After coloring your hair, a few weeks later, you suddenly notice something strange: the color you left the salon with is no longer there, and your hair has taken on an undesirable yellow, orange, or red tone. What really goes on with your hair in the days and weeks after the dye job? That’s what I mean by brassy hair. Not only does brassiness affect blondes, but brunettes can also experience unwanted orange and red tones. Because these unwanted pigments can be extremely frustrating, so we are here to help. Continue reading to find out what causes brassiness, how to prevent it, and how to get rid of brassy hair.
I. What Is Brassy Hair?
Brassiness is the appearance of unwanted warm tones in colored hair. It typically happens in dark hair that gets dyed platinum or blonde, but it can also occur in hair that’s been highlighted or in hair that’s been lightened to brown. The term “brassy” refers to the color of the hair when orange and red tones show up in strands.
Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between brassy and warm-toned hair. Brassiness refers to excessive amounts of warm tones at the roots, which makes it look unnatural. Warm blonde hair has cooler roots and is warmer at the midshaft and ends.
II. What Causes Brassy Hair?
To understand why brassy hair occurs, you’ll need to understand what’s happening during the whole hair-lightening process.
When hair is bleached during coloring, the melanin in your hair gets diluted, which is what’s called oxidation. In addition to removing your existing color, the dye also deposits color in your hair. Usually, the chemical process will create the color that you want. But with time, your hair might start to look brassy.
Hair dye is made of three different pigment colors, red, blue, and yellow. The blue-colored molecules usually fade faster, leaving the yellow and red colors to show through. Together, these colors create an orange hue.
III. How To Get Rid Of Brassy Hair
Unwanted brassy tones can appear in any hair color, affecting those with both color-treated and natural hair. To fix brassy hair, you must first understand what your hair requires. The simplest way is to picture the color wheel.
Whatever tone you want to cancel out, you’ll need the pigment located directly opposite the color. Using the unwanted tones complimentary color will help neutralize and tone your hair. Once you’ve identified your unwanted tones, keep reading to learn how to fix brassy hair at home and when you should seek the assistance of a stylist.
1. Add A Purple Or Blue Toning Shampoo To Your Regimen
Need an at-home brassy hair fix? This is where toning shampoos come in. Formulated with purple, blue, and other pigmented formulas, these shampoos help cancel out brassy tones that appear in between your coloring appointments. Think of this as your at-home toning solution.
Based on the color wheel above, you can see most blondes struggling with unwanted yellow tones will need a purple shampoo like Redken’s Color Extend Blondage, while brunettes with orange and red tones will need a blue-tinted shampoo such as Redken’s Color Extend Brownlights. These color-depositing shampoos will help to neutralize brassy tones in shy, platinum blonde, and white hair without drastically changing the color. They can also combat the yellow that appears in natural blonde and gray hair.
2. Use Products for Color Treated Hair
Even though the purple shampoo is an effective and easy-to-use toner for blonde hair that helps to fix hair that is turning brassy. However, using a toner every time you wash your hair is not recommended because it can cause your hair to dry out over time. Use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair on a regular basis. Hair care designed specifically for color maintenance will prevent fading and keep your blonde looking fresh and natural.
3. Use White Vinegar Rinse
White vinegar has long been used in the home, but did you know it can also be used to enhance cool blonde hair? The sour-smelling solution can restore the pH of your hair while also clarifying and conditioning it.
4. Try An Anti-Brass Hair Mask
To keep your blonde hair strong and bright, you’ll need a complete haircare regimen to strengthen it and help neutralize the brassy tones that can appear between salon visits. If you feel like purple shampoo leaves your hair overly dry, consider using it less often or opt for a toning mask instead. Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Masque is a popular choice that provides amazing results. This coconut oil-based mask not only tones out the brassiness, but also helps to moisturize and condition your hair from roots to ends.
IV. How To Prevent Brassy Hair?
The key to living brass-free is to avoid it entirely. While environmental factors and pollutants make maintaining salon-fresh color more difficult, there are numerous things you can do to care for your new color. Follow these tips to avoid brassy hair and extend the life of your hair color.
1. Choose The Right Blonde Hair Color
Choosing the right color for your hair when dying at home is critical if you want to avoid brassiness and yellow roots. To begin, purchase a more icy-toned dye, which will neutralize pale yellow tones while enhancing silver tones. Shades labeled “ashy” are a safe bet because they are designed to reduce unwanted brassiness.
2. Invest In A Shower Filter
Water minerals, believe it or not, can contribute to brassiness. When you wash your hair, a lot of mineral deposits are left behind by the water, such as iron and chlorine. The buildup from this has a drying effect which fades hair color rather quickly. This allows brassy tones to sneak in before you’ve even realized it. Fortunately, you can avoid the brassy hair drama by purchasing a showerhead filter that can be easily attached to any showerhead. It will also make your hair and skin softer and healthier.
3. Protect Hair From Sun & Avoid Swimming Pool
Exposure to ultraviolet rays is nothing good for our locks and is a common reason for brassy hair while chlorine water in swimming pools has a high toll on blonde-colored hair, changing the shade of your permanent color and giving you a brassy hair look. So to avoid color fading and brassiness, use sun protection products for hair, wear a hat, or tie a trendy scarf when going out in the summer. And if you cannot or do not want to avoid a swimming pool, using a good quality swimming cap can help prevent damage.