If you’re new here, welcome! I’m Rachel, the creator of All Wavy Hair. But today, I’m talking about my very dark hair, and how I dyed it purple. Without bleach. Yep, it’s possible!
This post includes…
- brief hair backstory
- type of dye used
- prep for dye process
- dyeing the hair by myself
- hair dye resuts
- how long the dye lasts
If you’re one of my wavy friends, keep reading, because this is the least damaging hair dye I’ve ever seen.
Note this post is NOT sponsored, and all products were paid for by me. This post includes affiliate links that cost you nothing, and keep my website running. You can read the full website disclaimer here. I sincerely appreciate each click!
Here are a few important things to know about my hair that you can compare to your own:
I haven’t colored my hair since 2013. Everything on my head is virgin hair.
My hair is naturally very dark. Often people mistake it for black. It’s not, but it is VERY deep brown. To hair stylists I’m told I’m a “Level 3”
I did NOT pre-lighten or use bleach.
My hair is thick, fairly coarse, 2a/2b wavy, normal porosity.
I had realistic expectations about not pre-lightening.
You may have heard this already, but I’m here to say it again. If your hair is super deep, it will appear more tinted than anything. It’s kind of like being a stealthy purple. At first glance, people may not realize. They’ll have to take a second glance and ask, “wait, is their hair purple?”…unless it’s sunny outside. then they’ll know something’s up. This dye shows up great in the sun.
And really, this was right up my alley. I’ve always been more of a rule bender than a breaker. I like to be out of the box, but like…..next to the box. Not super out of the box. I also have two little ones and was worried about being judged. Which isn’t cool, but it was my self-conscious self getting the best of me. But more importantly, I didn’t want to destroy my hair. I’ve been very careful with my hair for years. That’s why I started this blog, to help other wavies too!
I used a semi-permanent dye (this one, we’ll talk more about it later, and no it’s not sponsored). DO NOT follow my method if you are using permanent dye. This method will work best with semi-permanent or demi-permanant. My option has no ammonia, SLS, phalates, and is vegan/cruelty free.
before hair prep: washing
I washed my hair with a fairly strong low-poo (sulfate free shampoo for those of you not used to wavy hair terms! You can learn all about low-poo here). Then, I conditioned and fully rinsed out. Then, I washed my hair two more times with that shampoo.
Why? the first shampoo was to only remove product and build up. I conditioned to add in some moisture. Then I washed twice to strip the hair back down to prep it for dye. You might be able to get away with only shampooing once. My hair was day 4 hair and needed a bit more love and lather.
Then, I used a microfiber turbie twist for about 30minutes, then let my hair air dry. For me, that takes all day. I came from the gym so this wasn’t a big deal. This depends how fast your hair air dries. You could speed up the process by blow drying, but I’m already going to use heat later so I didn’t want to for this step.
before hair dye prep: rough straightening (and why!)
Wavies, don’t get mad at me. I straightenend my hair roughly with my Revlon Pro One Step Styler (the round brush/blow dryer combo tool)…..why? even color coverage. If you are a hair stylist, maybe you don’t need to do this. Me? I wanted to make things easy to get a good even layer of the dye on the hair.
I did not use heat protectant, because the dye needs to cling to the hair. Again, this is a difference between semi-permanent dye prep and permanent. Final warning: only use my approach for semi-permanent dyes.
products for application: dye, bown, brush, clean-up things
The dye I chose was Arctic Fox Purple Rain, the 8oz bottle. My hair is thick and a bit below my shoulders. If your hair is even near your collarbone/shoulders….get the 8oz bottle. You’d rather have too much than run out partway through. I was actually worried I wouldn’t have enough. My hair needed almost the entire bottle. I did use it up just to be extra sure I got full coverage.
I applied a layer of face moisturizer around my hairline. The directions say petroleum jelly, but that would’ve made my skin break out like crazy. I used this and my hairline is fine. No promises for your own moisturizer, but my guess is that it’d be alright.
Then, I divided my hair into quarters using the jumbo roller clips. Once that was done, I grabbed a front section at the scalp, and painted on this layer down as evenly I could. What I ran into was that my thick hair was hard to cover unless I used teeny sections. So I began to add in globs of the dye using the applicator gloves I purchased. I made sure to really squish the product in throughout each length section. Be methodical as you do this or you could end up with patchy coverage. I am absolutely glad I straightened my hair or it would’ve been patchy.
I got my hair completely saturated in the dye, then put it up into a bun. Because of how much product was in there, I didn’t need clips or hair-ties. I covered my head with a walmart bag – any thin plastic grocery store bag will do. I suggest these instead of a shower cap because you’re going to throw it out anyways.
heat, then let it set
Once I had the plastic bag on, I blow dried my head. I just used my Revlon Pro Styler again since it was there in my bathroom. I just put it against my head. You could use a normal blow dryer here. Then I let the dye sit in my hair for about 2.5 hours. The instructions say “at least 30 minutes” and since this dye contains no ammonia, ethyl alcohol or peroxide there isn’t a maximum time.
rinse with care (for your shower)
You do.not.need.to.wash.this.out. In fact, that will cause it to fade much faster.
I removed the bag, then rinsed my hair with lukewarm water until it ran clear. That took awhile. Probably 10 minutes of rinsing, if not longer. I opted to stand outside the shower because I’ve got a shower-head with a wand. That also made cleanup easier because I kept everything directly over the drain portion of my shower. This also minimized staining my skin. It was during this process that I stained my fingertips. Oops! Looking back, use gloves here too to avoid the stained fingers.
Wavy friends, this might sound familiar. I needed to detangle and condition my hair. Actually, the dye is a deep conditioning treatment itself, but my hair was tangly after all that product and messing with the wave pattern etc. So I used KCKT to detangle my hair with my fingers. I squished a bit in at the end as leave in, but that’s it! I didn’t use any “normal” rinse out conditioner. Just If you don’t have natural waves/curls, you’ll only need to worry about using a detangler. With wavy hair, the washing befor emeant that I needed to replace more moisture.
air dry & style
I let my hair air dry overnight using a junky older towel. That allowed my hair to dry how I’d want it. Then, I used a mousse to style similar to my 2 minute refresh method. And that;s it! Here are the results!
results from Arctic Fox Purple Rain: after
The lighting makes my hair look DRASTICALLY different. It’s so cool!
It’s so beautiful! I also have 2a/2b waves and am considering dying them as well. That dye looks ideal. How long does the color last?
Thank you! I’m about 7 weeks out and it looks more like lowlights now. I think the “fading” process was really subtle, especially because of my waves! -Rachel
Did the dye wash off your hair completely? If so, how long did it take to come off?
Yes it did! I would say it faded down to a faint tint after about 5 weeks, then completely gone by 8 weeks. I doubt anyone could tell on my hair after 5 weeks (but if you have lighter hair it would probably take longer)…I think it’s fun to go for and I’m considering a second round! -Rachel
How long did you blow dry your hair while in the bag ? Thanks
Hi there! Sorry I missed your comment before, not very long, maybe 5 minutes total? Just enough to warm up the hair. Hope that helps! -Rachel