The Dreaded Brass

When you are a blonde like me, brassiness is your worst nightmare. Though, brunettes often feel our pain. But why does your hair turn that awful orange hue and what can you do about the dreaded brass?

First, is your hair brassy before you even leave the salon from your color appointment? Obviously your stylist needs to use a toner. A toner is a demi permanent hair glaze. The correct one can counteract the unwanted hues. Stylists can use a color opposite on the color wheel to neutralize the tone. For example, yellow tones can be neutralized by violet. When lifting hair, your underlying pigment is shown. A toner is needed to keep that pigment at bay. Since it is a deposit-only color, demi permanent glazes also work well for those who don’t color their hair but want a different. So, talk to your stylist about a toning glaze this way you can leave the salon with the perfect, eye-pleasing shade.

Why does your hair turn brassy between color appointments? There are several culprits that cause this. It all boils down to two things: elements that cause build up and elements that strip out color. Pollution and smoking are guaranteed to ruin your color. Using products with silicones or parabens can also lead to unsightly build up that cause brass as well as pool water and mineral deposits left by well water Sulfate shampoo, ocean water, and sun expose can strip your hair revealing that unwanted hue. However, there are many solutions that can keep the brass from happening.

1. Use a sulfate-free, color protecting shampoo. No ifs, ands, or buts. You pay a lot of money for your color, maintain it.
2. Once or twice a week use a color safe clarifying shampoo to rid your hair of build up.
3. Blondes, try a color depositing shampoo or conditioner to counteract the unwanted yellow-orange tones on your own. Try Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo or Redken Blonde Glam Platinum or Vanilla Color Depositing Conditioner.
4. Rinse hair with shower water before swimming to protect it from the harmful chemicals.
5. Cover your head to hide from sun exposure. Besides, hats are stylish and it will save your face.
6. Be sure to be using professional styling products, they contain no or are low on silicones and parabens and the hairsprays are low in alcohol content. You maintain your car with the good stuff, why not your hair?
7. Stop smoking.

Another issue may be an over deposit of color. When so many layers of color are on the hair the wanted color is unable to enter hair shaft and the bonds cannot be broken to allow the correct tone in. Sometimes its best to start fresh. A light color removal (done by a professional of course) can be used. Ask your stylist if this is a necessary procedure.

Most importantly, keep your hair healthy. The more damage there is, the more porous your hair becomes making it very challenging for your color to stay. Remember it is your stylists job to create the perfect color for you, but it is your job to maintain it.

Good Bye Brass!


2 thoughts on “The Dreaded Brass

    • amandabossi says:

      Are you using professional products? Are you a smoker or around pollutants? Did your stylist tone your hair? Are you at least getting it retoned or recolored max every 8 weeks? Is your ideal shade lighter than it is right now?


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