Thursday, January 28, 2016

Searching for the Perfect Purple Hair - A Review of 4 Dyes

For the past 6 months, I've been on the search for a pretty shade of purple hair dye. I wanted something that would tint my medium brown hair to a noticeably purple color similar to this ~ not too subtle, but not in-your-face neon either. I've tested out a few options and wanted to write a brief review about each one before I forget the details!

To choose my dyes, I basically looked around Amazon for the top rated purples. Then I would do an image search to try & see the dye on people's hair. Unfortunately it's pretty hard to tell what the actual color is going to look like because 1) Purple can be a tricky color to capture right in a photo, and I'm sure most people are not editing their photos for color accuracy. 2) Some people lighten their hair first, some don't, so you get a wide range of possible shades, and 3) A lot of the photos that show up in a search do not actually use the dye you searched for. Often the correct dye was listed elsewhere on the webpage, and sometimes Google's used up the 'best results' and is now just showing 'purple hair' from anywhere. It can help you weed out a few that are far off base, but in the end, you pretty much just have to choose one and hope for the best.

Adore Semi-Permanent Hair Color, Rich Fuchsia

Back in July I bought this dye for about $6 off of eBay. This was my first time using a dye that didn't come in a boxed kit (other than putting some Manic Panic streaks in my hair in college once, which I can barely remember!), and it was a very different dye. It is not as chemical-ly ~ you can leave it in your hair for 2 hours if you want to ~ and it actually had a nice scent! You don't have to mix it with a developer, so you can use some of the bottle now and save the rest for later (great for streaks). I probably used half the bottle on my short hair.

Unfortunately, everything else about this dye was pretty terrible. I was hoping the purply fuchsia + brown hair would make a nice reddish purple color, but it was really more of a pink-red. But the big problem was that it stained worse during application than any dye I have ever used! (Both the bathroom and my skin) Normally with a boxed dye I can wipe up a drip with a wet finger or toilet paper and it leaves no mark if I catch it right away. This stuff was thin & drippy, and left a bright stain as soon as it touched any surface! Thank goodness I discovered it was easy to remove with nail polish remover. Though it did leave my shower quite pink & I was not able to remove that with the nail polish remover or my normal shower cleaner (haven't tried anything harsh yet). I'll be avoiding this brand from now on!

Adore "Rich Fuchsia" Hair Dye

In October I decided to try a boxed kit in a deep, reddish purple shade. The result looked like every other reddish brown dye, with a very slight purplish tint. It was so boring I barely have a picture of it. Here you can see the reddish-brown color on my bangs and a few hints of purple where the light is hitting it. Blah.

Vidal Sassoon "Mayfair Burgundy" Hair Dye, 1

This dye actually left color on my towel after the first few washes, which I've never had happen with a dye before (even the super-stainy one above). Luckily I threw them in the wash right away when I noticed & it came out fine.

It faded quickly, but on the plus side I ended up with a nice orange-red color that I liked! 

Vidal Sassoon "Mayfair Burgundy" Hair Dye, 2

Two months later, I decided to use some birthday money and try for purple again! I picked up another purple London Luxe (I think they have even more) and hoped this one would be closer to my dream color. 

Let's just say I *hated* this one! Indoors it pretty much looked like a black-blue, and I was not liking the black against my skin color at all.

Vidal Sassoon "London Lilac" Hair Dye, 1

The purple was in the highlights, so under bright light it would glow a bit purplish. After a week or two the black had faded and the purple was able to show through more. I'm sure the purple probably showed up outside some (my husband assures me it did), but I rarely caught a glimpse of it. With bright sunlight I was able to capture this nice, purplish pic, but it definitely did not look this good most of the time! 

Vidal Sassoon "London Lilac" Hair Dye, 2

After another week or two, the color had mostly faded out so that I was back to my medium brown color with a hint of a purple glow under bright light. There was one pretty good week, but I would never use this one again just to avoid the original blackish color. (Oh, and I made sure to use dark towels this time, so I'm not sure if this shade bled like the other box or not.)

This dye also did not need a developer & didn't have the chemical funk you get from boxed kits. It came in a large bottle, but went on super thick, and I started wondering if my short hair was going to use the whole thing! I ended up only using about half, which is good since this one was a little pricier at $12 (the others were about $6-7). Next time I might mix in a little conditioner to make it thinner & easier to apply, but I will say that the dye went on with less mess than normal, so maybe thick is a good thing?

Joico "Amethyst Purple" Hair Dye

This has definitely been my favorite dye so far! The color is lovely, and this is the first time I was able to see the purple regularly & felt like I finally had *purple* hair. Unfortunately after 2 weeks the color is fading already, and I'm nearly back to brown with a purple glow. I've had pink suds every time I shampoo (way more than most dyes), so it's washing out quick. In a few weeks I'll happily use the other half of the bottle and enjoy another 2 nice, purply weeks, but after that I'll be on the hunt for something new. I've still got a few ideas tucked away on my Amazon Wish List!

Any other purple girls out there?