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What Does Purple Hair Look Like When It Fades? | Not Good

Purple is one of the hottest vivids, with everyone sporting some shade of lavender to violet. But what does purple hair look like when it fades? Keep reading to find out. 

What Should You Expect From Purple Hair?

When you first dye your hair purple, it will be gorgeous and vivid. Over time it will start to fade, however. Your purple hair will be vibrant at first and then slowly fade until it is completely unnoticeable.

There are some methods you can try to make your purple hair look its best throughout every stage of its life. These include:

  • Darkening roots
  • Using the right products
  • Styling your hair
  • Avoiding heat

This article will go more in-depth on the stages of fading, along with how to prevent fading in the first place.

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The Stages of Purple Hair

The following few sections will go through the stages of what your purple hair will look like as it fades. 

Vivid Purple

This is the color you start with. Purple hair has a wide variety of tones and shades. You could have a pale pastel lavender, or perhaps you went full ultraviolet. Even if you just added a few purple highlights, this is the point that your purple hair will be the most vivid. 

Slightly Faded Purple

Once you’ve had your purple hair for a couple of weeks, you may notice that some of the vividness is starting to fade away. At this point, the color is still stunning, but perhaps it looks just a touch more muted than it did when you first got it. 

At this point, you may notice the undertones becoming more apparent as well. If your original hair was lilac, for example, you might start seeing more of the blue undertones.

Meanwhile, if you went with a magenta, you may start seeing more or the red undertones. There are ways to extend this stage for as long as possible and keep that hair looking fresh and bright. We’ll cover that in a later section. 

Completely Faded

After you’ve worn your purple hair for a couple of months with no upkeep, you’ll eventually reach this stage. Your once vivid purple will appear pale, and in some cases, the color might look a bit patchy. 

Additionally, this is the point where it’s probably going to look nothing like your original hair. If you had lilac hair, it would probably just look pale blue at this point. If you had a more red-toned purple like magenta, it might look more light pink.


Once the color has completely faded, you may be looking into how to finish removing the color. From here, you have a couple of options. One, you could simply go get it re-dyed. Embrace the vivid purple all over again, or even try another color like blue or green.

Grey is also another excellent option for covering over old purple. Another option would be to use color remover.

You can either go to a salon or you can get an at-home color removing kit that will strip the remaining purple from your hair. Depending on how much purple is left, this may take a couple of tries. 

Lastly, if there is still a little purple left, you may need to bleach your hair to finish removing the color. Bleaching will damage your hair, so use the most gentle solution you can to remove the remaining color. 

How to Keep Purple Hair Looking Fresh

Woman using a purple shampoo wondering what does purple hair look like when it fades

Tetiana Tychynska/Shutterstock

When your hair is still primarily purple with showing some signs of fading, there are some things you can do to prolong the life of your hair. 

Darken Your Roots

A shadow root is very on trend right now and would look amazing with purple hair. This look would have you dying your roots a darker shade, like brown or black, and leave in the purple on the ends. This intense ombre style will have some serious attitude and lengthen the life of your purple hair. 

Color Depositing Shampoo and Conditioner

If you want to keep the color looking bright, you can use color depositing shampoo and conditioner. You can use one product, or the other, or both together. Color depositing shampoos and conditioners have a small amount of hair dye in them.

When you use it, the dye is deposited on top of your hair shaft, making the purple just a little more vibrant. You can get color depositing products in all significant hair colors, not just purple. It’s a great option to have in mind when dealing with a color that will fade quickly. 

Curl Your Hair

One issue with faded purple is that it can look a little patchy. If you’re noticing this with your hair, an easy fix is to wear it curled. Curling your hair not only adds texture and volume to your hair, but it will hide any uneven color in your hair. 

If you don’t like to heat style your hair, you can consider heatless curls as well. Heatless curls are usually done overnight and last longer while being more gentle on your hair overall. 

Avoid Heat Styling

Going hand in hand with the last point, one good way of prolonging the life of your purple hair is to avoid heat styling altogether. Heat styling includes any tools that introduce heat to your hair to achieve a particular effect.

These tools may consist of a hair straightener, curling iron, or even a hair dryer. If you must dry your hair with a dryer, try to use the cooler settings. If you need to use heat styling tools, it is also essential to apply a high-quality heat protectant spray to your hair before styling. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Woman with purple hair wondering what does purple hair look like when it fades


We will now cover a few of the most common questions that pop up about purple hair. 

Which toner will cancel out purple hair? 

If you have overly-faded purple hair and are looking to dye it another color, you may need to apply a toner to cancel out the purple tones, so it does not affect your new color. 

For hair that was once a deep purple, you can go for a yellow or gold toner. If your hair is a lighter purple, you may want to pick a more orange toner. Soft purples tend to have more blue tones in them, which cancels out with orange. 

If you’re not sure, look at a color wheel and local the color of purple that you had. Directly across from the purple will be a yellow, gold, or orange that will cancel out the purple. 

How quickly does purple hair fade? 

Purple is one of those vivid colors that fade very quickly. You’ll likely notice it starting to fade within just a few washes. If you follow the steps to maintain your purple hair, you will probably get the color to last for a month before it is significantly faded. 

How hard is it to maintain purple hair? 

Purple hair fades fast, so it will take quite a bit of maintenance to last longer than a month. If you are planning to commit to purple for the long term, be prepared to either make frequent trips to the salon or make regular touch-ups at home. 

So, What Does Purple Hair Look Like When It Fades? 

If you’re planning to dye your hair purple (or just got it done), over time, your hair will fade to something between a light blue or light pink. With proper daily maintenance and free touch-ups, you can make your purple hair last longer than the usual average month. Happy coloring!