This post was most recently updated on March 20th, 2023
The past few years have witnessed a dramatic transition in hair color trends. Whether it’s a balayage or all-over-head color, you can swap your whole look immediately. When seeking a great at-home hair dye, look no further than Pravana ChromaSilk which can deliver a bold shift or subtle twist to your hair. This Pravana hair color review is backed up by hours of research to help you determine if this is the right hair dye for you.
We cover Pravana’s hair color & care portfolio, authentic reviews with visual proof, ingredient breakdown, and alternatives. First, let’s learn about the company behind the beautiful Pravana ChromaSilk.
- Pravana ChromaSilk won the Stylist Choice Award for Favorite Color Company for 2016
- Available in 180+ color options at an affordable price
- Almost all of Pravana Chromasilk are enriched with hair-loving ingredients, such as Silk Amino Acids and Keratin Protein
- With proper maintenance, the color vibrancy may last up to 6-8 weeks
- Cruelty-free. Free of sulfates, parabens, phthalates, and cocamide DEA
- The lighter colors of ChromaSilk VIVIDS like Pastels fade very quickly than deeper shades
- The dyes easily stain everywhere if you are not careful when applying
- The purple shampoo may leave a subtly violet hue on your hair (especially on porous and damaged hair) if you let it sit for a longer time
- Some of the Pravana Chromasilk dyes contain DMDM Hydantoin
- Not vegan. The Perfect Blonde Shampoo contains wheat, making it not free of gluten
About the Brand
As one of the most influential beauty brands, Pravana was founded by Steve Goddard, a 30-year beauty industry veteran who has worked for some of the largest beauty businesses, from Redken to Wella Corporation.
In 2004, he decided to build his own company in the beauty business, creating what we now know as Pravana, a global salon professional hair care brand. In his speech when accepting the City of Hope’s Spirit of Life Award 2015 for outstanding business and philanthropic achievement, Steve Goddard mentions:
“I wanted to create a brand that goes beyond personal beauty and extends to the beautification of our planet and well-being of the people on it.”
Pravana is committed to creating only high-quality products which include environmentally-friendly packaging and ingredients. The brand also donates 5% of every purchase of Pravana Nevo product sales to the City of Hope, a biomedical research and treatment center for cancer, diabetes, and other diseases.
Pravana continuously creates avant-garde formulas, techniques, and portfolios that collaborate with many stylists and followers across social media.
In the next section, let’s take a look at their product lines.
Product Lineup: Color, Care, and Style
In their beauty business voyage, to fulfill their philosophy of “beyond personal care,” Pravana embraces a hybrid approach to create premium formulas for their hair care products.
Pravana harnesses the powerful mixture of botanical extracts and natural proteins with trendy ingredients, such as nano-amino acids and micro-polymers, which are not only great for hair, but also for the planet. Pravana is:
- Cocamide DEA-free
However, Pravana is not vegan since the formula contains animal-derived ingredients: Silk Amino Acids.
Some of Pravana’s hair dyes are also not free of Ammonium Chloride and DMDM Hydantoin. See the Possible Side Effects section for further information. Below is the full Pravana portfolio you can find on Amazon along with their best deals.
ChromaSilk Creme Color
ChromaSilk VIVIDS Neons
ChromaSilk Express Tones
ChromaSilk HI LIFTS
ChromaSilk VIVIDS Original
ChromaSilk Platinum Toner
ChromaSilk VIVIDS Everlasting
ChromaSilk VIVIDS Pastels
|Lightener||Developer||Salon Color Tools|
Cream Developer Zero Lift, 10 Volume, 20 Volume, 30 Volume, and 40 Volume
Aprons, Capes, Color Bowls, Digital Scales, Swatchbooks, and Tint Brushes
|Prep & Style||Texture||Finish|
Polish & ReUnite Split End Cream
Fresh Volumizing Dry Shampoo
Hydra Pearl Oil
Truity Thermal Primer
Super Shape Hair Spray
Since their product range is massive, this Pravana review gives priority to discussing Pravana’s best-selling products. Now let’s take a closer look at them in the next section.
Pravana Best Sellers
We cover all you need to know about Pravana’s best-selling products and their pros & cons. Eventually, this will help you to decide which product is the right pick for your hair needs in terms of hair color or hair color maintenance.
Let’s take a look first at them one by one.
