Nina Anniston

Nina Anniston

From Brunette to Bold: How to Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleaching

  Jan 16, 2024
Reviewed by alexa maxwell

When Justine Skye said, “My hair is always going to be purple; that’s kind of my thing. It doesn’t matter what length I make it, as long as it’s purple.” We all felt her. And my mane screamed, “Purple is the new black!!” 

Though nature does not bless humankind with this bewitchingly vibrant hair hue, it has been the most celebrated hair shade for ages. However, the demand for dyeing hair purple has witnessed its peak in the 21st century. 

Fun Fact: The purple hair shade is not contemporary. it was first introduced in the 1800s by English chemist William Perkin who accidentally developed mauve shade color while experimenting with a synthetic dye. 

To some dark-haired spirits, coloring their hair purple is not a mere cosmetic procedure; it is a ritual to set their soul free from mundanity. But bleaching is nothing short of crucifixion for their locks that strip the life out of hair. 

“The satan of bleach demands the soul of hair and leaves a cadaver lying on the head.”

Are you also here to know the possibilities of skipping bleaching before dying your hair purple? 

To embark on, you ought to know that you can save your strands from bleaching and turning into a broom, even if you are transforming your dark hair into Ariel-like Purple. 

Here is the coloring bible for aspiring purple-heads. We have sized up some ways that will help you dye your dark hair purple without bleaching and escape harsh chemicals. 

Alert: Do not skip any section as “A little knowledge is a dangerous thing.”, especially when it is a matter of your loved locks. 

What is Hair Bleach? Why Skip it While Hair Coloring?

Hair Bleach is a harsh chemical that is used to lighten the natural or pre-existing hair pigment to create a clean slate or blonde state of hair so that your next hair color looks more visible and vibrant. 

The most commonly used bleaching agents in the hair dyeing industry are Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia; both are known to strip color and moisture from your hair. Dark hair needs more bleaching time and potency to come out lighter and thus turns more brittle afterward. 

Wondering why not to use hair bleach? Here are its risks:

  • It can fry your hair if not done carefully.
  • It removes nutrients and moisture from your hair strands.
  • It leaves hair dull and dry. 
  • It needs a hell lot of money for aftercare.
  • It poses health hazards like skin cancer.

Can We Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleaching It?

Of course, Yes! The market is now full of advanced and modern coloring formulae that work wonders without bleaching. Above all, there is a wide spectrum of pigmentations to choose from for both light and dark hair. And by incorporating the proper coloring methods, you can rock the violet hair without damaging your beloved tresses. 

If you are willing to dye your dark hair purple, you can skip the bleaching process and use the DIY box-dyed colors on your hair directly. But, before you sail your boat in the purple ocean, it is essential to follow the pre-coloring guidelines.  

Things To Consider Before Dyeing Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach

Do a Patch Test

With pertinent precautionary measures; you can dye your hair purple more safely. To begin with, carry out a patch test to steer clear of allergic reactions and burns. Your dye will contain the patch-test instructions; just follow as said, or see your hair dying a slow death. 

To perform a patch test, just apply a little amount of hair color on the inner elbow, let it sit for a while, and see if any irritation or itchiness stems from it. If it causes discomfort of any kind, give it a miss, and don’t apply to your hair. This stringent is applied to all, be it permanent dye, semi-permanent dye, or demi-permanent. 

Identify Your Natural Hair Color To Set Expectations 

Since you have skipped bleaching, your natural hair color has a major role to play, as it will determine the intensity and outcome of the purple dye. To understand better, here is the basic idea of how purple will turn out on different shades of brown and black hair. 

Note: You may not get the exact same shade shown here, but you will get a close idea, so USE YOUR IMAGINATION!

Hair dye

Prepare Your Hair 

Before beginning the coloring sessions, you first need to clean and hydrate your hair with the right shampoo and conditioner. Never dye dirty or unclean hair, as it can cause more harm than good. 

