If you have ever lightened your hair yourself, the chances are good you have had an encounter with brassy colour. Basically, this unsightly phenomenon occurs when the pigment is not completely lifted out of dark hair that has natural reddish or coppery undertones. If the lightener isn’t allowed to process thoroughly, or if it isn’t generously distributed throughout the hair, the result is an unflattering orange effect that will leave you wanting to wear a hat until you’ve got hold of some dark brown dye. Luckily, however, it is possible to fix this kind of problem. To help you with this, I’ve put together this list of 7 ways to deal with brassy colour.
To begin with, you want to try to prevent your hair from developing a brassy colour in the first place. In order to make sure you don’t end up with orange-tinted locks, follow the packet instructions on your home-dye kit to the letter. Use a kitchen timer to monitor the period during which the colour is processing, and when you’re applying the product, make sure you coat every strand thickly.
Head to your local pharmacy or hair salon and get yourself a good colour toner. This kind of product won’t lift any colour out of your hair, but, if you go for a cool shade, it will help to counteract the orange after-effect of the chemical lightener. Opt for a colour that is about one shade lighter than your dyed hair.
In the shampoo section of a well-stocked pharmacy, you should find a range of specialist shampoos and conditioners designed to treat hair that has been artificially coloured. Find one of these that is designed to remove buttery, copper tones from white or blonde hair: it will probably be marketed as a blue or purple wash. This will nourish your hair, and will also help to reverse the brassy effects of the lightener.
After chemical lightening, your hair will probably be feeling a little dry and brittle. DO not be tempted to treat the dehydration by applying a hot oil; if you are struggling with brassy colour, this kind of remedy will cause the reddish tones to set permanently.
Occasionally, brassy colour can result from exposure to water that is particularly iron-rich. If your colour has turned coppery even though you allowed the correct processing time, you might want to consider testing your water for mineral deposits. You can correct the effects iron-rich water with a specially designed demineralising product: these are available from good pharmacies and hair salons.
Brassy colour often comes about because we attempt to use a colour that is too light for our hair. Remember that the product may be designed for locks that are naturally lighter than your. If you have very dark hair, you may need to pre-lighten before you apply certain dyes: if you are at all anxious about this, it’s a good idea to talk to your hairdresser about your colouring strategy.
Even though you might be very keen to correct your brassy colour with further chemical lightening, it is never a good plan to get on with this straight away. Always allow a resting period of several weeks between colour treatments; you hair might not be able to cope with the damage inflicted by two consecutive dye-jobs.
Unwanted copper tones can be a real pain, but it is possible to correct them with a few well-chosen hair products. This list of 7 ways to deal with brassy colour should get you on the right track and help you to eliminate pesky redness: do you have any comments or suggestions to add to it?
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