I’ve had a lot of people ask about my purple fro over the years and let me tell you, it’s been a journey. I’ve experimented with bleaches and box dyes; had great successes and devastating failures and it’s all been in the pursuit of the perfect purple hue to go with nicely moisturised curls. So here are some of the things I’ve learned along the way!
Don’t try and lift your dark brown curls to bleach blonde in one sitting. It cannot be done without seriously damaging your hair. 2 -3 lifts is what’s recommended over the same amount of months, I would really follow this advice. I’m an all or nothing person so definitely did not follow this advice and definitely did damage my hair.
Semi-permanent or permanent? I went with semi because I like to be able to change my mind at any given time. Permanent felt a bit…permanent. Also, I like vibrant colours and most of the permanents I found didn’t have the ‘punch you in the cornea’s’ colour I wanted. Also I’d heard semi’s are better for your hair because they have less harsh chemicals
Expect to need to experiment a bit to find the colour you love. I’m quite good with colour but a rule of thumb is to go lighter rather than darker – it will always look lighter in the pot than it will on your hair and you can gradually make it darker if you want to but going the other way is harder and especially annoying if you’ve already gone through the long process of lifting your hair in multiple sittings
Use a dye that is nice to your hair. I use a mix of Arctic Fox (super vibrant and stays that way for a good few washes. Vegan friendly and smells pretty nice. Downside is they only stock in America so to get in the UK is pricey unless going through Amazon who have stopped stocking ) and Colour Freedom (with added shea butter and argan oil, good for curly hair. Slightly less vibrant/washes out quicker but smells good and is stocked at Superdrug, so better UK wise). I also tend to go with dyes that fade red/pink, hence the pink-ish hue because blue is a nightmare to get out.
Separate your hair (I normally part into 5 – 2 at the back, 3 at the front) and put the colour straight on dry hair, brushing each section through til it’s evenly distributed. Then leave for 20 mins with a cap on (max 20 mins) before rinsing out thoroughly with cool water. Only ever wash your hair with cool water, the hotter the temperature, the more colour will get stripped out. Then I style as normal but the next time I wash my hair I’ll do a deep conditioning hair mask under a steamer.
After that, it’s time to condition, style and go about my day! I wanted corkscrew curls so I parted my hair using the same partings as above, then brushed through each section with a Denman brush following this method:
- Root 2 Tip leave-in detangling conditioner – brushed through followed by their 3 M miracle moisturiser
- Organic shea butter rubbed into hands til melted, then dragged through the hair to lock in moisture
- Kitchen Cosmetics oil applied to the scalp and massaged into the section for 5 mins
- Beautiful Textures curling gel used to separate the curls and twist them around my finger til they bounce up
- Let it all air dry naturally and create volume by picking with an afro comb or styling
(There’s a reel on my Instagram if tricky to visualise)
I was actually going to a gig after so left the front out but pulled the rest back so my headphones wouldn’t kill the curls (afro hair + headphones are a challenge, real talk)