To prep up your hair, you need: 

  • A Clarifying Shampoo: This will help you remove any scalp build-up, dirt, or styling products present in your hair. 
  • Hydrating Conditioner: Clarifying shampoo can strip hair’s natural oil and moisture, and thus using a hydrating conditioner is necessary to retain nourishment. 

How to Choose the Right Type of Purple Hair Color 

Only four types of purple hair dyes exist, i.e., Temporary, Semi-Permanent, Demi Permanent, and Permanent. They all vary in longevity, however, the color pigmentation usually remains the same after the first application. Let’s compare them all to know what suits whom: 

Type of DyeWho Should Choose How Long the Dye will Last
Temporary Dye
  • Best for those who want to have an event to attend for want purple hair for a few days. 
  • The safest option for damage-free and bleach-free hair coloring
  • 1-3 washes
    Semi Permanent Dye
  • Those who need to see how purple shades suit their hair and just need colored hair for a month or two.
  • It is usually mixed with a low-volume developer to generate expected results. Best without bleaching purple dye.
  • 8-16 washes
    Demi Permanent Dye
  • Suitable alternative to permanent dye. It causes less damage to hair as it contains an alkaline component, so those who are considerate of damage, can pick this dye.
  • Penetrates into the hair shafts a little deeper; hence some damage is expected.
  • 18-20 Washes
    Permanent Dye
  • If you love your hair purple and want to keep it longer, go for a permanent one. This may contain ammonia and, thus, not suitable for first-timers.
  • It demands pre-lightening most of the time.
  • It may damage your hair and demands intense aftercare.
  • 24 washes

    How To Choose the Purple Hair Color For Dark Hair

    Purple is a multifarious color that parents have different related shades. Before dyeing your hair purple, you need to understand the color chart and choose a shade that will best suit your hair type, complexion, and personality.  

    For pigmented hair, Dark purple shades like indigo, burgundy, and amethyst are more achievable. Some other shades to try are warm plum, deep berry tones, neon purple, violet, lilac, amethyst, indigo, purple fury, purple rain, burgundy, and hot purple. 

    You can always mix different hair dyes to create the shade of your choice. Well, we have a visual presentation for all purple shades to help you make an informed decision. 

    purple hair colour

    Are you done choosing the shade for your purple hair? Now, it’s time to take some action and put together your arsenal. 

    Tools You Need To Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach

    To avoid any hassle later, it is essential that you keep your dyeing tools handy. They should be at your disposal so your hair dyeing drill can be completed without any halt. 

    From preparing your hair to aftercare, gather all the tools that are going to play a role in each stage. Not only tools but make sure to keep all the necessary supplies together.

    Not using the right products and tools will alter your desired look and can also lead to damaged or fried hair. Thus, we have a list of all supplies that you need to color your hair purple without bleaching; all the boxes should be checked before you begin:

    1. A Clarifying Shampoo: To prep your hair for coloring, you first need to wash them with a clarifying shampoo. You must know the use of it by now, as we have already stated the need for this hair-washing product.
    2. A Hydrating Conditioner: Next product that will be used for getting your hair ready for color transformation is a nourishing conditioner to soften and moisturize your hair. 
    3. Favourite Coloring product: The market is crazily loaded with purple hair dyes. Select what type of dye you need using our comparison table above. Pick only a reputed brand for semi-permanent or demi-permanent colors.
    4. Hair Claws and Clips: Keep a handful of hair clips to separate your hair while coloring; try to use plastic clips, as metal ones may get ruined.
    5. Sturdy Gloves: Plastic or rubber, any gloves will work. The purpose is to secure your hair from absorbing the colors and chemicals. They should not be too loose or too big and must fit your hands well. 
    6. Applicator Brush: A brush is important to ensure the even application of products, so make sure you keep a hair-coloring brush ready by cleaning it beforehand. 
    7. Shower Cap or Plastic Bag: This is required to cover your hair once your coloring is done. It will help the dye to stay in place and prevent your clothes and body from getting stained.
    8. Coconut Oil: You must apply coconut oil generously to your hairline as well as your forehead along with the back of your neck to prevent staining or burning of the skin. 
    9. An Old Cloth or Tee: Any old cotton cloth will work to remove unwanted stains. Also, make sure you are not wearing any new clothing items.
    10. A Timer: This is crucial to keep track of time and not to underdo or overdo the process. With a stopwatch or timer, you can follow the timeline mentioned on the packaging of the products more accurately.
    11. A Coloring Conditioner: You need to condition your hair after washing off the color, and for that, you need to have a conditioner that is specially designed for color-treated hair. FYI, some brands have even introduced purple shampoo and conditioners to improve the longevity of purple dye.
    12.  Heat protectant: To style your hair post-coloring, you need to have a good heat protectant, as colored hair is prone to heat damage. 

