Banish brassy hair in two easy steps

Processed with MOLDIV

From platinum to auburn to golden 

Brass is great if you’re listening to a band. But the last thing those of us with blonde or gray hair like to see is garish brass tones.

I recently went from platinum to deep red to golden blonde. I’d initially planned to go all the way back to platinum, but an old friend convinced me to try golden hair because she’d liked it on me years ago. Verdict: I tried it, I liked it, I’m keeping it. The problem is that despite several bleachings, the remnants of dark red dye want to seep through after a few washings. Plus, I have a tendency toward red because it runs in the family. Both of my children are natural redheads. My daughter has golden red locks, while my son’s tresses are deep auburn — legacies, I suppose, of our Irish heritage.

I’ve found that combatting brassiness requires a two-step approach. First, I must wash my hair in cool-verging-on-cold water. Second, I regularly use a purple-toned shampoo. I have two in my shower right now, one that works and one that doesn’t.

The product I won’t repurchase is Dumb Blond Purple Toning Shampoo, which fails on two key fronts (or three if you count its name). It doesn’t completely keep my hair from turning brassy and it’s pretty drying — not a good thing when hair has been bleached.

The the product that works well is Sterling Silver Colour Care Toning Shampoo from AG Hair Care. It’s formulated to eliminate brassy, yellow tones from blonde and silver hair.  I use it three or four times per week to keep breakthrough brassiness at bay.

AG Hair Care Sterling Silver Colour Care Toning Shampoo, $18 for 10 ounces, $45 for 33.8 ounces at Ulta.