If you’re dreaming of plum colored hair, pick up some color tips and inspiration with 15 shade examples in our guide. Rich, velvety plum color with hints of violet, burgundy, and brown will have you feeling juicy and sweet!
What Is Plum Colored Hair?
- Dark, warm purple color with red, violet, and brown tones
- Unique color option that can be bold or subtle
- Burgundy-violet plum shades best suit warm or neutral skin tones
We’re seeing plum colored hair everywhere lately, but people tend to get confused about the actual tones and undertones of true plum hair color. So what makes a purple hair color “plum?”
Plum hair color is a dark, rich, and warm color that features a blend of burgundy, violet, and brown tones. It’s easily distinguished from the purer violet, which is missing the brown and reddish tones of plum.
You can also tell plum apart from similar shades like burgundy and maroon due to the different tone balance. Plum skews more violet than burgundy and maroon with less red in the mix.
Dark purple plum colored hair is becoming so popular because it’s really unique and stands out from the crowd.
But it’s also a versatile color that you can make more muted and subtle or vivid and bold according to how the color is mixed.
These warm, burgundy-violet plum hair colors are loved by everyone, but won’t be a perfect pick for cool skin tones. True violet with a stronger blue undertone is a better choice for cool-toned skin.
Skin with warm undertones, which feature a subtle golden or peachy tint, is the best fit for warm plum hair color.
Neutral undertones can also suit plum colored hair, especially when a few cooler accents are added with highlights or balayage to “neutralize” the warmth of the shade.
Learn more about which skin tones plum hair color suits and how to determine your skin’s undertone for comparison below!
What Skin Tone Suits Plum Colored Hair?
Plum colored hair is predominantly purple, but it’s on the warmer end of the color spectrum thanks to rich burgundy and brunette tones. Plum hair colors best suit skin with warm or neutral undertones.
If you’re not sure what your skin’s undertone is, you’re not alone. Picking apart your skin tone and complexion to see the subtle underlying tones takes a little training and practice.
Luckily, there are some quick tricks you can use to determine your undertones easily!
The Vein Test
Take a look at the veins on the inner side of your wrists in natural lighting. Take photos to review closely if that helps. What do you see about your vein coloring?
- Mostly blue/purple: You may have a cool undertone – most plum shades won’t be super flattering for you
- Mostly green: You may have a warm undertone, which perfectly suits plum hair color shades
- Mixed/not visible: You might have a neutral undertone, making plum a good choice in most cases
The Jewelry Test
Try on a few pieces of yellow gold and silver jewelry. Bracelets are best for the jewelry test, but necklaces, rings, and anklets can also work. What do you see when you try on each metal and which one looks better?
- Better in silver: Skin flattered by silver tones is usually cool-toned, meaning plum won’t be a great fit
- Better in gold: Yellow gold is very warm, so if you look great in it, plum should be a perfect color choice
- Great in both: Silver and gold typically flatters neutral-toned skin, which looks good with plum color
Make sure you do these tests in natural lighting. The vein and jewelry tests can be taken with a little more weight when you get the same undertone result from both.
If you’re finding that your results don’t match up – green veins, but look better in silver, for example – do a little research to narrow your undertone down. Vein color isn’t always an accurate indicator but can be helpful.
Try to get opinions from friends or family if you’re having trouble objectively looking at the results. Others might be able to clearly see which jewelry metal looks better on you or what color your veins appear to be.
15 Plum Colored Hair Ideas Ripe for the Picking
Plum hair color comes in many shades and can be paired with several other hair colors. Try it with the trendy balayage, ombre, or all-over color techniques or add complementary highlights to set the color off!
Check out 15 plum colored hair ideas that are perfectly ripe and ready for you to pick below.
1. Dimensional True Plum
This shade is a true representation of a ripe plum fruit, showing tones of deep violet, brown, and red beautifully blended in a dimensional shade. This color is bold and won’t be mistaken for basic burgundy!
2. Perfect Plum-Magenta Balayage
Balayage techniques are a great way to bring rich, plum tones into a dark hair color without bleaching all the way up to your roots. Easier maintenance is a benefit, but the luxe look of this gradient color is the real selling point.
3. Vivid Dark Plum
Want the most color impact without loosing the depth of your favorite plum color? Take it slightly darker with an espresso brown base tone that seems to send the violet undertones to a new level. This shade is better for warm skin tones.
4. Plum With Cool Violet and Magenta
Plum colored hair looks amazing with hints and flashes of similarly-toned colors like magenta and violet. Add face-framing highlights in cool violet and warmer magenta with curly texture to really make these colors pop.
5. Highlighted Pinkish Plum
If you love the underlying warmth in true plum colored hair, try blending in more magenta pink tones to increase the warmth. With a few subtle, brighter highlights, the color is full of dimension and great for fairer skin tones.
6. Two-Toned Plum and Maroon
Can’t decide if you prefer the brownish-purple tones of plum or the reddish-brown shades of maroon? Try both for a gorgeous two-toned color that’s plenty warm enough for the most golden and peachy undertones.
