Any woman who’s ever colored or highlighted her hair blonde knows that the fresh-from-the-salon color doesn’t stay along for all that long. All it takes is a week’s worth of showers before your light and ashy strands start to lose their luster. Only a few short days-to-weeks later (depending on your lifestyle and environment) your highlights that were once as blonde as Brittany Spears’ are now yellow and brassy. Some women are okay with the brassier tinted shades, specifically those who go with a darker or caramel shade of blonde because the shifting of shades isn’t as noticeable. However, those who prefer a beachy bleach blonde shade, or even silver shade, will notice the color change almost immediately. Although the yellow hue is annoying, it’s almost guaranteed to happen. Luckily, it’s also easily to fix and prevent! Read on to find out what causes brassy hair tones and how to remove them!
From Ashy to Brassy
Even though we use the name of one color to describe the color of our hair (i.e., brown, blonde, red), it’s actually a variety of warm and cool tones which alternate to create a dimensional appearance. Regardless of your hair color, the warm tones contribute to the hair’s appearance by giving it depth or darkness. The cool tones, on the other hand, balance the warm tones to give it the neutral color you see when you look in the mirror.
Of course, everyone’s hair color is a bit different from the next person’s; you could have 100 brunettes in the same room and have difficulty finding two people with the exact same shade of brown. If these 100 women bleached their hair to become blonde, however, those with naturally darker hair would be more susceptible to brassiness. The reason being that dark hair needs to go through a lightening process which changes the hair from brown to deep red, then to a pale yellow. When the hair becomes yellow it will then be toned with a dye to reach a natural looking ashy blonde color.
Now, take a moment to consider what happens after a naturally blonde haired woman dyes her hair brown, and then takes a few showers…the brown dye will ultimately start to fade. This is exactly what is happening to natural brunets when their blonde turns brassy – the toning dye is fading, but the result of the bleaching remains. Thus turning ashy blonde strands to golden and brassy yellow.
From Brassy to Ashy
Knowing that bright blonde tresses dull due to the fading of toning hair color, wouldn’t it make sense to recolor the blonde strands? Well, it’s just that simple! When you tone, (a.k.a. add a toning color) to brassy hair, you are adding cool dimensions to your hair. This works to neutralize the hair by ridding copper and brassy tones and replacing them with silver ashy tones.
If your hair is already very brassy, the best thing you can do to cool the warm tones is to get a toning treatment. Whether you make an appointment to get it done at the salon, or you purchase an at home tonight treatment, you’ll get similar results. If you go to a salon, they are likely to use a gentle semi-permanent color which deposits the needed pigment into your strands to prevent damaging already weak hair. If you prefer to perform this process at home and are confident in your hair’s strength and stability, then you can find a brass-eliminating treatment where you would typically buy an at-home hair coloring kit.
If your hair is only slightly brassy, or even if it still has the majority of its ash, you can prevent the copper hue from ever making an appearance by investing in a high-quality toning shampoo. These shampoos are typically a bright purple or violet color. The purple color works to neutralize brassiness in its tracks. When using a toning shampoo one should take extra care to use an ultra-repairing and hydrating conditioner, the reason being that even the best purple shampoos are known to dry out healthy and hydrated strands.