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Why Does Blonde Hair Turn Brassy? How to Prevent?

A few weeks after lightening the hair color to blonde, the hair may begin to take on an orangy tone known as brassiness.

After spending all the time and money it takes to color hair blonde, the last thing you’ll expect is for the blonde to turn brassy, disappearing into an orangy, red color.

If blonde hair color had an arch nemesis, it would be brassiness. Understanding why this happens and ways to prevent it can make the brassiness hide from the blonde.


Why Does Blonde Hair Turn Brassy?

Blonde hair turns brassy because of the excess amounts of warm color pigments in the hair dye.

When the blue pigments that make hair blonde fade quickly, the unwanted orange and red tones are left, which together creates a brassy tone.

Brassiness in blonde hair tends to pop up when the hair is not treated correctly after coloring. The process of lightening hair requires the lifting of the natural hair color to be replaced by the new lighter color.

A mixture of bleach lifts the darker hues of hair color. This process allows those pigments to weaken. The process is called oxidation.

Brassiness can become a problem when oxidation does not eliminate all the dark hues, giving the red and warmer tones a chance to reappear.


Examples of Blonde Hair Turned Brassy

Recognizing brassy hair can be easy. If recently bleached hair appears brassy, it may appear orangish in hue. Below are a few examples of what blonde hair looks like when it has turned brassy.

blonde hair turned brassy

Example 1: Photo of Blonde Hair Turned Brassy


blonde turned brassy

Example 2: Photo of Blonde Hair Turned Brassy


xample of blonde turned brassy

Example 3: Photo of Blonde Hair Turned Brassy


How Can I Prevent Blonde Hair From Turning Brassy?

Keeping your blonde hair from turning brassy requires a little more work at home but is straightforward and painless.

Wash and Rinse the Hair Using Cool Water

A principal reason for hair color fading is the use of hot water when washing and rinsing the hair, and since brassiness results from the color’s bright color fading and darker hues coming through the hair, it makes sense to avoid the hot water. 

Using hot water makes the cuticles of the hair open, making the hair more apt to fade faster. Using cold or cool water offers the opposite effect.

It will close the outer hair cuticle to prevent the color from fading for a bit longer.


Use a Purple Shampoo 

How to Prevent Blonde Hair From Turning Brassy - Use a Purple Shampoo

A purple or blue-based shampoo is an easy-to-find and popular home product used to eliminate the tones of brassiness.

These colors counteract the orange and reddish tones that appear when hair becomes brassy.

On a color wheel, purple is the opposite color of yellow, so the purplish tint will neutralize any yellow tones in the hair.


Avoid Spending Too Much Time in The Pool or Ocean Water

The chlorine in pool water and the sea salt in ocean water can wreak havoc on recently lightened or highlighted hair.

If a trip to a pool or beach is unavoidable, use a swimming cap to protect the hair. After swimming, rinse the hair in cool fresh water to remove any extra chlorine or salt.

Another preventive measure would be to rinse the hair with cool fresh water before putting on the swimming cap.

This way, your hair is already saturated and will not be able to absorb as much contaminated water.


Protect the Lightened Hair from Sunlight

How to Prevent Blonde Hair From Turning Brassy - Protect the Lightened Hair from Sunlight

The ultraviolet rays in sunlight not only damage the skin but are also a massive player in making blonde hair brassy.

The sunshine will cause the hair color to fade very quickly. To help offset this fading, use hair products that contain a protective sun shield or cover the hair in a hat.


Use a Deep Conditioner Regularly

A deep conditioning hair regime will help protect the locks from fading and eventual brassiness and leave hair soft, silky, manageable, and hydrated.

The healthier the hair is, the slower it will fade. Adding a deep conditioning hair treatment, like a hair mask or hydrating gloss, will help to ensure that the warm undertones stay away.


Add a Shower Filter 

How to Prevent Blonde Hair From Turning Brassy - Shower Filter

Everyday water can also contaminate minerals and debris, making blonde hair turn brassy. Certain minerals in unfiltered water can undo the effects of a tremendous blonde color as much as chlorine can.

A simple fix for this problem is to add a shower filter. The shower filter stops nearly all the hard water and damaging minerals before reaching the hair.


Pick the Right Color Shade from The Beginning.

Another way to prevent brassy blonde hair is to start with the right color.

Choosing the right hair color is important if you’re coloring at home without taking help from a professionally trained stylist.

Keeping away from color tones that are of warm tone will help keep the yellow and red colors from showing up, leading to the look of brassiness.

 Plus, using cooler-toned hair color on already blonde hair will help stop the brass before it even begins.



Preventing blond hair from turning brassy is a matter of science.

Since hair dye (like everything in the world with color) originates from the three primary colors, red, yellow, and blue, it is essential to make sure the blue color pigments stay active.

And since blue pigments fade faster, once they are gone, the hair will appear orangy (a combination of the red and yellow pigments).

Following the advice in this article will help keep the blonde outshining the brass.


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