Hair - Hair Problems

How to Remove Brassy Tones from Brown Hair

Does your colored hair look off? Not sure why your brown hair is turning brassy? This guide spills the secrets on how to remove brassy tones from brown hair.

Written by Danish Bodycare
How to Remove Brassy Tones from Brown Hair

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Are brassy tones bothering your beautiful brown hair? You’re not alone.

45% of individuals with brown hair experience brassy tones after highlighting or coloring.

But here’s the good news: there are ways to remove them and restore your hair’s original brown shade.

From the lightest blonde to the darkest black, we’ve got you covered. Find out why they happen and discover effective solutions for cool, glossy locks.

What Causes Brassy Tones in Brown Hair?

Brassy tones can appear in brown hair for various reasons. These are the factors that contribute to these unwanted hues in your locks:

  1. Oxidation due to exposure to air and water
  2. The natural pigments begin to lift
  3. Too much exposure to the sun
  4. Excessive use of heat styling tools
  5. Swimming in chlorine and showering with hot water


Oxidation is a chemical reaction that occurs when you expose hair to elements like air and water. It can cause your hair’s outer layer to weaken, allowing unwanted tones to appear.

Protect your locks against oxidation with proper hair care and quality products.

Underlying Pigment

Exposing brown hair to certain chemicals can reveal the underlying pigment. This happens when the natural pigments lift during the coloring process.

To avoid brassy tones, be mindful of the products and processes used on your hair.

UV Rays and Sun Exposure

Sun exposure can cause damage to your hair, making it more susceptible to brassy tones. UV rays break down the hair’s outer layer, which leads to fading and changes in color.

Wear a hat or use hair products with UV protectants to protect against the effects of UV rays.

Heat Styling Tools

Excessive use of blow dryers, curling irons, and flat irons can lead to brassy undertones.

Prolonged heat exposure opens the hair cuticle, allowing the color to escape. This reveals the underlying pigments.

Reduce the use of these tools or opt for gentle heat settings to maintain your hair color.

Chlorine and Hard Water

Swimming in chlorinated pools or using hard water can cause brassiness in brown hair.

Chlorine strips away the hair’s natural oils, leaving it vulnerable to color changes. Hard water contains minerals that can build up on your hair and affect its color.

Use a clarifying shampoo designed to remove mineral and chlorine buildup.

How to Spot Brassy Tones in Brown Hair

How to Spot Brassy Tones in Brown Hair

Brassy tones in brown hair are warm colors that make hair look unnatural. They appear as orange or yellow hues. To spot brassy undertones, follow these tips:

1. Observe Your Hair Color

To spot brassy tones in your brown hair, take a close look at its color. Check for any unusual hues, like orange or yellow. These colors can make your hair look unnatural.

2. Look for Yellow or Orange Undertones

Brassy tones in brown hair often show up as yellow or orange hues. If you notice these warm colors in your hair, it means you have brassy undertones.

3. Compare Your Hair to Natural Brown Shades

To identify brassy tones, compare your hair color to a natural brown shade. A cool-toned natural brown has no orange or yellow hues. Hair with brassy undertones might look warmer and less balanced.

4. Check for Brassy Tones Under Different Lights

Brassy tones can look different under various lighting conditions. Look at your hair in sunlight, indoor lighting, and fluorescent lights.

Different lights may highlight brassy colors that are not seen otherwise. This will help you identify any unwanted warm tones in your hair.

Products to Banish Brassy Tones

We’ll help you choose the right products to remove unwanted brassy tones from your brown hair.

Purple Shampoo vs. Blue Shampoo

The two most popular options to combat brassy hair are purple shampoo and blue shampoo. While both are toning shampoos, the main difference lies in their target colors.

Purple shampoo neutralizes yellow tones, making it more suitable for blondes. Blue shampoo targets orange. It is ideal for brunettes and those with color-treated hair.

Do your research and read reviews before deciding on a product. Ensure it is suitable for your specific hair needs.

Ingredients to Look for and Avoid

Be mindful of the ingredients when selecting a toning shampoo. Look for products that cleanse your hair without stripping its natural moisture.