ChromaSilk Creme Color
- The winner of the Stylist Choice Award for Favorite Color Company for 2016
- Delivers up to 100% gray coverage
- Available in 135+ permanent colors from 12 different tonal families
- Provides ChromaSilk Lightening Booster (000) as an alternative to bleaching to enhance the blonde look of virgin level 6 or higher hair without depositing any tone.
An award-winning ChromaSilk Creme Color is a serious way to achieve an all-in rich, lasting color. Whether blonde or brunette hair, ChromaSilk Creme Color delivers a highly intense color for lightening, darkening, or changing your hair’s tone with gray coverage of up to 100%.
ChromaSilk is gentle on hair and has no intense odors. The drawback that users buzz about is sometimes the color appears darker than it should be. You may need to choose a color at least 2 shades lighter if you don’t want the color to end up a bit darker in your head.
The application is pretty simple too. Just apply a mix of 1 part of the dye with 1.5 parts developer 10-40 volume. Let it sit for 30-45 minutes before rinsing it with cold water. To keep your hair vibrancy and luster, reach for purple or sulfate-free shampoo like Pravana The Perfect Blonde, or Color Protect Cleanse.
Pravana ChromaSilk VIVIDS
- Available in 7 permanent shades and 29 semi-permanent colors
- The semi-permanent VIVIDS provides 25-50% gray coverage
- Works best at least level 7 or higher hair (pre-lightening or natural blonde)
- ChromaSilk VIVIDS Semi-Permanent Color doesn’t need a developer, except the permanent ones (ChromaSilk VIVIDS Everlasting).
Suppose you want to try a multi-dimensional fantasy hair trend or are looking for an option that’s gentle on sensitive strands, then ChromaSilk VIVIDS color is for you. ChromaSilk VIVIDS may last vibrant for up to 4-6 weeks depending on your hair porosity. The less porosity of your hair, the longer the color will last.
Despite being easy to use, the dye may bleed out quickly after washing, so you should lower the frequency of washing and use dry shampoo more often. It also has the potential to dry your hair, so you may need to add conditioner to the mix to minimize it.
Wear gloves and do not mix with developers for semi-permanent dye. Leave it on for 20-30 minutes (or over 30 minutes on thick hair) at room temperature. VIVIDS’ lighter colors like pastels, wear off more quickly. You’ll need extra maintenance to maintain the color.
ChromaSilk Express Tones
- True-to-tones, ammonia-free demi-permanent toner
- Available in 10 shades for brunette (3 shades) and blonde hair (7 shades)
- Gives up to 75% gray coverage
- Neutralizes yellow and orange tones on natural blonde or after-bleaching hair
While most over-the-counter toners are fraught with ammonia, ChromaSilk Express Tones offers go-to demi-permanent toner with ammonia-free technology. It is also great for color upkeep between coloring and removing VIVIDS colors before bleaching.
ChromaSilk Express Tones have an amazing consistency, allowing the color vibrancy to last up to 6-8 weeks. It doesn’t have a strong odor either, considering it is ammonia-free.
Also, try not to get messy during the coloring process as this will leave stains everywhere, be it bathtubs, sinks, tiles, or clothes as well as where your hair has touched or the dye dropped.
The application is very fast: Mix 1 part of chosen shade with 1.5 part Zero Lift Developer. Process 5 minutes or less for the blonde series and 5-15 minutes for the brunette series. Long hair might take more time to get perfect results.
Pravana Purple Shampoo
- For color-treated blonde or natural blonde hair that removes unwanted brassy and yellow undertones
- Enriched with Keratin, Wheat, and Silk Amino Acids to improve hair’s elasticity and shine. No sulfates or silicones
- It is advisable to be used it once or twice a week
Meet The Perfect Blonde Shampoo: A purple-pigmented shampoo that is designed to neutralize yellow and orange tones on blonde, bleached, and silver hair, keeping the blonde color from getting dull. The Perfect Blonde Shampoo has a thick and gel-ish texture with no too strong scent.
Since the shampoo is super-pigmented, you should not let it on longer for over 10 minutes, as it may leave a slight lilac hue, especially on damaged and porous hair. Start to leave it on for 2-3 minutes first and rinse it right after to get it off. See how it looks and gradually increase the time if there’s still brassiness.
Some experts suggest that it can be mixed with regular shampoo to add violet hues to your cleansing routine.
