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Although hair dyed with bright colors such as purple has been popular among alternative groups such as goths and punks since the 1970s, it’s become accepted into mainstream style during the past decade. And why not? Purple hair is incredibly versatile – you can dye it in vibrant or pastel shades for a dramatic look, or keep it dark and subtle. You also have the option of dying your entire head or sticking with just the ends, highlights, or even a single streak for a more understated look.
Lots of celebrities have sported purple hair over the years, including Katy Perry, Nicole Ritchie, Cyndi Lauper, and Azealia Banks. Purple hair has also been featured on characters in several movies, such as Knives Chau and Ramona Flowers in Scott Pilgrim vs. the World, Violet in Ultraviolet, and Hit Girl in Kick-Ass.
What Color Does Purple Hair Fade Into?
With an average amount of washing, purple hair will eventually fade into a light purple tone, also known as lilac or lavender. This color can be just as appealing as the original brighter purple hue, which means that you can get even more wear out of one dye job!
Can You Dye Over Purple Hair?
Have you decided that your purple hair has run its course? Depending on the shade of purple, you may be able to dye directly over it with brown dye. If the color was originally a pastel shade or if it has merely started to fade out, you’ll be able to dye over it with a darker shade of brown and cover it completely. However, if you’re dying over a darker-toned purple, bear in mind that your new color might end up darker than you expected and with a slight purple tone.
Purple hair looks great even as it fades – it just turns into lavender! This example has a delightfully relaxed look with its faded color and visible roots.
Dark natural roots fade into electric purple, which in turn fades into vivid lilac. As you can see in this picture, even though purple is a “fantasy” hair color, it can still look professional enough for more creative offices.
Large curls show off pinkish-lavender tones to perfection on this model. Her dark purple roots add some beautiful contrast and depth.
This unique shade of purple has warm, reddish undertones that give it a plum-colored effect. It’s the perfect accompaniment for thick curls and fresh flowers.
Different shades of pale purple with hints of blue, pink, and the model’s natural light brown hair create a dreamy, ethereal look.
In this all-purple ombre, dark plum fades into bright purple. It’s an edgy look that’s still totally wearable.
Rich plum hues look stunning in natural hair. Since fantasy colors require bleaching the hair, they require special care for those with curls, but the results are worth it.
Vivid purple with pink overtones makes this model’s curls pop. It’s a fun shade that’s still versatile and wearable.
Fun hair colors aren’t just for long hair! This pixie cut looks stunning with a few different shades of soft purple.
In this example, pink and purple locks blend to create a cotton-candy look that’s fun and sure to turn heads.
Sometimes, an edgy color calls for an edgy haircut to accompany it. This model’s cool-toned purple and blue hair looks perfect with pointed bangs and an undercut.
Long lavender locks look fun and whimsical with casual touches like a beanie, plaid shirt, and tiny braids framing the face.
This hair cut and color combination toes the line between uniquely edgy and subtly classy. Choosing a muted shade of purple and pairing it with a sophisticated haircut like this one allows you to have some fun while remaining work-appropriate.
Bright purple fades into dusty periwinkle in this long haircut with simple layers for a creative but wearable style.
Strands of purple, blue, and brilliant pink combine for hair that’s truly like none other.
Purple hair isn’t just for the young! If you have naturally gray or white hair, why not take advantage of the fact that you won’t need bleach and try some fun colors like this example?
In this example, thick curls show off the two extremes of purple perfectly – pale lavender and deep purple so dark it almost appears black.
Instead of being a simple ombre, this hair features colors blended as seen in traditional highlights for an effect that’s striking, not stripey.
With hair that contains this many colors, it looks a little bit different at every angle. As stunning as it seems merely cascading down the model’s back, braiding it or putting it in a ponytail would show off even more shades.
Deep purple is shown off to perfection with long box braids. Hints of the model’s naturally dark hair color are visible toward the roots, giving the style some additional depth.
Dark blue-toned purple hair looks fantastic when paired with this simple, angled haircut. It’s a look that’s edgy and unique but still goes with lots of different outfits and colors.
Dark purple fades into deep blue in this purple ombre look. The dark roots keep it looking natural, while the various shades ensure that it’s a look like none other.
Magenta is the shade of choice for this edgy haircut. One side is a lob while the other sports an undercut that’s just barely tinted with magenta dye.
This vibrant magenta-purple hair color looks beautiful, paired with a long, feminine pixie cut. The cut perfectly frames the model’s face, while the pink-purple tones of the color highlight her blue-gray eyes.
