How To Banish Brassy Tones From Brown Hair

How To Banish Brassy Tones From Brown Hair
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Ever notice that your hair starts to turn brassy around a month or two after getting it done? Brown hair dyed blonde always turns warm or yellow and dyed brown hair turns red or orange. That is the excess pigment that didn’t get entirely removed from the bleach process coming through. It happens to everyone because hair always tends to pull warm when you bleach or dye it. Luckily, with the right products, removing brassy undertones isn’t too difficult.

The best way to remove brassy tones from brown hair is to use a blue shampoo. You may know that blondes use purple shampoo because purple and yellow tones are opposite on the color wheel and cancel each other out. So, with brown hair that turns brassy and appears red or orange, blue is opposite of those on the color wheel and cancels out those tones on brown hair. With the right product, combatting brassy, brown hair is easy and can be fixed in one use.

How to remove brassy tones from brown hair

There are a few different ways to remove brassy tones from brown hair. If you’re wanting something you can do at home, a blue shampoo is the way to go. Use it once a week to counteract brassy tones and it’ll fix itself with regular upkeep and maintenance. Another thing you can do is implement a monthly toning treatment. You can head to the salon or the drugstore has a few options.

Step #1: Start with a blue shampoo

Even if you get monthly toning treatments at a salon, you’re still going to want a blue shampoo. Blue shampoo counteracts orange and red tones in brown hair! It is the best way to combat brassy tones in brown hair. If you have brown hair with blonde highlights and feel like your hair looks yellow, try a purple shampoo as purple combats yellow tones.

The best way to use a blue shampoo is to go for once a week in place of your normal shampoo. If your hair is very brassy, apply your shampoo all over your dry hair and let it sit for 5 minutes before hopping in the shower. Giving your blue shampoo more time will make sure your hair is 100% brass free when you’re done washing it out.

Blue Shampoo Recommendations

Fanola No Orange Shampoo: This shampoo has a blue tint to combat red and orange tones. Fanola is great at combating brass and this one’s 3K, 5 star reviews show that you’re in good company.

Where to buy: Amazon

Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo & Conditioner: This shampoo is killer at removing red and orange tones from the hair. If blue shampoo dries out your hair, try a blue conditioner. It’ll help to counteract brassy tones while still adding in moisture and hydration to your strands.

Where to buy: Amazon

Step #2: Avoid chlorine and the sun.

If you’re consistently using blue shampoo and still feel like your hair is brassy, it could be your lifestyle. Chlorine or pool water dries and strips colored hair which leads to damage. This then in turn, leads to brassy hair. Ever heard of blonde hair turning green in pool water? Overall it’s just not good to mix colored hair and chlorine so try not to get your hair wet if you go swimming.

Sun exposure causes color to fade faster which can cause hair to look brassy. Keep your hair protected from the elements with leave-in treatments and by covering it.

Step #3: Try a toner

A salon toning treatment is the best, long lasting way to combat brass. Toner is a translucent deposit of color that fades overtime, i.e. a golden or cool undertone. They’re also the reason why your hair doesn’t look brassy for the first month after getting it colored. They last 4-6 weeks but last even longer when paired with a blue or purple shampoo.

There are also drugstore toners that can be used at home and offer a temporary deposit of translucent color. This is a good solution if you don’t like using a blue or purple shampoo weekly.

At Home Toner Recommendations

Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss: This gloss comes in multiple shades ranging from cool tone blonde to even purple. It’s a toning gloss that deposits translucent color at home that’s perfect for combatting brassy tones. It’s affordable, very easy to apply at home and results last up to 6 weeks.

For brunettes we recommended the Smokey Topaz and Chocolate Cosmo.

Where to buy: Target

Step #4: Make sure you’re using the right shampoo

On days when you’re not using a blue shampoo, go for something free of sulfates and dyes. Cheap drugstore shampoo can speed up the process of your hair turning brassy because it dries out your hair and strips the color. Make sure to go for a shampoo that is sulfate-free and color friendly.

Read our article on the best sulfate-free shampoos.

Final Thoughts

Brassy hair happens to everyone! It’s pesky but with the right products, it can be fixed relatively quickly with minimal effort. The best thing you can do to protect your brown hair from fading and turning brassy is to start using blue shampoo! And of course, cutting out chlorine, sun exposure, and upgrading to sulfate-free hair products. An at-home toner is a good option if you get your hair colored once a year and don’t want to go back to a salon in-between. If you get your hair colored a few times a year, consistent use of a good blue shampoo should be enough to curb the brass between appointments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use purple shampoo instead of blue?

If you already own purple shampoo, sure it’s worth giving a try! Purple combats yellow tones so it’s not going to be as effective on dyed brown hair as it is on dyed blonde hair. If your hair is dyed brown, blue tones are best for counteracting red and orange brassy tones.

Blue shampoo dries out my hair. What can I do about this?

Blue and purple shampoo can be very drying. A good thing to try is a blue conditioner which basically works just like blue shampoo but in a conditioner form. It’s much harder to find but Joico has one so if you feel like your blue shampoo is drying out your hair, that could be a good option.

IGK Hair has blue toning, leave in drops that work to combat brassiness in brown hair! Just add a few drops to your hair oil or leave-in-conditioner and apply generously all over the hair. This is another good option since it won’t dry out your hair as it’s not shampoo.

What shampoo should I use if I have brown hair and blonde highlights?

Purple shampoo is aimed for hair dyed blonde with yellow tones. Blue shampoo is aimed for dyed brown hair with orange and red tones. So, if you just have blonde highlights then a purple shampoo. If your hair is dark brown with lighter highlights then blue shampoo. Look at the undertone of your highlighted hair and go from there – yellow go for purple, red or orange, go for blue.

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