How to Keep Blonde Hair From Going Brassy


With another cool blonde Karen who writes for
With another cool blonde Karen who writes for

I was asked the other day how I manage to keep my new blonde hair from going warm and brassy (never a good thing when you have cool colouring like I do).  So here are a few tips I’ve picked up from my hairdresser Karleigh at Anthony Nitson Hair who is a colour specialist.


1. Use a purple shampoo – I use L’Oreal Silver shampoo (which is actually purple in colour – cos purple is the complementary colour to yellow on the colour wheel and it cancels out that brassy yellow colour).   There are lots of these violet shampoos available on the market, see the pic below for a good range.  Want an extra boost of that lovely violet?  Put the shampoo on 10 minutes before you have a shower and wash it out.

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2. Don’t wash too often.  The chlorine in the water will wash out the toner (which you had put in after you coloured your blonde locks) which keeps it from looking brassy.  The blue pigments that are in hair colour are the smallest, so wash out first, leaving the red and yellow ones behind (and these are exposed by the peroxide in your hair dye).

3. Use a dry shampoo in between, so you don’t have to wash so often but your hair will look fresh. keep away from the ends stick to the root area.

4. Avoid shampoos with sulfates and parabens which strip hair colour.  Use shampoos specifically made for coloured hair.

5. Get an extra toner treatment in between colouring if it’s gone too brassy.

6. Use a great quality conditioner for coloured hair to keep it in the best condition possible.  The more damaged and porous your hair, the faster the brass comes back!

7. Get a Revlon Nutri Color Creme 1002 White Platinum 250ml , which is a conditioning treatment with colour pigment in it. I use a 1002 which is to cancel out the gold tones. I leave it on for 5mins in the shower as conditioner and it leaves the hair feeling nourished.


The reality is, the darker your hair is to start with the more red or red/orange pigments it has, which will be exposed by the peroxide in hair dye.  So it’s much harder to keep the brassiness out when you’re changing your hair colour radically.  My hair which is around 80% grey still has some dark hairs left, which is why those ones go brassy easily.


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  • In a pinch, or if you don’t want to spend money on dry shampoo, you can just use plain cornstarch.

    Just dip your fingertips into the cornstarch, shake off the excess, and rub the cornstarch into the roots where the hair is oily/greasy. Let is sit that way for a few minutes while you brush your teeth/moisturize/whatever, then brush or comb your hair. The cornstarch will absorb the oil while it sits, and combing is enough to distribute it through the rest of the hair. If it’s still too oily do a second pass, but it’s better to underestimate than to end up with too much cornstarch weighing down your hair.

    I have long hair with bangs, and frequently the bangs are oily before the rest of my hair needs to be washed. I learned this trick when I had my third baby (in four years!), and it was frequently the difference between leaving the house and not! Now that the kids are older and my hair is colored, I just use it if I want to get an extra day or two between washings. I keep a small container of cornstarch in the bathroom for just this purpose.

  • Speaking of “oily bangs”, sometimes I just wash the fringe portion of my hair in the hand basin (with soap 🙁 if the rest of my hair looks fine but the front is greasy. Takes about 30 seconds from wet to washed and towel dried. Sounds gross but hair looks fresh from the front and is still manageable over the whole head, which isn’t the case with a full hairwash. Clean but no control for at least two days.

  • I have “warm grey” hair – pepper and salt stage at back of my head. Will these blue/purple shampoos make my grey hair silver or is it a losing battle with my colouring and the chlorine in the water. What would a stylist recommend in my case?

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