How to Correct Brassy Highlights

How to Correct Brassy Highlights

Highlights can add depth and dimension to your hair, but sometimes they can turn brassy, leaving you with unwanted orange or yellow tones. This can happen due to various factors such as exposure to sunlight, water with high mineral content, or incorrect application of hair color. If you find yourself with brassy highlights, don’t panic! There are several ways to correct this issue and achieve the beautiful, natural-looking highlights you desire. In this article, we will explore effective methods to fix brassy highlights and provide answers to some frequently asked questions.

Understanding Brassy Hair

Before diving into the solutions, it’s important to understand why highlights turn brassy. When hair is lightened, it goes through a process called oxidation, which removes the natural pigment. However, the underlying pigment can be exposed, resulting in brassy tones. For those with dark hair, the underlying pigment tends to be orange, while for light hair, it’s yellow.

How to Correct Brassy Highlights

1. Purple Shampoo: One of the easiest and most popular ways to correct brassy highlights is by using a purple shampoo. Purple is on the opposite side of the color spectrum from orange and yellow, so it helps neutralize those tones. Use a purple shampoo specifically designed for brassy hair once or twice a week. Leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing to allow the purple pigments to work their magic.

2. Toning Treatment: If your highlights are severely brassy, a toning treatment can be more effective than purple shampoo alone. Look for a toning product with blue or violet undertones. Apply it to your hair as directed, focusing on the brassy areas. Leave it on for the recommended time, and then rinse thoroughly.

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3. DIY Remedies: There are also several DIY remedies you can try at home. One popular method is using a mixture of equal parts lemon juice and water. Apply it to your hair, leave it on for about 10 minutes, and then rinse. The acidity of lemon juice can help remove brassiness. Another option is to create a concoction using baking soda and shampoo. Mix them together until you achieve a paste-like consistency, apply it to your hair, leave it on for a few minutes, and then rinse. Baking soda acts as a clarifying agent, helping to remove unwanted tones.

4. Seek Professional Help: If all else fails or you’re unsure about correcting your brassy highlights at home, it’s best to seek professional help. A professional hairstylist can assess your hair and recommend the most suitable solution, whether that involves color correction, toning, or another technique. They have the expertise to fix brassy highlights and ensure you achieve the desired results.


Q: Can I use regular shampoo instead of purple shampoo?
A: Regular shampoo won’t have the same toning properties as purple shampoo. It’s specifically formulated to neutralize brassiness, so using purple shampoo is recommended for the best results.

Q: How often should I use purple shampoo?
A: This depends on the intensity of the brassiness. If your highlights are slightly brassy, using purple shampoo once a week should be sufficient. If they’re very brassy, you can use it twice a week. Adjust the frequency based on how your hair responds.

Q: Will toning treatments damage my hair?
A: When used correctly and in moderation, toning treatments shouldn’t cause significant damage. However, it’s essential to follow the instructions provided with the product and avoid leaving it on for longer than recommended.

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Q: Can I fix brassy highlights without using chemicals?
A: Yes, the DIY remedies mentioned earlier can help remove brassiness naturally. However, keep in mind that these methods may not be as effective as professional products or treatments.

Q: How long does it take to correct brassy highlights?
A: The time required to correct brassy highlights varies depending on the severity of the brassiness, the method used, and the individual’s hair type. It may take a few weeks or several salon visits to achieve the desired results.

In conclusion, brassy highlights can be frustrating, but there are several effective ways to correct them. Purple shampoo, toning treatments, and DIY remedies can all help neutralize unwanted orange and yellow tones. If you’re unsure or dealing with severe brassiness, it’s best to consult a professional hairstylist who can guide you through the process. Remember to be patient and consistent, as correcting brassy highlights may require time and multiple treatments. With the right approach, you’ll soon enjoy the beautiful, natural-looking highlights you desire.

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