shades. The light golden brown top transitions into a faded cool lavender shade midway to the ends. This look is low-maintenance as the emerging roots add up to the style.
20. Pink and Purple
Try out a sweet pink and purple color combination on the hair for a cute girly appeal. The bronde bob has highlights changing from a light bubble gum pink shade to a violet hue reaching the tips. Dance around with bouncy curls all over the head.
21. Keep It Soft
Here is yet another brown hair with purple highlights idea for young girls who want a softer look. The hair is colored in a deep auburn brown hue alternating with strands of lavender. Leave the hair loose creating a cute summer look.
22. Dichromatic Pull-Through Braids
These pull-through braids are ideal for an outdoor party. Detangle the hair with a middle parting and style it into two braids from front to back while incorporating vivid indigo purple extensions creating a dichromatic allure. Curl the ends of the ponytails and done!
23. Three-Toned Look
The laid-back ones can consider this dark to light gradient look as it grows out beautifully. Get rid of the hassle of root touch-ups by keeping them dark with a light golden brown shade appearing midway and merging quickly into the lilac hue at the ends creating a three-toned hairstyle.
24. Dark Hair + Purple Stripes
A dark chocolate brown mane makes those purple highlights really stand out. Choose a vibrant ultraviolet tinge and go for simple stripes, halo highlights, or peekaboo ones depending on the mood resulting in a look that won’t go unnoticed.
25. Bold and Beautiful
Bold yet beautiful, this style is not for the weak-hearted. The strands are chopped short around the circumference of the head with an uneven front fringe sparing the crown area. Finish off with a touch of purple and magenta and you are ready to rock.
26. A Touch of Raspberry
Liven up a light auburn brown mane with a touch of raspberry pink accentuating the purple. Instead of going for individual streaks alternate the pink and purple hues along the length of the highlights. Finish off with soft curls for an adorable Barbie-like look.
27. From the Future
Keep all the eyes on you wherever you go with a modern hairstyle inspired by the future. Dye a single chunk in a light violet shade or use a hair extension to achieve a similar effect though creating this updo surely requires help from a professional.
28. Purple Ombre
This purple ombre highlights comes in its most original version. The cherry brown hair ends in a purple line that goes from one end to the other.
There is no straight line dividing the two hairs color, but a subtle gradation that is exactly the point of the ombre. The purple is intense and bold and it does make an interesting hairstyle and look.
29. Lilac Hair Color
Neon shades are vibrant and electric. This is especially true for the purple one. Achieving this particular lilac shade might be time consuming and hair, but the final result is exquisite. The neon purple comes as an highlight on the brown hair.
The hair is long just over the shoulder. The ombre starts somewhere in the middle, with some highlights going high almost to the roots. At first, this color might appear with blue undertones, but it all depends on the angle the light falls.
30. Short Stacked Bob with Highlights
The short-stacked bob is a hairstyle with lots of layering and change of hair length. With so many variations, the highlights come as a nice refresher on the short dark brown hairstyle.
They are positioned mainly at the front. The purple shade is mixed with pinkish or red tones that make it look warm and softer. It is a great option for older women willing to make a colorful but discreet change.
31. Half Pony
High ponytail is a unique and classic hairstyle itself. With added highlights, it becomes even edgier. The purple highlights in brown hair are done starting from the middle of the head. They fall to the sides, covering the top portion of the hair in purple shade.
This intense purple shade comes like a bolder version of the pastel purple. It is such a nice shade that looks fabulous on brown hair. The highlights here are done in the lower portion of the hair.
The top portion remains brown and unchanged, while the lower is purple. When the top falls over the purple, the final look is great. There are only purple ends that stick out under the brown.
33. Discreet Babylights
The purple highlights on a dark brown hair present a top coat shine more than highlights itself. Because the base is dark, the purple shade blends with the dark undertones giving the hair a purple shine.
The highlights are done vertically, some starting higher and some lower, but the color is visible and makes them look as unique and trendy as possible.
34. Round Straight Bob
The round bob is a short hairstyle that has a similar look to the stacked bob. The length of the hair is equal to all the sides and it does not go over the ears. The purple highlights make the brown bob more interesting and fashionable hairstyle.
The highlights start directly from the roots and go all the way down through the length of the hair. They are thin, blend nicely with the brown base and subtle.
35. Blunt Bangs
In this hairstyle, the cut is straight and the length comes between ears and the shoulders. The hair is parted in the middle, both sides equal in the length. The bangs come on front and they are blunt and short.
Making this hairstyle more beautiful and colorful can be done by unordinary placement of pinkish purple highlights. They are done in the second part of the hair. Their mixture of colors presents a cool and colorful look.
36. Highlighted Purple Curls
The brown spirally hair is beautiful by nature, but the addition of some highlights will make the hairstyle extraordinary. These purple spirals will open up the face and create a wonderful change of color through the entire afro hair.
37. Full Highlights
This look presents a hairstyle and color in one. The entire brown hair is done in purple highlights. It is then wrapped up in a soft and loose twist. For the twist to hold, some hidden pins are keeping it fixated. The rest of the hair is let down in soft waves.
38. Shaggy Bob
The highlights can be done in very short shaggy hair too. They will look especially cute on a short afro. In order not to over-accentuate the entire short hair in purple, the highlights should be done only at the very ends of the locks.
39. Curly Highlights
The thick and curly hair looks good and natural when it is done in a wet look. The long curly bob cut has a bit of asymmetry in its lengths. The purple hair highlights are thin and they come from everywhere. The styling can be done with some hair mousse.
The highlighting is mostly done in the lower part of the hair. Some of the highlights go high up, and when the hair is waved, there is a nice composition altogether.
The undercut is a bold move and choice for women, but this look will turn heads. The brown base of color is kept to the shaved sides, while the top is done in purple-turned-to-pink highlights. It is an artistic look and surely a rare one.
Another bold look with lots of details comes from this short highlighted hairstyle. The sides are shaved but divided with a clean line. The middle part of the hair is left long, something similar to Mohawk, going from top to the neck.
The front parts of the top are highlighted in purple hair color. The purple shade dominates the top when they are pulled to the back. When they are worn pulled to the front, the purples are one present in the form of side bangs.
Best Purple Hair Dyes to Highlight Brown Hair
Some of the most popular hair dyes for highlighting brown hair purple are Arctic Fox, Manic Panic, and Splat. These hair dyes are popular because they are relatively inexpensive, and they don’t require you to lighten your hair as much.
Two other options are Lunar Tides and Ion Intensive. These two are excellent choices because they aren’t as damaging as some of the other purple hair dyes on the market. Ion Intensive is a permanent hair dye, while Lunar Tides is only semi-permanent.
Once you’ve got your gorgeous purple highlights, you need to take care of them to ensure your hair stays the desired purple color. For the best care of your highlights, consider the following:
- Use color-safe shampoos and conditioners
- Wash your hair as infrequently as possible
- Use lukewarm or cool water on your hair
- Wear hats or stay in the shade when outside on sunny days
- Limit the amount of heat on your hair (from straightening, curling, etc.)
- If swimming in a pool with chlorine, wear a pool cap or avoid getting your hair wet
With so many interesting purple highlighting suggestions, your new look is just one salon appointment away. Make your brown hair livelier and more colorful. Although purple has cold undertones, it is still a warm shade when it comes in combination with brown.