14 Kinds of Purple Highlights, from Lavender to Plum

Color Ideas

14 Photos That Will Make You Want Purple Highlights Now

28 August 2017
purple highlights
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Emily Arata

Senior Editor, Hair.com

As an employee of L’Oréal, Emily works with celebrity stylists to make finding the right cut, color, or style easier than ever before. She's previously written for Allure, Elite Daily, and First We Feast.

When it comes to hair trends—particularly those involving color—finding the right style can be something of a minefield. Choose the wrong variation on pink or blue and you just may find yourself with a washed-out complexion that cost you hundreds of dollars.

There’s one solution that ensures you don’t go wrong, however. Purple hair is the look we’re most likely to recommend to adventurous friends. Because the color is a blend of pink and blue, its many shades flatter every complexion and look just as good washed out as they do fresh from the salon.

Ready to step your game up with purple highlights?

Peekaboo

If you’re trying out purple hair for the first time, you might be a little shocked by the striking color change. One of our favorite ways to ease through that transition period is by starting out with peekaboo highlights that sit beneath the top layer of the hair. As their name suggests, these gorgeous jewel-like strands poke out of updos and blowouts, adding a touch of violet to any look.

Dark Brown Hair

Brunette ladies often feel left out of bright or whimsical color trends, but that doesn’t have to be the case with purple. Whether you prefer a pastel lavender or goth-inspired eggplant, your accent color will play nicely with that chocolate brown base. Talk to your colorist about a hair care system to maintain your newly applied shade.

Black Hair

We adore a statement hair color, and few make more of an entrance than black hair paired with vampy plum highlights. For winter or fall, this look packs a punch and doesn’t require getting rid of your naturally dark mane. Onyx and purple are best in short cuts, so pair this color duo with your pixie cut or bob.

Chunky Highlights

It may no longer be the early ‘00s, but we’re planning to maintain our teenage ways. This year, the razor cut has come back into fashion in a big way. That opens the door for statement highlights around the face and throughout the mid-lengths, particularly on bobs and lobs. Live life like you’re always attending a pop-punk music festival, is what we say.

Lowlights

Purple can’t be tamed, so don’t limit yourself by restraining it to highlights or ombre. Instead, give purple a chance to shine as a lowlight color on chocolate or medium brown strands. If you’re feeling particularly bold, it’s also an option for blonde hair—you’ll just need to be super careful about purple bleeding into the rest of your mane.

Lavender

If you’ve already spent time deciding where to put your purple highlights, you still have one more step before you’re ready for your appointment: Choosing a shade. The most obvious choice is lavender, which is one of several pastel shades to take over the hair world within the last few years. Want to be on-trend? This is the way to go.

Lilac

Lilac flies a little more under the radar than lavender does, but it’s our favorite faded color to try out. If you’re starting with a dirty blonde or golden base, a watercolor wash of lilac is a beautiful and flattering addition to your ‘do. Even better? The more this pink-purple shade shampoos out, the better it looks. Faded is the new neon, babes.

Magenta

For ladies working with cool complexions, magenta highlights are about to be a game changer. The raspberry-hued shade is walks the thin line between purple and pink in the very best way. Over the top of medium or dark brown hair, you’ll be pleased at how subtle the shade can be. This is a win-win situation.

Violet

Like lilac, violet is a shade from the purple family that we just don’t see frequently enough. Our favorite part about this pure purple hue is the way it plays alongside other colors. Want to give a fantasy technique like sunset hair (red, orange, and purple) or phoenix hair (yellow, orange, violet) a shot? Violet is your new best friend.

Purple, Pink, and Teal

While we’re talking statement colors, there’s no rule that purple highlights mean only purple highlights. The only thing better than one dreamy shade is three. With that in mind, it’s time to talk about the seriously stylish combination of purple, pink, and teal. These colors complement each other while creating a flashy, gorgeous ‘do that’s truly one of a kind.

Geode Hair

For those of you who only feel comfortable dying your hair multiple colors if said combination has a special name and Instagram hashtag, we present geode hair. This trend surfaced last year but hasn’t lessened in popularity just yet, which is excellent for all brunettes working their natural hair color. This blend of glittery greens, purples, and blues is a true showstopper.

Purple and Navy Hair

Geode hair isn’t the only accessible way to add gem-like tones to your mane. Instead of spending time and money trying to keep neon or pastel highlights vibrant, choose shades that are closer to your naturally dark base color. We’d suggest deep purple and navy, a winning combination that never seems to go out of style. You’ll have to deal with less maintenance and fewer trips to the salon, which is a cause we can readily get behind.

Plum

Working with a corporate dress code or just hoping for hair color that makes your face the focal point? Plum highlights are subtle, classic take on purple that won’t totally overwhelm you or that stylish outfit you spent 40 minutes putting together. Better yet, there’s no age range that won’t work for this color. Chic grandmothers out there? We see you. Plum is basically calling your name.

Maroon

Redheads, this one’s for you. Maroon is a sneaky shade of purple that’s itching to be burgundy, combining deep plum notes with hints of red. It’s ideal if you like changing up your hair seasonally (in which case, it’s an excellent fall-to-winter power move). On long waves, maroon lowlights are the way to go.

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