    Now that you have assembled all these products, let’s move the steps by following which you can color your dark hair purple without bleaching.

    Steps to Color Dye Dark Hair Purple Without Bleaching

    Hair Dye Steps Infographic

    Save the high-quality PDF version on your device now.


    To this time, you must have learned all the basics of dyeing your dark hair purple without bleaching. It’s time to do some actions and transform the holistic demeanor of your hair with the alluring hue of purple so that people can swoon over your new avatar. Just follow these 8 steps in a consecutive manner, and let your hair do the rest of the talk: 

    1. Purchase the Right Hair Color Type and Shade 

      First, you need to select and buy the type or shade of hair color you need. For bleach-free purple hair, you mainly got three options, temporary dye, semi-permanent dye, or demi-permanent dye. Some brands have manufactured permanent dyes work sans bleaching; you can get your hands on those as well. 

      There are several brands offering box dyes that can change your strands from brown or black to purple hair. 

    Note: For a better understanding, refer to the tables above, and make an informed decision about what hair color you need to dye your dark hair purple. 

    1. Wash and Prep Your Hair

      Before coloring, wash your hair thoroughly a few days before, or use a good conditioner if you are washing your hair on the same day. Hydrated hair ensures less damage and a glossier outcome.

    1. Separate or part your hair

      Divide your hair into different sections using the hair clips so that you don’t miss any spots and can easily handle the colored sections. Also, make sure that you are wearing old clothes that you can afford staining.

    1. Mix the Product Thoroughly

      Now open the box of your semi or demi-permanent hair color and mix the color solution and activator (if provided). 

      Do not miss reading all the instructions given on the product; most of the dyes are for direct application. Take a plastic or glass bowl, and mix the product in the desired quantity. Oftentimes, one package is meant for a single application. 

    1. Apply the Color to Hair Sections

      Now, it’s time to coat all your stands with purple dye; as you are applying purple dye to dark hair and skipping bleaching as well, you need to be generous while applying color to your hair. 

      Make sure you cover all your hair in color, and no stand is overlooked in the process. After the application, check it in multiple mirrors or move your mirror in all directions to scan all sides of your head. 

    1. Set the Timer

      After an even color-application, put a plastic cover or a shower cap on your head. It is crucial to cover your head for better color absorption. Now, set a timer for 20-30 minutes or for what is mentioned on the packaging of the color. Avoid over-keeping or under-keeping the product, as this may affect the result.

    1. Wash or Rinse the Color

      Use regular tap water to clear the product out of your hair. Skip shampooing your hair afterward, and apply a conditioner that is meant for colored hair. Considerably, there are numerous conditioning products that are originally developed for purple hair..

    1. Air Dry Your Hair

      Let your hair air dry, and avoid using heat on hair just after the dyeing, as it can damage the cuticles. In case you need to style your hair immediately, use a strong heat protectant. 

    Aftercare Tips When Coloring Dark Hair Purple Without Bleach

    Now that you are done dying your dark brown hair to purple with no bleach, it’s time to learn some of the obligatory measures and serious tips that can help you maintain your newly dyed purple hair in the long run. 

