How not to dye your hair purple

Let this serve as a lesson to me about the difference between can and should. After a period of feeling disappointed with blonde hair I took the plunge and died my hair red. It’s been a light orangey copper shade, (not a pillar box red which I’ve had before) and I’ve been really enjoying it. I have however been a bit frustrated with how light the ends are where the previous bleaching still shows through, and rather than be annoyed I decided to play with it instead using semi-permanent colours.purple dye- directions violetI made the mistake of reading this site and taking it at it’s word, especially the table of info on how light your hair needs to be to achieve your desired colour. Now, I’m not stupid and if you’ve studied colour theory like me you’ll know that orange and violet mixed together do not make purple- my dears they make brown. Still I was convinced it would work out and I used wash in wash out violet on my ginger hair. Oh dear.

purple hair tint

Well, the ends are purple anyway. The roots however are not, my coppery red is now a deadened reddy-brown colour (or plum if you’re feeling kind) and the ends are darker and purple. It’s definitely some kind of muddy reverse ombre, gone wrong. Now, had calmer heads prevailed I might have remembered that the time I’ve used purple dye before (on blonde hair), it lasted quite long and even stained a little. My god, what have I done here? How long is this gonna take to wash out? And is my lovely light copper now ruined, never to return to its former shade?

90s sunglasses and hair

I’ve washed it a few times since that first pic and now it’s a weird brown with lilacy ends. I guess I’ll be wearing my hair up for a little while. As I said, I shall take this as a lesson. Once again just because you can, doesn’t mean you should. Will I ever learn?



  1. Oh no! 😦 I hope it keeps fading with every wash. You’re so brave for sharing. I go into hiding after hair fails! Are you still going to go for purple? It really suits you. xx


    1. Hey Chiaki, thanks for thinking I’m brave! I’m hoping its gonna wash out fast too. I think I will leave it for as long as i can (probably til next weekend) and then dye over it with a slightly darker permanent shade of red. Fingers cross that will cover up my mistake. I really like the idea of purple but I think i’ll leave trying for it again until i have a lighter base sometime. b.x


      1. Let me know how it turns out. Fingers and toes crossed that it will cover it up! Yes, a lighter base sounds sensible. It’s really hard to get unnatural colours even. It took me a few attempts with pink. I started with baby pink and ended up with bright pink as I was trying to cover up my unevenly bleached hair. xx


  2. I really like the colour in the incognito pic!


    1. Aw thanks Emma. It doesn’t look too bad in the fringe, just a darker reddy-brown. But its a couple of washes since that pic now and the ends are a pinky grey- I’m keeping them hidden in those little buns! b.x


  3. […] You can find other hair related posts here:Properly Pink Holiday Hair, or check out How not to dye your hair Purple! […]


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