Rachel Scott
Published on September 07, 2021

If blondes have more fun, then why is it so hard to deal with brassy blonde tones that creep into your perfect shade soon after bleaching? Too often, the icy blonde we were hoping for ends up with yellow or orange tones – a dull disappointment.

If you don’t know how to get rid of brassy hair, rest assured that the tips below will help you get the cool blonde you’ve always desired.

Why Hair Turns Brassy After Bleaching

How does the process for going blonde work, anyway? To reach that platinum color, pigments have to be removed from the hair. If your hair is dark, this can be a difficult task because hair color has to be lifted using bleach. That’s when yellow, orange or red undertones that exist in darker shades of hair color chart come through.

Mind that trying to remove brassy tones by additional rounds of bleaching is a hell of a strategy and a sure way to bleach damaged hair. That’s why colorists use semi- and demi-permanent toner after bleaching to further lighten your hair and achieve the desired result. Since toners do not provide permanent color results, warm tones of your natural hair color reappear, resulting in brassy hair.

Pool water and sun exposure contribute to this process, too. This way, learning to prevent and neutralize brassy hair at home becomes essential for everyone looking to sport some gorgeous cool blonde shades. Here is everything you need to know.

Brassy Blonde vs Cool Blonde Hair Color

Instagram / @gracey_shaghair

1. Choose the Right Blonde Hair Color

When dying your hair at home, choosing the right color is essential if you want to avoid brassiness and yellow roots. First, purchase a more icy toned dye: this will neutralize pale yellow tones and enhance the silver ones. A safe bet is to go with shades labeled as “ashy”, as they are designed to reduce unwanted brassiness.

Cool Blonde Hairstyle with Platinum Highlights

Instagram / @marissaknighthair

2. Tone Brassy Hair with Purple Shampoo or Mask

Purple shampoo is an effective and easy-to-use toner for blonde hair that helps to fix hair that is turning brassy. Since purple and yellow are opposite on the color wheel, the toner with purple pigment is the best choice for color correcting. It helps to neutralize brassy tones in shy, platinum blonde and white hair without drastically changing the color. It can also combat the yellow that appears in natural blonde and gray hair.

Matrix So Silver and L’Oreal Paris Elvive are top-rated purple shampoos for fighting brassiness. Chances are great that your preferred brand has one in its product range, too. Mind that if you have dark blonde hair and notice an orange or red shade in your locks, you might better consider using a blue toner to cancel these. Despite the proven effectiveness, it is not recommended to use a toner every time you wash your hair, as this can dry your locks over time.

Purple Toner on Blonde Hair Before and After

Instagram / @blondebarofkaty

Bleach increases hair porosity and dryness, so proper deep conditioning is a must both before and after a blonding service. If you feel like purple shampoo leaves your hair overly dry, consider using it less often or opt for a toning mask instead. Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Masque is a popular choice that provides amazing results. This coconut oil-based mask not only tones out the brassiness, but also helps to moisturize and condition your hair from roots to ends.

3. Use Products for Color Treated Hair

As it has been mentioned, a purple shampoo should be approached as a toner, not as a regular shampoo for washing your hair. For a regular wash day routine, use a shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. Hair care specifically designed to maintain hair color will combat fading and keep your blonde fresh and natural.

If you want to get a lighter blonde color or highlights, John Frieda Sheer Blonde shampoo is a great option to try. The product does magic, making bleached hair smooth and soft. However, to really fix brassy hair, it should be used with the occasional application of a purple-pigment toner.

Shampoo to Lighten Blonde Hair

Instagram / @johnfriedaus

4. Invest into a Shower Filter

Believe it or not, minerals found in water can contribute to brassiness. If brassy tones keep showing up in your colored hair or your natural hair keeps getting golden brassy hues, do consider the quality of water in your home. Thankfully, this means that you can combat the brassy hair drama by investing in a shower head filter that can be easily attached to any showerhead. As a bonus, it will make your hair and skin softer and healthier.

Shover Filter to Keep Hair from Getting Brassy

Freepik / @prostooleh

5. Protect Hair from Sun

Having sun-kissed hairstyles in mind, we tend to think of walking in the sun as pampering out locks. It is true that the sun can naturally lighten hair, but exposure to ultraviolet rays is nothing good for our locks. More than that, it is a common reason for brassy hair. To avoid color fading and brassiness, use sun protection products for hair, wear a hat, or tie a trendy scarf when going out in the summer.

6. Avoid Swimming Pools

Chlorine water in swimming pools has a high toll on blonde-colored hair, changing the shade of your permanent color and giving your a brassy hair look. It also makes hair dry and prone to damage – not the best thing to happen after already putting stress on your dark hair with bleach. If you cannot or do not want to avoid a swimming pool, using a good quality swimming cap or Philip Kingsley Swimcap Water-Resistant Mask can help prevent the damage.

Blonde Hair Getting Yellow in the Pool

Freepik/ @serhii-bobyk

7. Use White Vinegar Rinse

White vinegar has been used around the house for ages, but did you know it can be used to enhance cool blonde hair? (FYI, to bring out auburn tones in your hair, use apple cider vinegar rinse). The sour-smelling solution has the ability to restore hair to its proper pH while also clarifying and conditioning.

To fight brassy warm tones, shampoo as normal and rinse hair with cool water. Then, mix 2 tsp of vinegar with about two cups of water and apply the rinse to your damp hair, pouring it from root to tip. After about 15 minutes, rinse hair well with warm to cool water. Condition as normal and enjoy the beautiful effects!

8. Wash Your Hair Less

As described before, washing fades the toner and lets warm tones of your natural color come through. Cutting down on the number of wash days can keep you away from orange tint for a longer time. In addition to making brassiness visible quicker, frequent shampooing will dry out your tresses. There is no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of how often should you wash your hair, but “daily” is definitely the wrong answer. Try to wash less, and your cool shade and bright blonde highlights will thank you.

Long Wavy Ash Blonde Hairstyle

Instagram / @hairby_calliej

Achieving that perfect blonde can be a struggle, but once you’ve reached that perfect platinum, nothing feels fresher! It may be a bit of work to maintain, but combatting brassy hair is totally doable if you can commit. With the use of toners and following simple tips, you’ll soon learn to keep warm tones down while sporting some cool ash blonde tone longer!

Brassy Blonde vs Cool Blonde Hair Color Cool Blonde Hairstyle with Platinum Highlights Purple Toner on Blonde Hair Before and After Using Purple Mask on Brassy Hair Shampoo to Lighten Blonde Hair Shover Filter to Keep Hair from Getting Brassy Blonde Hair Getting Yellow in the Pool Long Wavy Ash Blonde Hairstyle