BRASSY HAIR: WHY IT HAPPENS AND HOW TO STOP IT October 3, 2017 11:53
Weeks after colouring your hair blonde, you may start to notice something strange: the shade you left the salon with is no more, and now your hair has taken on an undesired yellow, orange or red tone. What gives? Brassy hair, that’s what.
Brassiness refers to the unwanted warm tones that show up in coloured hair. It typically happens in dark hair that gets dyed platinum or blonde, but it can also occur in hair that’s been highlighted or in hair that’s been lightened to brown.
To understand why this 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.
After bleaching, the next step is usually to apply your hair colour, which deposits artificial pigment onto your locks while removing some of your natural colour.
Brassy hair colour 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 colour molecules your hair dye contains, the blue ones have made a faster departure, leaving—you guessed it—just the warm tones. Since the blue colour 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 HAIRCOLOR
Select a cool hair colour, 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 hair colours you can pull off that have a good balance of cool tones.
2. HEAD TO THE SALON AND GET A TONER FOR BRASSY HAIR
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 colour, 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 favours in just one sitting.
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 colour your hair all over again.
3. GET A BOND-PROTECTING SERVICE
Since healthy hair is less likely to turn brassy, add in a bond-protecting service, like Redken’s pH-Bonder, during the bleaching or hair colouring process, to protect your hair from damage and strengthen your strands.
4. CONDITION YOUR HAIR WITH A COLOR-DEPOSITING HAIR PRODUCT TO NEUTRALISE UNWANTED WARM TONES
Need an at-home brassy hair fix? If you’re blonde, go for a purple-tinted hair product, and if you’re brunette, go for a blue-tinted one, since yellow is opposite to purple and orange is opposite to blue on the colour wheel.
Fabulous Pro offers a range of customisable conditioners blended just for your particular shade
5. AVOID THE SUN AND THE POOL
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 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.
6. USE A SHAMPOO FOR COLOR-TREATED HAIR THE REST OF THE TIME
Redken’s Color Extend Magnetics is free of sulfates to make sure that hair colour stays vibrant and healthy.
7. INVEST IN A SHOWER FILTER
Washing your hair with water that leaves a large amount of mineral deposits, including chlorine and iron, is bad news for coloured 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 tone stays around for longer.