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Brassy hair is not sassy. You might do anything to stop your expensive dye job from taking on orange hues and looking unnatural. Whether you’re a brunette or a blonde, you can fall victim to this negative hair tone, no matter how kind you try to be to your colored locks. Shampooing is one of the many necessary evils that can create unflattering warm tones in your hair. While you can never guarantee that your colored hair will not turn brassy, the right shampoo can help reduce the chances that you will be a victim.
Why Hair Turns Brassy
Chemicals in hair dye bust open up the outer layer of each of your precious strands and then deposit color molecules inside. These molecules are a combination of yellow, red and blue – the exact formula depends on the ultimate color of your hair. The blue ones are the smallest and thus fade first, resulting in a preponderance of yellow and red molecules. You know what too much yellow and red makes: orange! Although brunettes with blond ambition most often fall victim to brassiness, blondes who go darker can also get too much red tone in their hair -- especially when hair has been overprocessed. Bleaching and then going brown just invites brass.
Purple and Blue Shampoo
Several hair care companies offer blue and purple shampoos can keep the blue molecules from going missing. Use these shampoos just once or twice a week or risk getting a blue tinge to your hair. You could even make your own by mixing purple drink mix powder (yes, grape is good) into your existing shampoo. Add about one pinch of powder to 4 tablespoons of shampoo – but don't use it daily either.
Choosing a shampoo made especially for colored hair can help reduce the amount of brassiness you experience. These shampoos are gentler than regular cleansers and can help prevent the massive fading that makes your blue tones go so fast. Color-specific shampoos also tend to be more moisturizing and nourishing, helping alleviate the dryness that sometimes results from a dye job.
Staying out of the sun can help reduce fading and keep brassiness at bay. (Your skin will thank you, too.) If you can't resist catching some rays, use a shampoo that includes UV protection. Shampooing less often also limits fading and brassiness. Have a talk with your stylist about applying a toner several weeks after your initial color appointment to reduce the amount of orange in your strands. It might cost a little extra, but locks that rival those on the red carpet are worth it.