9 Best Purple Hair Dyes for Dark Hair: No Bleach, Highly Pigmented 💜
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Purple hair dyes that are highly pigmented and cool-toned work better on unbleached dark hair.
Dark Intense Violet, Royal Purple, Radiant Amethyst, rather than soft lilacs like Lavender, stand out better against dark brown and black hair because these shades of purple deliver high contrast against the hair’s dark pigments.
As a result, you won’t need pre-lightening treatments like hair bleaching that use hydrogen peroxide to oxidize and remove pigments before applying the purple hair dye.
Below, I have listed the correct hair dyes to use on dark hair and given step-by-step instructions on how to use them without pre-bleaching.
Semi-permanent and permanent options are also discussed, with further details on their appropriateness based on your hair goals.
Best Purple Hair Dyes for Dark Hair (Unbleached)
1. Garnier V2 Dark Intense Violet Permanent Purple Hair Dye
2. Arctic Fox Vegan Semi-Permanent Hair Dye
3.Manic Panic - Purple Haze
Can You Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleaching?
Yes, you can dye dark hair purple without bleaching. Specialized dyes for dark hair that have high pigmentation, like deep violets, can offer high contrast against dark hair. Dark purple dyes like eggplant and plum will also take to unbleached hair more effectively.
The purple color on unbleached dark hair may fade quicker than on bleached hair, so a colorist would advise on maintenance routines to extend the life of the color.
Why You Should Avoid Bleaching Dark Hair?
Bleaching dark hair requires multiple sessions to dig through the hair’s thickness and lift the dark pigments. Such intense oxidizing sessions with bleaching agents like hydrogen peroxides can strain the integrity of the hair and risk significant damage.
Dark hair has higher eumelanin and is often coarser and thicker in diameter than lighter hair. The dark pigmentation gives the hair its inherent dark brown or jet-black color. This pronounced pigmentation and strand thickness of dark hair inherently resists coloration, often necessitating a hair bleaching treatment to break down the underlying dark pigments.
Unlike lighter hair colors that are level 7 blonde and above, multiple hair bleaching sessions are required to lift the underlying pigments of brown and black hair.
From my experience in bleaching dark hair, the process can take 6-8 hours over multiple days. To fully penetrate and lift very dark shades to pale tones requires higher volumes of peroxide over multiple sessions. 20 or 30-volume bleach is often needed. Each bleaching session causes cumulative damage as the oxidation degrades and perforates the hair cuticles.
To mitigate the risk of such damage, it’s better to opt for hair dyes that contain highly concentrated pigments that can override the warm, dark undertones of brunette or black hair without having to strip the cuticle first.
In short, these purple hair dyes must create high contrast against dark hair.
Purple Hair Dye Options for Dark Hair
Deep violet, rich plum, bold burgundy, midnight purple, intense amethyst, dark magenta, and vivid fuchsia are purple hair dyes that offer striking contrast and vibrant color, even on dark hair. The exact shade and result can vary based on your specific hair color and condition, so it’s recommended to do a strand test before committing to a full-head color.
Violet offers a cool contrast to the natural warmth of dark hair.
As a cool-toned color on the color spectrum, violet has more blue undertones that complement warm, dark hair colors like brown or black, which have more red/orange undertones. The contrast between the cool violet tones and warm dark hair tones creates a striking, eye-catching effect to make violet stand out vividly against the darker hair.
This contrast works well because you don’t have to pre-lighten or bleach the hair to get the violet color to show up. Violet will deposit color on unlightened dark hair, just with a more subtle effect. On pre-lightened hair, the violet pops more.
If you want to add violet color to dark hair without bleaching, consider vivid violets like Amethyst, Eggplant, and Royal Purple.
Garnier V2 Dark Intense Violet Permanent Purple Hair Dye
The Garnier V2 Dark Intense Violet is one of the best permanent purple hair dyes for unbleached dark hair. It has cool tones with a high concentration of violet pigments. It is also available in different shade variations listed below:
- V2 – Dark intense violet
- L1 – Deep intense lilac
- M2 – Medium intense magenta
- P1 – Deepest intense purple
- P2 – Intense purple
Plum is a deep, rich color with a base that’s naturally closer to the common shades of dark hair.
Plum hair dyes typically have a mix of red and blue pigments, which are more likely to stand out on dark hair. The dark base of the hair can naturally enhance these tones, making them visible even without the hair being bleached. Plum shades are usually highly saturated, which means they have a strong color payoff that can make more of an impact on dark hair, providing a subtle but noticeable change.
Manic Panic Plum Passion
Manic Panic Plum Passion semi-permanent purple hair dye gradually fades in 4-6 weeks. It’s a zero-commitment hair dye that allows you to explore a temporary purple color by simply coating the outer layer of your hair instead of penetrating deep into the cortex.
Burgundy is a naturally deep shade, a blend of red and purple tones that harmonizes with the dark base of unbleached hair. Its depth means it doesn’t need a pale canvas to show up, unlike lighter or more pastel colors.
