Of all the dreaded hair woes, brassiness ranks high on the list. Brassy hair rears its ugly head especially when tresses are not properly treated after coloring. The result is an over-abundance of warmth in the hair — think platinum blonde that becomes too yellow or golden highlights that turn orange. When hair is lightened, your natural hair color is lifted to make room for the new color. Because all hair has some measure of underlying warmth, the removal of your natural hue makes yellow, orange or red tones more evident, unless steps are taken to mitigate it. However the warmth presents, no doubt you’ll want get rid of your brass and get back to the cooler tones you originally sought. Better yet, use preventative measures as your brassy blonde hair fix.
1. Be Strategic With Color Use
Instead of going with a single-process all-over blonde color, have your colorist work in highlights and lowlights versus coloring every strand. This minimizes the potential for a whole head of brassiness. Remember, the closer your hair's final color is to its natural color, the less room there is for the color to turn; it’s recommended that you don’t lighten your hair beyond two shades from your natural color. Be calculated with your color choice to begin with, and you up your chances for eliminating a brassy future.
2. Avoid Direct Sunlight
The sun has a tendency to not only dry hair but fade its color, too. On top of that, being outside speeds along the Oxidation of your freshly colored tresses. When hair is exposed to both oxygen and UV rays, the underlying warmth in your hair is revealed and — before you know it — brassiness abounds. If you can’t stay out of the sun, try wearing a hat to protect your locks or a UV-protectant spray to avoid unwelcome brassiness.
3. Keep Cool
It may be a tough pill to swallow, but rinsing your hair with cool water is better for preserving your color. Instead of pumping up the heat, use a cool rinse to close the cuticle cells. This has the added benefit of locking in moisture and helps the cuticle to lay more smoothly and appear glossier and shinier.
4. Avoid Pool Pitfalls
Chlorine is not your hair’s friend. This chemical is notorious for stripping hair of its natural oils and leaving it dry and brittle. The more damaged the hair becomes, the more susceptible it is to turning brassy. To counteract this problem, try dousing your hair with bottled water before jumping in the pool. Your hair will soak up any sort of moisture, so give it clean, non-chemically altered water first before you swim. When you’re finished in the pool, shampoo and condition your hair immediately to undo the potential damage. Better yet, try to stick to salt water pools if it's an option.
5. Use a Color-Correcting Shampoo
Because yellow and violet are opposites on the color wheel, purple is used to cancel out overly warm, brassy tones. Invest in a color-correcting treatment, like John Frieda Colour Renew Tone-Correcting Shampoo, helps fix brassiness and restore blonde hair in as little as three washes. John Frieda’s purple shampoo’s has Optical Brightening Technology that absorbs UV light and radiates a white-blue glow. The formula brightens and revitalizes blonde tresses.
6. Get a Glaze
Ask your stylist to use a sheer glaze on your freshly colored blonde hair to lock in the tone and prevent fading or discoloration. Doing so can seal in your color for an extra four to six weeks.
7. Wash Less and With Filtered Water
High mineral levels in water can cause hair to turn brassy. Hard water deposits color-tainting minerals onto your tresses while simultaneously locking out moisture. Consider cutting back on the amount of time you wash your hair weekly, and if your water is particularly hard, you may wish to invest in a water filter that sifts out the minerals. Worried your hair will look dirty? A bun or braid paired with some dry shampoo should do the trick.
8. Keep Hair Conditioned
It may seem simple, but the more healthy, soft and supple your locks are, the less likely your color will fade or turn. This can be accomplished by using a deep-conditioning treatment. After treating your hair, seal your style with a hydrating, shine-infusing gloss. Just be sure that the gloss is either clear or properly pigmented to cancel out brassiness.