Hair Problems - Hair

How to Get Rid of Brassy Hair: 14 Tips to Remove Brassiness

What are the best ways to get rid of brassy hair? Find out what works for you!

Written by Ioana Moldovan
how to get rid of brassy hair

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Brassy hair is a common issue among people who color their hair. This undesirable yellow or orange tint often takes over the dream shade.

In fact, out of the nearly 70% of U.S. women who use hair dye, many experience this issue.

In this guide on “how to get rid of brassy hair,” we’ll delve into practical and effective strategies to banish those uninvited tones. Let’s restore your hair to its vibrant glory.

What Is Brassy Hair?

Brassy hair refers to the unwanted warm tones, such as orange or yellow, that can appear in blonde or lightened hair.

Many things can cause brassy hair:

  • Hair products
  • Sun exposure
  • The natural pigmentation in your hair

The term “brassiness” is often used to describe hair that has turned a shade of orange or yellow that was not intended.

When you bleach or lighten your hair, you strip away its natural color. This uncovers undertones like:

  • Red 
  • Yellow
  • Orange

These undertones can become more visible over time. They also cause the hair to appear brassy.

Blonde hair is more prone to brassiness due to its lighter hue.

No one wants brassy hair, but you can fix it. You just need to use the right techniques and products.

Keep your hair healthy and maintain a consistent hair care routine. This helps you minimize the chances of brassiness affecting your hair color.

Types of Brassy Tones

Brassy tones are undesirable warm tones that may appear in hair after dyeing or due to natural underlying pigments. Brassy tones often occur for various reasons, such as:

  • Incorrect hair dye choice
  • Not leaving the dye on for the required time
  • Ongoing exposure to environmental factors

14 Ways To Get Rid of Brassy Hair

Here are the 14 best ways to remove brassy hair:

  1. Colored shampoo
  2. Hair toner
  3. Hair masks for color-treated hair
  4. Deep conditioning treatments
  5. Color depositing conditioners
  6. Hair gloss treatments
  7. DIY vinegar rinse
  8. Lemon rinse
  9. Coffee or black tea rinses
  10. Baking Soda
  11. Chamomile tea
  12. DIY hair toner with food coloring
  13. Hollyhock herbal rinse
  14. Professional color correction

1. Colored Shampoo for Brassy Hair

Colored shampoos are specially designed for color-treated hair. They contain pigments to neutralize unwanted brassy tones and help maintain the desired hair color.

The color wheel helps you determine which colors neutralize unwanted tones in your hair. It helps you identify opposing colors that counteract the brassy tones as follows:

ColorOpposing Color

Here’s how you can use purple and blue shampoos to combat brassiness:

For Blonde or Silver Hair (use purple shampoo):

  1. Begin with wet hair. You can use these products in the shower or at the sink.
  2. Apply the purple shampoo evenly throughout your hair.
  3. Make sure to fully cover any areas where you notice brassiness.
  4. Let the shampoo sit for a few minutes. The exact amount of time can vary.
  5. Rinse the shampoo out thoroughly.
  6. Follow with a conditioner to keep your hair moisturized.

For Brunette or Darker Hair (use blue shampoo):

The process is the same as above, but use a blue shampoo instead of a purple one.

Results can vary based on the current color and condition of your hair. You can use these products once a week or more often if needed.

Always follow the instructions on the specific product you’re using.

2. Use Toner To Get Rid of Brassy Hair

You can use hair toners to adjust the tone of color-treated hair. They work well after bleaching. Hair toners neutralize brassy hues and a more even and natural-looking color.

Consult the color wheel to find the shade that will neutralize the brassiness to choose the right toner.

3. Hair Masks for Color-Treated Hair

Hair masks are nourishing treatments that provide deep hydration and help restore hair health.

They can also contain color-enhancing agents to maintain or intensify the hair color while repairing damaged cuticles.

Apply once a week for best results.

4. Deep Conditioning Treatments

Deep conditioning treatments help repair damaged hair and prevent brassiness. They help restore moisture and nourishment to color-treated hair. As a result, the hair shaft remains smooth and the color stays vibrant.

