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Why is my Hair Colour brassy and How can I stop it from happening?

We explain Warmth, without getting too hairdressey.

Photo: Tumblr


We’re sticklers for Toning. New Colourer’s constantly tell us that their biggest fear they have of home Hair Colouring is being left with orange brassie Hair like it’s an issue only affecting home Colourer’s. When really maintaining a smooth Colour is an ongoing challenge facing Colourer’s everywhere, regardless if you're a salon goer or home Colourer.

So why does your Hair go brassie and what can you do to counteract it? We’ll explain this common occurrence without getting too hairdressey.

Natural Hair Colour is made up of Yellow, Orange / Gold and Red pigments that give the Colour its character. The pigment that dominates depends on the Natural Hair Colour.

At the top of Colour ladder are the Light Blondes that are made up of mostly Yellow pigment. As you travel down the Colour ladder into the Darker Colours, the more Orange and Red pigments are needed to build the Colour.


During the Lightening process, the Developers job is to open up your Hair shaft and bring out your Natural Hair pigment to allow the new artificial Hair Colour pigment in to take over and change your Hair Colour.

When Lightening you do not immediately turn Blonde, you watch your Hair gradually change Colour while climbing up the Colour ladder. Depending on how Dark your Natural Colour is, you will watch your Hair change from your Natural Colour to different stages of Red to Orange to Yellow until you reach the Lightness you want.

Because you’re bringing your Hairs Natural pigment out to remove it for your new Colour, it can leave you with Warmth. So you will need to Tone.

On a side note: Those who have a Darker Natural Colour base and are undergoing a greater Lightening process, will generally have more Warmth.

This is why we have Hair Colours with Cool Tones such as Ash or Beige that allow you to Lighten and Tone in the same process.

On another side note: some people Naturally have more Warmth than others, so they Naturally may require more Toning.

Even though Permanent Hair Colour is permanent, over time the environment, washing and styling Products wear the Colour out and the Colour’s Natural pigments start coming through making your Hair brassy. This is when you need to Tone again.


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