How To Say Goodbye To Brassy Hair For Good

No one dyes their hair with the intention of it looking brassy a few weeks later. However, it's a common scenario. Hair can become brassy when the natural hue is taken away and replaced with dyed color. The warm tones found in natural hair eventually come back and cause it to look brassy (via Good Housekeeping).

Brassy hair can show up whenever you dye it lighter, but it tends to occur most often when you have lightened dark hair, especially if you dye it light blond or platinum (via John Frieda). You may notice that warm tones gradually appear and look orange or red in certain strands or even large sections of hair. Blond hair may turn orangey, and platinum hair may turn yellow. Even dark hair can turn brassy. In brunettes, brassiness may show up as red highlights.

Though you can take steps to get rid of brassy hair, it's best to prevent it from the get-go.

Factors that contribute to brassy hair

Hairstylist and colorist Jana Rago tells Real Simple that there are several reasons the tones in dyed hair can easily turn brassy. Some things are in your control, but some are not. 

"These tones can turn due to sunlight, washing with the wrong shampoo that doesn't protect colored hair, or a mistake made by a colorist, like not using a toner," she says. "The sun will dry out the hair by opening the cuticle on the scalp, which will lift the color out, causing the hair to look brassy."

Colorist Megan Graham says that, once your hair is very brassy, you may need to make an appointment to see a professional colorist and specifically ask for a color correction. This involves several steps and isn't something you'd be able to do at home. You'll want to make sure that the colorist uses a toner that will work to keep warm undertones hidden.

Celebrity hairstylist Kristin Ess agrees and says it's always best to avoid color-correcting yourself (via Elle). "If you need any major colorwork, you should always go to a pro,” she says. "You can really mess up your color by going out of your 'hair color family' with any color product at home."

What you can do to avoid brassy hair

There are simple ways to help prevent brassy hair that you can do on your own. First, you'll want to protect your hair from the harsh rays of the sun, so wear a hat, stay in the shade, or simply avoid being out during the hottest times of the day in direct sunlight (via StyleCraze).

When swimming, whether in the pool or at the beach, wear a tight-fitted cap. Pool water contains chlorine, which removes color from your hair and can damage it. At the beach, saltwater is also abrasive and damaging.

At home, pay attention to washing your hair (via Voce). Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically for color-treated hair, preferably one without sulfates, which can damage hair. Use cool water since hot water makes color fade quicker and induces brassiness. 

Also, don't wash your hair daily. Aim to wash your hair every three to five days to protect natural oils and reduce the possibility of brassiness. Finally, a good purple shampoo can help keep your hair regularly toned, and make sure any hair products you use are for colored-treated hair.