How To Dye Your Dark Hair Purple Without Bleaching It

Know how to change your hair color and transform your look with a step-by-step guide.

Reviewed by Jessica Noonan, Hairstylist Jessica Noonan Jessica NoonanHairstylist linkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , MA (English Literature) Ramona Sinha MA (English Literature) Experience: 11 years
Edited by , BTech Anjali Sayee BTech Experience: 7 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Swathi E MA (English Literature) Experience: 3 years

Are you looking for a bold and refreshing hair transformation? Have you considered dyeing your dark hair purple? All shades of purple, be it pastel balayage or a deep and dusty shade, can make your hair look just great. A gorgeous hair can surely up your beauty quotient by several notches.

So, can you dye your hair purple without bleaching it? Of course, yes. You can color your locks in any purple shade without using bleaches and lighteners. In this article, we have listed some pro hair tips that can help you in this process. Just a bit of mindfulness and you will not need to make that trip to the hair salon. Take a look!

In this article, we have listed some pro tips that can help you use purple hair dye for dark hair the right way! Take a look!

Can Dark Hair Be Dyed Purple Without Bleaching?

Woman with purple hair
Image: Shutterstock

Yes. Dark hair can be dyed purple without bleaching.

Several brands manufacture hair colors that do not require bleaching for a good color payoff.  You also need to follow the right coloring method to achieve that perfect purple hair without bleach. If you are determined to add a splash of purple to your strands, find out what you need to get that in the next section.

Getting Purple Hair Without Bleaching

Purple hair color in a bowl
Image: Shutterstock

Firstly, you will need the right hair color. There are three types of hair colors to choose from:

  1. Permanent Hair Colors: These colors contain ammonia that lightens or bleaches the hair for the dye to work. But, in some cases, ammonia can dry out your hair and damage the strands. Moreover, permanent color will only lighten the hair up to 2-3 levels. On dark hair, the “canvas” underneath the newly added pigment is red/brown, red/orange, or orange.
  2. Semi-permanent Hair Colors: These penetrate the hair partially. Semi-permanent dyes do not lighten dark hair, contain little to no ammonia, and are not as harsh. However, due to their less permeability, they do not stay for long. A semi-permanent dye will only last for 3-6 shampoo washes. However, the longevity of this type of color also depends on your hair porosity. High-porosity hair loses color faster than low-porosity hair. This is an ideal, less damaging option if you want to try different shades of purple on dark hair without bleaching.
  3. Demi-permanent Hair Colors: These colors contain an alkaline agent instead of ammonia. They also require a developer that helps the color penetrate the hair shafts. Since they do not lighten the natural hair color, you get a more uniform finish. Demi-permanent hair colors last longer than semi-permanent colors (20-28 shampoo washes) with minimum damage.

You can choose either semi or demi-permanent hair colors for dyeing your dark hair. However, note that these colors won’t lighten your hair, so you can only achieve colors that are the same level or darker than your hair. Here are the things you may need for hair coloring.

Things You Need To Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach

For Prepping Your Hair

  • Clarifying Shampoo: This will rid the hair of any stubborn styling products or scalp build-up.
  • Hydrating Conditioner: Clarifying shampoo can be too harsh. Follow up with a hydrating conditioner to nourish the hair strands.
Woman shampooing hair
Image: Shutterstock

For The Color

Hair color in a bowl
Image: Shutterstock
  • Your choice of product: Choose from semi-permanent or demi-permanent colors.
  • Hair clips: You will need a handful of them to part your hair.
  • Gloves: A disposable pair of gloves will prevent staining your fingers.
  • Shower cap or plastic bag: To cover colored hair.
  • An old tee: This will prevent staining your clothes.
  • Timer: Any device with which you can keep track of the time.

For The Aftercare

  • Conditioner: Choose a conditioner that is suited for colored hair.
  • Heat protectant: If you plan on heat-styling the hair, don’t forget to use a heat protectant.

Assemble all these and follow the steps mentioned in the next section to color your hair.

Steps To Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach

  1. Pick A Shade Of Purple: Pick a shade that complements your skin tone.
  2. Prep Your Hair: Wash your hair thoroughly a few days before coloring. Avoid washing it just before coloring to prevent stripping the natural oils. This will ensure less damage.
  3. Part The Hair: Part your hair into four sections with the clips. The more sections, the easier it is to handle. Don’t forget to wear an old tee.
  4. Mix The Product: Follow the instructions on the package and mix the color solution in the given ratio. If it is for direct application, take the product out in a bowl.
  5. Apply It To The Hair Sections: Ensure that all the strands are well coated. If you plan to cover the whole head, take tiny sections to ensure no strand is left out. Use multiple mirrors to check all sides of your head.
  6. Set The Time: After applying the product, cover the head with a plastic cover or a shower cap. Set the waiting time as recommended by the manufacturer. Usually, it takes a minimum of 20-30 minutes for the color to set.
  7. Wash The Product Off: Wash the color off with regular water. Do not shampoo. Instead, apply a conditioner to protect the color.
  8. Dry The Hair: Let your hair dry. Do not use heat immediately. Apply a heat protectant if you must style it.

