What Happens When Purple Hair Fades

White girl with type 1 dark hair wearing clear glasses, a yellow shirt, and a blue skirt.

Purple hair dye has a reputation for fading quickly. So, when you decide to dye your hair purple, it’s crucial to not only like the initial shade but also be okay with how it will fade over time.

Purple Hair Dye Fades Rapidly

Similar to red hair dye, purple hair dye fades in no time. This is because the molecules of purple hair dye can’t penetrate the hair shaft deeply, leaving them susceptible to external factors. It’s important to understand how purple hair will look when it fades because you could be dealing with faded hair earlier than expected.

How Long Does It Take for Purple Hair to Fade?

Female wearing a pink sweater and skirt with a dark purple faded hair color with a blue undertone.

The duration for purple hair to fade depends on how often you wash it. If you wash your hair frequently, the vibrant color may not last more than a week or two. Purple hair dye usually lasts for about 4 to 5 washes on average, but you may notice fading after the first wash. By taking specific steps to preserve the color, you can extend the lifespan to a month or two.

What Does Faded Purple Hair Look Like?

Purple hair dye typically fades to a lighter shade of purple initially, but depending on the specific purple shade used, it may also have a red or blue tint. Purple hair dyes contain both red and blue pigments as red and blue combine to create purple. Different purple shades have varying amounts of red and blue pigments. For instance, magenta, plum, and sangria have a red base, while royal purple, deep lilac, and violet have a blue base. So, when your hair fades, a red-based purple may appear as a light purple with a red or pink tint, while a blue-based purple may have a bluish tint. The color of your natural hair before dyeing also affects the fading outcome. If your hair is very light or blonde, the purple dye may fade to gray or silver. If you dye your hair purple over another semi-permanent color, that color may show through as the purple fades. Rest assured, the undertones will fade along with the purple, so you won’t end up with shocking neon red or blue hair.

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Caucasian women with faded Fuschia hair strands wearing a shirt with a bleach yellow tone and a pink ribbed skirt.

Purple Hair Dye on Blonde Hair

Many people worry that purple dye will stain their blonde hair. Unfortunately, it can happen. Sometimes, the purple dye may fade completely, but it can leave unsightly streaks or blotches behind. In such cases, using a color remover can help eliminate the remnants. You can easily find at-home color remover systems and follow the instructions on the package. It may take multiple sessions to remove the color, and if the color remover doesn’t work, bleaching may be necessary.

White lady with naturally brown hair

What Can You Do with Faded Purple Hair?

If your purple hair has already faded, don’t despair. There are several ways to make it look great again. Here are a few options to consider:

  • Color your roots a darker color: Create a bold ombre by keeping the faded purple at the ends and adding vibrant purple to the roots. This unique look is attention-grabbing.
  • Go gray: If your hair was originally platinum blonde and has faded to a gray color, embrace it! Gray hair is a trendy and stylish option.
  • Refresh with a color depositing conditioner: If you’re not satisfied with the faded version of your purple hair, revive it with a color depositing conditioner.
  • Wear it curly: Faded hair color can sometimes look patchy and unattractive. However, wearing your hair curly can help conceal that. Try a twist out or braid out style to enhance your curls.

How to Prevent Purple Hair Dye from Fading

Young girl with multiple hair colors wearing a lavender jacket, yellow shirt, and faded blue pants.

While you can’t completely stop purple hair dye from fading, you can slow down the process by following these tips:

  • Avoid heat tools: Regular use of heat tools can accelerate color fading. To preserve your purple hue, limit heat styling and opt for heat-free hairstyles. If you must use heat, keep it to a minimum and use low heat settings. Don’t forget to use a heat protectant.
  • Stretch out wash sessions: Washing your hair every day quickly fades the color. Since purple hair dye doesn’t deeply penetrate the hair shaft, it clings to the outer layers and easily washes away with shampoo. Try not to wash your hair more than once a week to maintain the color. On non-wash days, consider protective styles like ponytails, high puffs, or low buns.
  • Use cold water for washing: Hot water opens the hair cuticles, causing the dye molecules to rinse away. During shampoo sessions, opt for cool water instead of hot water to minimize color loss. While it may be uncomfortable at first, washing your hair with cold water can help preserve the color.
  • Avoid harsh shampoos: Clarifying and sulfate shampoos are not only damaging to your hair but also speed up color fade. Switch to gentler sulfate-free shampoos or, better yet, choose a sulfate-free color-safe shampoo.
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Even with these tips, your purple hair color will eventually fade. That’s the nature of purple hair dye. However, many people have found success in slowing down the fading process by following these recommendations.

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Purple hair dye is a beautiful color that initially captivates but may disappoint as it fades. With the information provided in this article, you have all you need to enjoy vibrant purple hair for longer, embrace the fading process, and determine how it may transform over time.

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