Color Protect Shampoo
- Packed with Silk Amino Acids to build hair strength and elasticity
- Utilizes Vitamin E antioxidants properties to protect against UV damage which can cause rapid color fading
- The company claims that the shampoo helps maintain color for up to 60 washes
The first and easiest thing to keep your color looking fresh is to start in the shower with a color-safe, sulfate-free shampoo. Pravana Color Protect Cleanse will ensure your color lasts longer, improve the manageability of hair, and promote softness. Follow with conditioner for advanced silkiness and smoothness.
Lighter colors like pastels are usually the most prone to rapid fading, so this shampoo is especially useful for keeping pastel colors vibrant. It may not be as accurate as it claims to “protect color up to 60 washes,” according to multiple reports. However, using Color Protect Cleanse can go a long way in protecting color from rapid fading.
These are some of the Pravana hair color and color care products that are crafted to meet your hair needs. All have their own pros and cons due to different hair types and textures.
Now let’s find out how to maintain color vibrancy after using Pravana.
Things You Should Know for Lasting Pravana ChromaSilk Color
Color-treated hair needs a little extra attention to make your color last longer, especially lighter colors. Pravana’s true pastel colors like Pink, Lavender, and Coral fade faster than deeper pastels like purple. The lighter the color is, the faster it will wash out. We cover important things to ensure your color lasts longer:
- Regularly wash your hair with color-safe and sulfate-free shampoo. And always use cold water. It is better not to wash your hair more often and stick to dry shampoo instead too.
- Follow with a sealant conditioner like Pravana Color Enhancer to temporarily create or maintain color vibrancy.
- Heat protector like Pravana Truity Thermal Primer is a must before using any hair straightener or curling iron. Nevertheless, high temperatures for long periods of time are not good for color-treated hair.
- Leave-in treatment like Pravana Intense Therapy or Pravana Hydra Pearl Oil is also not to be missed to moisturize and reduce breakage.
- If you love to swim, don’t forget to put on a swim cap or use hair oil before jumping into the pool to avoid damage from chlorine.
Thus, educating yourself before using any hair dye can direct you on what to do and what to avoid to keep the color vibrant. Now, let’s take a look at Pravana’s ingredients.
Key Ingredients Breakdown
Whether it’s creating long-lasting vibrant color or strengthening hair with their shampoo, Pravana uses strengthening technology to provide benefits. We cover all you need to know about the ingredients in their formula.
Silk Amino Acids
Almost all of Pravana’s products harness the power of Silk Amino Acids to strengthen your hair strands.
Silk Amino Acids have excellent moisture-binding properties that penetrate deeply into the cortex and provide a protective barrier to lock in moisture. Ultimately, it helps reconstruct damaged hair areas and revitalize them for a soft, shiny finish. When your mane is in healthy condition, this will make the color last longer than porous hair.
Along with Amino Acids, Keratin is present in many of Pravana’s products, including hair color, The Perfect Blonde Shampoo, and Color Protect Cleanse.
One study suggests that keratin is beneficial to strengthen hair strands by up to 40%. The hair cuticle has the ability to absorb keratin, leaving your hair looking shinier and healthier. Since keratin fills in damaged areas in your hair shaft, it is also great to prevent breakage and soften hair strands, ultimately protecting your hair color from external damage.
As we mentioned earlier, Wheat is one of the key ingredients in The Perfect Blonde Shampoo together with Silk Amino Acids and Keratin to strengthen and improve hair elasticity, especially damaged hair.
Color-treated blonde hair is prone to damage due to bleaching and coloring. Over time, the disulfide bonds that give your hair its structure and strength will gradually break, resulting in damage. Wheat has a high amount of these disulfide bonds, which then repair the broken hair shafts and repair them from the inside out. It also has the ability to lock in the moisture of your hair.
Vitamin E Antioxidants
Color Protect Shampoo harnesses the power of Tocopheryl Acetate and Tocopherol, a specific form of Vitamin E that is loaded with antioxidant properties to protect your hair color from rapid fading.
Sunlight or UV exposure is another key factor that can make your hair color fade quickly. When color-treated hair is continuously exposed to UV light, this will lead to significant discoloration, making it look dull. Thus, Vitamin E Antioxidants help to fight free radicals, reduce the amount of oxidative stress, and act as a UV shield that can make your color last longer.
