10 Best Red and Purple Hair Colour Ideas to Try in 2020

Red and purple hair: Has it got the potential to dethrone our current go-to reds?

Thanks to Riverdale and Handmaid’s Tale stars Madelaine Petsch and Madeline Brewer and their gorgeous red hair, the world’s redhead fever has totally blown up. If you’re a fiery hair fan but want to try something a bit less ‘done’ than the usual copper, mahogany, or strawberry blonde shades, we’ve got just the thing: red purple hair.

Red and purple hair basically ticks all of the boxes for great hair: it’s bright, it’s vibrant and it’s fun, which is pretty everything you want from your colour, no?

So, if you’re after red hair colour ideas that are that bit more unique, have a look below and see if any of these dual-tone hues take your fancy.

1. Ruby red

close up back view of a woman with vibrant reddish purple hair with blow dried ends
Give your mane the royal treatment with jewel-toned colours like this ruby red. Credit: Instagram.com/christersharvard

This jewel-toned ruby red and purple hair colour immediately caught our eye. It’s glossy, sophisticated and expensive looking (just like us, obvs) and because it’s such a classy look we can see it working really well on women of all different ages, whether it’s your mum, your gran or your younger sister! Credit: @christersharvard

2. Red & purple colour melt

woman with shoulder length red and purple colour melted hair
Colour melting is the most natural form of highlights. Credit: Instagram.com/sassysam_hair

You’ll probably have heard of balayage, the more natural take on highlights but did you also know you can take it a step further with a colour melt?

Best suited to brunettes (the contrast with blonde roots may not work so well), your stylist will focus on adding a fade at the roots to recreate the natural rootsy look without any stark, obvious lines. Credit: @sassysam_hair

back view of a woman with long dark brown to deep red ombre curled hair
It’s great for adding dimension through dark brunette or black hair. Credit: Instagram.com/sandiegohairbychi

3. Dark ombre

Before you go ahead and ask for purple red hair all over, you might want to consider the maintenance. If you’re not prepared to keep up with the regular root touch-ups, you might find it easier to get your stylist to leave a few inches of your roots colour-free or even opt for an ombre instead.

This way, you won’t have to worry about regrowth being such a concern as you’re already holding on to some of your natural colour at the roots. Credit: @sandiegohairbychi

Editor’s tips: Red hair colours are known for being the hardest to retain, so colour-specific wash and care is essential.

We’d suggest trying the Dove Advanced Hair Series Colour Care Shampoo and Conditioner, which are formulated to prolong the vibrancy of your colour but also add shine, for hair that looks as good as it did when you first left the salon.

Read nextThis is how long you should wait after colouring your hair to wash it.

close up back view of a woman with straight shoulder length dark red and purple hair styled in a twisted half up half down style
The magic happens when the light hits. Credit: Instagram.com/kwhair_

4. Purple tint

After a look that’s going to get people talking? Feast your eyes on this. You wouldn’t think it, but this style actually comes with a hidden party trick…

When the light hits just right, this seemingly normal deep mahogany transforms, reflecting the hidden shimmering purple tones that give the colour a whole new lease of life. Credit: @kwhair_

close up back view of a woman with straight shoulder length red and purple hair
Get your Neapolitan ice cream hair on with a wow-worthy multi-tonal look. Credit: Instagram.com/shear_artistry_by_katie

5. Neapolitan colour

On the wilder end of the spectrum? For a look that’s so fun people literally won’t be able to help but stop and stare at the wonder that is your hair, look no further than this Neapolitan ice cream-inspired look.

With 3 contrasting but complementary shades of red and purple hair, this Instagrammer’s look should be in a museum because it’s basically a work of art. Credit: @shear_artistry_by_katie

woman with a wavy dark purply red bob wearing a blue denim shirt
Start subtle with something like this deeper plum hue. Credit: Instagram.com/theyoungamericansalon

6. Dark plum

If purple red hair feels like it’s a bit too far out of your comfort zone, just try a darker plum shade that’s closer to your current hue, so that the contrast isn’t so overwhelming. This way, you can get a taste for the style without fully committing. Credit: @theyoungamericansalon

side view salon photo of a woman with really long purple to red curly ombre hair
Brighten up every hair day with a bright pop of colour. Credit: Instagram.com/gj.shevaun

7. Purple into red ombre

You heard it here first: brights are the new pastels, people. If you’re not afraid of really going for it in terms of colour, channel the rainbow vibes with this half-Barney-the-dinosaur/half-hot-pink-Barbie look. Credit: @gj.shevaun

Editor’s tip: Curling your hair is a great way to show off this look, but remember to prep your hair with a heat protectant like the TRESemmé Keratin Smooth Heat Protect SprayThis mane essential helps to protect strands from heat and is formulated with Keratin and Marula oil, which means bye-bye frizz*.

back view of a woman with loosely curled long violet purple hair
It’s easy to see why Pantone announced ultra violet as their colour of the year 2018. Credit: Instagram.com/haircultbeautylab

8. Ultra violet

As Pantone’s Colour of the Year 2018, ultra violet hair has a major buzz around it right now. We predict it’ll only get bigger, so get in on the trend now while it’s still fresh by incorporating it into your own look. Credit: @haircultbeautylab

side view of a woman with long curly red to blonde ombre hair
Transform your winter red into something suitably sunkissed for summer. Credit: Instagram.com/hairby_tricia

9. Sunkissed ends

Did you wear red hair right the way through autumn/winter and are now looking for a way to revive it for spring? The tips of our hair have been growing for the longest, so naturally, they have been more exposed to sunlight and are often lighter than the rest of our hair.

Recreate this natural sun-lightened look with lighter blonde tips for an ombre effect that looks like you’ve been sunning it up on the beach somewhere exotic, instead of hiding from the cold for 6 months. Credit: @hairby_tricia

back view of a woman with shoulder length dark brown to bright purple red ombre tips
To get a real true red you may need to pre-lighten your existing colour. Credit: Instagram.com/maryj.beauty

10. Vivid tips

Ariel Winter and Demi Lovato have both played around with neon dip-dye in their dark hair and it always adds an undeniably festival feel. Worried it won’t work on your hair? We all know that colours normally tend to take easier on blondes but actually, on brunettes the contrast can pop just as much.

Just remember that if your hair is naturally dark your stylist may tell you that you need to lighten your hair first with bleach to achieve the colour you really want, so if you’re concerned about damage do bear this in mind. Credit: @maryj.beauty



*Formulated with Keratin and Marula oil; you can enjoy up to 72 hours of frizz control. System of Keratin Smooth Shampoo and Conditioner vs non conditioning shampoo.

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