Hair - Hair Problems

What Does Brassy Hair Look Like? (How to Spot It ASAP)

Is your hair brassy? Spot the signs with this article as your guide!

Written by Amber Belanger
What Does Brassy Hair Look Like

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Brassy hair is something you’ve heard of, but what does it actually look like?

Imagine the warm orange and copper tones that show up in your hair after you’ve bleached it.

These brassy undertones appear when the bleach doesn’t lift right or your hair dye starts to fade.

Brassy hair is a common problem that occurs in both treated and natural hair.

It’s frustrating (we know), but don’t worry. We’re here to help you understand what brassy hair is all about!

What Does Brassy Hair Look Like?

Has your hair color started to change? You could be experiencing brassiness.

What Is Brassy Hair?

Brassy hair is a term used to describe hair with unwanted warm, orange-yellow tones.

This happens when you expose the underlying pigments of your bleached or lightened hair.

Brassy vs. Non-Brassy Hair

Brassy vs. Non-Brassy Hair

What’s the main difference between brassy hair and non-brassy hair?

Non-brassy hair maintains its natural or intended color. Brassy hair develops undesired warm tones.

Brassy tones might cause blonde hair to appear more yellow or orange.

Non-brassy blond hair would maintain a cool, ashy, or neutral shade.

How Do I Know If My Hair Is Brassy?

To identify if your hair is brassy, look for these signs:

  1. Yellow or orange tones: Yellow/orange hues is a sign of brassiness.
  2. Reddish undertones: If your hair has any reddish hues in natural light.
  3. Unnatural appearance: If your hair color doesn’t look right, it’s brassy.

Brassy Hair in Different Hair Colors

Brassy hair can happen in different hair colors.

Let’s take a look at what brassy hair looks like for both blonde and brown hair.

What Does Brassy Blonde Hair Look Like?

What Does Brassy Blonde Hair Look Like

When your blonde hair becomes brassy, you might notice the color changing.

This is because the blue color molecules in the hair dye fade faster, leaving behind warmer tones.

You may also find that your hair feels dry and coarse, which adds to the brassy appearance.

What Does Brassy Brown Hair Look Like?

What Does Brassy Brown Hair Look Like

Brassy brown hair tends to show orange or red tones instead of your desired cool or ashy brown.

To help prevent and fix brassiness, use a toning shampoo or conditioner.

This will add cooler tones and increase the shine level of your hair.

It’s also a good idea to limit heat styling and protect your hair from chlorine when swimming.

Top Causes of Brassy Hair

Many factors affect your hair’s health. Whether it’s treated or natural, brassiness can happen to anyone. Here’s why.

Color Wheel Hair Theory

Your hair color consists of a combination of pigments.

When you apply bleach or color, those pigments can change, resulting in unwanted undertones.

For example, if your hair has a natural orange or red pigment, bleaching it can leave behind a brassy yellow or orange hue.

Understanding the color wheel will help you identify the root cause of brassy hair.

External Factors That Cause Brassy Hair

There are many external factors that can contribute to brassy hair:

  • Mineral deposits in hard water
  • Chlorine in swimming pools
  • Exposure to UV rays
  • Bleach or other lightening methods

Minerals in Water

Hard water with minerals like iron, copper, and calcium, can leave deposits on your hair shaft. This builds up over time, leading to brassy tones.

Swimming in Chlorinated Water

The chemicals in pool water can oxidize your hair color. It changes the tone of your hair color and increases the likelihood of brassiness.

UV Radiation

Overexposure to the sun can cause your hair color to fade and develop a brassy appearance.

Bleached Hair

Bleaching your hair can cause brassy tones if not done right.

When you bleach your hair, you’re lifting the natural color. The pigments become obvious when the bleach isn’t left on for long enough.

To avoid brassiness in bleached hair, use the right products, processes, and techniques. This includes:

  • Choosing the correct developer
  • Applying the bleach evenly
  • Monitoring the processing time

Work with a professional hair stylist. It’s the best way to ensure proper bleaching and minimize the risk of brassy hair.

