2 tips for switching hair color easily

One of the main questions I get about my hair is how I seamlessly change colors so drastically. This post, of course, is really only relevant to unnatural colors done with brands such as Punky Colours, Manic Panic, Special Effects and the like. I also need to give my normal spiel about not being a professional, having no formal training, and that everything I know is from personal experience. That’s not to downplay what I know though, I’ve been dyeing my hair unnatural colors for over eight years. I’ve got it pretty much down to a science.

Below is a perfect example of what my typical timeline looks like and what I’ll be explaining in this post. Blue in June, purple in July, and orange in August – easy peasy and with minimal damage! This is a fairly regular cycle for me. I change my hair color every two or three months depending how quickly I get bored.

How to switch hair colors

How To Easily Switch Hair Colors

When my hair was professionally dyed pink for the first time around eight years ago I knew nothing about hair! I had been dying it black since I was around fourteen and the extent of my knowledge was how to apply box color. But since stripping the black from hair and dying it pink no one else has touched my hair color. It costs a fortune, and after a spending a great deal of time researching I realized I could easily do it myself. I’ve always loved switching colors, and in all my years the two biggest tips I’ve found that help are…

Let your current hair color fade. Y’all, I take a lot of pride in my hair. I try to always keep root growth at a minimum and my hair color bright. I’m pretty embarrassed by faded hair but sometimes it is a necessity!

I let my hair fade naturally for as long as I can stand it. Then when it hits me that “I have to change hair colors now!” I give myself a few more days. In those three or fours days, hopefully longer, I will purposely fade my hair to the best of my ability. I’ve never been a fan of bleach baths, using dish soap or anything else like. To fade my hair I rinse with hot water, take baths where I actually let my hair soak instead of keeping it dry, leave shampoo in a little bit longer than normal, and do conditioning treatments at least once a day. The conditioning treatments are especially helpful because before bleaching you obviously want your hair is the best condition possible. You can find a few of my favorite deep conditioning products in this post.

The three photos above show examples of what my hair looked like at it’s best during those dye jobs, not what it looked like before being bleached and moving on to the next color. That dark purple faded into the shade it is in this outfit post (where it so wonderfully matched my dress!), and then a week or so of more intentional fading after that I finally moved on to orange.

Use the color wheel. That’s my big “secret”, which totally isn’t a secret at all but it is an important thing that is easily overlooked. I never want to say that something isn’t possible or that you can’t do something but there are definitely colors that are harder to switch between.

watercolor color wheel by Mara Mattia


While my color changes may seem dramatic they are carefully thought out. I’ve found that it’s easiest to work my way around the color wheel instead of skipping around. For example if you have bright pink hair, it’s much easier to move a few shades over on the wheel to orange, instead of rushing right into green. Is it possible to go straight from bright pink to lime green? Maybe but it’s going to involve bleaching your hair to a lot lighter of a color first. You obviously don’t have to stop at every single step on the color wheel, just keep it in mind when deciding on your next color.
Using the color wheel as a guide is what I consider my best weapon for fighting damage. My color changes are smooth and cause minimal damage because I’m not bleaching the entire length of my hair to switch colors and the color itself doesn’t cause any harm. I normally just bleach my roots and that’s all.Since I’m not bleaching the whole length there is obviously still color in my hair when moving to the next shade. Following the color wheel ensures that my next color won’t mix poorly with the color remaining in my hair. Mixing complementary colors will result in a muddy hair color which is something you want to avoid.

purple hair, hair dye
If you have other any general hair questions, or questions about my hair – let me know. I’d love to share more hair related content on The Dainty Squid but I need to know what you want to learn about.


You can find more hair dye tips and guides in my hair master post.

Author: Kaylah

Just a green haired gal from Cleveland, Ohio.

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  • I’m a little late to the party. I died my hair a few months ago – a bright fuchsia. Now it’s a faded mess. While googling, I found your blog and WOW! Now I know what to do. Love the color wheel advice. I’m going to try red next

  • Hi, so I had light brown hair and I dyed it violet bt, it look mostly like a dark plum with mostly red undertones. How can I get it to look like a purple kind of like your picture. Not too bright because I am tan.. Will I need to bleach it ?

  • Hey I dyed my hair the splat pink fetish color and it came out pink & red lol I’m now want a midnight blue color , would I have to bleach my hair all over again or could I just put it in top of the pink ss nce it’s a darker color ?

    • If you recently bleached your hair to get to that pink – no, I definitely wouldn’t bleach it again.

      It’s hard to say what it’ll end up looking like but yeah, I’d think that blue would effectively cover the pink and turn out fine.

      Good luck.

  • Hi Kaylah!

    I love your posts! I am going to ask you a specific question that maybe you can help me with 🙂
    For months, I’ve had an ombre (blonde at the bottom, bleached) and a few days ago, I decided to add ion lavender over the blonde. I also mixed in a color duller so it ended up being a slivery-purple color. Although,it was still pretty purple rather than lavender so (here’s my mistake), I bought a 10 developer and lavender moon toner and put that on top a couple days later. Now my hair is a greenish/aqua color. Any tips on how I can get back to lavender or silverish?

    thank you sooo much!
    ~chloe xxx

    • Hey Chloe! Honestly, I have no idea! I think your best bet right now would be to go to a professional. Good luck!

  • I need help and advice and anything you are willing to give to help my hair. I’m currently in a pickle..while my hair is the color of a faded pickle. Like the gross ones at the bottom of the jar 🙁

  • Hi! My name is Majority Leverson and I saw your post and I must say I am at awe with your hair knowledge. My hair was a full on bright red but now it’s faded like very faded. I want to dye it blue because it’s my favorite color and it’s the last color I am going to put in my hair and keep it in. Do you think it’s okay to dye it royal blue at this point now that it’s very faded?

  • Hello!
    I have dyed my naturally curly, dark blonde hair many fun colors. My hair is currently bright blue. It’s very dry and fragile right now. I’m ready to get it back to its natural color and texture, but honestly have idea how. I’d rather not bleach the blue out, but my end goal here is to end up dying my hair back it’s natural color. Any tips on how to lighten it up without killing my hair and how to get the color to match my roots?


  • Hi, I’ve dyed my hair to shades of blue/purple/green.. Now that it has faded, my hair is now a mix of muddy green, brown and greyish. If I intend to dye it all purple without bleaching it again, would I be able to cover it all to an even colour, or at least can my faded hair turn all purple?

    • If its not an even color now, then it won’t be an even color when you apply dye to it. It hard to say what colors your hair will turn without seeing what it looks like. Chances are if it’s actually brown then you’re not going to get the shade of purple you desire.

  • Hello love !!! I was looking for ideas for green hair and here you are . lol I’ve been every color under the sun . Green is the only one that’s scary to me the fading, not getting the right shade etc . What product are you using? I’ve use manic panic , directions (U.K.brand) it’s been my favorite, special FX hair dye

  • I wanna dye my hair to a new color.. I have a sparks purple passion hair and it’s really hard to fade it all out. The some parts have faded. I have the same idea to using the color wheel as my guide so that I wouldn’t need to bleach it again.. If I would dye it pink would it cover it all? I’m definitely fine with ombres.

    • Without knowing what shade of purple you’ve faded to it’s hard for me to comment on. Depending on your current color and the shade of pink it’d most like just make your purple a bit more pink.