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Why am I so BRASSY???

As hair color wears, often the shade will shift and morph -- which I think is kinda cool. Between appointments you can get several looks before you're due to a retouch.

But often the color goes in a direction we don't necessarily want -- sometimes it looks just plain BRASSY.

If this has ever happened to you, let me break down as to why this might be happening....and maybe just how to prevent it.


There are two issues you're likely battling, neither of which are necessarily within your control.

If you live here in the Willamette Valley, there's a very good chance you're bathing in highly mineralized water. We struggle a lot with high concentrations of copper and iron deposits here, so basically a red mineral and an even redder mineral. Every time your hair gets wet, it's getting coated in iron and copper. Unless you're already a ginger-- regardless of how light or dark your color is -- it will eventually start looking red.


The other issue? The way artificial hair color works. Bear with me while I get nerdy on you....

Remember the primary colors? Red, blue, and yellow are the three colors from which all other colors we see are created.

Your hair melanin has some combination of these three colors. So does permanent hair color and toners (aka gloss/demi-permanent color/glazes).

In order from most stable to the least stable pigments, it goes red, yellow, then blue.

What does that mean? Blue is the pigment that fades out first. Long after that is yellow, then finally red.

In the hair world, we use blue pigments to control warmth/brassiness.

As your hair is exposed to various factors (water, shampoo, sunlight, time), blue will always disappear first, leaving the red and yellow pigments left in your hair to be out there front and center.

Back to the color wheel -- what color do you get when you mix red and yellow? ORANGE. Which, is the hair world is called (you guessed it) brass.


This is why hairdressers recommend certain shampoos for folks. Based on each client's specific needs and hair color scenario, we can pretty accurately anticipate the upcoming brassiness issues and "prescribe" what you'll need to prevent this issue.

Depending on your target color, you may be recommended a purple, blue, or even green shampoo to cut the anticipated brassiness off at the pass.

I can even custom mix a toning shampoo JUST FOR YOUR SPECIFIC COLOR using lines that provide other benefits but you just can't use because it doesn't tone (cough....Olaplex...cough, cough).

If -- historically -- your struggle with a super-tenacious brass issue, a toning mask may also be part of your personalized regiment recommendation.

Ever heard of a shampoo that will actually remove hard water minerals? I know of one I swear by. I've used in interchangeably with my toning shampoos for years, along with at least 100 of my past and current clients. Regardless of your color (including 100% natural, virgin hair), this bad boy WORKS.

Do you even struggle with haircolor-gone-brassy? Share your strategies with me and let me know what's worked for you!

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