Bright, summery, shiny blonde hair is something sought after by many women. This shade is associated with being bubbly and sexy at the same time, thanks to the popular creed: “Blondes have more fun!”
And I bet you know at least one person in your life who has bleached their dark-colored locks to rock blonde, golden tresses instead.
But underneath that perfect blonde hair a la Barbie, there’s a little something called brassiness that spoils the party.
Whether you have natural or bottle-blonde hair, you’ll sometimes notice that your hair gets overly warm and yellowish in tone, making your blonde hair look more like straw than ashy locks.
The good news is that there are plenty of ways to solve issues with brassy hair.
Some of them are on the more traditional end of the spectrum, like toning products and pressing the panic button to get your stylist to fix it.
But for those on a budget, home remedies for fixing brassy hair will work just as fine.
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Why Does Hair Get Brassy?
Most of the time, brassiness appears in your blonde hair gradually.
You’ll have beautiful, golden locks one day, and the next thing you know, there are orange and overly yellow streaks in them.
And while this can happen to natural blondes too, it’s usually experienced by those with bottle-blonde tresses.
When Your Toner Wears Off
Basically, brassy tones start showing up in your hair when your toner starts to wear off.
The bleaching process that comes before going blonde lifts your natural hair color, leaving behind a naturally warm-toned underlying pigment.
This is then toned, giving you that fab blonde hue you’ve been rocking.
But when you start washing your hair more frequently with shampoo, or start going out under the sun’s UV rays, more and more of the toner will fade from your hair.
Consequently, the warm underlying pigment will start to peek through, making your hair look orange or even red in tone.
Since blonde hair is usually bleached and dyed, it becomes super porous.
And when your hair is porous, it soaks up everything around it, including hair-damaging chemicals, minerals, and pollution that can aggravate brassiness.
For example, water laced with chemicals – such as chlorinated pool water or hard water infused with minerals – will bring out more of the brassiness of your blonde hair.
It also creates product build-up in your locks, making them duller and more dehydrated.
Heat-styling too often is also another cause of brassiness.
The high heat levels can “burn off” the toner coating your locks, exposing more of those underlying pigments.
Traditional Ways To Get Rid Of Brassiness
Because brassiness is such a common problem for blondes, it’s no surprise that there are plenty of hair products that can help solve it.
The most common solution to brassy hair is to call up your stylist and come into the salon for a toner touch-up.
They’ll tone your locks again the same way they did when you first went blonde.
You can even ask for a gloss – a type of toner that makes your locks look shiny and hydrated.
But if you don’t have the time and money to go to the salon every couple of months just to touch up your brassy blonde hair, you can opt for an at-home solution.
The most popular one is purple shampoo.
Purple shampoo contains purple pigments that neutralize the yellow tones in your hair, making it look ashier and less warm.
This is because purple and yellow sit across from each other on the color wheel, so they cancel each other out.
If you want to try out a purple shampoo, I highly recommend the Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo.
Its violet pigments eliminate brassiness from blonde and white hair almost instantly.
It also has salicylic acid to help strengthen your hair and scalp.
How To Get Rid Of Brassy Hair: Home Remedies
Although traditional solutions and products are readily available for many of us, there may be a few of you who would rather go for something different.
One reason might be because of the chemicals that are in these products and can damage your hair.
Thus, an organic route sounds way more attractive.
Doing home remedies to fix your blonde hair’s brassiness isn’t just safe for your hair, but it saves you a lot of money as well.
Most of these recipes use superfoods and kitchen ingredients that you’ll most likely already have at home.
Here are my six recommended home remedies for fixing brassiness:
Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV gets a bad rap for its strong and sour odor, but it works wonders for restoring the balance of your hair’s pH level and purifying it too.
The high acidity of apple cider vinegar will help neutralize the brassy pigments, leaving your hair cleaner, shinier, and cooler in appearance.
Just make sure you use apple cider vinegar and not white vinegar, as the latter can be too strong and stripping for your hair.
- 1 cup ACV
- 1 cup water
Combine your ACV and water in an empty spray bottle.
Spray this mixture all over your hair until every strand is saturated.
Put your hair in a bun and then cover it with plastic wrap.
Let it process for around 30 minutes, and then rinse off with shampoo and conditioner to get rid of the odor.
Next up, we have baking soda.
Baking soda is often used for making cakes and cookies, but it’s also a great ingredient to use for bleaching and removing color from countertops and clothes.
What’s great is that you can also use it to get rid of brassiness.
Baking soda can clarify your hair, cleaning it so deeply that it takes out all the minerals and build-up of products that are suffocating your strands.
This, in turn, eliminates brassiness too.
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 5 drops purple food coloring
- Your favorite sulfate-free shampoo
Mix the baking soda and purple food coloring with enough shampoo to make it thick and pasty.
You can do this in a bowl and use a stirrer or brush to mix them together properly.
