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How to dye brown hair purple

Updated April 17, 2017

Purple hair offers an attractive way to make a statement with style. The colour stands out and goes with most other colours in clothing, though women wanting to dye their hair purple may want to find a shade of purple that goes well with their skin tones. To dye brown hair purple, you have to lighten the hair first.

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  1. Protect your temples, ears and eyes with petroleum jelly or baby oil before applying bleach or hair dye. Keep the bleach away from the eyes, ears and nostrils. Wear protective gloves, use plastic gloves and don't wear valuable clothes.

  2. Select a small lock of hair from behind the ear for a strand test. Wash and dry the test strand. Cover the strand with a thin wash of purple hair dye. Allow test area to dry for 24 hours and then inspect the hair and the scalp nearby. If there are any signs of irritation present, do not apply the rest of the hair dye.

  3. Apply bleach. Hair bleaching is the riskiest of hair-colouring processes, as it strips the natural hair colour and exposes the pigment underneath. Depending on how dark your hair is, the hair could turn a shade anywhere between pale yellow and a rusty orange. Pick a hair bleach specifically intended for later hair dyeing--for a punky and bright purple, you'll need a strong bleach.

  4. Shampoo and rinse your hair carefully. Towel dry your hair and leave it damp. Reapply petroleum jelly or baby oil around the hairline to prevent the purple dye from staining the skin.

  5. Using a tint brush (a brush made specially for hair dying), comb hair colour from a half inch away from the scalp to the ends. Be sure to completely saturate the hair shaft and work the dye around the scalp. Get the dye into hard-to-reach places like behind the ears.

  6. Leave the dye in for 15 minutes or for however long the manufacturer suggests. For hair more resistant to dye, it may be necessary to leave the dye in for 30 minutes.

  7. Rinse hair thoroughly and keep the dye away from the face.

  8. Avoid clarifying shampoos and conditioners. Stick to products designed for colour-treated hair.

  9. To retain hair colour, the punk hair dye company, Manic Panic, recommends a vinegar wash after dyeing the hair. Though smelly, a vinegar wash will help the colour retain its hue and vibrancy longer.

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Things You'll Need

  • Hair lightener
  • Purple hair dye
  • Shampoo
  • Vinegar

About the Author

Cece Evans has worked as a professional writer and editor since 2008. She writes reviews and feature articles on contemporary art for a number of Texas-based and national publications such as the e-journal, ...might be good. Cece also works as a freelance editor and researcher. She holds a Master of Arts in art history from the University of Texas at Austin.

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