Additionally, avoid using products containing ammonia. This chemical can lead to further hair damage.

A Secret from the Pros
Opt for a blue toning shampoo to remove brassy tones from brown hair.
Choose one that is sulfate-free and ammonia-free for the best results.
Consider the type of toning shampoo and check its ingredients. You’ll be well on your way to restoring your hair’s natural, vibrant color.

How to Remove Brassy Tones from Brown Hair

Achieving the perfect shade of brown hair might be challenging. But removing brassy tones can help you get there.

Let’s explore the available options, which are in-salon treatments and at-home remedies.

In-Salon Treatments

Visit a professional hair colorist or stylist. It’s the most effective way to remove brassy tones from brown hair. They might suggest you try some popular in-salon treatments, such as:

TonerRestores hair to a balanced shade
GlossAdds shine and evens out unwanted tones
HighlightsBreaks up brassy tones for a natural look

At-Home Remedies

Prefer to address the brassy tones yourself? Here are some at-home remedies you can use:

  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Baking soda
  • Pre- and post-bleach hair care

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Mix equal parts water and apple cider vinegar. Apply it through your hair after shampooing. Rinse it out after a few minutes. This mild rinse can help neutralize brassy tones and improve hair shine.

Baking Soda

Mix a tablespoon of baking soda with your regular shampoo to create a paste. Apply this mixture to your hair and let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing. The baking soda will help fade the brassy shades in your hair.

Be cautious with overuse as it can be too harsh in some cases.

Proper Hair Care

Use a gentle shampoo and conditioner to maintain your hair color for longer. Avoid using harsh styling tools or products, as these can contribute to brassy tones.

Do’s and Don’ts for Color-Treated Brown Hair

Do’s and Don’ts for Color-Treated Brown Hair

Caring for your color-treated brown hair is how you keep colored hair vibrant and healthy. Here are important tips to help you keep your locks looking their best.


  • Add purple shampoo to your hair care routine
  • Use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner


  • Expose hair to harmful UV rays
  • Shower with hot water

Do: Wash with Purple Shampoo

Lather your hair with purple shampoo once or twice a week. It contains pigments that combat brassy tones. These may appear due to the lightening and balayage process.

If you look at the color wheel, you’ll find that purple is the opposite of yellow and orange. This is why purple shampoos work well to neutralize the brassy tones in your hair.

Don’t: Shower with Hot Water

Hot water can strip away color and moisture, causing your hair to fade faster.

Wash your hair with cold water. Cool water helps seal the hair cuticles. It locks the color-treated brown hair pigments in place.

Do: Pick Sulfate-Free Shampoo and Conditioner

Use a sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner for color-treated hair. Sulfates may strip the color from your hair, leading to faster color fading.

Use nourishing products for color-treated hair to keep the color vibrant and long-lasting.

Don’t: Expose Your Dyed Hair to UV Rays

Protect your hair from harmful UV rays that may fade the color. Wear a hat when you’re out in the sun or use hair products containing UV filters. These will limit the exposure of your colored hair to the sun’s damaging rays.

Frequently Asked Questions

What If My Hair Is Still Brassy After Toner?

If your hair is still brassy after using toner, there could be a few reasons for it. It’s possible that the toner used wasn’t strong enough to neutralize the brassy tones. It could also mean the application process was not done right. In some cases, stubborn brassy tones need more toning sessions or a visit to the salon.

Do You Apply Toner to Wet or Dry Hair?

You apply toner to damp, towel-dried hair. Make sure your hair is not dripping wet to ensure even application and optimal results. Follow the instructions on the toner product for the best outcome.

Will Peroxide Get Rid of Brassy Hair?

Peroxide in hair bleach and lighteners can help to remove brassy tones when used the right way. But, it is important to be cautious with peroxide, as overusing it can damage your hair. Consult a professional hairstylist to ensure proper use and application of peroxide.

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Danish Bodycare

The Danish Bodycare editorial staff consists of beauty experts, hairstylists, makeup artists, and models with years of experience in the personal care space.