This Glossy Plum Hair Color Is Taking Over Our Instagram Feeds

plum hair color on half bun


We have a prediction, or rather, an observation. There's a moody hue in the purple color family that is outpacing the icy heads of lavender in our social feeds, and we're here to call it out: Plum hair color is taking over.

Plum can be deep and rich in its burgundy-red shades. and it can also give a solid punch of vibrancy with its violet-purple tones. The combination of both cool and warm colors give off a very natural (and at times neutral) appearance. For a not-so-natural hair color, plum can have an extremely natural feel, especially on darker strands, which is part of the reason this color trend is rising to the top. Keep reading for a list of our favorite plum hair color inspo right now.

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Play It Cool

This blend of plum sits on the cool side of the color spectrum. With only a hint of rich, red hues in the mix, this photo is a great color reference if you're ready to explore the plum color palette but don't want any warmth to be pulled out of your strands. With a few snowflakes added into the mix, we're totally here for this cool and cozy hair moment.

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The Braided Bunch

These braids hold a color combo of magenta and deep purple woven into them. When these two colors get mixed together, you have the perfect blend of plum, so we're totally crediting this coveted look despite the technicality.

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Eggplant Ombre

Plum, particularly this shade of eggplant plum, is a great option for extremely dark brunettes interested in trying ombre. Plum's depth of color makes for a more seamless ombre gradient on naturally dark base colors than resorting to blonde ends that typically end up going brassy quickly anyway.

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Color Compatibility

No matter how light or dark your complexion, plum is a color that's compatible with all skin tones. The contrasted pop against bright eye colors is too major. We're totally lost in Ella Purnell's gaze. Or is it just the hair crush happening? Too hard to decipher.

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Natural Applications

This is a very natural color application that we typically see on lightened hair. The reason for brighter face framing pieces is that it opens things up around the face, and that's what happens to hair that naturally lightens on its own, which makes this application appear very natural. We love the way Guy Tang has used plum as his highlight color to open things up, naturally.

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Highlights and Lowlights

This marbled mix of burgundy highlights and plum colored lowlights is adding so much dimension to this a-line style. Even though it's sleek and straight, these highlights and lowlights add the illusion of movement without a hair moving out of place. If you're loving this color and cut combo, be sure to stop by our list of a-line inspiration before your next salon visit.

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Plum-Tinted Ponytail

We all know Cardi B will sport a wig of almost any length and color, so it's no surprise to find her wearing an extra long plum-tinted ponytail, with the nails and handbag to match no less.

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Balayage Blend

These strands have such a beautifully blended balayage application of plum. You can hardly tell where the brush strokes begin. A natural-looking technique is a really fun way to wear an unnatural color.

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The Lavender Alternative

This smokey plum hue is a mood we can get behind. Lavender has been trending on the color scene for years now, but make way for it's moody alternative -- this clouded shade of plum is a soft yet rich pop of color that's beautifully suited to brighten up darker base colors. Lighter base colors may have a harder time achieving such a smokey, cool tone because they have a tendency to pull out the brighter components to a color like plum.

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Gloss and Grit

To keep your color bold and your strands shiny, go in between your regularly scheduled color appointments to get a gloss treatment. It's a quick process that takes place at the shampoo bowl and will have your hair looking like it got a full-on makeover. But when you're fresh out of your salon touch-up, add a little grit back into your hair by way of some dry texture spray or sea salt spray. The added, gritty texture will help things hold instead of slip, so you can tie half your silky strands up into a knotted 'do without it unraveling.

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Subtle Shades

The most subtle shades of plum can be caught in all its glory under just the right light. In darker settings, you may not even recognize those deep purple tones, but don't be mistaken. This is part of the fun with plum. You can fool the eye into thinking one thing and surprise people when they least expect it.

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Braided Ombre

At first glance, you might only notice the pop of purple in Regina King's waist-length locks, but upon closer inspection, you'll catch the beautifully blended ombre that starts with a very natural looking shade of plum and cascades into some lightened lavender tips. It takes some serious skill to weave in these tones so seamlessly and we are here for it!

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Slip n' Shine

The shine on these plum colored strands is next level. To get a similar effect at home, use an evenly dispersed smoothing balm like this one from evo before blowdrying to help reduce frizz. Finishing with a reliable flat iron like the GHD platinum+ styler will seal your strands into a healthy-looking sheet of untouchable color. For added sheen, use a lightweight shine spray like this one from Paul Mitchell's Awapuhi line (the soft scent of ginger tea and mango is an added bonus).

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Backwards Blend

The most common gradient for plum, due to its naturally deep tones, is to have it begin at the roots and blend its way into an ombre gradient of lighter or brighter hues. But here we see magenta roots with a subtle transition into plum shaded ends. Somehow, there's nothing backwards about this alternate ombre blend.

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Natural Ombre

Natural hair is no stranger to this color trend. From what we see here, plum might just be next in line as the most natural looking ombre hair color after blonde.

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Dipped Dreads

Coloring dreads is a surprisingly easy task and can totally be done at home with the right tools. With gloves on to protect your hands from staining, massage a generous amount of your color solution onto your ends. Sit, rinse, and voila! The beauty of coloring dreads is the lack of individual strands that require detail-oriented application. Just remember you'll have to use a lightener before applying your desired shade of plum.

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Graze the Gaze

Lighter eye colors really pop against plum hair. Try adding some wildly textured lived-in waves that fall forward effortlessly and graze the eye line to bring the colors in closer contact with each other. Trust us, bedhead has never looked so good.

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Ultra Violet Rays

Even purples and plums can emit rays of sunshine. To keep your colored strands moisturized with a healthy and covetable amount of shine, try using a hair balm like this one from HairStory. Apply it while the hair is still damp for a nice and tamed air dry, or apply any extra as needed to tame lingering frizz once the hair is dry.

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At The Base

With a base color like plum, you can really experiment with its cousin colors like red, purple, and magenta. Here, a pop of red face framing curls is a playfully gradual change on this natural brunette.

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Color Glaze

A semi-permanent pass of purple might just save your strands from looking overgrown and neglected. Adding a hint of plum to overgrown bleached hair can give it a nice glaze of color without requiring you to sit in the chair for a full head of highlights or balayage.

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Bright and Braided

We've seen a lot of plum and purple tones incorporated into braids. Here, Serena Williams sports a brightly braided mix of magenta, plum, and creamy white. We love the way plum is consistently subbing in for the most natural-looking tone in the bunch.

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Violet Knight

If Bettie Page were here today, we'd like to predict this would be the hair she'd wear. Long, blunt strands against those infamously short micro bangs, and Manic Panic's Violet Knight all over. A classic look for this dark plum tone.

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The Perks of Plum

This cascading purple mane is mesmerizing, in large thanks to its plum undertones. This particular shade of plum has a really smooth balance of magenta-red tints and cool violet hues. The perk to a color like plum is that it keeps your purple shades warm without compromising its depth and dimension.

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Marbled Malbec

Malbec is a red wine that's made from purple grapes, and we're fittingly coining this blend of magenta reds and cool purples a Malbec colored mane. While it does lend itself to the redder side of Plum's color spectrum, those hints of purple gently tossed into the mix keep things cool.

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Purple Haze

Plum has a bright side, too. It's not entirely moody and mysterious. While this vivid blend of purples is beautifully bright, the plum tones keep it grounded and almost hazy, making it difficult to distinguish where one shade starts and the other one begins.

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