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Can You Dye Purple Over Red Hair?

Do you have natural red hair, or is your current hair reddish, and you wish to switch to a more vibrant purple shade? If so, you might ask, “Can I put purple over red hair?”

Of course, you can always do that. But the most important question would be— how would that turn out?

If you’re serious about joining the purple movement, we recommend reading this simple guide before adding purple dye to your red hair.

Can I Dye Purple Over Red Hair?

You can’t achieve a true purple shade if you simply put purple dye over red hair. If your hair’s red shade is stronger than the purple dye, burgundy may be the color that would come out of the mix.

On the other hand, it might come out in a purple tone (but still on the red-violet spectrum) if the purple dye is stronger than the redness of your hair.

So, you can dye purple over red hair but you may need to lighten it first to get the desired result.

How to Dye My Red Hair Purple?

If you want a true purple shade, there are two ways you can dye your red hair purple.

First, decide which shade of purple you want, considering your skin tone. Here’s a simple guideline:

  • For women with cooler or lighter skin tones, a pastel or more vibrant shade of purple is recommended. To achieve these shades, Method #1 is the way to go.
  • For women with darker skin tones, a deeper or darker shade of purple. If you want to go for this color, use Method #2.

Method #1: How to Dye Red Hair Purple with Bleaching

How to Dye Red Hair Purple with Bleaching

If you’re going for a vibrant purple shade or a lavender or lilac color, you must get rid of the red hues in your hair. Bleaching is the only way to do this.

With that said, here are the steps you can take:

Step 1: Assess your hair condition.

We all know that the bleaching process can be damaging to your hair. That’s why you should examine your hair strands first to ensure they’re free of any damage (i.e., breakage, dryness, and dullness).

If your hair fails this assessment test, you should delay the bleaching session for a few weeks. Instead, use natural oils or deep conditioning treatments to nourish and hydrate your hair.

If your hair doesn’t show any of these symptoms, you can proceed to the next step.

Step 2: Prepare the bleaching mixture.

Get a plastic bowl and mix the bleaching powder with a 30-volume peroxide. Don’t use peroxide with a higher volume to prevent hair damage.

Step 3: Bleach your red hair.

Using a brush, apply the bleaching mixture to your hair strands. Leave around 1cm of length from the roots, then dye to the ends of your hair.

After dyeing your hair’s lengths, you can apply the bleaching mixture to your roots.

Let the dye sit for around 30 to 40 minutes, but check on the color every 10 minutes.

Step 4: Rinse off the dye.

Once all the red hues in your hair have disappeared and already taken on a yellow shade, you can rinse off the dye. You can do this using a color-protecting shampoo and conditioner or a rinsing cream.

Step 5: Apply the violet dye.

Dry your hair first before applying the new color. Then, follow the instructions in the packaging to keep your hair looking healthy and your new hair color as vibrant and vivid as possible.

Method #2: How to Dye Red Hair Purple without Bleaching

How to Dye Red Hair Purple without Bleaching

If you’re going for a darker or deeper shade of purple, there’s no need to bleach since they have a similar tone to reds.

But one issue remains—you won’t be able to achieve a true purple shade (but more of a red-violet shade). If that’s okay with you, you can proceed to the following steps.

If not, you should seek the services of a professional hair stylist, as they can customize the right shade of dye to achieve a true purple color.

Step 1. Prep your hair for the dyeing process.

A few days before your scheduled hair coloring session, make sure to wash your hair thoroughly to get rid of dirt and buildup,

But on the day of the session, don’t wash your hair to preserve the natural oils of your hair. 

Step 2. Prep the dye.

Mix the color solution and developer following the ratio and instructions stated in the product’s packaging.

Step 3. Section your hair and apply the dye.

Use a clip to divide your hair into multiple sections. The more sections, the better.

After that, apply the dye to your hair using a brush. Make sure that all your hair strands are well coated. Check your head from all sides to ensure you’ve colored your hair thoroughly.

Cover your hair with a plastic cover or shower cap, and let the dye sit for around 20 to 30 minutes.

Step 4. Rinse off the dye.

Rinse your hair using warm water and a rinsing cream or color-protecting conditioner.

The Bottom Line

Can you dye purple over red hair? Yes, you can, and there are two ways to do so—with and without bleaching.

Applying purple dye over red hair without bleaching can result in burgundy or a red-violet tint, not a true purple shade. On the other hand, applying purple dye over red hair will bleaching can give you a pastel or vibrant true purple shade.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does purple dye last?

Typically, purple dyes last for about 4 to 6 weeks. However, since the purple dye is highly pigmented, there’s a high chance that it will fade a little every time you wash it.

How to prep hair for purple dye?

When prepping your hair for the coloring process, you should focus on doing two things—cleaning and hydrating your hair.

To ensure that the hair color will turn out as vivid as possible, you need to get rid of dirt and buildup in your hair. Washing your hair with a clarifying shampoo can help you achieve this.
Follow it with a nourishing and hydrating conditioner to keep your hair strands healthy.

How to care for purple hair?

Here are a few tips to make your purple hair last longer:
1. Use shampoo every other day and conditioner every day.
2. Look for sulfate-free color-depositing hair products.
3. Minimize your hair’s exposure to heat and the sun.
4. Shower with lukewarm or cold water and avoid hot water at all costs.

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