Given above are several key active ingredients in Pravana hair colors and purple shampoos. Now let’s take a closer look at real-life user experiences while using Pravana.
Pravana Hair Color Review with Pictures
We cover the effectiveness and color consistency of Pravana hair color backed by real-life users. Below are the before and after pictures of using Pravana ChromaSilk.
An adult woman with medium brown hair color using ChromaSilk Creme Color (6N Dark Blonde). Her hair looks shiny, sufficiently colored, and gray-covered after 45 minutes of application.
Results after taking ChromaSilk Creme Color (1N Black). “My silk press has never looked so shiny, black, juicy, and amazing. The only thing I did differently was used this dye,” she said.
A woman with bleached hair used ChromaSilk VIVIDS to dye her hair Pink. She toned her hair first before applying and it got muted pink afterward.
A woman used ChromaSilk VIVIDS (Violet for the top of her head and Pink for mid-length to ends). After 5 weeks (right picture) her hair remains vibrant with a nice lilac on top of her hair.
Results after using ChromaSilk VIVIDS (Violet) on level 7 bleached hair. The purple vibrancy really pops out afterward.
Results after taking Pravana Express Tones (Violet) to remove the green color on her hair. Every trace of green is completely gone, lifting her hair to bright blonde.
A woman with silver hair took ChromaSilk Express Tones (Violet) to neutralize brassiness from spreading. It lifted her hair to an even brighter silver than it was before.
Pravana does a great job to deliver the best vibrancy for many users with different initial hair colors, hair lengths, and hair types. Now let’s discuss possible side effects that may occur while using Pravana’s products.
Pravana Possible Side Effects
Even though Pravana seems to be free of harsh chemicals, possible side effects can still occur to some people with certain allergies or conditions. The first thing to learn about it is from the ingredients themselves.
Let’s disclose the possible side effects of Pravana.
DMDM Hydantoin might likely cause allergy symptoms
In basic terms, DMDM Hydantoin is a formaldehyde-released agent to prevent the growth of bacteria in hair care products. According to Gretchen Friese, a BosleyMD certified trichologist, DMDM hydantoin is safe when used at regulated levels.
Unfortunately, it has a no-good reputation since a class-action lawsuit has alleged that it might cause hair loss. However, no studies are proving the accuracy of that claim. If you have a history of skin diseases like eczema or pre-existing formaldehyde allergies, you may need to steer clear of DMDM Hydantoin.
The amount of DMDM Hydantoin in cosmetics is likely safe for people who are not allergic to it. But, you should take precautions by always wearing gloves when coloring your hair. And, don’t forget to do a skin test before taking a full application.
Skin irritation and hair drying may occur
Some shades of ChromaSilk Creme Color contain ammonium chloride that releases an unpleasant smell during the coloring process. Ammonia itself may cause unwanted effects, such as skin or scalp irritation and brittle hair, in some people.
Always conduct a skin test before taking a full application. Don’t forget to always deep condition your hair regularly to minimize the impact of hair drying and damage.
Pregnant and breastfeeding women should consult with a doctor
Some of ChromaSilk’s permanent and demi-permanent dyes contain ammonia or ethanolamine. Pregnant and breastfeeding women need to consult with a doctor before taking any of them. You can opt for a semi-permanent hair color as an alternative.
Allergic reactions may happen due to wheat protein
The Perfect Blonde Shampoo contains wheat protein as one of the key ingredients. If you have gluten or wheat allergies, you should probably not take this shampoo to avoid unwanted allergic reactions.
By cross-checking the ingredients and your allergies, you can avoid any adverse effects that may occur. It is best to stop using the products if side effects are prolonged and promptly call your doctor.
Now let’s take a look at alternatives to Pravana.
Similar to Pravana Hair Color
Due to its increasing popularity, many brands now are manufacturing hair dye. As a result, if you’re looking for alternatives to Pravana you won’t find it hard since tons of hair colors are readily available in the market. To help you pick one, we have shortlisted 3 similar hair dyes to Pravana offered by Wella, Lunar Tides, and Arctic Fox.
Wella ColorCharm PAINTS
Make your vivid hair fantasies come true with Wella ColorCharm PAINTS. Available in 20 bold, bright shades, PAINTS is equipped with a special COLORINVENT™ technology that allows you to mix some shades. Meanwhile, Pravana ChromaSilk VIVIDS offers 29 bright shades, including neon and pastel. It is enriched with Silk Amino Acids and Keratin Protein to keep each strand looking healthy and shiny.
