Why Does Hair Turn Brassy? (+How To Fix It!)

Ah yes, fighting brassy hair is one of the oldest battles in the books. No matter how many products you look into will not matter if you don’t know what causes it in the first place. Take a brief stroll with me and read what causes hair to turn brassy and what you can do to prevent and treat it!

There are a few different reasons why hair turns brassy and not only do blondes struggle with it but brunettes can as well. People with natural or colored hair both struggle with these issues and no one is immune.

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Porous Hair

Blondes typically have the most issues with brassy hair because they have the most porous hair. Porous hair is the term used to describe your hair’s ability to absorb and retain moisture.

Blondes especially have a hair structure with high porosity which means that it soaks up everything it comes into contact with including minerals, pollution from the outside elements and anything else that touches it. All of these factors play a role in hair color turning brassy.

Brunettes might notice that just the tips of their hair turn brassy because the bottom of the hair is more porous than the top. This is typically because of hot tools that damage the hair integrity over time and are more harmful to the ends than hair by the root.

Those with healthy, non-porous hair typically don’t have problems with changing hair color.

The Fix

Porous hair should be kept as hydrated as it can. It is best for those with porous hair to use products with moisturizing agents in them and to do a moisturizing treatment at least once a week!

My professional go-to product I recommend to all of my clients is the KENRA Nourishing Masq that should be used once a week! For those with baby fine hair make sure to really rinse it out well or it will weigh the hair down.

Hard Water

Water plays a HUGE role in your overall hair health! Hard water is kryptonite for hair color of any kind. It DOES NOT just come from well water and in fact, it is estimated over 85% of people use some type of hard water. Hard water is classified any water containing calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates, sulfates and a list of other minerals. Hard water comes in many different levels and can be measured on a scale of soft to extremely hard. All of these minerals are absorbed into the hair shaft, thus causing it to turn a brass color

The Fix 

For those who live in an area with high amounts of hard water, it is suggested you either get a water softener put into your home ( which will also benefit your laundry/dishes) or get a water filtration shower head.


My personal choice for a filtration shower head I use at home is found here!  I originally picked this one out because there were no tools needed for installation. It has a 15 stage filtration process which sounded fancy but was backed by almost 5 perfect stars with over 250 reviews. Its legit and has helped my hair stay healthy. My shampoo and conditioner work better with filtered water and don’t have unnecessary minerals reacting with what its made out of.

Waiting Too Long Between Hair Appointments

Here’s the thing, when your stylists ask you to prebook for your next appointment they aren’t trying to trick you or fuck you over. We ask clients to prebook so they can get into us when they need to before we get booked up and so we can keep hair looking as fresh as possible.

When we ask you to prebook to keep your color fresh it is because we know the toner only lasts so long and once that toner washes out of your hair the color is going to change and, you guessed it, turn brassy. How long does toner last? About 4-5 weeks on average.

People who have naturally brassy underlining hair are going to really want to keep up with their appointments because that brass is going to pop through 2x faster than those who don’t have naturally brassy or warm tones to their hair. Naturally, brassy hair is going to fight nonstop against all bleach and toner on the market; it comes down to color theory and science.

The Fix

Listen, I get it, upkeep with hair is expensive and time-consuming. Who has the money or luxury of getting into the salon every 5 weeks?

Talk to your stylists and see if you can get in every 6 weeks for just a toning treatment.  Odds are they will have time to squeeze you in between another hair color appointment. This will save you time and money while also still helping with your brassy hair issue. A 6-week toning appointment can help you achieve that nice cool icey blonde look you are trying to maintain; having a week of brassy hair is better than having it for months.

Be on the lookout for your salons discount deals. Typically stylists will run some type of prebooking discount or a package deal and this may end up saving you tons of money in the long run. If they never do any type of promotions then maybe look for another stylist that will!


Shampoo & Conditioner Combo

If you are using “color treated” products and your hair is still turning brassy it’s time to throw them away! Many products claim to be for colored hair but sometimes that may not be enough when paired with other factors we have already gone over.