Mimi, a blogger, shares her adventurous decision to dye her hair purple, driven by the changing season and a desire to revitalize her hair. The blog includes before and after photos, capturing the transformation. She adds, “The dying process was easy, but it’s very important to make sure you put product on every single bit of your hair to ensure an even application (i).” Here are a few dos and don’ts and hair maintenance tips to ensure longevity of the color.

Pro Tips While Coloring Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach

Woman with purple hair
Image: Shutterstock
  • Do A Patch Test: Always do a patch test to prevent any allergic reactions. This will also give an idea of how much time you have to keep the product on for achieving the perfect shade.
  • Pre-Condition Your Hair: Even if the product claims to protect the hair from damage, it is best to pamper it with a deep conditioning treatment a few days before the dye session. This makes up for any moisture loss or damage.
  • Use Color-Protecting Hair Products: Be it a shampoo, conditioner, styling gel, or spray, invest in a color-safe formula to maintain the color for longer.
  • Avoid Frequent Hair Washes: If you want the color to stay for as long as possible, avoid washing the hair too often or going swimming. Do not use light-colored towels or clothes as well, at least for a few days after dyeing.
  • Apply Petroleum Jelly To The Skin: Apply petroleum jelly around your neck and ears to prevent staining.
  • Avoid The Sun: The UV rays can fade your gorgeous purple hair color. So, cover your head before stepping out in the sun.

protip_icon Quick Tip
You can add leftover semi-permanent dye to your conditioner and use it after shampooing to help your purple color last longer.

One important thing to note is that the color payoff may vary, depending on the hair type, texture, and natural hair color. You may not get the same results shown on the packaging.

Infographic: Aftercare For Purple-Dyed Hair

Dyeing your hair purple makes for a vibrant look. However, purple hair dye tends to fade out more quickly than other hair colors, and you need proper aftercare to maintain it longer.

The following infographic gives information about the aftercare tips for purple-dyed hair. Check it out!

aftercare for purple-dyed hair (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Dyeing your dark hair purple is a great way of elevating your look. And you can do it by yourself at home without the help of a hair stylist. Before you dye your hair without bleaching, it is important to know the type of hair color you want. Once you have selected that, make sure you buy the right products before opting for hair dyeing. Ensure you avoid frequent hair washes and use color-protecting hair products as part of your regular hair care routine, and do a patch test to avoid any adverse reactions. Finally, follow the step-by-step guide mentioned in this article to dye your dark hair purple without bleaching safely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What colors can brunettes dye their hair without bleach?

Shades like deep violet, ruby, indigo give good color payoff without bleaching on brunette hair.

How do I maintain unbleached purple hair?

Avoid frequent washes, use color-safe products, and go for frequent touch-ups to maintain the color.

What shade of purple works best with dark hair?

It is best to find a shade that complements your skin tone. Subtle deep berry hues, warm plum, neon purple, deep sangria tint, and saturated purple shades will look good on dark hair.

Is purple hair hard to maintain?

Purple hair requires frequent touch-ups and careful maintenance if you want to make it last longer.

What other dye colors can I use with purple for my dark hair?

Blue and burgundy shades will look good with purple on dark hair. You can also try black and purple hair. However, you may choose the color based on how warm or cool the purple in your hair is.

Which skin undertone goes well with purple?

Different shades of purple go well with different skin undertones. For example, bluish-purples and ashy lilacs go well on deep and cool skin tones while violet magenta and orchid look good on warm skin tones.

Why is dark hair so hard to dye?

Dark hair is hard to dye as it requires bleaching. The natural pigment of the hair should be removed to make the new color look good and shiny.

Key Takeaways

  • Following the right coloring method will help you achieve the perfect purple without bleaching.
  • You can choose either a permanent, semi-permanent, or demi-permanent hair color. However, permanent hair color might require pre-bleached hair.
  • The color stays longer if you avoid frequent hair washes or swimming.
Dye Your Dark Hair Purple

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Learn how to dye your dark hair purple without bleach! Follow the step-by-step tutorial in the video below to get beautiful hair.

Personal Experience: Source

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Jessica Noonan

Jessica NoonanHairstylist

Jessica Noonan is the owner of Friseur NYC, a zero waste, sustainable mobile hair service. She has 35 years of experience behind the chair and a passion for education. She specializes in edgy haircuts emphasizing natural texture and high impact minimalist color. Her fiercely loyal clientele includes salon-shy celebrity indie rockers and creatives. Jessica is an advocate for sustainable beauty, full bio

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