Multiple shades of magenta blend in this long, layered look to create lots of depth and motion.
A simple touch of purple is enough to create a significant impact in this eye-catching pixie cut. Deep, vibrant purple blends beautifully with the model’s natural brown hair.
Even though a few shades of purple are a major part of this multicolored pixie cut, it shares the stage with lots of other colors like blue, lime green, and pink.
In this example, long strands of turquoise blend seamlessly into dusky purple. It’s a bold look that’s sure to turn heads.
Dark purple blends into blue ends in this look, creating a fun, face-framing style. Even though coloring dark hair purple usually requires bleach, it’s possible to maintain shiny, healthy tresses like this model’s after bleaching and dyeing.
This model’s short purple pixie cut, complete with a shaved side, oozes confidence. If you have short hair, dying it fun colors can be a low stakes experiment – it won’t take long for it to grow out again!
Different shades of purple with underlying red and blue tones mix seamlessly with the model’s natural brown hair in this example.
Sometimes the most subtle styles have the biggest impact. This look features subtle sections of soft lilac throughout ashy, almost silvery, blonde hair.
In this fun, vibrant style, a few different shades of purple offer a brilliant accent to turquoise and cobalt blue strands.
Bold purple takes center stage in this style, accompanied by strands of pale blue and given dimension with visible, naturally dark brown roots.
Purple strands intermingle with pink, blue, and the model’s naturally blonde hair. Achieving a fantasy color like purple is even easier if you have blonde hair – no need for bleach!
This example shows a hairstyle that has shown up in recent years that features dark roots and light tips – it’s almost a reverse ombre. In this version, the colors of choice are lavender that fades into silver.
Rich burgundy, like this example, is a fantastic way to achieve a shade of purple that won’t raise too many eyebrows or be banned at most jobs.
For a sweet, subtle touch of purple, try sneaking some colorful strands into an ombre style, as shown in this example.
This long pixie cut becomes eye-catching with the addition of a stunning shade of purple. Dark roots give it a little bit of dimension and depth.
A unique asymmetrical haircut is made even more one-of-a-kind with the addition of light purple and pink in this example.
Purple and pink blend beautifully in this long, straight hairstyle. Fantasy colors look lovely with waves, curls, and layers, but are just as effective with a simple, straight style.
Why choose one color when you can have multiple? Different shades of vibrant purple, blue, and pink blend together to create a head-turning hairstyle.
Soft but bold shades of purple and pink with just a touch of natural brown combine to make a dimensional style that looks natural despite the fantastical colors.
Peekaboo hair is just as much fun with a single vibrant shade as it is with multiple colors. In this example, bright purple is hidden beneath dark blonde locks.
In this all-purple ombre look, bright purplish-blue roots blend into brilliant plum tips.
This subtle but stunning look features a few different shades of dark, vibrant purple blended with the model’s naturally dark brown hair.
Bright shades of purple and pink add interest and dimension to the model’s blue hair in this example.
In this example, soft, pale lilac blends with silver for a smoky, elegant look.
Natural brown hair flows seamlessly into long purple tresses in this simple but effective hairstyle.
Purple strands intermingle with the model’s natural brown hair in this short hairstyle.
As you can see in these examples, styling the same purple hair straight or with waves produces two different but equally gorgeous looks that highlight different aspects of the color.
A single shade of bright, bold purple is all that’s needed to make this hairstyle truly shine.
Straight, shoulder-length hair gets a new dose of eye-catchingness with brilliant purple color in this example.
Deep plum locks styled with long, loose curls are sure to turn heads in this vibrant look.
To achieve a natural, dimensional look, this pixie cut has dark purple color at the roots that fade into bright magenta toward the ends.
This ombre style fades from ash brown at the roots to purple at the ends for a fun, easy-to-wear look.
A silver-toned shade of purple is blended with actual dark silver to create a movement-filled look with a shaggy shoulder-length haircut.
This unique purple ombre fades from natural dark brown at the roots to purple blended with small sections of blue at the ends.
Referred to as “oil slick hair” due to its similarity to the iridescent look of spilled oil, the style pictured above features purple and blue strands melted together on a base of dark brown.
Fading from brown to purple to blue to aqua, this stunning style seamlessly blends colors into one brilliant look.
A tangle of purple, pink, and green creates a short and sweet version of mermaid’s hair.
Brilliant shades of purple and magenta blend with dark brown roots in this example.
Purple hair isn’t just for the ladies – it’s a bold look that can be pulled off by anyone of any gender or age.
