How to Banish Brassy Hair In and Out of the Salon
Brassy hair happens. Sometimes, those overly-warm tones are exposed as you lighten clients’ locks. Other times, they appear weeks after coloring, when the pigment has gradually started to fade. You can recognize them by a red, orange or yellow tinge that runs through strands. But how do you keep excess warmth at bay?
Here’s how you take hair from brassy to glossy...
How to Get Rid of Brassy Hair in the Salon
The first step to fixing brassy hair in the salon is checking the Wella Color Wheel; a hair color 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 matte (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.
1. Use a Hair Toner for Brassiness
For clients who want their color touched up or their freshly-lightened locks beautifully balanced, a toner is your go-to. Try mixing in a shade with a major or minor tone of color that’s /2, /6 or /8. Choose the product based on their desired final look and level of commitment; Color Fresh for a semi-permanent boost, Color Touch for a demi-permanent refresh, Koleston Perfect for pure, even results, and Illumina Color for a sheer, permanent color results with natural luminosity.
Robert Eaton’s toning masterclass has all the tips you need:
2. Carry Out a Glossing Service
Subtler than a toning session; a glossing service gives you fast anti-brass effects, allowing you to unlock your client’s shiniest shade in the space of a lunch break. It’s like the BB cream of hair color, gently refreshing too-warm locks with a hint of a tint. Try the Pure Glossing Service, which sees the Koleston Perfect shade of choice mixed 1:1:1 with Welloxon Perfect 1.9% and INVIGO Service Color Post Treatment.
Watch the service in action:
How to Get Rid of Brassy Hair at Home
While you’ve got all the tips, tricks and techniques you need to fix brassy hair in the salon, you can help your client maintain their shade for longer by passing on key advice.
If they’re prone to brassiness, these are the at-home rituals to recommend…
1. Introduce a Purple Shampoo
Contrary to popular belief, purple shampoo isn’t just for cool-toned blondes. The violet-tinted formula can actually banish excess warmth in any hair color. Use it to balance a brunette balayage, keep copper hair in check or brighten gray hair. We love INVIGO Cool Blonde Color Refreshing Shampoo, which should be left in for three to five minutes to maintain vibrancy.
2. Alternate with a Color-Kind Shampoo
Clients don’t have to use their purple shampoo for every wash. They could alternate with a color-kind formula, like ColorMotion+ Color Protection Shampoo. Infused with antioxidants that forage and capture damaging free radicals, it also bumps up shine to make their locks look smoother and silkier wash after wash.
3. Tell Clients How to Swim Smart
If they hit the pool regularly, swim caps are a must. Chlorine can make your client’s dream shade shift, while stripping strands of natural oils to leave hair dry and brittle. Those who don’t have a cap should use the INVIGO Color Brilliance, ColorMotion+ or Elements Renewing Shampoo, as they each contain Wella’s EDDS technology, which can protect against chlorinated water.
Go to Wella Professionals’ online learning platform to discover new tips and master the latest techniques to use on your clients.