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Brassy Hair 101: What Does Brassy Blonde and Brunette Hair Look Like? (2024)

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what does brassy hair look likeYou peer into the mirror, frustrated. The blonde locks staring back at you are a brassy, unflattering mess.

You left the salon feeling lighter than air with that fresh, golden hue. Now, just a few washes later, your hair’s turned orange. Don’t worry – with the right products and techniques, you can get your hair back to blonde bombshell status in no time.

Let’s talk brassiness – those unwanted warm, reddish undertones that creep into colored hair. It’s a common issue, especially for brunettes going blonde. But have no fear – a purple shampoo regime can neutralize brassiness and restore cool, ashy tones.

With some TLC between color appointments, you can keep brassiness at bay and look salon-fresh. Trust me, I’ve fixed many a brassiness mishap. With a few tweaks to your haircare routine, you can get your hair color back on track.

Key Takeaways

  • Brassy hair typically has warm, golden undertones that emerge when color fades.
  • Brassiness often manifests as orange, red, or yellow tones in hair meant to be neutral or ashy.
  • Bleached or color-treated blonde hair is especially susceptible to brassiness when the dye fades.
  • Brunette hair can also become brassy when highlighted blonde pieces turn discolored, taking on an unwanted reddish-orange hue.

What is Brassy Hair?

What is Brassy Hair
You walk towards the mirror and cringe as your hair reflects shades of orange and red, giving it an unnatural, metallic look.

Brassy hair occurs when your hair’s underlying warm pigment peeks through, creating orange and red hues.

Several factors cause brassy hair – sun exposure, mineral deposits, and harsh shampoos strip color, while porous hair absorbs less dye initially. Using purple shampoo counteracts brassiness, as violet neutralizes yellow tones.

Realize thoroughly lighter hair requires more maintenance. Schedule regular touch-ups with your stylist and discuss realistic color expectations, rotating between highlights and all-over color for maximum longevity.

Accepting your hair’s natural subtone is key.

What Causes Brassy Hair?

What Causes Brassy Hair
Brassy hair occurs when your permanent color fades. The fading process lets your hair’s underlying warm pigments show through, creating undesirable brassy tones.

  • Sun exposure – UV rays damage hair, speeding up fading of color pigments.
  • Using heat styling tools – High heat damages hair cuticles, causing color to escape.
  • Product buildup – Oil, dirt, and styling products dull color over time.
  • Hard water minerals – Mineral deposits strip color from porous hair.
  • Over-washing – Frequent shampooing strips color faster than your roots can grow in.

To keep hair color vibrant and avoid brassiness, be gentle with your tresses. Limit heat styling, wash less often, and protect your hair from sun exposure. With proper care, you can maintain your fresh color and prevent undesired brassy tones taking over.

What Does Brassy Hair Look Like?

What Does Brassy Hair Look Like
Looks can be deceiving when those orange hues creep up. Brassy hair manifests in unwanted warm tones like reddish-orange and yellow. As your hair color fades, those cool tones fade first, exposing the underlying warmth.

You may notice the brassiness at the roots as they grow out or the mid-lengths and ends if the color wasn’t saturated through the whole head. The fading may occur faster by your face as the heat and oils from your skin strip the color quicker.

Don’t panic. With the right products and techniques, you can nip that brassiness in the bud. Using a purple shampoo helps cancel out those yellows so you can get your hair back to the right tone until your next color correction.

Managing your expectations and being realistic about refreshing your color more frequently keeps your color looking clean.

Preventing Brassy Hair

Preventing Brassy Hair
Preventing brassy hair requires choosing the right color and using purple shampoo. Opt for an ash or platinum blonde shade at your next salon visit. Then, incorporate a purple shampoo into your routine a couple times per week to cancel out yellowing or orange tones.

Choose the Right Color

Choosing a cooler-toned hair color is crucial for preventing brassiness.

  • Opt for ash or beige tones over golden hues to counteract unwanted warmth.
  • Go two shades lighter if transitioning from brunette to blonde to avoid orange tones.
  • Use a toner or purple shampoo after lightening to neutralize brassiness.
  • Consult a professional colorist to find the right level and tone for your base.

Brassiness arises from underlying warmth in hair, so strategic color selection helps prevent those brassy tones from peeking through.

Use Purple Shampoo

Nix those brass tones fast by usin’ VoCe’s purple shampoo regularly; say goodbye to them warm hues. Pour out a coin-sized dollop and work it into damp locks, leavin’ on for 2-5 minutes dependin’ on tone intensity.

If your mane’s extra brassy, grab a toner like Wella Color Charm or Fanola No Orange. Usind purple shampoo 2-3 times a week helps neutralize yellow and boost cool, ashy color. For brunettes goin’ blonde, alternate with a blue shampoo to balance red/orange hues.

Stay consistent to keep brass at bay and rock that icy mane!

Fixing Brassy Hair

Fixing Brassy Hair
You’d banish those unwanted warm tones with a toner. A good stylist can analyze your hair and customize a solution.

Here are 5 toning techniques to try:

  1. Use a purple shampoo once or twice a week. Start with 5 minutes, checking often to avoid overdoing it.
  2. Apply a semi-permanent toner between salon visits. Wella and Schwarzkopf make great at-home toners.
  3. Book a gloss or glaze service. These deposit temporary color to freshen your look between dye jobs.
  4. Ask for a color correction next salon visit. Your stylist can adjust your formula to avoid further brassiness.
  5. Rinse with cool water, use sulfate-free shampoo, and limit washing to help your color last.

Experiment to find what works for your strands. Trust your stylist for custom recommendations to keep your color looking fresh.

Maintenance Tips

Maintenance Tips
Goodness gracious, y’all need to keep those roots under control if you’re not trying to go full pumpkin head.

  • Invest in a shower filter to reduce mineral deposits from water.
  • Use color-safe shampoo and conditioner designed for color treated hair.
  • Add a hat and UV hair spray when out in the sun to prevent fading.
  • Extend time between washes with dry shampoo to preserve color.
  • Explore clean beauty brands with gentler formulas that won’t strip your color.

Keeping your hair color looking vibrant takes commitment. Using professional salon shampoo, shower filters, and UV protection will help keep those brassies away. Consistent maintenance gives you the freedom to rock any bold hair color without fear of rapid fading.

With some simple steps, you can keep that white blonde or vibrant red looking right on point.

When to See a Stylist

When to See a Stylist
Before you go buyin’ stuff to fix it, let your stylist see how far it’s faded. If you’ve got a bad case o’ brassiness goin’ on, see your colorist. Don’t just grab a box off the shelf, ‘cuz that orange ain’t gonna cooperate without help.

Let a pro do an assessment, feel your hair’s porosity, consider your lifestyle. Maybe you need a gloss, maybe you need a full lift to blonde—only your stylist knows for sure.

With the right toner, treatment, and expert techniques, your colorist can slay that brass monster. But if you’ve fried your hair tryin’ to go platinum at home, a trim may be in order.

Regular touch-ups with your pro keep brassiness at bay. Don’t neglect your blondes; book appointments before things go sideways.

Lean on your colorist, not the drugstore. They gotchu.


Let’s be clear – brassy hair doesn’t have to be a lifelong problem. With the right products, techniques, and stylist, you can overcome those bothersome brassy tones. Reaching your ideal hair color takes time, but knowledge and patience empower you to get there.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.