The first step to fixing brassy hair in the salon is checking the Wella Color Wheel; a chart that follows the rules of color theory to show you which shades neutralize unwanted tones. In the case of brassiness, the tones are typically orange or yellow, so you must consult the wheel to see which colors sit opposite. These will cancel out excess warmth.
So, if you want to know how to get rid of yellow hair, hints of /6 Violet (Cool) should be added to your formula. For orangey locks, /8 Pearl (Blue) will cool down strands and create a refreshed finish. You may even find reddish undertones in hair that’s faded brassy, meaning you’ll need to mix in a dose of /2 Matt (Green). Think of it like color therapy for locks.
But what do these numbers actually mean? They form part of Wella’s Shade Numbering System, which features up to four key components: 1) tonal intensity, 2) depth of color, then after the slash, 3) major tone of color and 4) minor tone of color. Your neutralizing hue is usually the major tone, or the minor tone. For example, the major tone for 4/71 is /7 Brown, making this color’s full shade name Medium Brown Ash. Meanwhile, one of our most popular blonde toners, 9/16, would be a Very Light Blonde Ash Violet.