Beautiful brunette woman wearing red lipstick and a light brown coat

Brassy, tawny tones are a common problem for blondes, but what about brassy brown hair? If you’ve recently gone to the dark side or you’re a natural brunette, you might have spotted some unwanted red or orange hues in your hair. Luckily, there are ways to prevent and fix brassy brown hair with a few simple hair care tips and product swaps.

What is brassy brown hair?

Brassy brown hair has red and orange tones. This brassiness appears in colour-treated brown hair, and these unflattering red and orange undertones appear in your base colour over time.

When brown hair is lightened - for example, if you have balayage or ombré hair - the melanin which gives your hair its natural brunette hue is stripped, which leads to these unwanted warm tones becoming more visible.

What does brassy brown hair look like?

Brassy brunette hair often looks dull, lacklustre, and it’s easy to spot overwhelming red and orange tones which ‘clash’ with brown hair.

How to remove brassy tones from brown hair

Just as a purple shampoo neutralises brassy tones on blondes, using a blue shampoo on brown hair neutralises orange and red tones for brunettes. Blue shampoos contain blue or violet pigments; when you wash your hair with blue shampoo, these pigments are deposited onto your hair strands, and help to counteract brassy tones.

Colour wheel showing how blue shampoo neautralises brassy hair

Use our Blue Crush Shampoo and Blue Crush Conditioner to get rid of those orangey, reddy hues, and reveal cooler-toned brown hair. These brass-fighting brunette superheroes hydrate, care for and nourish brown hair, and contain a tri-dye blend of blue, purple and teal dyes to knock out stubborn brassy, copper tones.

Blue Crush range

How to use blue shampoo and conditioner

  • Start with thoroughly wet hair, ensuring it's saturated from roots to ends.
  • Dispense a small amount of blue shampoo into your hand. The amount needed will depend on the length and thickness of your hair. 
  • Gently massage the shampoo into your scalp and work it through your hair - pay special attention to areas prone to brassiness.
  • Let the shampoo sit on your hair for a few minutes. This allows the blue pigments to work on neutralising any unwanted brassiness.
  • For more intense results and to combat stubborn brassiness, leave the shampoo on your hair for up to five minutes.
  • Rinse your hair with cool water. Make sure all the shampoo is completely washed out.
  • Follow up with a blue conditioner or hair mask to replenish moisture and elasticity.

Swatches of John Frieda Blue Crush blue shampoo and blue conditioner

How to stop brown hair going brassy

As well as using blue shampoo, there are several ways to maintain your deep, rich brunette at home - all it takes is a few tweaks to your normal haircare routine.
  • Use colour-protecting shampoos and conditioners: Our Brilliant Brunette range is designed to maintain your best-ever brunette, and reveal your hair’s multi-dimensional tones. This range is designed for natural or colour-treated hair to help seal in moisture and protect against colour fading.
  • Avoid overwashing: Washing your hair too frequently can strip away colour and natural oils, potentially leading to brassiness. Try to wash your hair every 2-3 days, or as needed.
  • Rinse with cool water: After shampooing and conditioning, rinse your hair with cool water. This helps to seal the hair cuticle, which can help maintain colour vibrancy.
  • Limit heat styling: Excessive heat styling can accelerate colour fading. Use heat styling tools on the lowest setting necessary - and if you can’t go without them, use our Heat Defeat Protecting Spray to protect your strands from heat damage.
  • Protect your hair from UV and chlorine damage: UV rays from the sun and chlorine from swimming pools can lead to colour fading and brassiness. Wear a hat or use a UV-protectant spray for your hair when spending extended time outdoors.
  • Don’t skip dye days: If you have your hair coloured at the salon, schedule regular touch-up appointments to keep your colour looking fresh. If you dye your hair at home, make sure you’re dyeing your hair as often as you need to to hide root regrowth and diminish brassiness.
  • Use a leave-in conditioner: Applying a leave-in conditioner can help provide an extra layer of protection against environmental factors that contribute to colour fading and brassiness.

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