Make sure there are no clumps in the consistency so that the mixture is even when you put it in your hair.
Get into the shower and shampoo your hair as you normally do.
When you rinse that out, apply your baking soda and shampoo mixture all over your hair.
Let it sit there for about 10 minutes – during which you can do all your other shower tasks, like shaving or soaping your body.
When you’re ready, rinse it out and use a conditioner to replenish your hair of moisture.
When it comes to DIY hair lightening, lemon juice is one of the most popular ingredients.
Not only does its acidic properties make your hair look brighter, but it also neutralizes brassy tones, making your hair look cooler and ashier.
- Creamy conditioner
- 2 tsp lemon juice
In a bowl, water down your conditioner to thin it out a little.
Then, add in a teaspoon or two of lemon juice.
The overall consistency of this concoction shouldn’t be too watery but not as creamy as the conditioner on its own either.
Apply the mixture to your hair, one section at a time.
Since lemon juice is activated by the sun’s UV rays, consider sitting outside with your hair facing the sun for about 30 minutes (take this time outside to people-watch or read your fave book!).
When time is up, jump into the shower and shampoo it all out.
Herbal teas have tons of health benefits.
But one beauty benefit they have is lightening the hair and getting rid of brassiness.
- 1½ cup water
- 3 green tea or chamomile tea bags
Boil your water and steep your tea bags in it.
Leave them for about five minutes to steep completely, or until you notice the color turning green or a light brown.
The darker the color the stronger your tea is – and that’s exactly what you want.
Set your tea aside and let it cool down.
When it’s lukewarm, pour it directly into your hair.
It’s best to do this inside the shower so that you don’t make a huge mess.
Let the tea saturate your hair for half an hour before rinsing off.
Hollyhock herbs are exotic herbs that have powerful color-removing properties, which is terrific if your main goal is to get rid of brassiness in your hair.
This herb may be harder to find than the other ingredients on this list, but its effects on blonde hair are worth it.
This herb is also a natural astringent.
That means it can purify the hair and clean it deeply, getting rid of all the toxins that might be causing your brassiness.
- ½ cup of Hollyhock herbs
- 1 cup water
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
Put all of these ingredients in a pot and place them it a stove on medium heat.
Boil them until the mixture thickens up into a creamy paste, kind of like a runny conditioner.
Apply this all over your hair and let it sit for 10 minutes.
Then, hop into the shower and shampoo your hair to thoroughly wash the mixture off.
All-In-One Organic Hair Toner
Can’t decide which of the recipes above to use?
Why not try most of them all together in one toner?
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tbsp baking soda
- ¾ cup green tea
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp olive oil
Pour all of these ingredients into a spray bottle.
Spritz the solution all over your hair, making sure that every section is coated in it.
Whether or not you sit outside to let the sun activate the ingredients is up to you.
The important part is you let it sit for half an hour.
When it’s done processing, shampoo and condition your hair in the shower and style as desired.
Tips To Prevent Brassiness From Now On
After you’ve gotten rid of that distracting brassiness from your locks, a more important job awaits you – making sure your hair doesn’t get brassy again so quickly.
Here are a few of my tips to prevent brassiness from peeking through:
Use Sulfate-Free Shampoo
Sulfates are the harsh soap ingredient found in many common shampoos.
While they’re awesome for washing away dirt and sweat from your hair, they can strip your locks of toner, making brassiness more apparent.
Try switching over to a sulfate-free shampoo.
These shampoos have gentler surfactants that don’t strip the hair of color or moisture, so you’ll go longer without a trace of brassiness.
Rinse Your Hair With Cold Water
Hot water might be soothing during your bath, but all they do is open the cuticles in your hair, allowing color molecules to escape.
This then makes the warm, underlying pigments show up.
Instead, use water that is as cold as you can handle.
This will help seal the cuticle, extending your hair’s shade and making your mane smoother later.
Protect Your Hair From The Sun
UV rays speed up the process of color-fading in your hair.
If you have to go out and stay under the sun for longer than a few minutes, make sure to wear a hat or use a heat protectant on your hair.
Don’t Jump Into The Pool Right Away
Chlorine can discolor your hair and let brassiness shine through.
So before jumping into the pool, make sure you rinse your hair with water.
This will saturate your hair, so that it doesn’t instantly soak up all the minerals in the pool which can later harm it.
If you’re strapped for cash at the moment and don’t want to spend extra money for toning shampoos or an expensive trip to the salon, the home remedies above will be your saving grace when brassiness starts to peek through your blonde hair.
And because the ingredients for these methods are probably already on your kitchen shelves, you’ll enjoy the convenience of not having to go out and shop for new products too.
But you must remember that these DIY methods can only do so much for your hair.
Most of the maintenance of blonde hair will come from you and your everyday hair habits.
Make sure to follow our tips on how to avoid brassiness from now on, so you don’t have to stress about how to get rid of it in the future.