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.
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.
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.
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.
Blue and Purple
We love this vibrant mix of highlights—the purple strands add dimension and depth to the dark blue base color.
We've never been too sure about the whole unicorn trend, but there's something pretty ethereal about Nicki Minaj's pastel purple hair.
Justine Skye isn't a stranger to purple hair, but perhaps our favorite iteration is this short bob in a rich aubergine shade.
My Little Pony Purple
Remember when Nicole Richie went full-on My Little Pony purple back in 2014? Yeah, well, we're still not over it.
Grape Juice Purple
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.
Pale Purple Bob
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.
Wine-colored ombré on Justine Skye is almost subtle when compared with her nearly jet-black roots.
Short hair offers ample opportunity to get playful with purple. We adore this pink-meets-purple crop with pumped-up styling.
Purple curls are done right when paired with darker brows and minimal makeup—just let the hair do the talking.
The muted purple tones in this chic 'do are a unique take on a typically vibrant shade.
These gradient waves on Taraji P. Henson move from black to purple to muted gray.
Colorist Riawna Capri dubbed this dye job she gave Ruby Rose "violet moon," and we think it's absolutely appropriate.