Here are some examples of deep conditioning treatments you can use for brassy hair:

  • Protein treatments
  • Moisturizing hair masks
  • Balancing hair treatments
  • Natural oil treatments

5. Color Depositing Conditioners

Color-depositing conditioners contain pigments that replenish and enhance color-treated hair. They help maintain and restore vibrancy, preventing brassiness by neutralizing unwanted tones.

Select a color-depositing conditioner that matches your hair color and desired tone.

Color-depositing conditioners are typically applied to the hair after you wash it with shampoo.

Depending on the product instructions, you might leave the conditioner on your hair for a few minutes to allow the color to deposit.

6. Hair Gloss Treatments

Professionals happy hair gloss treatments at the salon to refresh the hair color and add shine.

The gloss treatment penetrates the hair shaft. It seals the cuticle and neutralizes brassy tones for a more even and vibrant hair color.

7. DIY Vinegar Rinse

A DIY vinegar rinse help neutralize brassy tones and add shine to color-treated hair.

When hair is chemically treated (like with bleach or dye), it can become more alkaline. This leads to issues like brassiness, dryness, and brittleness.

The acetic acid content in vinegar can lower the pH level of your hair. Hair has a slightly acidic pH.

Here’s a simple way to use a vinegar rinse for brassy hair:

  1. After shampooing (and optionally conditioning), rinse your hair thoroughly.
  2. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water.
  3. Pour the solution over your hair, and distribute it evenly.
  4. Let it sit for a couple of minutes.
  5. Rinse it out thoroughly.

Always do a strand test before applying a new treatment to your whole head.

8. Lemon Rinse

Lemon juice is often used as a natural hair lightener due to its citric acid content. Citric acid opens up the hair cuticles and lifts out some of the pigment when exposed to sunlight. As a result, it lightens the hair.

Note that while it can lighten hair, its ability to “fix” brassy hair is not straightforward.

Brassy tones in hair color appear when the hair’s underlying pigment is exposed. This occurs when you lighten darker hair.. Lemon juice can potentially exacerbate the issue by revealing more of these warm tones in darker hair.

If you wish to use lemon juice, here’s a simple way:

  1. Mix one part lemon juice with one part water.
  2. Apply the mixture to your hair, then sit in the sun for 1-2 hours.
  3. Rinse out the lemon juice thoroughly.
  4. Condition your hair to counteract the drying effect of the lemon juice.

9. Coffee or Black Tea Rinses

Coffee and black tea rinses can be beneficial in the battle against brassy hair due to the natural tannins found in coffee and tea.

Tannins are a type of polyphenol that imparts color and flavor to many types of plants, including tea and coffee. They have a mild dying effect and can enhance or slightly alter the color of your hair depending on the type of tea used.

Black tea can darken hair over time and thus counteract the brassy tones.

The tannins in black tea and coffee have a dark pigment. This can subtly darken the hair and neutralize reddish-orange brassiness.

Here is a simple guide on how to do it:

Black Tea Rinse:

  1. Brew 2-3 tea bags in 2 cups of boiling water.
  2. Let it steep until it cools down.
  3. After your shampoo and conditioning routine, pour the black tea rinse over your hair.
  4. Allow the tea to sit on your hair for 15-30 minutes.
  5. Rinse your hair with cool water.

Coffee Rinse:

  1. Brew a strong cup of dark-roast coffee.
  2. Allow the coffee to cool.
  3. Wet your hair.
  4. Pour the coffee over your head, using a bowl to catch the runoff.
  5. Reapply it several times.
  6. Allow the coffee to sit on your hair for about 15-30 minutes.
  7. Rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water.

Do not shampoo immediately after the rinse; instead, condition your hair.

10. Use Baking Soda

Baking soda has mild bleaching properties. It is a natural cleansing agent that gently scrubs away product build-up and unwanted tint from the hair.

Because it is alkaline, baking soda opens up the hair cuticles. This washes out the brassiness.

Here’s a simple way to use baking soda to reduce brassy hair:

  1. Mix one part of baking soda with two parts of your regular shampoo.
  2. Wet your hair thoroughly and apply the mixture evenly through your hair.
  3. Let the mixture sit on your hair for about 10-15 minutes.
  4. Rinse out the mixture thoroughly
  5. Condition your hair well.

