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Everyone has hair color woes, and when you're blond and lighten your hair, it can become "brassy." You know, the red-orange look that makes your hair look like a trumpet, tuba or trombone -- not exactly the effect you intended. By understanding how your blond hair can become brassy, you can talk to your stylist about how to keep your color from striking up the band.
When you dye your hair blond, your stylist is applying three colors of pigments onto your hair: red, yellow and blue. Unfortunately, some of these pigments stay at your hair-color party a little longer than others. Blue tends to leave your hair earlier than red and yellow, so what you have left is a tone that looks anywhere from gold to red-orange. To keep your hair from going brassy, you either need to keep the blue pigments from leaving or put them back onto your hair.
Dyeing With the Wrong Color
If your hair tends to turn brassy, your stylist can minimize your chances by dyeing your hair with an ash-toned hair dye. Ash-toned colors have a little extra blue in them to keep your hair from looking too brassy. This also can be a fix for your hair if your hair turns brassy post-dyeing. By applying a blue-based hair color, you can neutralize your brassiness and correct your hair color.
Not Using a Toner
A toner doesn’t help you sing on-pitch -- instead, it tones down the brassy in your hair. If your stylist dyes your hair blond or a lighter tone, it’s likely she will use a toner to finish the process. A toner is a semi-permanent hair color that deposits pigments on the outside of your hair instead of penetrating to the inside of your hair shaft as permanent hair color does. Just like an ash-based hair color, the toner adds extra blue pigments to your hair, but it won’t damage your hair as much as a permanent hair color can.
Dyeing Your Hair Too Light
It’s easy to want to go blonder and blonder once you get bitten with the blond bug. But sometimes making your hair color too light just makes you more prone to brassiness because the lightening process damages your hair and makes your hair too porous, allowing blue pigments to seep out too quickly. When your stylist makes his best efforts and your hair still turns up brassy, it may be time to add some lowlights or make yourself a little less blond.