It’s hardly surprising that hair color trends have evolved past the basic “try this color.” If Instagram is any indication, we’re getting pretty damn fancy with dye jobs. Back in the day, highlights and ombre were considered the advanced add-ons everyone eventually tried. But in 2019 as I look for purple hair color ideas–because you never know when inspiration will strike–I’m realizing that there is a lot more to choose from.
Late last year, experts predicted that filters and overlays would be the game-changers for hair color and they’re right on the money. In short, this typically involves putting a toner or secondary color over a base color to give it more dimension. The upside is that you can still be a standout, even if you’re standing next to someone who’s in the same color family. The downside is that picking a combo can take for-e-ver when you consider the factors that go into choosing one, including skin tone and texture type.
Based on experience, I can say that at least establishing the base color will be the easiest place to start. For instance, if you’re thinking of taking the purple plunge, NYC Master Colorist Stephanie Brown emphasizes the importance of knowing your undertones–a simple, but game-changing tip. We tend to associate skin undertones with makeup, specifically foundation matching, but it’s also a helpful tool when you can’t decide on one shade in a sea of violet.
“I prefer that fairer skin tones do more pastel purples…whereas people with darker hair and skin tones should go towards the deeper richer purples.” In other words, “If you have cool undertones go with a cooler purple, and if you have warmer skin tones a warmer purple is better.” Usually, you can do this simply by looking at the color of your veins. Blue veins correspond to cool undertones while green corresponds to warm. There are also other hacks for determining your undertone, such as the jewelry trick and the neutral test.
Also, remember that the more shades you take on, the more maintenance you’ll need. To maintain a purple dye job weeks after the appointment, Brown specifically recommends Overtone Purple in either pastel, vibrant, or extreme (just depending on how bold you want the purple) or conditioners from Bleach London. With that being said, here’s a slew of Insta-inspo, complete with various purple combos, to get you started.
Ombre with natural roots.
Sapphire and amethyst.
Dark roots and light ends.
Dark purple goals.
Purple and magenta tones.
A violet naturalista.