    All these tips are approved by industry experts.

    Tip 1: Never Skip the Patch test: We have already mentioned the importance of the patch test, but to remind you again, make sure you apply the color on your elbow or the back of your hand to prevent any allergic reactions. Also, it will help you interpret the time required to keep the product on your hair to get the desired shade.

    Tip 2: Pre-Conditioning is a game changer: Though most of the coloring products claim to be damage-free, it is best to conditioner your hair before you begin dyeing brown hair purple with no bleach. You can use deep conditioning treatment just a few days before you dye your hair purple. This is helpful in moisture retention. 

    Tip 3: Invest in Color-Protecting Hair Products: You must invest in the color-safe formula to keep your hair color stay for a longer duration. From shampoo, conditioner, and styling gel to spray, whatever you put on your hair should be color-protecting. 

    Tip 4: Wash your Hair Less Frequently: The more you wash your hair, the earlier your hair will start shredding the color. Hence, avoid washing your hair often or going swimming.

    Tip 5: Use Dark Towels and Clothes: Try to use dark-colored towels or clothes for drying your hair, especially a few days after the dyeing session, because lighter-colored clothes tend to absorb the patches.  

    Tip 6: Sun-Protection is the Thumb Rule: You must avoid sun exposure as UV rays can fade the vibrant purple hair color and even cause hair damage. So, cover your head properly with a scarf, or carry an umbrella before you head outside in the direct sunlight.

    Tip 7: Refrain from using Chlorinated Water: For color-treated hair, Chlorinated water may act as a villain. Either use a great chlorine-protective hair product when you for swimming or use a sturdy swimming cap so that you can limit the contact of your purple hair with the Chlorinated water

    Tip 8: Mix the leftover dye with your conditioner: If some semi or demi-permanent dye is still left, add it to your conditioner, and whenever you will apply the conditioner to your hair, you will perform the touch-ups without any additional effort. This way, your color will last longer and stay vibrant throughout.

    Tip 9: Oiling is Your Hair’s Bae: If you want your purple-dyed hair to stay shiny and glossy and want to control the damage that happened due to coloring, you must oil your hair once a week using natural oils like coconut oil, Moroccan oil, argan oil, etc.

    Advantages and Disadvantages of Dying Your Dark Hair Purple

    You must know all pros and cons associated with applying purple dye on black hair without bleaching. 

    Though there is no such disadvantage that can resist brave hearts, still, it is due responsibility to make you aware of the after-effects of dyeing your dark hair purple.

    Purple is a mood-lifting color and will enhance your personality. It not only boosts your confidence but also makes you stand out.Coloring products consist of chemicals that can make your hair dry and frizzy.
    Best for an extensive hair transformation. It demands extensive aftercare, which may cost a whole lot of fortune on maintenance. 
    It is best for dark hair as there is plenty of product-option available. You need to be extra careful with your hair when you are out in the sun or in the pool.
    Being a dark shade, it works well without bleaching, unlike other lighter hair colors.Purple color can stain clothes even  days after dyeing. So, you need to project your tee, pillowcases, and towels. 

    7 Best Dyes to Colour Dark Hair Purple Without Bleaching

    L’Oréal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color- V28 Midnight Violet

    Cool-Toned Purple Hair Dye
    ShadeCool-Toned Purple Hair Dye
    Purchase LinkAmazon
    User Review:“My favorite brand for deep purple hair color. I have dark brown hair, and this color adds a beautiful purple hue that’s just subtle enough.”

    If you are a fan of true violet color that works well with light brown to black hair colors, go with the  V28 Midnight Violet shade from L’Oréal Paris’ Feria line. The box consists of a shimmer serum so that the color looks deeper and shows more dimension; you can mix the serum with the developer and color cream. This purple color formula includes sunflower seed oil and coconut oil and thus results in shinier hair. The coloring kit is best for DIY use, as it provides dyeing tools, from gloves to post-color shampoo and conditioner. You will not require to buy anything separately. 

    Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color- V2 Dark Intense Violet

    Warm-Toned Purple Hair Dye
    ShadeWarm-Toned Purple Hair Dye
    Purchase LinkAmazon
    User Review:“I really liked the color. It was definitely good if you have medium-brown hair and you want to actually see the color and not just in sunlight. The smell was nice and not overpowering. Did not burn either.”

    The Garnier Nutrisse Ultra Color line has various purple shades for darker hair that work best without bleach. It has been rated 5 stars by most Amazon users. On the dark hair, it comes up as a Burgundy-purple shade. The color formula is made up of grape seed oil and sunflower seed oil, avocado, olive, and soybean oils. It even offers an ampoule of nourishing grape seed oil for post-care. 

    Schwarzkopf Ultra Brights- 94 Purple Pink

    Cool-Toned Purple Hair Dye
    ShadeCool-Toned Purple Hair Dye
    Purchase LinkAmazon
    User Review: By House of Chichi“Have been using this product for years now. Love the colors and how it comes out on my hair. But put in mind that it’s not a permanent dye, which means you probably have to apply it again when the color starts fading. What I do to make my first application stay longer is I don’t wash my hair every day. Plus, the longer you leave the color on your hair the longer it stays. Once I apply, I leave it for an hour before washing, depending on the shade I’m going for. A darker shade means leaving the dye a bit longer. No damage to my hair and no irritations”.

    The Schwarzkopf Live Semi-Permanent Colour is pigmented enough to appear on darker hair. It has a unique shade of dark purple-black hair dye that leaves a bright color and saturates each hair strand. Fan of vibrant colors? This one is to-go for you. For voluminous and thicker hair, you need at least two packets of hair color. 

    Rebellious Paintglow Semi-permanent Hair Dye- Purple Fury

    Bright-Toned Purple Fury
    ShadeBright-Toned Purple Fury
    Purchase LinkAmazon
    User Review: By Maxine“I love this colour, wish I’d done more of my hair! Easy to apply, waited 30 minutes. Used my hair dryer on it for 2 minutes. Washed off and love the result. I will be buying some more.”

    The Rebellious Colours Purple Fury is a UK vegan hair color that is quite gentle to hair as it contains no harsh chemicals, peroxide, or ammonia. It goes great even without bleaching your hair and is perfect for regular use. If you love giving touch-ups, you can keep this dark lavender hair dye in store. It turns out a deep, rich purple color when applied to dark hair. It is a semi-permanent color and hence stays up to 4-8 washes.

    Garnier Color Sensation- Grape Expectations (Pack of 3)

    Warm-toned purple
    ShadeWarm-toned purple
    Purchase LinkAmazon
    User Review: By Michelle BMy hair is medium/dark brown with a lot of gray. This covered it all, and I did not bleach first. Indoors with low/medium light, the color doesn’t stand out, which is great for looking “professional” for an indoor job. But when you go out in the sun or you have a lot of sun coming in windows, the purple is really vibrant. I’ve had many compliments. Makes you stand out without looking like a clown. This is perfect for my “midlife crisis”! I altered my review from 5 to 4 stars, just because I have to dye every month to keep the color vibrant. But then, as white as my roots are getting, I have to do that anyway. Still love the color! I don’t like to do the touch-up dye the way the directions say; I hate putting it on my roots, then taking off gloves and waiting, then trying to get the gloves back on and dying the rest. So I just start with the roots and take my time working the dye out to the ends. It still looks good. My roots aren’t “hot” and my hair isn’t worn out.”

    As per users’ reviews, the color covers the dark hair pretty well and gives out gentle hues in the indoor lighting, looking extremely vibrant in the sunlight. It is budget-friendly and best for those who want to dye their hair purple without bleaching. Moreover, it doesn’t strip the natural shine of your hair and makes your hair look shinier than before. It is quite easy to use and comes with a post-wash conditioner. So, try it out if you want a cost-effective purple color for dark hair. 

