Whether you’re a root-to-tip blonde or a mid-tone balayage, if you have bleached hair, you’re probably familiar with those unfortunate yellow, red, or orange tones. We call them ‘brassy tones’ for obvious reasons, and they can be infuriating and difficult to manage if you aren’t sure how to treat your newly coloured hair.
If you’re new to the world of bleach and brassiness, there are some things that you should know about which can help maintain the beautiful shade of your dreams.
Why is your hair going ‘brassy’ a few weeks after bleaching?
Brassiness is most common in naturally dark hair which has been dyed blonde. It can also appear in highlighted hair or dark hair which has been lightened to a lighter shade of brown.
The brassy tones which many of us dread have always been there, dispersed among natural hair pigments, but they only become visible when ammonia and peroxide bleach oxidises darker pigments. When darker pigments are lifted the mid-brassy tones that were once covered up are allowed to appear.
Getting rid of brassy hair at the hairdressers
Even the most talented hairdresser can’t prevent brassiness from creeping through a few weeks after your appointment, which is why many bleachers choose to revisit the salon for frequent toners.
Toner is a deposit of hair colour which stays in place for a few weeks. It’s a great way to test a colour without the commitment of a permanent dye, and it’s also the perfect way to banish brassiness!
Toners are fantastic because they allow you to switch up your hair colour every time. Try a super ashy blonde, a deeper honey shade, or even a warm chocolatey brown – the toner will wash away after a few weeks!
We understand that it’s not always convenient (or affordable!) to head back to the salon for a toning treatment every couple of weeks, but thankfully there are more ways to restore your hair colour.
How does purple shampoo work?
Hair dyes contain red, yellow, and blue colour molecules in different quantities. When brassy tones come through it’s because the blue pigments in your hair dye have faded away more quickly than the warmer tones
Purple shampoo works by neutralising unwanted brassy tones. It’s applied just like a regular shampoo, so you can work to fix your hair at home without the expensive salon appointment.
TIP: Don’t use your purple shampoo more than once a week. Over-depositing the pigments can turn your hair blue or purple.
Here are some of our favourite purple shampoos:
Wave goodbye to brassy yellow and say hello to super-ashy silver tones with this product by Osmo. Perfect for extremely lightened, grey, or bleached hair, Super Silver No Yellow shampoo has been developed to reduce yellow tones.
Developed to help banish unwanted brassy and yellow tones in bleached hair, this shampoo by forever-favourite Fudge is deeply cleansing. It’s formulated with guarana and a unique Hydrating Hair Drink complex, so it’ll leave your locks looking healthier and more vibrant after every use.
Thanks to its violet colour pigment, Bristows Silver Shampoo helps remove brassy and yellow tones in grey, white, and platinum blonde hair.
Get more with this new product by Fudge. Combining the benefits of the brands bestselling Clean Blonde and their new Damage Rewind shampoos, this product strengthens while it tackles unwanted yellows – win-win!
Mood’s silver shampoo is formulated with blueberry extract and violet pigments to contrast warm tones in colour-lifted or bleached hair.
One for the brunettes, this blue shampoo is perfect for naturally dark hair that’s suffering from red and orange tones. The unique blue pigment helps lift dark hair more effectively than a purple alternative.
Another great option from Fudge, try this Damage Rewind Violet option to get your hair back in tip-top condition after bleaching.
Budget-friendly and great for removing brassy and yellow tones from bleached hair, PRO:VOKE’s Touch of Silver gently cleanses and helps to protect against environmental pollution to keep colour locked in.
Top tips for avoiding brassy tones
While it’s not always possible to completely avoid brassy tones, there are a few things you can do to keep your colour cooler for longer.
1. Use a shampoo for colour-treated hair
When you’re not using your purple or silver shampoo, make sure you choose a product which has been designed specifically for bleached or colour-treated hair. Colour-protecting shampoos are often gentler than regular products and can help maintain your hair colour for a longer period.
2. Keep your hair out of the sun
It’s hard to say no to a little sunshine, particularly if you’re on holiday, but if you want to keep the brassy tones at bay, it’s best to keep your hair in the shade.
Sun exposure can encourage hair colour to fade more quickly, which is likely to make your brassy tones more visible. You can avoid this and keep your hair healthy by covering up with a hat or headscarf or investing in a hair sunscreen.
3. Avoid chlorine
Chlorine is notoriously damaging to hair. By stripping away natural oils, the chemical can leave strands dry and damaged. When your hair is damaged, your hair colour is likely to fade away faster, making those underlying brassy tones more visible.
4. Attach a filter to your shower head
Do you know what’s in your water? When you wash your hair, you might be rinsing with water that contains mineral deposits, including chlorine and iron, which can be drying and can encourage your hair colour to fade.
Using a shower filter can help reduce the minerals which come through with the water, so you can hang onto your cool tones for longer.
TIP: Use our Water Hardness Calculator to see what’s in the water where you live. We’ll even recommend the best products for you based on your hair type and local water hardness!
If you’re thinking about plunging into the world of bleach, make sure you’re prepared for a little brassiness. Don’t worry – it’s super-easy to manage when you’re armed with the right information and products. Stock up on silver shampoo and be prepared to head to the hairdressers a little more regularly and enjoy your new lighter life!
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