Similar to Pravana, Wella works best with pre-bleached level 7 or higher hair to achieve more shocking pops of color. Depending on the intensity, Wella may last up to 20 washes (around 4 weeks) while Pravana is up to 6 weeks. However, Wella offers a bit more affordable option than Pravana.
|Pravana ChromaSilk VIVIDS||Wella ColorCharm PAINTS|
|Current Price: $10.00 for 3 fl oz||Current Price: $6.79 for 2 fl oz|
|4.5 out of 5 stars from 10,303+ reviews||4.0 out of 5 stars from 3,455+ reviews|
|Enriched with Silk Amino Acids and Keratin Protein||Equipped with COLORINVENT™ technology|
Click here to read the full review of Wella ColorCharm.
Lunar Tides Semi-Permanent Hair Color
Attention Vegans! You won’t go wrong with Lunar Tides, to get your hair colored, which offers up to 43 colors of vivid, neon, pastel, smokey, and more. Lunar Tides can be a great alternative if you’re looking for dark semi-permanent colors like Smokey Mauve or Smokey Grey. It is equipped with conditioning agents that keep your hair moisturized during the coloring process.
You can use Lunar Tides on level 6 hair for deeper colors like smokey. As for bright vivid, you should at least have level 7 or higher hair. The color may fade pretty much faster than Pravana ChromaSilk VIVID, which is about 4-5 weeks depending on how well you apply and maintain it. Lunar Tides is also a bit more expensive than Pravana.
|Pravana ChromaSilk VIVIDS||Lunar Tides Semi-Permanent Color|
|Current Price: $10.00 for 3 fl oz||Current Price: $16.99 for 4 fl oz|
|4.5 out of 5 stars from 10,303+ reviews||4.2 out of 5 stars from 6,867+ reviews|
|Enriched with Silk Amino Acids and Keratin Protein||Crafted with a conditioning agent that can minimize damage|
Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Color
We get it, not everyone wants their hair bleached when the coloring day comes. If you’re one of those people, Arctic Fox is your perfect solution. They offer up to 23 bold colors with 8 shades applied to unbleached hair, such as Ritual, Phantom Green, Purple AF, and more. Each is crafted to deeply condition your hair during processing to minimize damage.
For pre-lightening hair, Arctic Fox may last up to 4-8 weeks depending on the intensity and how well you maintain the color. Meanwhile, on unbleached hair, it may only last for 2-3 weeks. When it comes to pricing Arctic Fox is almost $3 more expensive than Pravana.
|Pravana ChromaSilk VIVIDS||Arctic Fox Semi-Permanent Color|
|Current Price: $10.00 for 3 fl oz||Current Price: $12.99 for 4 fl oz|
|4.5 out of 5 stars from 10,303+ reviews||4.4 out of 5 stars from 81,066+ reviews|
|Enriched with Silk Amino Acids and Keratin Protein||Designed to deeply conditions your hair while coloring|
Thus, this Pravana hair color review covers all you need to know about their hair dyes and purple shampoos, ingredient breakdown, and the effectiveness of the products based on authentic reviews. It is important to understand that Pravana works best on level 7 or higher hair. But unbleached hair still can use the dye, but mostly with deeper shades and the color vibrancy may be different on unbleached hair.
We hope you read everything carefully so you can decide if this is the right hair dye for you. Hit us in the comment section with questions or thoughts.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long does Pravana color last?
Pravana ChromaSilk may last up to 6-8 weeks. But the lighter color fades faster than the deeper one, around 3-5 weeks depending on the intensity. Proper care, like weekly deep conditioning, using a purple or sulfate-free shampoo, and spray heat protector, will keep the color last longer.
Does Pravana cover gray hair?
Pravana ensures full gray coverage, especially ChromaSilk Creme Color. You should process or let the color sit for about 30-45 minutes for gray coverage. People with thick hair may need a longer time to get perfect coverage.
Does Pravana work on dark hair?
People with dark hair can choose a deeper color, like purple, garnet, or jade. However, it will be more like a tint and only noticeable under the sunlight. If you want to try pastel or neon colors, pre-lightening is required before coloring.