How To Prevent Brassy Hair

Give these expert tips a go to keep brassy hair at bay.

  1. Choose the right hair color and toner for you
  2. Rinse with cold water
  3. Apply a few home remedies
  4. Ask a professional

1. Pick the Right Hair Color and Toner

One of the easiest ways to prevent your hair from turning brassy is to choose the right hair color and toner.

When selecting a color, avoid shades that are too warm if you’re prone to brassiness.

A toner can help neutralize yellow and orange tones in your hair. You can use some toners at home, while others are best applied at a salon.

Make sure to follow the instructions on the product to achieve the desired results.

2. Rinse with Cold Water Instead

Did you know that hot water irritates brassy hair?

Wash your hair with cold water to help seal the cuticle and keep your hair looking beautiful.

3. Home Remedies That Work

If you notice your hair starting to turn brassy, there are a few simple home remedies you can try:

  • Use purple shampoo
  • Make your own apple cider vinegar blend
  • Give your hair a good lemon bath

Purple Shampoo

Purple shampoo is designed to counteract yellow tones in your hair. Use it once or twice a week instead of your regular shampoo to help maintain cool tones.

Apple Cider Vinegar Rinse

Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water, then use it to rinse your hair after shampooing. Apple cider vinegar helps to lower the hair’s pH level and prevent brassiness.

Lemon Rinse

Mix the juice of one lemon with a quart of water and use it as a rinse after shampooing. The acidity of the lemon helps to remove yellow tones from your hair.

Remember to always do a patch test before trying any home remedies. Some ingredients may cause irritation or an allergic reaction.

4. Head To the Salon

If you’re struggling to manage the brassiness at home, it may be a good idea to head to the salon.

A professional stylist can apply a toner treatment designed to combat brassiness.

They’ll recommend the right products for your hair type. You can even get personalized advice on how to maintain the cool tones in your color.

How Do You Fix Brassy Hair Fast?

If you hair has turned brassy, there are a few ways to get rid of it ASAP.

  • Trust the professionals
  • Use purple shampoo
  • Avoid hard water with a shower filter

Call Your Stylist

If you’ve recently dyed your hair and it turned brassy, the best course of action is to call your stylist.

Don’t try to fix it yourself, as you might end up doing more harm than good.

Trust your stylist to help you with this issue.

Purple Shampoo

If you’re stuck at home with brassy hair, you can use a purple or blue toning shampoo.

They have color-correcting pigments to counteract yellow and orange tones.

Incorporate a purple shampoo into your regular hair care regimen by using it once or twice a week.

Leave it in for the recommended time on the product’s instructions.

And be sure to follow up with a good conditioner to keep your hair moisturized and healthy.

Get A Shower Filter

Another important step in combating brassy hair is to invest in a shower filter.

Hard water can cause your hair to become brassy.

Use a shower filter to reduce the amount of minerals and other impurities in your water.

It’s a simple change that can have a big impact on the health and appearance of your hair.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is It Bad That My Hair Is Brassy?

No, it’s not bad that your hair is brassy.

Brassy hair is a natural byproduct of hair coloring. It’s caused by the exposure of underlying warm tones like yellow and orange when the hair dye fades.

You can always use a toner to neutralize the warmth and achieve a more desired color.

Does Toner Damage Brassy Hair?

Toner itself doesn’t damage brassy hair.

You use toner to neutralize unwanted warm tones and bring the hair color back to its intended shade.

Avoid over-processing or damaging your hair.

Not sure which toner to use? Consult a professional hairstylist to guide you through the process.

Photo of author

Amber Belanger

Amber is not just a beauty enthusiast. She has spent countless hours doing the nails of her friends, researching the newest studies on personal care, as well as tried and tested numerous hair products. She prides herself on her factuality and luscious hair.