DIY Purple Hair, with no damage and potentially purple-stained everything

I’m so excited to sharing this article from Trashcan Rebellion’s first guest blogger, Serisha Iyer ! Serisha and I met in first year university and have been friends ever since. Serisha has such a great sense of style and is a super talented writer so when she offered to write a guest post for the blog, I was truly honoured.

Purple hair has seemed to surpass its initial “trend/seasonal” label and shows no signs of slowing down in terms of popularity. Getting a professional purple hair dye can take up lots of time and money and its can easily be done at home. Here Serisha shows you how to get lavender locks all by yourself.

I have what could be considered a not-so-mild case of obsessive compulsive hair dying. In the past six months I’ve dyed my hair roughly half a dozen times, ranging from blue-black to a dip-dye and even back to something that is roughly considered ‘natural’. I have ombrè dyed my hair, myself, twice. I have dip-dyed about three times. And I managed to get my dark, Indian hair, a very fiery red. So when I happened across purple hair, I absolutely had to try it myself.

Now, in all honesty I had initially wanted to dye my hair silver. But after much research, I realised that I liked my hair healthy much more than I would like my hair silver. It was while researching DIY silver hair that I happened across DIY purple hair.

If your hair is light, then you can pretty much skip this entire tutorial and go right to the bottom because God has blessed you with hair that is going to show colour really easily. If you aren’t so lucky, and have darker hair, then bear with me. I want to first issue a disclaimer, this all depends on the colour of your hair. Skip through the post and match the shade of your hair to the various shades it took my hair to get to purple and start from there. I can say, that I promise not to make your dark hair brittle and straw-like. It may be a bit dry after this, but I also have a solution to that. I also promise to get you dark-haired beauties to purple in just a week; but yes, you will have to be a bit of a ginger for a few days.


My hair started off very dark, and had colour in it. No, I didn’t bother with colour removal because I’ve never used it before and dye seems to take just fine. So let’s begin our journey to purple hair.

Things you will need:

For lightening:

Two boxes of Garnier Nutrisse Truly Blonde, crème pre-lightener (two boxes if your hair is as dark as mine was, only one if you’re a brown, and none if you’re blonde! Also, I’ve only ever found this at Dischem)

An old shirt, and an old towel.

For purple:


Mixing bowl


Gentian Violet

Step 1: when you open the Garnier Nutrisse Truly Blonde, crème pre-lightener, you may be slightly perturbed. I opened the box and then reconsidered everything for half an hour because you are esstentially getting bleach powder and peroxide developer. But I promise that it does not damage your hair, by some happy miracle. I’ve done a dip dye purple, so I sectioned my hair and followed the instructions inside the box (adding both sachets).


I was that perturbed.

I allowed mine to develop for twenty minutes, and then applied a little more to the tops for an ombre effect and left it for a further twenty minutes. I only used half of the bottle for the first application.

After the first wash and blow dry, it looked like this.


Step Two: After that, I applied the remaining dye and left it on for another forty minutes. If you are dying your hair twice in one day like I did, when washing the dye out do not over wash or condition. Using too much shampoo is going to dry your hair out and conditioning between dyings is going to prevent the dye from taking well. Which produced this:


Step Three: You want to let your hair rest after this. Ideally you should let your hair rest for at least a week, but I was impatient and waited three days. But after I had lightened my hair to this stage, I applied coconut oil to my hair and let it sit for a few hours. I swear by coconut oil to preserve the health of my serially dyed hair.

Step Four: Once your hair has rested or you’ve grown tired of waiting, you want to repeat steps one and two with the other box of lightener.

Effectively four rounds of dye later, my hair looked like this beautiful mess of a colour:

trashcan-rebellion-gentian-violet-purple-hair-dye-5 trashcan-rebellion-gentian-violet-purple-hair-dye-6

I left my hair for two days because I was sick of dying it, but once your hair is of equivalent lightness, you’re ready to go purple!

Step Five: just about every blog and YouTube video that I watched suggested that you use a cheap conditioner. I suggest using a good quality conditioner because this is going to sit in your hair for twenty minutes so you might as well nourish your hair while doing so.

What you want to do is pour some conditioner into a mixing bowl and add the Gentian Violet. I implore you, please use an old/plastic bowl and do not touch the Gentian Violet with your hands, it stains everything. I have learnt this by staining my hands, my neck, and my bathroom sink. Save yourself.

The mixture should be a deep purple, the deeper the purple, the more washes it will take to wash out, the less you have to touch up your colour.

Step Six: once mixed into a deep purple, simply apply the mixture to your hair. Be careful to coat each strand. I don’t particularly coat my strands evenly because I like the mixture of purples, I feel it gives more dimension and interest to the colour. Leave this on for twenty minutes.

Step Seven: when washing your hair, be careful of splashing the mixture onto the walls of your shower. It will stain. It should take a while to run out of the hair. But after this, you should have purple hair.

I am completely in love with my purple hair !

purple-hair-dye-8  trashcan-rebellion-gentian-violet-purple-hair-dye-9

NOTE: The purple will wash out after a few washes, but it is super easy to maintain the colour. I’ve got a bottle of Gentian Violet mixed with conditioner, so each time I wash my hair; I apply it after shampooing to maintain the colour. You can also apply it to your hair once a week as a conditioning mask if you’ve used a good quality conditioner in your mixture. I’ve also been doing this and it’s a great way to maintain your purple while ensuring that your hair stays healthy and moisturized.

This was my first tutorial, so I hope that I’ve helped someone or at least it’s been a fun read.

Happy hair dying!

How gorgeous does her hair look?

If you would like to see more from Serisha, check out her instagram @serifairy and her blog

If you would like to be a guest blogger or collaborate on a post send an email to  

4 thoughts on “DIY Purple Hair, with no damage and potentially purple-stained everything

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