Baking soda can be drying, so a good conditioner is important to restore hydration.

11. Chamomile Tea Rinse

Chamomile is famous for its lightening properties. For blonde hair that has turned brassy yellow, it can help subtly lighten the brassy tones. Chamomile tea pushes them more towards a lighter, golden blonde.

Here’s how to use a chamomile tea rinse:

  1. Brew a strong batch of tea.
  2. Use about 2 to 4 tea bags for 2 cups of water.
  3. Allow the tea to cool.
  4. After your shampoo and conditioning routine, pour the tea over your hair.
  5. Leave the tea on your hair for 20-30 minutes.
  6. Rinse out with cool water.

12. DIY Hair Toner with Food Coloring

Using food coloring to tone your hair can be a safe, non-damaging method to neutralize brassy tones.

Food coloring is non-abrasive and can gently alter the tone of your hair. This counteracts the unwanted brassiness.

Here’s how to do it:


  • Food coloring (blue for orange tones, purple for yellow tones, or a mix of both if your hair has a mix of orange and yellow tones)
  • A white conditioner (colorless or an excessively light cream color)
  • A mixing bowl and spoon
  • Gloves (optional, but it can get messy)
  • An old towel or shirt you don’t mind potentially staining

Step 1

In your mixing bowl, combine a generous amount of conditioner with a few drops of food coloring.

Start with just a couple of drops—you can always add more later. The amount you’ll need will depend on the severity of your brassiness and the length and thickness of your hair.

Step 2

Mix the conditioner and food coloring thoroughly until the color is even.

Step 3

Apply the mixture to your wet hair, distributing it evenly. Be sure to coat all the brassy areas.

Step 4

Leave the toner in your hair for about 15-30 minutes. The longer you leave it in, the more toned your hair will become, but leaving it too long could potentially tint your hair to the color of the food coloring.

Check a small strand every 5-10 minutes.

Step 5

Rinse your hair thoroughly with cool water. Do not shampoo immediately after, but do make sure to rinse until the water runs clear.

Step 6

Dry and style your hair as usual.

13. Hollyhock Herbal Rinse

You can use a hollyhock herbal rinse to neutralize brassy tones in hair, thanks to the dark pigments in the hollyhock flowers.

Hollyhock is famous for its vibrant and rich colors. This can help counteract unwanted warm tones when used as a rinse on the hair.

Here’s how you can make a Hollyhock herbal rinse:

  1. Add 2-3 tablespoons of dried hollyhock herbs to 2 cups of boiling water.
  2. Double the amount if you use fresh hollyhock flowers.
  3. Let it steep until it cools down.
  4. Wash and condition your hair.
  5. Pour the hollyhock rinse over your hair.
  6. Allow it to sit on your hair for 15-30 minutes.
  7. Rinse your hair with cool water.

Do not shampoo immediately after the rinse; instead, condition your hair.

14. Professional Color Correction

If all else fails, consult a professional hairstylist for color correction. They will assess your hair’s condition and color.

With appropriate treatments, hair stylists neutralize the brassy hues and restore your hair’s vibrancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the difference between natural hair color changes and brassy hair?

Natural hair color changes occur over time due to factors like aging, genetics, and exposure to environmental elements. A good example is sunlight exposure, which can subtly lighten hair. Brassy hair usually refers to unwanted warm tones that appear in color-treated hair. These appear when you bleach or lighten your hair.

What brand of color-correcting shampoo is the most effective for getting rid of brassy hair?

The effectiveness of color-correcting shampoos varies depending on the individual’s hair type, color, and the extent of brassiness. Popular brands with positive reviews include Joico’s Color Balance Blue or Purple Shampoo, Redken’s Color Extend Blondage, and Matrix Total Results So Silver, among others.

Can I fix brassy hair permanently or will it always come back?

Fixing brassy hair permanently can be challenging. Factors like washing, exposure to sun, and the natural fading of dye can cause brassiness to reappear over time. Regular maintenance is usually required to keep brassiness at bay. A more permanent solution might involve changing your hair color to one that’s less prone to brassiness.