When it comes to coloring hair, layering different shades on top of each other can get tricky. If you already have blue hair and want to go purple, there are a few things to consider first. In most cases, yes, purple dye can be applied over blue hair successfully. However, the specific shades of blue and purple, as well as your hair’s current condition, will impact the final results. With some planning and preparation, you can rock stunning purple locks even if you’re starting with blue.
How Color Theory Impacts Purple over Blue
In color theory, purple and blue sit next to each other on the color wheel. They are complementary colors, which means they create a striking contrast when paired together. However, when layered on top of each other, they can end up mixing together into an murky, unexpected shade.
On hair specifically, applying purple dye over darker or warmer blues generally yields better results. The contrast helps the purple tone stand out more. But applying purple over cool, light blues can result in the two colors blending into a more muted, greyish tone.
It’s also important to consider the undertones of the specific shades. Purple and blue shades with red or violet undertones interact differently than greens or ash tones. The more contrast between the undertones, the more dimension there will be between the two colors.
Steps for Applying Purple over Blue
If your heart is set on rocking purple hair over your current blue, here are some steps to follow:
- Wash and dry your hair thoroughly before applying purple dye. Any product buildup or oil on your strands will affect how the color deposits.
- Lighten your hair first, if needed. If your blue shade is very dark, lighten your strands with bleach or color remover first. This helps the purple show up better. But be gentle – excess lightening can damage your hair.
- Do a strand test. Apply a bit of the purple dye to a small, inconspicuous section of hair. See how it interacts with your current blue shade.
- Prep your hair. Use a conditioning hair mask or treatment to hydrate strands and maximize dye absorption.
- Apply the purple dye. Thoroughly saturate your hair, roots to ends, following the product directions. Process for the full development time.
- Rinse, shampoo and condition. Rinse until the water runs clear. Use a color-safe, sulfate-free shampoo and deeply nourishing conditioner.
- Maintain the results. Use a purple toned shampoo or conditioner to keep the shade vibrant between dye jobs.
Doing a patch test is crucial to preview how the purple will turn out over your specific shade of blue. The strand test can give you a good idea of the end result and help you determine if you need to lighten your hair more before applying the purple.
How Long Does Purple Last over Blue?
How long the vibrant purple hue lasts depends on several factors:
- The original shade of blue – Darker blues provide a better base for purple to show up and last longer over.
- Your natural hair color – Purple lasts longer on light to medium blonde hair than dark brunette or black hair.
- The purple dye itself – Permanent or demi-permanent dyes have more staying power than semi-permanent or temporary purple tones.
- How porous your hair is – More porous, damaged hair holds onto color better than healthy, smooth strands.
- How you care for your hair – Washing, heat styling, sun exposure, and other factors fade purple hair more quickly.
With optimal conditions, permanent or demi-permanent purple can last 4-6 weeks over blue hair. Semi-permanent purple dyes may fade after 2-3 weeks. Temporary purple tones may only hang on for 1-2 washes.
Best Purple Dyes for Blue Hair
Certain purple hair dyes are specially formulated to show up and last as long as possible, even over darker base colors like blue. Here are some top options:
|Brand||Shade Name||Type of Dye|
|Arctic Fox||Purple Rain||Semi-permanent|
|Manic Panic||Ultra Violet||Semi-permanent|
|Special Effects||Deep Purple||Semi-permanent|
These vivid, richly pigmented purple shades are formulated to show up over blues. Keep in mind though, permanent dyes will require developer and likely lightening beforehand to avoid creating a murky color.
Toning with Purple Shampoo
In addition to purple dye, you can use a purple shampoo or conditioner in between colorings to tone down brassiness and keep the purple hue fresh. Purple shampoo is a must for maintaining cool, silver and lavender hues in your hair. Look for a shampoo with a deep violet or blue-violet tone to neutralize orange, yellow brassiness. Use it 1-2 times per week after shampooing.
While purple shampoo works great for toning and upkeep, it does not deposit enough pigment to completely color your hair purple on its own. You’ll still need to use permanent, semi-permanent or temporary purple dye to fully transform your strands.
Mixing Blue and Purple Dye
Another option is to mix together blue and purple dye to create a custom shade. This gives you more control over the final color result.
Some potential blue + purple color combinations include:
- Baby blue + lilac = pastel purple
- Navy blue + violet = royal purple
- Electric blue + orchid = bright purple
- Teal blue + lavender = cool toned purple
Make sure to do an inconspicuous strand test when mixing dyes to preview the blended shade. Mix the colors in different ratios until you achieve the desired purple hue. This strategy helps the new color blend seamlessly with your existing blue for a seamless color transition.
Removing Blue Before Applying Purple
If you want a pure, vivid purple with no trace of underlying blue, you’ll need to strip or lift your hair completely first. There are a few options for removing blue dye:
- Color remover treatment – This chemically strips artificial pigment from your hair without lightening your natural color.
- Bleach – Lightening your hair to pale yellow lifts out the blue shade. But this is damaging to your strands.
- Vitamin C treatment – Mixing vitamin C powder into a clarifying shampoo helps draw out darker dye.
- Anti-dandruff shampoo – The zinc in these shampoos can help fade dye over several washes.
Once your hair is blank canvas, you can go ahead and apply the true purple hue you’re looking for without any muddy mixes occurring. Just be sure to nourish your strands thoroughly before and after removing blue dye.
It is possible to successfully dye your hair purple over top of blue locks. With some prep work, using the right shade of purple, and maintaining your color properly, you can transition beautifully between the two cool hues. Consider doing a strand test and lifting or removing some of the blue first if you want the truest purple result. With a little patience, your hair can shine in gorgeous purple tones, even starting from a blue base!