How to Get Rid of Hair Brassiness When Going Blonde

Kat Graham blonde hair

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Kat Graham just recently had a short stint as a blonde.

In our Q&A series, beauty experts address your most bewildering issues. Have a beauty-related quandary of your own? Submit your question in the comments below or via Twitter.

Q: How can you get rid of the brassiness from recently going blonde?

A: Hair brassiness — a hint of orange on blonde hair — can occur right after having your color done, or it can even creep up as your color fades. “The best way to get rid of brassiness is to use a purple shampoo like Clairol Shimmer Lights ($8, clairolpro.com),” says colorist Shannon Silva of Dyer + Posta salon (a Marie Robinson affiliate) in Atlanta. “Dilute Shimmer Lights in your daily shampoo to brighten your color. Once a week [or when needed] should do the trick.”

Why purple shampoo? When you add dye to your hair, you’re actually adding red, yellow and blue molecules into the hair cuticle. The blue molecules disappear first, leaving you with red and yellow, or … orange. Because purple is the opposite color on the color wheel, it cancels the brassy hue.

Another fix: go back to the salon for a toner. When you go blonde, the stylist usually apply a toner as the final step to tone down any brassiness. If you’re still suffering from a little orange pigment after your appointment, go in again for another toner, but skip a second dye job. Because they’re semi-permanent and deposit pigment instead of lightening hair, toners are much less damaging.

Read more: How to Go from Black to Blonde Hair

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