So you’ve dyed your hair blonde and now you’re left with a yellowish, brassy mess. You’re freaking out, don’t know what to do, but also don’t want to drop a gazillion dollars to have a professional colorist fix it.
Ya, I think we’ve all been there.
One of the most irritating parts of going blonde (besides having to maintain your roots) is getting rid of the brassiness. This is especially common if you use regular, commercial hair dyes sold at Walmart, ULTA, Walgreens, etc. to lighten your hair and don’t have a ton of experience doing it! While they’re not bad dyes, they definitely require some extra effort to make your hair look professionally done and fantastic.
Here’s a few tips for getting that brass out of your blonde:
The Best Approach
The first thing I suggest trying is purchasing a violet shampoo. Almost every major shampoo brand makes one but here’s a few of my personal recommendations:
These shampoos were specifically made for blonde, gray, and white hair and should be used once or twice a week. Any more and you might actually see your hair turn slightly purple! With continued use, you should slowly see the brassiness fade.
The Quick Fix
If you’re in a bind and looking for a quick fix, then toner is going to become your very best friend. Toner is really just another hair dye of sorts that’s used to perfect and either remove or add certain subtleties to your hair.
This cream toner is a violet toner that neutralizes unwanted yellow/orange pigments left behind after lightening the hair. The end result will be white hair. Use it to add dimension to other colors, too!
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I generally suggest using a semi-permanent toner to avoid further damaging your hair and selecting something in the violet or “ash” range. If you want a true platinum blonde however, then you should be using a toner (level 9 or 10) with a semi-permanent (or volume 10) developer. This ensures that you’ll only be depositing color instead of re-dying it. Be sure to only leave it for 10-15 minutes though.
Whoa, levels!?! Hair color levels range from 1-black to 10-lightest blonde. If you go to a beauty supply store you’ll see that they usually provide color swatches from several different companies. The easiest way to pick the right level is to match it up with your hair.
This can be slightly tricky as you want to match the lightness of the swatch, not the shade!
Neutral bases are best for covering grey hairs and are generally just a mixture of all base colors. Think of it as mixing paint — if you were mixing colors to get a neutral brown, what would they be? Ash bases are generally a mixure of blue, green, and violet while gold is just a color with a yellow base. Red bases can be any type of copper, orange, red, or a mixture of them all!
If you really think about it, figuring out which color is needed to remove a certain tinge isn’t very hard when you consider that a mixure of ash, gold, and red will give you something neutral. It’s all about finding the missing man!
Now on to developers! Developers range from semi-permanent to 40.
30 and 40 volume developers are for high lifting and generally used when bleaching or with platinum blonde hair dye. 20 volume developers are for permanent hair coloring while 10 is for depositing color only. While semi or demi-permanent developer effects don’t last as long, it’s perfect for blending!
One more tip, and you should be on your way to perfect blonde hair. Don’t be fooled by hair swatches when selecting a hair dye. Remember that those swatches were once synthetic white hair and will probably look different on your hair. While ash base colors tend to look very grayish on swatches, they’re actually quite nice blonde dyes.
If your blonde tresses are gold and brassy using a violet ash based color with a semi permanent or 10-volume developer for 10-15 minutes will dramatically change your hair from brass to sass. And if you’re just a little too squeamish to do your hair yourself invest in a violet shampoo.