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What does violet do in hair color?

What does violet do in hair color?

Violet is a popular hair color additive that can create beautiful cool-toned results. When added to hair dye, violet works to neutralize unwanted warm, brassy tones and enhances cooler shades. It is commonly used by those with blonde, silver, or gray hair to counteract yellow tones, as well as brunettes looking to achieve an ashier, cooler result. Understanding what violet pigments do in hair color is key to choosing the right dye and getting your ideal shade.

How does violet cancel out warm tones?

Violet contains blue and red pigments that are able to neutralize warm, brassy yellow and orange tones in hair. This is due to the color wheel theory of opposites – violet is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel, allowing it to cancel out yellow/golden hair pigments. The blue tones in violet counteract the orange, while the red tones target the yellow, effectively neutralizing warmth. When mixed into hair dye, violet works to create cooler results on all hair colors.

Effects of violet on blonde hair

Hair Color Effect of Violet
Warm blonde Neutralizes brassiness for an ashier, cooler tone
Golden blonde Subdues yellow tones for a platinum effect
Strawberry blonde Tones down red-orange hues for a cooler finish

Violet is commonly added to blonde hair dyes. On warm, brassy blonde hair, violet works to neutralize those unwanted golden tones for a cooler ash blonde result. It also helps counteract the yellow in golden blonde hair, bringing it to a more platinum, icy shade. Strawberry blondes with red-orange hues can also use violet dye to tone down warmth and achieve a cooler finish. Using a violet toner or dye helps eliminate brassiness in blonde hair of all shades.

Effects of violet on silver and gray hair

Hair Color Effect of Violet
Yellow gray hair Neutralizes yellow tones for a true gray/silver
Brassy gray hair Eliminates brassiness for a clean gray color
Dull, mousy gray hair Enhances a brighter, shinier gray shade

Those with natural or colored silver and gray hair also rely on violet pigments to achieve the optimal cool tone. Violet is adept at counteracting the yellow tones that can develop in gray hair, taking it to a truer neutral gray or silver shade. It tackles any unwanted brassiness that occurs as gray hair gets warmer, restoring a clean gray color. Violet can also liven up dull, mousy gray hair with brighter, shinier looking gray locks. Using a violet gloss or toner formulated for gray coverage keeps gray and silver hair looking its best.

Effects of violet on brunette hair

Hair Color Effect of Violet
Warm brown hair Makes color cooler, ashier, and less brassy
Golden brown hair Eliminates golden tones for a neutral brown
Reddish brown hair Neutralizes unwanted red tones

Brunettes can also benefit from violet hair dye. Warm shades of brown hair tend to pick up unwanted brassiness over time. Violet is able to neutralize this and take the color to an ash brown shade instead. For golden brown hair, violet removes those bright golden undertones for a more neutral, ashy brunette color. Violet pigments also combat any unwanted red tones that can develop in reddish brown hair. This makes violet an ideal dye for brunettes seeking cooler, ashier results.

Other violet hair color effects

– Brightens white hair, removes dull yellow tones
– Tones down brassy red hair for cooler auburn hues
– Neutralizes orange tones in faded dyed hair
– Combines with blue for a true purple shade
– Deepens black hair with a violet sheen

How to use violet hair dye

There are a few ways to incorporate violet pigments into your hair color:

– **Violet toners** – These are gloss treatments that deposit violet onto the hair to neutralize brassiness and yellow tones. They last 4-6 weeks.

– **Violet dye** – Semi-permanent or permanent dyes contain violet pigments to color hair a cooler shade while counteracting warmth. They last 4-8 weeks or until hair grows out.

– **Violet shampoo** – Contains small amounts of violet pigment to gradually neutralize warmth as you shampoo. More gentle on hair.

– **Violet mixes** – Some brands sell violet drops or additives you can mix into other dyes, toners, conditioners to customize the intensity of the violet tint.

It’s best to start gradually with lower levels of violet dye to avoid overcool tones. Build up as needed to neutralize your level of warmth. Focus the violet on the warmest sections of hair for subtle, customized results.

Best brands for violet hair dye

Brand Key Violet Products
Wella Color Touch Violet Toners, Illumina Color 7V
Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo, Nice’n Easy 7V
Joico Color Balance Violet Shampoo, Color Intensity Amethyst
Schwarzkopf BlondMe Toner 9V, Keratin Color Anti-Yellow
Matrix Brass Off Blue Shampoo, SoColor 6V
Davines Alchemic Shampoo Silver, Alchemic Conditioner Silver

Some top hair color brands for violet shades include:

– Wella with Color Touch toners and Illumina permanent dye
– Clairol’s Shimmer Lights shampoo and Nice’n Easy 7V blonde dye
– Joico Color Balance shampoo and Amethyst semi-permanent color
– Schwarzkopf BlondMe toner and Keratin Color anti-yellow dye
– Matrix Brass Off shampoo and SoColor 6V permanent color
– Davines Alchemic silver shampoo and conditioner

These brands offer quality violet-infused products to neutralize warmth and attain the perfect cool shade. Consult your stylist on the best violet hue options for your hair goals.

How to maintain violet hair color

To keep violet hair color looking fresh, here are some tips:

– Use a violet shampoo 1-2 times per week to prevent brassiness from returning
– Opt for cooler, ashier tones when re-coloring roots rather than warm shades
– Use a glossing treatment or toner to refresh the violet tint as needed
– Avoid heating tools like blow dryers and straighteners to limit fading
– Rinse hair with cooler water and use a color-protecting shampoo
– Shield hair from the sun with a hat to prevent warmth from light exposure

Proper at-home maintenance is key to preserving the cool tones violet provides in dyed hair. Be mindful of product choices, heat styling habits, and sun exposure to boost longevity. Schedule occasional toner or color touch-up appointments with your colorist as well.

Risks and considerations with violet hair dye

While violet can provide beautiful, cool-toned results, there are some risks and considerations to keep in mind:

– Can sometimes result in overtoned, overly ashy shades if overused
– Works best on lighter hair – darker hair may not show much effect
– Permanent dyes with violet can lead to unwanted blue or purple hues on some hair types
– Violet toner washes out quickly and needs frequent reapplication
– Can stain or discolor skin, counters, clothing if not careful
– May fade or have uneven results depending on original shade and porosity

To avoid issues, have a professional assess your hair color and determine the appropriate violet product and concentration to use. Do a strand test before applying all over and start with temporary or demi-permanent options first. Be aware of potential staining and properly protect your skin and surfaces during application. Follow all patch testing and timing instructions carefully for best color saturation and uniform results.


Violet is a versatile, cooling additive for hair dye that can provide beautiful on-trend gray, silver, blonde, and brunette shades. It works by neutralizing unwanted warm, brassy yellow and orange tones through its blue and red pigments. On blonde hair, violet eliminates brassiness and yellowness for icy platinum and ash blonde hues. It removes yellow in gray/silver hair for a truer neutral color, and also makes gray look shinier. Violet brings out cooler ash brown tones, minimizing redness and brassiness in brunette hair as well. Using violet toners, dyes, or shampoos as directed can help achieve and maintain your ideal shade. But exercise caution with permanent dyes, do allergy tests, and consult a colorist to find the right violet method and products tailored to your hair goals and color.