7. Muted Plum With Auburn Accents
If you want your plum colored hair to lean more natural in tone, try a darker, muted plum that doesn’t put the violet undertones front and center.
Paired with a rich auburn color accented in with chunky pops of color, this is a modern twist on using more natural tones.
8. Ripe Black Cherry Plum
Harness the juicy essence of seductively sweet, ripe fruits with this black cherry-toned plum hair color. It suits underlying warm golden or peach tones in the skin so well and we love how it looks in a blunt, angled bob!
9. Blackened Sweet Plum
The undertone for this color isn’t quite black, but it’s a rich cafe noir brown that gets pretty close. Toned with a vivid plum-violet color, it has the effect of looking more purple in direct lighting.
10. Plum With Fuchsia Ribbon Balayage
The color base for this dimensional look is velvety plum, but bold fuchsia colored ribbon lights weave through it for a vivid pop of color. Plum and fuchsia look great together and make a beautiful option for those craving more vibrant shades.
11. Brunette Muted Plum
Even ultra-fair skin tones can wear plum colored hair as long as the skin’s undertone is warm (golden/peachy) or neutral (olive/pinkish yellow). It’s a bold color choice that gives the skin an ethereal glow.
12. Espresso Brown With Violet Plum Accents
Make your plum colored hair pop a bit more by using it as a color accent on a much darker base, like espresso brown shown here. Pockets of violet plum color pop in and out, standing out even more with a voluminous curly style.
13. Sultry Dark Plum
This plum shade is dark and rich without a ton of dimension, making it an ideal shade for women with naturally dark hair.
The brown undertones overpower the violet just a bit, so it won’t appear like a bright purple color and may be able to pass in professional settings.
14. Silvered Mauve Plum
What a unique plum colored shade this is! We see hints of pinkish mauve and love how the plum base shade has an almost-silvery overtone that cools the color down a bit. This shade will work well for warm, neutral, and even cool skin tones.
15. Plum Maroon Balayage Braids With Curly Ends
This color skews more maroon than plum, but those vivid violet tones are still there to differentiate this shade from a true brown-red maroon. It makes a great color for that balayage look in braids with curly ends!
Things to Consider
If you’re really thinking about going for plum hair color, there are a few things you’ll need to familiarize yourself with first. Check out tips and considerations for plum colored hair below to learn something new!
- You might have to bleach your hair. Achieving even dark purple colors like plum may require you to bleach your hair so the purple tones accurately come through. If your hair’s not healthy or is showing signs of damage, you should wait a few weeks and do some damage control before bleaching and dyeing.
- Don’t try to DIY it. Plum colored hair can turn out beautifully, but can easily turn patchy or fail to show up properly if you try to dye it yourself at home. Go to a professional at a salon you trust to get plum hair color with dimension, shine, and rich purple tones.
- Cool-toned? Try violet. Don’t try to make warm plum hair color work if your skin has a cool undertone. It’ll only exacerbate redness and skin imperfections while giving you a sallow tone. Try cooler, blue-toned violet for a better color match on cool-toned skin.
- Use other colors for multi-toned looks. Plum is gorgeous all on its own, but you can work in other shades to amplify its effects. Magenta, red, burgundy, mauve, violet, and natural colors like espresso and cafe noir brown are great shades to pair with plum.
- Mind the maintenance. All purple hair colors come with a pretty high maintenance routine since these shades aren’t found in natural hair colors at all. It doesn’t matter if you’re going plum, violet, or lilac – any purple color will require additional color refreshes and toning sessions to remain true and vibrant. You might need to visit the salon every 4-6 weeks to keep plum colored hair looking great, so keep this in mind if you prefer a more low-maintenance look.
So, Will Plum Colored Hair Look Good on You?
With so many different variations of the plum color and different color techniques you can use to get unique results, how can you be sure that plum colored hair will look good on you?
It all comes back to your skin’s undertones. It’s not a rule you have to follow, but it’ll help ensure your plum hair color looks flattering and complementary without clashing with your skin.
If you have a warm undertone with skin that appears tinted golden or peach-colored (even if you’re fair), plum hair color should be an excellent fit for you.
Neutral undertones can rock with plum, but it’s a better look when some cool-toned accents are added to balance and neutralize the warmth of rich plum color. Violet, cool blonde, or black make great accents for neutralizing plum.
Cool undertones may clash with warm plum hair color, so consider tweaking the shade to make it more flattering for your skin tone. True violet with stronger blue undertones is ideal for cool-toned skin.
Dark violet is a cool color visually similar to plum without the inner warmth from burgundy and brown that plum features.
Plum colored hair isn’t the perfect fit for every skin tone, but if it suits your undertones, it’s going to be a knockout. You’ll find that plum color gives you a healthy, subtle glow when your skin has natural golden, peachy, or neutral olive undertones!