Why did my purple hair dye turn blue? How can I go back to purple?

blue haired woman with serious gesture

  • Your purple hair dye turned blue because you chose a dye containing more blue pigments than red pigments. And since the red pigments fade faster, your hair turned blue.
  • So, to turn your blue hair back to purple you have two options: reapply purple hair dye (I’ll recommend some brands below), or use a red toning shampoo.


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I think I’ve made myself clear. But just in case,  to make sure you understand why your purple dye turned blue, I’ll give you a short lesson in colorimetry. 


Let’s think for a moment. Purple comes from mixing two primary colors: blue and red. And this formula works whether we’re talking about hair dyes or watercolors.

woman shows off her freshly dyed purple hair

But if we’re talking about dyes, blue pigments have a stronger penetration and hold than red pigments. These, although they are persistent, lose intensity faster.

So after you dyed your hair purple, and after several washes, those red pigments faded. But the blue pigments are still there, in your hair. So  that’s why your purple hair dye turned blue. 


In addition,  the shade of purple you used to dye your hair is also a factor.  This affects whether your hair will be bluer or more purple when the dye fades.


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If you used a dye that contains more blue pigments than red, chances are that as the dye fades, your hair will turn blue. The red pigments fade faster.

But for now, we need to focus on solutions for you. I imagine you want your hair to go back to purple.

And that’s what I’ll talk about next.


Two options to make your blue hair purple again

violet hair dye to turn purple blue hair

We’ll start with the simplest one.


Apply a new purple dye.

But in this case,  my advice is to choose another dye brand or another shade of purple from the same brand. 

Because evidently, the purple dye you previously chose had a higher proportion of blue pigments.

So you should choose a dye with a higher proportion of red pigments than blue ones. This way, the purple will just fade to a lighter purple, not to blue.

You can also choose dye brands that make their products with higher-quality pigments, that don’t fade as easily. For instance, choose GARNIER, L´ORÉAL, or REVLON.


Use red toning shampoo to turn your blue hair back to purple.

 Use red shampoo twice a week , leaving it on for five minutes. After five or six washes, you’ll notice that your hair has turned purple again. The red shampoo added red pigments to your blue hair.


But I don’t want to mislead you. Red shampoo only creates a film of color that clings to the hair, but it doesn’t penetrate inside the hair. So I advise using sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner to keep the red pigments from fading quickly.


How to keep your purple hair for longer without it turning blue

blue hair turned purple

Once your hair turns purple again, you must take care of it. Here’s an ideal hair care routine you can use once you’ve renewed the purple dye.

  • Always use sulfate-free or special shampoos and conditioners for purple hair.
  • Don’t overuse heat tools such as a straightener, curler, or blow dryer. And when you use them, also use a heat protectant.
  •  Wash your hair once a week with purple toning shampoo , leaving it on for ten minutes and then rinsing it out with cold water.
  • You can also apply a color mask if you have purple conditioner.  Apply it to dry hair and leave it on for twenty minutes.  You can use it once a fortnight. In addition to adding purple pigments, the conditioner will moisturize your hair and provide nutrients.



Now you know why your purple hair dye turned blue. To turn your blue hair back to purple, apply a new purple hair dye, change the brand, or use a red toning shampoo to gradually turn your hair purple.

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