DIY Purple Hair 101

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How do you do that-

Want purple hair? Don’t want to pay the salon big bucks to do it? Feeling brave and want to DIY? I’m here to help, folks. This post is pretty lengthy but hopefully will help some of you folks who are looking to DIY purple hair.

So my hair was supposed to be lavender, and it’s really not but I still love it. The good news is, bright colors fade so it’ll be lavender eventually (hopefully). Either way, if you like my shade of purple, here’s a tutorial! Even if you’re not aiming for purple, hopefully this will help any of you other babes who are thinking about playing around with Pravana.

Thank you SO MUCH to Stephanie Drenka for taking these photos and for helping me out with the back of my head so I didn’t end up looking like a crazy person. Life saver.

Disclaimer: I am NOT a hairdresser by any stretch of the imagination. Just a girl on a budget who loves her #1 accessory. I bought my Pravana on Amazon, which I know some people say is a no-no, so do that at your own risk. Basically this whole post is at your own risk. If you want to take the plunge, here’s what you need!



Shower cap | Wide tooth comb | Bowl | Hair color brush | Clips (if your hair is longer) | L’Oreal Color Vibrancy Nourishing Shampoo and Conditioner | Pravana Chromasilk Vivids in Violet (just a few drops) | Pravana Chromasilk Pastels in Mystical Mint (whole tube, more if your hair is longer)

After doing a hilarious amount of research, I opted to use Nicole Richie’s lavender formula. Known as an “antique lavender” I liked it because it was more blue than pink, which is exactly what I was wanting. Also her hairdresser went with this particular formula so it would fade gracefully – what more can a girl ask for? The formula is super easy – one tube Pravana Chromasilk Pastels in Mystical Mint with 3-5 drops of Pravana Chromasilk Vivids in Violet. Admittedly, I think my Violet drops were too big so keep that in mind if you want yours lighter!

My hair was lightened about a month ago, I’ve got about a quarter inch of regrowth but I’m not ready to get it bleached again so I’m just going with it. I wouldn’t recommend DIY bleaching just because of the SERIOUS damage you can do to your hair. If you’re trying to keep your budget lower, I would go to a beauty school and have them bleach it for you. You’ll want to get it SUPER light, like the inside of a banana peel. Mine is already pretty ashy because it was previously toned. I used clarifying shampoo to get rid of most of the previous color but it’s still not as yellow as it is freshly bleached. Either way, violet will cover it.

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I mixed up half a tube of mint with 2 drops of violet. Again, mine was probably too much – I would say each one was around 3/8″ long. I ended up using the whole tube of mint, even though my hair is short I have a LOT of it but keep that in mind when you’re purchasing your Pravana. I would purchase two bottles of mint just to be safe if your hair is any longer than mine!

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I applied the color starting on my roots, did the roots all over and then the rest of the hair.

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After it was all applied, I put a shower cap on to keep some heat in and also to keep me from making a mess all over my house. 30 minutes later, I was ready to rinse! (You may want to check after 20 mins, that’s the recommended time).

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Rinse, rinse, rinse. The good news is – this stuff is surprisingly easy to rinse out! It only took me a few minutes before the water was running clear. Then shampoo and condition with a color safe shampoo. I used what I already had, L’Oreal Color Vibrancy (unfortunately L’Oreal isn’t cruelty free and I totally forgot when I bought it so I definitely won’t be purchasing again. Otherwise it’s really great.)

I recommend either following up with either a deep conditioner or at least applying some kind of leave in. I’ve recently become obsessed with It’s a 10 Miracle Leave In per the suggestion of my hairdresser. I’ve used SO MANY PRODUCTS and it’s one of the few that I can actually tell puts moisture back in my hair and makes it more manageable. Totally worth the money.

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And here’s the finished product!!! It’s more Indigo than Lavender but I really love the shade. Here’s to hoping that it fades into a lovely greyish lavender but if not, I think this color is going to really grow on me. I feel like a real life anime character – just call me James Rocket!!!

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A few things to keep in mind:

  • My hair has been bleached a lot and it’s REALLY porous so some parts of my hair are quite a bit lighter (Pravana actually says if your hair is too porous, it won’t take the color very well) but I kind of like the dimension it adds.
  • If you’re going to do this at home…do a strand test. Don’t be like me.
  • I haven’t had any transfer on towels or pillowcases but that doesn’t mean you’ll be so lucky. Make sure to use towels and bedding you don’t mind getting stained.
  • A few days after coloring, I used Renpure Rosemary Mint Cleansing Conditioner and it hardly faded at all – I highly recommend it for retaining color (and it’s SUPER affordable at Target!)
  • If you don’t want to do it yourself, you can always take this formula to your stylist!

And just for fun, here’s a before and after! Look how much shinier my hair is after! I kind of can’t believe it.

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If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask. AGAIN I’m not an expert but I can definitely tell you about my experience!


One thought on “DIY Purple Hair 101

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