Getting rid of brassy tones - unwanted warm tones that can appear in your coloured hair, particularly blonde hair, is one of the number one issues we get asked to help with. Our friends at Redken have written this great article we thought we would share explaining why it happens and how to prevent it.
BRASSY HAIR: WHY IT HAPPENS AND HOW TO PREVENT IT
To understand why brassy hair occurs, you’ll need to understand what’s happening during the whole hair lightening process. To lift dark hair, bleaching with a mix of ammonia and peroxide is usually a necessary part of the equation. When hair is bleached, melanin, a dark brown to black pigment, gets diluted in a process known as oxidation.
Photo Credit: @paintedbeaute
After bleaching, the next step is usually to apply your haircolor, which deposits artificial pigment onto your locks while removing some of your natural color.
Brassy haircolor becomes a problem when bleaching or lifting doesn’t get rid of all the underlying pigment in your hair, giving the warm tones an opportunity to reveal themselves. For lightened blonde hair, the underlying pigment is yellow, and for lightened brown to black hair, the underlying pigments are orange to red. When the brassiness starts creeping up, think of it as your natural hair telling you, “Hey, remember us?”
When brassiness occurs, that also means that among the red, yellow and blue color molecules your hair dye contains, the blue ones have made a faster departure, leaving—you guessed it—just the warm tones. Since the blue color molecules are smaller, they’re broken down easily and fade quicker with every wash. Unfair.
Fortunately, you have several options when it comes dealing with brassy hair, in terms of both preventing it and fixing it after it happens.
1. START OFF BY CHOOSING THE RIGHT PERMANENT HAIRCOLOUR
Select a cool haircolor, like one with the word “ash” in the name, since it’s less likely to turn brassy than one that’s warm. If you gravitate toward warmer shades, don’t worry; there are plenty of lighter haircolors you can pull off that have a good balance of cool tones.
Need a place to start? Redken’s new Colour Fusion Cool Fashion Collection contains 14 hair colours, including shades of blonde that are meant to provide cooler results and will counteract brassiness.
Using C-Lock technology, the collection has larger dye molecules so cool tones stays in place for up to 8 weeks, and the hair colours all have a black-to-gray background so that warm tones are less noticeable.
Photo Credit: @matheusredken
Toner, a translucent deposit of hair colour that fades in a few weeks, isn’t just great for altering your hair colour without the commitment. It can be a great brassy hair fix, too. Also known as demi-permanent color, glaze or gloss, toning can correct the unwanted yellow, orange or even red tones lingering on your hair since it contains just enough pigment to improve your hair colour.
Plus, the service will enhance the shine levels of your strands in the process, so you’ll be doing your hair multiple favors in just one sitting.
Redken’s Shades EQ Redservice, which can be used as a toner for brassy hair, does all of the above and raises the hair cuticle, giving hair volume and texture and improving manageability in the process. Plus, the toning service can take as little as 20 minutes.
Just remember that a hair gloss yields only temporary results. The good news is you won’t have to deal with that obvious growing out period situation with your roots like you might have to deal with if you decide to color your hair all over again.
Need an at-home brassy hair fix? If you’re blonde, go for a purple shampoo like Redken's Color Extend Blondage, and if you’re brunette, go for a blue-tinted shampoo such as Redken's Colour Extend Brownlights (coming soon), since yellow is opposite to purple and orange is opposite to blue on the color wheel.
We know, we know: how can you say no to the pool and soaking up some rays? But if you want your hair colour to stay put, it’s best to stay away.
The chlorine commonly found in swimming pools can strip your hair dry, leaving your locks dull and damage-prone. And when hair becomes damaged, your hair colour will have a harder time staying in place, meaning more opportunities for brassy hair colour to show up.
Sun exposure can also do a number on your hair colour by making it fade faster and making brassiness more visible. So the next time you go outside, make sure you cover up or use a hair sunscreen.
Photo Credit: @Redken
Since overusing a color-depositing hair product may end up turning your hair blue or purple, only use it once a week. The rest of the time, apply color-protecting hair products, like Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo, since they’re gentler than regular shampoo and tend to not include sulfate, which can fade hair colour.
Washing your hair with water that leaves a large amount of mineral deposits, including chlorine and iron, is bad news for colored hair since the buildup is drying and the chemicals could end up fading your hair colour, leading to another opportunity for brassy hair to reveal itself.
A shower filter can help cut down on the mineral deposits, so your hair colour stays around for longer.
Need some cool-toned hair colour inspiration? Browse through @Redken on Instagram for a picture to show your hairstylist.
7. USE A PURPLE HAIR MASK TO NEUTRALIZE BRASSY HAIR
To maintain strong, bright blonde hair, you'll need a complete haircare regimen to strengthen and help neutralize the brassy tones that can start to appear in between salon appointments.
In addition to purple shampoo and conditioner for daily care, integrating an ultra-pigmented purple hair mask, such as Redken's Color Extend Blondage Express Anti-Brass hair mask, can help transform your blonde from brassy to cool and bright in just 5 minutes.
Read the full article here: Redken.com/blog