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How to Maintain Purple Hair Color and Prevent It From Fading

Purple may not seem like the most obvious pick when it comes to choosing hair color. Even so, when you think about the full spectrum of shades that fall under the purple family – lavender, amethyst, lilac, etc. – you quickly realize that it’s one of the most versatile hues out there.

Choosing a suitable hair color goes beyond its aesthetic appeal – although we’d be lying if we said it didn’t play a huge role. You also need to consider how it fades over time, what color it fades into, and how long it takes before it starts fading.

Purple hair dye fades notoriously fast compared to natural shades. The good news is – that there’s something you can do about it to slow down the process. Here’s everything you need to know about how to keep purple hair color from fading.


Why Does Purple Hair Dye Fade So Fast

Why Does Purple Hair Dye Fade So Fast

Purple hair color isn’t exactly low maintenance. We’ll go as far as to say it requires a lot of work to keep it looking fresh, rich, and vibrant. Purple dyes contain significant amounts of pigment that fade quickly with every wash. These fade at a faster rate compared to natural hues regardless of the brand you use. This can be attributed to the pigment molecules.

The purple pigment molecule is notably larger than other natural-color molecules. As a result, it doesn’t penetrate the hair cortex quite as deep as other pigments do, so it washes out easier.

Of course, other factors may affect its longevity, like insufficient processing time or damaged hair. However, the molecular size of the purple pigment is the main culprit in purple hair dye fading so quickly.


How to Keep Purple Hair Color From Fading

Purple dyes may have a penchant for fading fast, but there are several things you can do to slow down the process and keep your hue looking vibrant for longer. Below are 7 tips that work.

1. Prep Before You Color

Prep Before Coloring your Hair Purple

To get the best color results, you need to have a healthy base to begin with. Damaged hair generally has high porosity. This affects how well it absorbs oils, moisture, and pigment. On the other hand, medium to low porosity hair means your hair cuticle retains moisture and color exceptionally well.

It is, therefore, important to take extra care of your hair in the weeks leading up to your coloring session. Doing this gives your strands the best chance of holding on to the purple pigment once you dye your hair.

Trim those split ends and do a deep conditioning treatment each week for the 2-3 weeks leading up to your color application. Keep your hair sufficiently moisturized during that time, and be sure to wash it the night before you color it. Clean and moisturized hair improves the way your hair’s cuticle absorbs the color.


2. Wait a Few Days Before Your First Wash

As a rule of thumb, you should wait at least three days before washing your freshly dyed hair. For purple hair color, we recommend waiting five days. This gives the pigment enough time to set. It’s a small price to pay for vibrant, long-lasting color results. Space out your washes as well. Twice a week for purple hair would be ideal. When you do, remember to always use cool water.

You also want to avoid heat styling your hair during this period. Heat styling, in general, fades hair color. Doing this immediately after coloring your hair accelerates the process.


3. Not All Shampoos Are Created Equal

Not All Shampoos Are Created Equal

Use sulfate-free shampoos on your purple hair. Sulfates are the detergents responsible for producing the rich lather that leaves your hair feeling squeaky clean.

Unfortunately, these powerful cleaning agents cannot differentiate between dirt, grime, and color pigment. As a result, they strip the hair of everything, which is why you shouldn’t use them on color-treated hair. Reach for keratin-rich, color-protecting shampoos instead.


4. Try Using Cleansing Cream

The secret to long-lasting color lies in keeping your hair cuticles closed. This locks in the color pigment, preventing hair dye from fading and leaching out.

To keep your purple hair color looking vibrant for longer, try switching out your shampoo for cleansing cream instead. Not only does it keep your hair cuticles sealed, but it is also moisturizing, which is great for maintaining a purple shade.


5. Always Deep Condition

A deep conditioner treatment can infuse your hair with moisture, which doesn’t just make it more receptive to color; it leaves it looking sleek, shiny, and lustrous. Do a deep conditioning treatment every time you wash your colored hair. Once you rinse and towel-dry it, apply almond oil, olive oil, or argan oil to lock in moisture and color and keep frizz and flyaways under control.


6. Sunscreen Isn’t Just for Your Skin

use hair sunscreen to protect hair color from fading

UV rays from the sun cause photodegradation, a term that refers to color fading. The rays react with the purple color pigment, causing it to oxidize. To protect your color-treated hair from the bleaching effects of the sun, always use care products with SPF.


7. Heat Is Your Enemy

Minimize your use of heat styling tools like a curling iron, hair straightener, and blow dryer to help maintain healthy hair. These have a drying effect on colored hair, making it brittle and prone to breakage. If you must use them, set them to the lowest temperature and spray heat protectant beforehand. This is especially important for an easy-fade color like purple.

We also recommend skipping the hot oil treatments. You can use an oil-based treatment; just make sure the oil is at room temperature before application.


If you need to give your color-treated hair a little boost of color, try adding a teeny bit of purple dye to your conditioner and use it every time you wash your hair. It’ll keep the color looking vibrant for longer.

Do you have any tips on how to keep purple hair color from fading? Let us know in the comments section below.

In the meantime, if you’re thinking of dyeing your orange hair purple, you might want to read this before you do.