If you are getting your products from your grocery store, stop! Products not bought at a salon or purchased off of a professional website are most likely filled with a bunch of fillers like wax, water, and the worsts of them all, sulfates. Sulfates strip your hair of important things you need like moisture, oil and your color.

The Fix 

First things first, start purchasing sulfate free products. This will give your hair the hydration it needs; your hairs thirsty so filler up!

The most important thing you can do to keep your blonde white and icey is to start using purple shampoos and conditioners! For a more in-depth look into why purple shampoo and conditioner are life-changing check out this related article here: Purple Shampoo: How To Get Rid Of Brassy Hair Fast! 

Cliff notes version to the purple shampoo is as follows: purple is found across the color wheel of yellow and orange; therefore when you use a purple based shampoo/conditioner combo it will tone it back to white due to the science of the color wheel. Purple eliminates brass, end of story.  Who knew something you learn in kindergarten actually ends up being helpful in your adult life. My full proof purple shampoo is hands down Fanola No Yellow Shampoo!  I myself have naturally black hair and when I went blonde my natural brass wanted to pop through daily. I struggled to find the perfect toning shampoo until I discovered Fanola and never went back!


At Home Coloring Kits

Nothing good ever comes from at home coloring kits; they are literally the worst thing to ever be offered to humans. First of all, you don’t know if some teenager is at the store acting like a little dick by messing with the boxes. I’ve seen it one too many times. Those little fucks love to transfer different colors into different boxes and you are none the wiser until it’s too late; instead of that chestnut brown you were looking for you now have yourself some black hair. Have fun with that color correction charge!

Drugstore brands are some of the worst things for your hair because they have one standard product that is supposed to color a large variety of hair. Everyone’s hair is so different and it’s important to go to a professional who knows what is not only best for your hair but what products to use to get you the correct color you want.

The Fix

Schedule an appointment and go to the pro! Professionals first ASSESS your hair type and condition. Once they have established your starting point they will then discuss with you your desired ending blonde point. They will take the correct steps accordingly to get your hair there in a healthy manner. There are many different bleaches and peroxides out there and the pros are taught everything about them. Stylists know which peroxide is safe and will know the correct amount of time it needs to be left on to get the results wanted. They will also know if a toning bleach is required or not!

Drugstore products will not have different peroxide levels and they will definitely not have pre-toned bleach which is pretty much the best thing ever invented. 

If money is tight I suggest looking on Groupon or try googling the closest cosmetology school to you. While schools will take a long time you can’t beat the cheap prices. There are also teachers approving every step so you won’t be leaving with jacked up hair. If need be most teachers will step in and finish the appointment for the student, while having the student take a seat and observe.

You can also check Facebook or Craigslist! Stylists often need models for classes they are required to take and this can be a great opportunity for you to save some cash while still getting the luxury of a professional service done.


This one might be a bit of a curve ball for you, but it’s true. Medications not only effect the inside of your body but they can have adverse reactions to your outside.

The makeup of your medications can cause your hair and outside body appearance to change; this is due to a result of biochemical interaction within the pigment-producing cells. This can happen to natural or colored hair and typically will go away once you are off the medication.

A few known medications that change hair color include:

The Fix

Just give your hair time to fix itself after you have stopped taking the medication. If you are on permanent medication ask your stylist to use a toner to correct the brassy color. She may have used one type of toner and your hair may have a reaction a few weeks after you leave the salon.

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Final Thoughts

Obviously preventing brassy hair from happening is going to be your better option than fixing it once it occurs. While we went over a lot of information, now you know there may be a long list of reasons why your hair is going to the warm side.

With a few minor changes, you can have that ice blonde hair in no time! If you take anything away from this article I would suggest you change up your shampoo to the Fanola and you will be golden (well you won’t be golden which is the whole point of this article).  Even if you wash your hair in hard water with the No Yellow shampoo you will still get the results you are looking for.

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