How can I counteract brassy orange tones in my hair?

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When I was younger I had mousy brown hair and when I got to the age of 15 I started dying it dark brown. This went on for about three years using a home dye. Recently I decided I wanted to get back to my natural colour so I went to a salon where they lifted the colour and put a light brown on top.

I was so happy with the result. It’s been about two months and the colour is starting to lift. I’m left with a very brassy orange tone in places. I don't particularly want to go back and have it re-dyed as I like the colour, just not the brassy tones! I've heard of purple shampoos you can use to cancel out these tones, would this work?


Robyn, Cornwall

The reason your colour has lifted is due to the fact that the base colour of your hair that was lifted by the salon was probably lighter than the target colour received. The colour will continue to lift until the pigment has all but gone, resulting in a light brassy shade. Purple/violet shampoos such as Joico Colour Endure Violet would help cool off the gold/brassy tones for a while but will not restore depth, so I would recommend at least having the colour applied once more to help the pigments grab to the lightened base, then continue using a colour shampoo. I would advise using Joico Colour Endure shampoo and conditioner to help reduce colour fade by locking in colour molecules and giving protection from UV rays.

Simon Daniel, Salon Director of Belle Toujours, Cardiff

Purple shampoo is intended to subdue brassy tones from hair, but only if the hair is grey, white or bleached blonde. The purple pigment neutralises the yellow present in the hair. As your hair is darker than blonde and is showing orange brassy tones then you would need to use a blue pigmented shampoo. I unfortunately don't know of any manufacturer that makes these. You could ask your salon if they recommend having an ash toned vegetable colour applied to your hair every few weeks to maintain the colour and keep the brass at bay.

John Clark, Head of Colour at Brooks+Brooks, London

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