Burgundy dyes are usually formulated with strong pigments that can more easily override the natural pigment in dark hair. The dark red and purple pigments can give the hair a new hue that is visible even without lightening the hair first.
Garnier Nutrisse BR3 Intense Burgundy
Midnight Purple contains vivid violet pigments that stand out against darker hair colors. The depth of the base color makes the purple tones pop.
Unlike lighter pastel purple shades, Midnight Purple is a richer, more saturated hue that shows up clearly on brunette or black hair. The dark purple pigment has enough strength to override the warm background tones.
The blue-violet tones of Midnight Purple are complementary to the red-orange warmth of brown or black hair, creating a vivid contrast that allows the color to stand out.
Manic Panic Violet Night Hair Color
Intense Amethyst is a vivid, bold purple shade with highly concentrated violet pigments that allow the color to pop even on brunette or black hair that hasn’t been pre-lightened.
The deep violet tone of Intense Amethyst is dark enough to override the warm undertones of brown or black hair. The purple can deposit onto the unlightened cuticle.
Joico Amethyst Purple
Dark Magenta contains a rich, concentrated dose of magenta pigment that allows the color to show up vividly on darker bases. The deep tone of Dark Magenta means the color won’t get washed out or muted on brunette or black hair that hasn’t been pre-lightened.
The blue undertones in magenta complement and contrast with the warm, reddish-orange undertones in dark brown or black hair. It allows the color to stand out.
Dark Magenta is specially formulated to bind to unbleached hair fibers and deposit color without having to strip or lift the cuticle first.
Garnier Intense Magenta
Many fuchsia dyes are formulated with vivid pigments that deposit and show up on unlifted, darker bases. Therefore, the hair cuticle doesn’t need to be stripped first to make this dye stick.
While pastel or lighter pinks would get washed out or muted, the intensity of fuchsia is strong enough to override darker shades. The blue tones in fuchsia hair dye complement the red/orange undertones in natural brunette or black hair, creating a noticeable contrast.
Fuchsia adds brightness and dimension to dark hair without having to pre-lighten and cause damage first. It makes a vibrant statement.
Which Purple Hair Dyes Work Best for Brown Hair?
The correct purple hair dye for brown hair depends on the results you want to achieve and the shade of brown in your hair.
When you apply purple dye to brown hair, the results can vary greatly depending on your shade of brown, the hair dye, and the pigment intensity of the dye.
On darker shades of brown hair, purple dye may give a subtle tint visible only in certain types of lighting, particularly sunlight. The darker the hair, the less noticeable the color might be. If you’re dyeing your entire head of hair purple without lightening it first, you may end up with a very subtle purple hue. It could look more like a purple sheen or cast that shows up in the light rather than a full, vibrant purple.
Here are some guidelines to follow to select an appropriate purple dye for brown hair:
|Purple Hair Dye
|Very Dark Brown
Purple Highlights on Brown Hair
For purple highlights on brown hair, you’ll want a hue that creates contrast. For light to medium brown hair, brighter options like magenta or fuchsia are often preferred because they create a high-contrast look. For darker brown hair, deep violet, plum, or burgundy highlights can provide a rich, luxurious feel without needing to lighten the hair too much.
The best purple shades for highlights on brown hair typically fall into two categories: vibrant and bold for a striking look or subtle and deep for more understated elegance.
- Magenta: A bright and punchy purple with pink undertones that can pop against brown hair.
- Fuchsia: Similar to magenta but often with a more purplish-pink hue that stands out well.
- Plum: A deeper, more muted purple that can blend beautifully with dark brown hair, offering a hint of color especially visible in sunlight.
- Burgundy: A mix of purple and red that looks natural yet can provide a vibrant color to brown hair.
- Deep Violet: A true purple that can give brown hair a cool-toned highlight, which is sophisticated yet noticeable.
Which Purple Hair Dyes Work Best for Black Hair?
Purple Hair Dyes that work best on black hair:
|Midnight Purple is a deep shade that can provide a subtle purple tint to black hair without requiring significant lightening.
|Burgundy offers a dark red-purple tint that can add a warm, wine-colored undertone to the hair.
|Intense Amethyst can create a noticeable change as a rich purple that may show up as subtle highlights in the sun.
|Plum can give a soft purple glow or highlights, complementing the dark base of natural black hair.
Purple Highlights on Black Hair
To create purple highlights on black hair, choose a bright or bold purple shade like Intense Amethyst, Vivid Fuchsia or Magenta, Electric Violet, or Neon purple hair dye.
- Intense Amethyst gives a rich, deep purple highlight that can stand out against the black without being too loud.
- Vivid Fuchsia or Magenta can provide a bright pop of purple with a pinkish tone that stands out and adds dimension to black hair.
- Electric Violet stands out noticeably well against black colors.
- Neon and Bright Purple are more vibrant and can show up against black hair as highlights, especially under the light.
Since black hair is the darkest in the spectrum of hair colors, it has an exceptionally high concentration of dark pigments, which provides its characteristic intense, deep color. Prevalent in individuals of African and Asian descent, black hair is abundant in dark pigments that resist color absorption, making it challenging for lighter or softer hues to impart a noticeable change.
