Proof That Purple Hair Is the Most Underrated Color

Justine Skye wears a dark purple bob hairstyle with bangs

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Purple hair might not seem like the most obvious of choices, but when you start to consider the full spectrum of shades that fit under the purple umbrella—lilac, amethyst, lavender—you may realize that the color is more versatile than you thought.

Purple hair is also surprisingly versatile, as it sits as a kind of midpoint between blue and red—both tones that you'll find naturally within your complexion, whatever the skin tone. On a style level, it's not going to be for everyone, but if the idea of lush violet locks has piqued your interest, we've gathered together some pretty wearable purple hair looks.

Purple Hair

Choosing a shade: There's a purple out there for everyone. "Purple is such fun, cool, and hip color that anybody can pull off, because it’s not the color people want to look natural with, and it comes in many different shades," says Toyomi Ishikura, colorist for SHRD Hair Care at Kim Vo salon.

Maintenance level: "High high high maintenance!" Ishikura says, recommending that you visit the salon for toner often and use color shampoo between visits. "You have to get pre-lightened hair, so you are gonna need to get a deep conditioning treatment, as well."

Goes great with: Everything. "Generally, deeper purple goes well with olive to darker skin, and lighter purple goes well with fair to neutral skin," Ishikura adds.

Similar shades: Lilac, lavender, magenta

Price: The cost will vary widely depending on whether you tackle boxed dye in your bathroom or hit a high-end salon. Keep in mind that Ishikura recommends you see a professional for best results.

Check out these purple hair color ideas to inspire your next salon visit.

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Black Roots

Irene Kim wears a purple shoulder-length hairstyle with dark roots and vampy lipstick

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Here, Irene Kim proves that even if you opt for a neon shade of purple, you can easily tone down the look by keeping the roots dark and the ends light. As a bonus, you don't have to worry as much about roots growing in and ruining your style.

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Alicia Keys wears a plum braided ponytail and velvet jacket

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Alicia Keys added a special twist to her ultra-long braids by coloring them a punchy shade of purple, with a few blue strands threaded in here and there for an additional pop.

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Blue and Purple

Side view of bright blue and purple styled hair


We love this vibrant mix of highlights—the purple strands add dimension and depth to the dark blue base color.

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Pastel Unicorn

Nicki Minaj wears pastel lavender hair and carries a red, white, and green popsicle accessory

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We've never been too sure about the whole unicorn trend, but there's something pretty ethereal about Nicki Minaj's pastel purple hair.

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Justine Skye wears a dark purple bob hairstyle with bangs

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Justine Skye isn't a stranger to purple hair, but perhaps our favorite iteration is this short bob in a rich aubergine shade.

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My Little Pony Purple

Nicole Richie wears a whimsical pastel purple updo hairstyle

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Remember when Nicole Richie went full-on My Little Pony purple back in 2014? Yeah, well, we're still not over it.

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Grape Juice Purple

Corinne Joy wears grape-colored curly hair and a butterfly T-shirt


This beautiful shade of purple reminds us of grape juice in the best way possible, and we love how it makes these natural curls pop.

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Pale Purple Bob

Katy Perry wears a tousled lavender bob hairstyle with dark roots

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Katy Perry is no stranger to a fantastical hair color, but we're partial to this wavy pastel purple bob with dark roots from 2015. Winged liner and a glossy nude lip provide the perfect contrast to bold strands.

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Wine Ombré

Justine Skye wears a plum balayage hairstyle with dark roots

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Wine-colored ombré on Justine Skye is almost subtle when compared with her nearly jet-black roots.

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Purple Crop

Megan Rapinoe with short purple hair with pink undertones


Short hair offers ample opportunity to get playful with purple. We adore this pink-meets-purple crop with pumped-up styling.

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Periwinkle Curls

Purple curls are done right when paired with darker brows and minimal makeup—just let the hair do the talking.

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Muted Plum

Lupita Nyong'o wears a cropped, naturally curly plum updo with a green headband across her forehead

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The muted purple tones in this chic 'do are a unique take on a typically vibrant shade.

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Taraji P. Henson wears a purple ombre hairstyle with natural black roots


These gradient waves on Taraji P. Henson move from black to purple to muted gray.

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Violet Moon

Ruby Rose wears short hair with warm and cool purple tones


Colorist Riawna Capri dubbed this dye job she gave Ruby Rose "violet moon," and we think it's absolutely appropriate.

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