Soft lavender is perfectly paired with a high-low lob. This is a great length if you want to try a full head of purple hair but don’t want the look to be too intense.
Bold jewel tones create a look that’s straight out of a fairytale. Cobalt blue roots fade into purple, which then fades into pink and magenta.
A tangle of purple and lavender blended balayage style looks lovely paired with a short, classy pixie cut.
Deep purple roots are the center of attention in this intricate braided style. Fantasy colors like purple are even more fun when you try interesting styles – you never know what new shades will be revealed!
This men’s cut with a classy fade looks awesome with the addition of purple.
This example shows that periwinkle is a gorgeous take on purple. A few different shades create a soft, natural look.
If you want a subtle take on purple, an ombre style like this one might be perfect. Purple shades are blended into the ends of the model’s hair for a colorful look that still leaves plenty of natural color.
In this example, vivid electric lavender creates a look that will turn heads.
Purple and magenta blend at the ends of natural black hair in this look. As you can see, hairstyles create different effects with the color, making it lots of fun to experiment with.
Electric purple is melted into dark roots to create a dark but brilliant effect.
In a subtle, barely-there take on purple hair, dark magenta ends fade into dark natural roots. This look is subtle enough to pass as a “professional-looking” hair color, while still offering lots of room for creativity.
Even though a lot of these styles feature dark hair with purple, it looks just as good with blonde. In this example, purple and magenta strands are woven throughout the ends of naturally blonde hair with another layer of blonde on top.
Long brown locks have just a dusting of purple on the ends in this creative and easy-to-wear example.
In this look, purple roots turn into aqua with just a hint of blue at the tips. As you can see in many of these pictures, purple is the perfect complement to other cool colors like blue, aqua, and green.
Purple hair can be for kids, too! This little girl’s light brown locks have purple highlights added throughout for a fun, fantastical look.
Soft, dusky lavender and mauve blend throughout this model’s hair, creating a stunning purple ombre effect.
This long, wavy look has a very subtle ombre that quickly turns from brown and dark purple at the roots to light, brilliant purple throughout the length of the hair.
This ombre style combines black and dark purple hair to create a look that’s mysterious and glamorous.
Strands of purple and magenta are woven throughout brown hair like highlights for a look that’s simultaneously natural and unexpected.
In this dramatic ombre style, hair fades from dark brown at the root, through purple and pink, to end in a light, pink-toned blonde at the ends. It looks equally stunning worn long and loose or styled in twists and braids.
This example shows an all-purple, subtle reverse ombre style. It starts with vibrant purple at the roots and fades into lighter, but still vibrant, lavender at the ends.
Dark hair paired with an equally dark purple-hued ombre is a beautiful style that allows you to have a unique, creative look without turning too many heads, as you can see in this example.
Dramatic ombres are a great way to show off purple hair, and this one takes the model’s hair from natural brown at the roots to pale purple-toned blonde at the ends, fading through mauve in the middle.
Even though visible roots used to be considered taboo, so did brightly-colored hair! Embrace the added dimension and depth that visible roots give your hair color, as seen here.
Transitioning from black roots to pale pink ends, this hair color is vibrant and eyecatching. Best of all, ombres allow you to go a little bit longer between touchups!
In this example, long, dusky lavender strands with deep, dark roots look stunning when paired with loose waves and lots of intricate braids.
Purple ombre looks aren’t just for brunettes – this reverse ombre looks stunning as it fades from long blonde roots to deep purple ends.
If you want to incorporate some purple into your hair but also don’t want everyone to stare at you, an understated look like this one is perfect. Dark purple strands are interwoven with dark brown hair for a look that’s a very subtle cross between highlights and an ombre.
Vibrant purple with pinkish undertones is displayed perfectly with loose, beachy waves in this example.
For a unique look, try something like this ombre that fades from dark steel gray roots to light, lavender-hued silver ends.
This one-of-a-kind look features subtle horizontal striping throughout the length of the hair. Dark and light purple are alternated to create lots of movement and dimension.
Deep, dark purple waves are interwoven with naturally black hair for a look that’s equal parts dramatic and easy to wear.
Purple hair is the perfect excuse to go dramatic with the rest of your look – go ahead, break out the dark lipstick, cat eyeliner, and heavy full bangs!
Starting with ashy brown hair at the roots, this long, wavy hairstyle features dusty lavender locks that are easy to coordinate with almost any outfit.
This subtle purple ombre starts with dark brown roots that fade into a few shades of deep purple at the ends. Several purple highlights throughout the look help it appear more cohesive and natural.
Do you think purple is cool enough? Wait till you see these: