Hair - Hair Problems

How to Get Rid of Brassy Hair Without Toner: 11 DIY Fixes

Discover 11 expert tips to restore shine and eliminate brassiness without toner.

Written by Ioana Moldovan
how to get rid of brassy hair without toner

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Bleach can seriously damage hair. In fact, 68% of women report noticeable hair damage after bleaching.

One of the symptoms: brassiness.

But, you’re not doomed to live with it. This article will guide you on how to get rid of brassy hair, even without a toner.

Plus, we’ll share tips on how to prevent and pick the best fix for your brassy hair. Time to get your hair back to its shiny, healthy best.

Why Is Your Hair Brassy?

Brassy hair refers to hair with unwanted yellow, orange, or red tones. These tones occur after coloring or highlighting your hair.

Brassy tones are different from natural hair discoloration. Natural hair discoloration occurs evenly throughout your hair. Brassy hair appears uneven and may not look as polished as your natural color.

Here are the most frequent causes of brassy hair:

  • Your hair’s underlying pigment may reappear after coloring your hair.
  • UV rays break down your hair’s melanin and reveal warmer tones.
  • Contact with chlorine and minerals in pool water can cause brassiness.
  • Exposure to oxygen can fade your hair color, causing brassy hair.

To combat brassy hair, use hair products specifically designed for color-treated hair. Try to minimize sun exposure or pool activities to keep your hair color looking fresh and vibrant.

What is Hair Toner?

Hair toner is a product that adjusts the tone of your hair. You use it after lightening or bleaching your hair as it neutralizes unwanted tones. This includes brassy tones.

Unlike at-home remedies, hair toner is specifically designed for color-treated hair.

When you bleach your hair, it can sometimes result in an unnatural-looking shade. Hair toner comes to the rescue, correcting the shade and giving a more polished look.

In comparison to other home remedies, hair toner is a professional-grade product that provides precise control over the hair’s tone.

Toners are temporary and may need to be refreshed between salon visits to maintain your perfect shade.

Why Do People Avoid Hair Toners for Brassy Hair?

Hair toners can be helpful in neutralizing unwanted warm tones in your hair, but some people avoid them due to several reasons:

  • Allergic reactions
  • Scalp irritation
  • Lack of time
  • Budget considerations

The most common reason why people avoid hair toners is potential allergic reactions.

These reactions range from mild to severe, with symptoms like:

  • Itching
  • Redness
  • Swelling
  • Hives
  • Discomfort on the scalp or skin

In rare cases, individuals experience a severe allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis. This reaction requires immediate medical attention.

We recommend a patch test before toning brassy hair or using any new hair products to prevent reactions.

How to Tone Your Hair at Home Without Toner

Here is how you can remove brassiness, even without toner:

  1. Purple and blue shampoos
  2. Apple cider vinegar rinse
  3. Baking soda treatment
  4. Tea rinses
  5. Lemon juice application
  6. Color-treated hair masks
  7. Color depositing conditioners
  8. Deep conditioning treatments
  9. Hair gloss treatments
  10. Coffee rinses
  11. Hollyhock rinses
How to Get Rid of Brassy Hair Without Toner

1. Purple Shampoo and Blue Shampoo

Purple and blue shampoos are effective methods to combat brassy tones at home.

The color pigments in these shampoos neutralize unwanted yellow and orange hues. They make your hair color appear cooler and more vibrant.

To use purple or blue shampoo:

  1. Wet your hair thoroughly.
  2. Apply the shampoo evenly throughout your hair.
  3. Leave it on for 3-5 minutes.
  4. Rinse well and follow up with a conditioner.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Apple cider vinegar is a natural hair care product that clarifies your scalp and smoothens frizz. It works by making your hair cuticles lie flat, removing brassy tones.

Chemical treatments such as bleaching or dyeing can increase the alkalinity of your hair. As a result, your hair becomes brassy, dry, and fragile.

Vinegar, with its acetic acid content, can help counteract hair brassiness by reducing your hair’s pH level.

To prepare and use an apple cider vinegar rinse:

  1. Mix one part apple cider vinegar with three parts water.
  2. After shampooing, pour the mixture onto your hair.
  3. Massage it into your scalp and hair.
  4. Rinse it out after 2-3 minutes.
  5. Follow with a conditioner.

3. Baking Soda Treatment

Baking soda acts as a mild abrasive that gently removes the buildup of hair products and minerals. This helps lift brassy tones to reveal your natural hair color.

As it is alkaline in nature, baking soda opens the hair cuticles. This allows for the removal of brassy hues.

How to make a baking soda paste:

  1. Mix equal parts of baking soda and water.
  2. Apply the paste to your hair.
  3. Leave it on for 10-15 minutes.
  4. Rinse it out thoroughly.
  5. Shampoo and condition as usual.

4. Tea Rinse

Chamomile or black tea rinse is a natural, gentle way to tone down brassiness.

The dark pigments found in the tannins of black tea can gently deepen your hair color. They counteract any unwanted reddish-orange brassiness.

Chamomile tea contains yellow pigments that can neutralize the brassy tones in your hair.

How to prepare a tea rinse:

  1. Steep 2-3 tea bags in hot water
  2. Allow the tea to cool
  3. Pour the cooled tea onto your hair
  4. Allow it to sit for 10-15 minutes
  5. Rinse it out and condition your hair

5. Lemon Juice Application

Lemon juice is a natural lightener and can help reduce brassy tones in your hair. Its citric acid content acts as a mild bleach.

How to use lemon juice:

  1. Mix equal parts of lemon juice and water
  2. Apply the mixture to your hair
  3. Sit in the sun for 20-30 minutes to activate the lemon juice
  4. Rinse it out and use a conditioner

6. Colored-Treated Hair Masks

Color-treated hair masks can help maintain your desired color and prevent brassiness.

These treatments nourish your hair and protect it from fading and turning brassy.

Find a hair mask formulated specifically for colored hair. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for usage for best results.

7. Color Depositing Conditioners

Color-depositing conditioners are products that deposit a small amount of color onto your hair each time you use them. They can help maintain your desired hair color and fight brassiness.

Choose a conditioner that is suitable for your hair color and apply it as you would with a regular conditioner.

8. Deep Conditioning Treatments

Regular deep conditioning treatments can help keep your hair:

  • Healthy
  • Moisturized
  • Less prone to brassiness

Here are some examples of intensive conditioning methods beneficial for brassy hair:

  • Protein-based hair treatments
  • Hydrating hair masks
  • Equilibrium-restoring hair therapies
  • Treatments using natural oils

9. Hair Gloss Treatments

Hair gloss treatments are semi-permanent color treatments that enhance your hair’s shine. They make your hair smooth and combat brassiness.

Gloss treatments add a sheer layer of color that blends with your existing hair color.

This helps neutralize any unwanted tones.

You can find hair gloss treatments at most beauty supply stores and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for application.

10. Coffee Rinse

A coffee rinse can help tone down brassy hair by depositing brown pigments onto your hair strands. This can gently deepen the hair color and counteract the reddish-orange brassiness.

How to prepare a coffee rinse:

  1. Brew a strong cup of black coffee.
  2. Let it cool down.
  3. Apply the cooled coffee to your hair.
  4. Leave it on for 30 minutes.
  5. Rinse it out thoroughly.

11. Hollyhock Rinse

Hollyhock rinse is a natural remedy for brassy hair that utilizes the pigments in hollyhock flowers.

How to make a hollyhock rinse:

  • Boil a handful of hollyhock flowers in water.
  • Strain the liquid.
  • Use the resulting hollyhock tea as a rinse after shampooing.
  • Leave it in for a few minutes.
  • rinse it out.

How To Choose the Best Product for Brassy Hair

Choose a product to combat brassiness that suits your hair. Depending on your hair type, color, and porosity, you need a specific product.

This table lists a few important things to consider when selecting products for brassy hair.

Color WheelViolet shampoos work on yellow tones, and blue ones on orange.
PigmentsChoose hair care products with color-correcting pigments to balance your overall hair color.
Sulfate-free ShampooUse sulfate-free shampoos to avoid stripping color from your hair and causing further brassiness.
Color-correcting ShampooSelect a color-correcting shampoo that specifically targets your type of brassiness.
Hair MasksUse hair masks regularly to nourish and restore your hair if you frequently dye it.

How to Prevent Brassy Hair

Here is how you can prevent brassy hair:

  • Use cold water when washing.
  • Avoid using heat to style your hair.
  • In case you use heat, use a heat protection product.
  • Use a sulfate-free shampoo
  • Protect your hair from UV-rays

Importance of Sun Protection for Colored Hair

Sun protection is crucial for preventing brassy hair. UV rays from sunlight can damage the hair’s cuticle and fade your hair color. This leads to brassiness.

To protect your hair from harmful UV rays, consider the following tips:

  • Wear a hat or use a UV-protective umbrella when you spend time outdoors.
  • Apply a UV-protectant spray or leave-in conditioner to your hair before going outside.
  • Avoid direct sunlight on your hair as much as possible.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can natural remedies completely remove brassy tones?

Natural remedies can help reduce brassy tones. Still, these methods may not completely remove the brassiness. The effectiveness of natural remedies depends on the severity of the brassiness. How often you use the treatment is also essential.

How long does it take for purple or blue shampoo to remove brassiness?

Purple or blue shampoo start reducing brassiness within one or two uses. More noticeable results usually occur within a few weeks of consistent usage. Follow the directions on the shampoo bottle and adjust the frequency of use as needed based on your hair condition.

Are there any side effects to using color-correcting hair products frequently?

Color-correcting hair products do not cause significant side effects. This happens only if you follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Overusing these products can lead to dryness, hair damage, or unwanted alterations in hair color. Monitor your hair’s condition and adjust your usage if you notice any adverse effects.

Will color correction products affect my natural hair growth or hair health?

Color correction products should not affect your natural hair growth or overall hair health. Excessive use can cause dryness and potential damage. Follow the product’s directions or consult with a professional stylist if you are unsure about the correct application.

How often should I use color correction methods to remove brassiness?

The frequency of using color correction methods to remove brassiness varies based on individual hair types and the extent of brassiness. For some, using a color-correcting shampoo once or twice a week may be sufficient. In other cases, a professional toner or gloss treatment at a salon might be necessary every few weeks.