Mixing Red and Purple Hair Dyes: Professional Secrets to Make the Color Turn Out Perfect

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  • When you mix red and purple dyes, you’ll get a different kind of purple color than the one you had before you mixed them.
  • The key for changing the color is in the kind of red color you choose.
  • The darker the red, the more intense purple you’ll have, while the lighter the red, the softer the purple you’ll end up with.


Please, please, before you start to mix any kind of dyes, let me take a big, long deep breath and I want you to take one, too.

Because I had a terrible day at the salon today. Do you want to know why?


 Because people mix different colors of dye without keeping a bunch of different factors in mind like the kind of dye they should use and the basic rules of colorimetry. And that’s where the problems come from.  

They use that new color on their hair, and bam! The result isn’t what they were looking for, or worse yet, their hair color ends up uneven. And that’s when they come to the salon looking for a solution.


Before playing around with mixing dyes, it’s important that you know how colors work.

For example, purple is a binary color. Did you know that?


That means that it’s made up of two primary colors: red and blue.

That’s why if you mix red and purple dye, you’ll end up with purple as a result, because since purple already contains red, all you’re doing is modifying the intensity of the purple.

So, when it comes to mixing colors, choosing the right color red is very important.


I know you’re ready to know everything about mixing red and purple together and I promise I’ll tell you it all soon.

But first, let me give you one piece of advice.  Before you try to mix any colors together, check with all of the existing colors that brands carry to see if any one might have that special purple you’re looking for. 

Oh, you already did that? And you weren’t able to find the exact color you were imagining? Ah!


If so, then stick around, because I’ll tell you:

  • Why kind of dye to use when you mix purple and red
  • How to choose the right color red to mix with purple
  • How to correctly mix the two colors of dye together


You’ll finally be able to get that super special purple you were looking for.


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What kind of dye should you use to mix red and purple together

When mixing red and purple together, you should use semi-permanent dyes.

First of all, because it’s very hard to get purple permanent dye.

Also because if you use permanent dye, you won’t be able to see the color you’re getting with the mixture until after you’ve already used it on your hair, because you use a developer with permanent dye, which will only allow you to see the color as it works on your hair.


Once you’ve already left the dye in your hair for the correct amount of dye and after you’ve washed and dried your hair, you’d finally be able to see the color you’ve created.

If you like it, then yay! But, if you don’t like it, then you’ll need to bleach your hair to get rid of it.

 That’s why, I, as a professional hair colorist, don’t recommend using permanent dyes if you want to mix two colors, like red and purple, together. 

Do you want to know which are the brands I recommend for mixing red and purple dyes together?


  • Manic Panic: Since it’s 100% vegan, it won’t damage your hair and it has an impressive color palette.
  • Punky Color: It also won’t damage your hair, and it has a line of shampoo and conditioner for maintaining your color for longer. They also have more than 30 colors in their palette, including neon colors.


Now that you know which kind of dye is best for mixing red and purple dye, let’s get on to choosing the colors. It will all come down to choosing the right color of red according to the exact shade of purple you’re looking for.


Which color red to choose according to the purple you’re looking for

Like I said in the beginning, since purple already has red in it, choosing the right shade of red to add to purple will be key to your final color.

Both Manic Panic and Punky Color have many different shades of red.

  • If you add a dark red to purple dye, the result will be more of an intense, violet-colored purple.
  • If you add a medium red to purple dye, the result will be a softer purple.
  • If you add a light red color to your purple dye, then the result will be a light purple.


As you can see, the shade of purple will change as you change the shade of red you add to it.

Once you’ve chosen the right color red, all you need to do is mix it with the purple dye, which I’m about to tell you how to do.


How to correctly mix the colors

Alright, now that you have your dyes on hand and you know which shade of purple you’re aiming for, it’s time to mix the colors.


Semi-permanent dye has the advantage of not needing to add a developer to it for the color to come out,  so the color you see in the container you make the mix in is the color that will end up in your hair. 

And that is to your advantage because as you add red in little by little, you’ll be able to get to the exact color you want.


The first thing you need to do is get a plastic container to make the mix in and some kind of measuring tool, like a bottle cap or a tablespoon.

Then, get a paper and pen. Because it’s also  very important that you write down the exact proportion of each dye you use in your mixture, so that when the time comes to touch up your color,  you’re able to get to the exact same color.

Are you ready? Let’s get started!


  • Start by adding a bit of the red dye to the purple dye and mixing well. If you’re not happy with the color yet, add as much red as you want.
  • Remember to keep track of exactly how much red you add so you have it for when you decide to touch up your color.
  • Once you get the purple you’re looking for, wet your hair and apply it to your hair from your roots to your ends.
  • Let it sit for 30-40 minutes, and once that time has gone by, rinse and dry your hair.


Remember that semi-permanent dyes last for 2-3 weeks, so after that time has gone by, you’ll need to touch up your color.

Also, if you’ve chosen a color from Punky Color to use in your red and purple mix, you can also use their line of shampoo and conditioner to help your hair color last longer.



Before you mix any dyes to get your ideal purple color, try to see if that color you’re looking for already exists with brands like Punky Color or Manic Panic, since they offer a wide variety of colors.

When you mix red and purple dyes together, you’ll always end up with a purple color.

And what is going to determine exactly what shade of purple is the amount of red that you add to it.

Which shade of purple is that dreamy color you’re dying for?

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