To ensure the purple dye can penetrate this barrier, it should be formulated with a stronger dye load and possess pigments that can adhere to and stand out against the natural darkness of black hair. A purple dye for black hair must not only offer surface color but also have molecules that can infiltrate the hair’s cuticle without being overshadowed by the existing dark tones.
Deep violets provide a level of saturation that can contrast the deepest shades of black without requiring the damaging process of bleaching to lift the natural color first.
How to Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach
To dye dark hair purple without bleaching first, follow these steps:
- Analyze Your Hair Color Shade: Before you even select your dye, check the level of darkness and the undertone of your hair. The undertone of your hair will determine how the purple dye will look. For very dark hair, like jet black, go for deep violet hair dyes. For brown hair, go for brighter purple dyes.
- Permanent or Semi-permanent: Decide on your commitment level. Permanent dye will last longer but typically involves more commitment and may come with harsher chemicals, which can be more damaging. Semi-permanent dye will wash out after several shampoos, which is less of a commitment, making it ideal for those who want to experiment with color without long-term consequences.
- Choose the Right Dye: Pick a purple hair dye high in pigment and specifically state it’s for dark hair.
- Strand Test: Apply the dye to a small section of hair. This test will help you see how the purple dye looks on your dark hair and assess how long you should leave the dye in.
- Prepare Your Hair: Wash your hair 24-48 hours before dyeing, as clean hair may not hold the dye well. Avoid using conditioner before coloring, as it can prevent the dye from adhering properly.
- Gather Supplies: Have gloves, an applicator brush, clips for sectioning your hair, a comb, and an old towel or shirt to protect your skin and clothing.
- Protect Your Skin: Apply petroleum jelly or a barrier cream around your hairline, ears, and neck to prevent staining.
- Mix the Dye: If your dye requires mixing, follow the product instructions carefully. Some dyes are ready to apply without any mixing.
- Section Your Hair: Divide your hair into sections to ensure even application. Clip the sections up to work with them one at a time.
- Apply the Dye: Using the applicator brush, apply the dye to each section of your hair from root to tip. Make sure each section is fully saturated for even coverage.
- Timing: Leave the dye in your hair for the duration specified by the product. Avoid leaving it in longer than the recommended time on the dye package.
- Rinse Out the Dye: Rinse your hair with cold water until the water runs clear. Cold water helps seal the cuticles and can help prolong the life of your color.
- Condition Your Hair: Use a sulfate-free conditioner to help seal the color within your strands and maintain hair health.
- Dry and Style: Dry your hair gently with a towel and then style it as usual. Try to avoid high heat right after dyeing to prevent color fading.
How Long Does Purple Hair Dye Last on Dark Hair?
Semi-permanent purple hair dye lasts around 4 weeks on dark hair. Permanent purple hair dye last 6-12 weeks or until the hair grows out.
These durations can vary depending on the brand, the specific shade, and the condition of the hair.
On dark hair, especially without bleaching, the vibrancy of the color may fade faster, and the change may be less noticeable from the start. The porosity of the hair affects how long the color lasts. Highly porous hair might fade faster.
How often you wash your hair will also affect the longevity of semi-permanent dye.
Permanent hair dye last until the hair grows out, but the vibrant color can fade, usually around 6-12 weeks, depending on care and hair growth rate. Even though it’s “permanent,” maintaining the color may require refreshes or glosses to keep the purple vibrant.
Tips to Maintain Purple Hair Dye on Dark Hair
Follow the tips below to maintain purple hair color on dark hair for longer:
- Use sulfate-free shampoos
- Use Color protecting shampoos
- Avoid washing hair with hot water
- Limit heat styling
- Avoid intense sunlight
- Avoid swimming pools
Use Cool-Toned and Highly Pigmented Purple Hair Dyes
Use cool-toned and highly pigmented purple dyes on dark hair (dark brown to black).
These dyes are specially formulated to bypass the need for bleaching by providing a stark contrast with the hair’s natural deep color. Shades like deep violet, plum, burgundy, and midnight purple are best suited for unbleached dark hair. Their intense pigmentation allows for a noticeable change, even on the darkest strands. With options ranging from semi-permanent for those seeking a temporary transformation to permanent dyes for a longer-lasting effect, there’s a spectrum of possibilities.
To maintain the integrity of your hair and the vibrancy of the color, it’s crucial to follow aftercare steps: using sulfate-free and color-protecting products, washing with cooler water, and minimizing heat styling. By selecting the right dye and adhering to proper maintenance, achieving a bold purple shade on dark hair without bleaching is possible. It can also be a statement-making choice that stands out with its rich, cool tones.
About the Author
Camelia Smith can color hair, perform keratin treatments, bleach hair, and even cut curly hair. She is our go-to person whenever we have hair treatments and styling questions.
She's also currently training as a freelance makeup artist and is passionate about helping others feel beautiful in their skin. When she's not writing or doing hair, she's usually spending time watching British period dramas.