    ARCTIC FOX Vegan and Cruelty-Free Hair Color Dye- Purple AF

    Warm-toned purple
    ShadeWarm-toned purple
    Purchase LinkAmazon
    Users Review: By K-Ron- This is the only color that will actually leave pigment on dark hair. It won’t be PURPLE AF but it will be a beautiful dark purple. I get nonstop compliments on it. It is just under the radar enough I can be in a professional atmosphere and get away with it but as soon as I am under direct inside light or sunlight it’s like purple party bayyybee. It will fade with washing (use only sulfate-free shampoo and wash in cool to cold water) and transfer when wet so use caution. To extend the life of your color, adding some to your conditioner works wonders. Since it is vegan it will also leave your hair looking healthy and oh-so shiny. Extra tip: any staining on skin or surfaces will come off easily with rubbing alcohol.”

    This color offers great pigment on dark hair. Formerly, it was formerly known as Purple Rain, but now it belongs to the AF edition and has become a bit of purple-black hair dye. It is a deep and versatile color, that is best for professional settings as well. It may go away a little with every wash, but it is most suitable for people who want a purple color that works without bleaching. This color range is free from  Smears, harsh Scent, Peroxide, Ammonia, Ethyl Alcohol, and PPD.

    Lime Crime Unicorn Hair Dye Full Coverage- Genie (Dark Violet Purple)

    Warm Violet purple
    ShadeWarm Violet purple
    Purchase LinkAmazon
    User’s Review: By Tara Bolewar“I did mine and my daughter’s hair, with two jars total (one pink and one purple) and still had quite a bit left over. It was a mess to do, but most of that is really on me. I did the top half (on us both) pink with purple underneath, so this provided a messy challenge. If I’d had someone else to help me or if I’d just don’t one color it would not have been nearly as messy. It stained every surface in my bathroom, but that did come out with some Clorox bleach-based bathroom cleaner…Read More”- 

    Those who need vegan purple hair dye for dark hair should trust Lime Crime’s color range. If Genie is too dark for you, get your hands on the shade Pony from the same range. However, “Genie” is the best shade for DIY use and offers quite a vibrant color on dark hair. With the sugary citrus vanilla scent and striking purple outcome, it works well without requiring any hair-lightener and hence the best purple shade for dark hair without bleaching. 

    The Closure

    Purple is synonymous with life, spirit, and zest. So, if you are someone with dark hair and afraid of bleaching, you can still color your hair purple and flaunt the energy you hold within your spirit. All you need is someone, who can hold your hand and walk with you through this hair transformation journey, and this guide is your virtual companion that knows everything, all you need is to follow what is said there. 

    FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

    Ans: Brunettes must try darker and deep shades like violet, ruby, and indigo for better color payoff without bleaching.

    Ans: Every purple shade looks different on different skin tones, so choose a color that goes well with your complexion. Some best purple colors for dark hair are deep berry, neon purple, deep sangria tint, plum, burgundy, neon purple, and intense lilac. 

    Ans: Avoid direct sunlight, use color-protecting hair products, do not wash hair too often, and oil your hair regularly. These are some best ways to maintain the purple color on unbleached hair.

    Ans: You can try blue and burgundy shades along with the Purple color, as these shades complement each other and reflect a unique color.

    Ans: Yes, you can certainly skip bleaching and dye hair purple without bleaching, just use the darker tones of purple and follow the aftercare religiously.

    Ans: ARCTIC FOX and L’Oréal Paris Feria are the best purple dyes for black hair. Both are box dyes and can be used at home.

    Ans: If you want to lighten the dark purple hair, and keep it subtle, try washing it often, as the color comes off little by little with every wash. You can even use clarifying shampoo instead of the color-protecting one.


    Patch tests: By NCBI.NLM.NIH.GOV 
    Hair Coloring: BY Wikipedia