lavender hair

Tips for dyeing and maintaining lavender hair

It’s hard to imagine a happier and more flattering color than lavender. And when that color is on your hair, people are going to notice. So if you’re ready to jazz up your look, and you don’t mind receiving lots of compliments from just about everyone, give it a try.

But you should know a few things going in. The dyeing process is messy. Color can go on uneven. And the biggest downside to lavender hair is the fact that it fades fast. I mean really fast.

Having spent the last two years experimenting with lavender on my hair, I’ve learned a thing or two about dyeing it and keeping the color for as long as possible. To summarize, my tips are:

Keep it clean
Keep it even
Keep it longer

Supplies needed

Before you get started, you’ll need:

Mixing bowl and applicator brush
Wide-tooth comb
Gloves
Mirror
Claw clip
Hair dye (semipermanent)
White conditioner (optional, for diluting stronger colors)

Hair dyeing supplies for lavender hair

Hair dyeing supplies for lavender hair

Dyeing and maintaining lavender hair

Keep it clean

When I say keep it clean, I’m not talking about your hair although that should be clean too. I’m talking about the bathroom because nobody mentions what a mess purple or lavender hair dye can make. Even though you try to cover every surface, you’ll be finding purple spots everywhere, and they’re hard to remove.

So if you don’t want your bathroom looking like a splatter art project, I suggest dyeing your hair inside the shower. Dye seems to come off easier in there and the mess is contained. Most spots will come off with rubbing alcohol. Lay a cloth down on the shower floor and you’ll have even less to clean up.

Shower set up to dye hair

Shower set up to dye hair

Keep it even

Splotchiness is a problem when dyeing your hair lavender or purple. The darker the dye, the more careful you have to be with application.

The brand of dye you use makes a big difference too. Arctic Fox is by far the easiest semipermanent dye to work with. Girls Night (a pinky lavender) and Periwinkle (a bluish lavender) are good color choices.

Arctic Fox Girls Night semipermanent dye

Arctic Fox Girls Night semipermanent dye

On the other hand, Manic Panic Ultraviolet is for me the prettiest shade of lavender when diluted with conditioner. Unfortunately, it goes on so splotchy and uneven and fades so fast, that it’s just not worth the hassle.

When dyeing your hair, start with dry, clean hair. Treat small sections at a time, about an inch wide. Try to spread the dye out evenly from the root to the ends. Rub it in with your fingers then go through it with the comb.

arctic fox girls night

Getting ready to dye my hair

After all the hair is done, gather it on your head and clip it in place. A half hour later you can wash it off.

I’ve found it does no good to leave the dye on for extended periods of time like some people recommend. I’ve tried it and have even washed it with cold water and I can say that those things made no difference in the staying power.

In fact, every day the hair fades even if you only wash it once a week. (Obviously it will fade faster the more you wash it.) I only wash mine once or twice a week.

Keep it longer

Lavender hair will only last one to two weeks depending on how deep the color was to begin with. If you don’t mind starting off with purple hair (Arctic Fox Purple Rain), you might even get three weeks out of it.

I’ve found the most effective way to extend the length of time between applications is to deposit dye every time you wash your hair. My favorite method is to use lavender conditioner after washing my hair. This allows me to go four to six weeks before dyeing again.

Girls Night and Periwinkle can be used straight out of the bottle as a conditioner. But if you’re using a purple dye, it should be diluted with white conditioner to a pale shade. With more intense colors you run the risk of getting a big purple blob on the back of your head.

To test for the right color, touch the dye with your finger and wipe it off. If it leaves more than a slight hint of lavender, you need to add more conditioner.

lavender conditioner comparison

lavender conditioner

The right amount of color for lavender conditioner

What I do in the shower is wash my hair first, squeeze out excess water and apply tinted conditioner with the applicator brush. I do this without looking in a mirror. Next I comb through the hair then pin it to my head with the hair clip. All these things live in my shower in a handy acrylic basket stuck to the wall.

hair supplies basket

Shower basket holding my hair supplies

If I end up with extra conditioner, I save it in an empty pump bottle for next time.

Then I continue on with my shower, rinsing my hair out as the very last step. So the hair is usually tinted and conditioned for about ten minutes at that point.

Some people say purple shampoo is good for maintaining lavender hair but I disagree. I experimented with purple shampoos and found that they’re only good for toning blonde or silver hair. To try and get more color payoff you need to saturate dry hair with the shampoo and leave it on for a while. In my opinion, this is a waste of money and time so I stick with the conditioner method.

So now you’re ready to rock your lavender locks!

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