As someone who has had purple hair for over three years, I've learned some tips and tricks over time. One of the most common questions I'm asked about is how often I have to redye my hair. My answer is every 2-3 months, and mostly because my roots really start to show by then. So here is everything you need to know about having purple hair (or alt hair colors in general).
1. Stop washing your hair so much. I wash mine once a week. If your hair gets oily, dry shampoo is your friend. I like Batiste, personally. You can buy it at Target/Walmart/Amazon, etc. Shampooing your hair gets rid of oils and color, and you should really just stop using it so much already! ;) My girl @mercidarci has a whole insta series on how to train your hair to go longer in between washes.
2. Don't wash your hair in hot water. I legit hate cold water and I just can't really handle it anymore, so I essentially aim for luke-warm water temperature. Hot water opens or lifts your hair cuticle, essentially shedding color like an invisible snake skin.
3. Use sulfate-free hair products. Sulfates are your enemy, remember that. Here are the current shampoo and conditioner I'm using (no affiliate links, who do you think I am? a hotshot?!?)
4. Wash your hair separately from when you shower. It's just easier, trust me. Wash it in a tub or the kitchen sink. Shower with a shower cap. And I also use gloves when I wash my hair, so my hands and nails don't turn purple. Bleach is your friend for cleaning any color stains out of your tub.
5. OVERTONE. I tell EVERYONE about this conditioner. It is a game changer. It deposits color and keeps it revived with every wash. I just buy the Go Deep weekly treatment, and use it the one time a week I wash my hair. Shampoo and condition as normal, and then get your overtone on. It will extend the life of your color like.....forever. If you're already blonde, you can use their conditioner to dye your hair. I will say, this is probably the most expensive hair product I buy ($29/jar), but it is absolutely worth it. The Go Deep jar probably lasts me about 3 months, and keeps my hair looking vibrant. JUST BUY IT ALREADY, ok?!
6. Use quality color to begin with. I use the Pravana Vivids line. I go to my hairdresser every 2-3 months to have her bleach my roots, apply color to the roots, and then pull it down through all my hair to ensure a nice evenly fresh color. Research color lines and ask your hairdresser friends what they recommend. Stalk alt-hair girls or hairdressers online to see what they use, and how the colors look.
7. Similar to #6, if you have to bleach your hair first (like me), GO TO A PROFESSIONAL. Please don't bleach it yourself. I tried to bleach my ends one time by myself, and that hair turned into mush and I had to cut it all off. Not a good look. To keep your hair healthy and looking awesome, you need to go to a legit hairdresser to have it bleached.
8. Black is your friend. I wear black or dark colored tops for the first couple weeks after fresh dye. Light colored shirts will turn purple wherever your hair is touching. If you have short hair, however, then you have it made.
9. Pillowcases. They will get color on them. I use white pillow cases, so you can bleach them if they're ever getting stained. Or you could use a dark color, or the same color as your hair. I know, I'm a problem solver ;)
10. Rock your hair color like there's no tomorrow. It is insane the amount of people who tell me they wish they had the courage to dye their hair, because they love it but just "can't pull it off" or "are scared" or whatever justification they have stashed away. If you want alt hair, just GO FOR IT. If you hate it or you can't get your dream job because of it, WHATEVER. You can dye it back. Or wear a wig. Whatever...you have options!! Have fun and experiment! Live your life!
I hope this helped someone. Cheers to all of my unicorn-haired friends, you are amazing!! Feel free to add any additional tips in the comments, and I will update as I think of any more. GO FORTH AND SHINE BRIGHT!!