Why blondes turn brassy

One of our clients’ biggest complaints is “My hair always turns brassy”.


Blonde hair is notoriously tricky. You spend hours in your stylist’s chair having your hair lifted, toned, massaged with the best nourishing treatments to achieve that perfect healthy blonde. Your stylist waves their magic wands says a little prayer hoping to get your hair to that pale yellow to which they can then use a toner to achieve the pale blonde.  Hours later you leave the salon with gorgeous magazine ready platinum cool blonde Khaleesi, Daenarys, Mother of Dragons (If you watch Game of Thrones you know that beautiful hair I am talking about). After a few shampoos… that icy blonde hair starts to turn brassy or yellow-ish.


Why does this happen? Here are a few reasons why your blondes get brassy.


  • Like to swim and lay out in the sun? The chemicals in pool water, mainly chlorine, and the UV rays from the sun work together during the summer to sabotage precious strands of every color, but they’re particularly harsh on porous blonde hair. Over time, that exposure to sunlight and chemicals weakens the hair shaft and leaves hair more vulnerable to breakage and damage—and of course, it also contributes to brassiness and (in some cases) green hair. Yuck!  


To battle the chlorine be sure to use Redken’s Clean Maniac shampoo and conditioner.  If you end up with a lot of chlorine build up ask your stylist for a Pre Art treatment.


  • In addition to having to worry about pool water, you may also have to worry about the water in your shower. If your water is particularly hard (high in mineral content), it might be wreaking havoc on your blonde hair. To soften your shower water, you may consider getting a filter installed that would fix the issue.

If you’re not into that level of home maintenance to salvage your locks, you can always just switch up your shampoo and conditioner routine to strengthen your hair against that damage.


Redken’s Clean Maniac shampoo and conditioner works well to get all impurities removed from the hair. Also ask your stylist for a PRE ART treatment prior to your color or if you aren’t getting color ask for it prior to your haircut. It is an additional charge but your hair will thank you.


  • Blonde is is very porous, soaking up everything, from the minerals in your shower, to the pollution in the air and any products you may put in it. This happens because while lifting out levels of color to achieve that pale blonde; the protein bonds that make up the hair are also being removed from the hair shaft. Think of your hair as a nice newly paved road. After years of bad weather and high traffic that road has signs of potholes and cracks. Your hair does the same when it comes to lifting.  


  • After a few weeks your toner fades away. Toner is a demi permanent color that counteracts the brassy unwanted yellow tones in the high level needed to create the perfect blonde.   Demi permanent color will gradually fade away the more shampoos it goes through. The reason a permanent color is not used is simply because the stressed out hair with a blown out cuticle and protein holes cannot handle another permanent service.  It is extremely rare to achieve a pretty blonde by bleaching alone. Most lightening services involve a second step of applying a toner to achieve a pretty blonde.


It is best to schedule an appointment in between your touch up to refresh your toner and keep that blonde….blonde.


  • DO NOT COLOR YOUR HAIR AT HOME!!!!!!!! I cannot stress enough how bad drug store hair products are for your hair. Save yourself the headache and money that you will have to pay for the professional to fix your home hack job and just make an appointment. Box colors typically include the highest level of developer and harsh bleach. The colors are not formulated to fight the brass but can actually enhance the brass. It’s always best to leave more complicated hair color processes like lightening up to the pros. Self-tanner is great. DIY blonde hair dye? Not so much. Have you seen the HOMBRES? YIKES!


  • Switch to Sulfate-Free Shampoos for luminous hair. Sulfates are another major factor when it comes to sucking the life out of blonde hair. Shampoos that rely on sulfates to “cleanse” hair are actually just stripping your strands of their natural oils and leaving them rough, straw-like, and way more susceptible to brassiness.


To maintain your hair’s strength, shine and icy blonde hue, it’s important to invest in Surface Pure Blonde shampoo and conditioner. Sulfate-free shampoos will not harshly strip the colors from your hair but gently cleanse the hair of dirt and oils. Blonde hair needs a lot of moisture so a good deep conditioner like Redken’s Mega mask is just what Blonde hair needs.


Purple shampoo and conditioner are the way to go! These products will not turn your hair purple but they will keep it from going to the brass side.  


Follow these tips and change up your blonde hair routine, and you will be rocking the gorgeous blonde all day everyday.