When it comes to getting your hair colored, there’s nothing worse than seeing unwanted warm tones, especially when an ash grey color was your goal.
It’s a common issue for bleached or light hair like platinum blonde hair. Since the brassy tones from your hair appear due to leftover color pigments, you need to find a hair toner that can neutralize them.
You can rely on a salon-level treatment or store-bought toner for brassy hair, but we’ll introduce to you how to get rid of brassy hair: home remedies edition!
What is Brassy Hair Color?
Brassy hair refers to a light, warm-toned color that emerges when dark or brown hair is bleached. This also happens when grey hair is colored and brassiness appears on the lighter sections.
Usually, this is an unwanted effect that arises from improper bleaching and bad hair care practice.
Why Do I Get Brassy Hair?
In the case of bleached hair, the brassiness comes from leftover pigments that were not stripped away during the bleach session.
The reason is that cool-toned pigments are smaller. In contrast, warmer ones are larger, making the latter more difficult to remove completely.
For those with light or grey hair, the orange tones are due to damaged hair strands and the build-up of minerals that come from washing with hard water.
Other sources of mineral residue include sulfate-infused hair care products and chlorine. At the same time, excessive sun exposure contributes to breakage that leads to brassy hair.
How Does a Toner for Brassy Hair Work?
As the most often-used remedy, a toner for brassy hair works by adding opposing cool-tone pigments into the hair strands. The result is a neutralizing of the warm tones, letting you get rid of the brassy color.
It’s a typical affair for people with brown or blonde hair who often rely on purple or blue shampoo to avoid getting orange or yellow tones respectively.
Just make sure you don’t tone your hair twice in one day. That could seriously damage your locks.
Why Use DIY Hair Toner to Get Rid of Brassy Hair at Home?
Toners are the best way to deal with brassy hair quickly, but ones from the salon or the hair care store tend to contain harmful chemicals. They are also quite pricey, especially if you are dealing with a pervasive case of brassy hair.
And so, relying on a homemade toner that uses everyday products found in the grocery or supermarket makes for a gentler solution and can save you a lot of money.
A brassy hair home remedy like a DIY hair toner is convenient, and you can use it whenever.
How to Get Rid of Brassy Hair: Home Remedies
There are many ways to get rid of brassy hair at home, but there’s usually one that you and your hair will like best! Try out a DIY home remedy and see which of these can get rid of your brassy hair the fastest:
1. Apple Cider Vinegar Toner
The acid in apple cider vinegar is formidable against the leftover pigments in your hair. Getting rid of brassy hair with vinegar might smell afterward, but it’s worth removing yellow tones and orange tones. Make sure to use only apple cider vinegar and not other types.
What Do I Need?
- Four tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- Four tablespoons of water
Step 1: Prepare the Apple Cider Vinegar
Mix equal parts of the apple cider vinegar and water. Some prefer adding slightly more apple cider vinegar if you need something stronger.
Step 2: Wash Your Hair
This vinegar toner acts as a rinse, so do your usual shampoo and conditioning routine first. This also so that your hair is clean and no dirt will interfere with the vinegar solution.
Step 3: Massage It Well
Next, massage the mix thoroughly into your hair, then let it set for around 15 minutes before you rinse your hair with lukewarm water.
2. Baking Soda Toners
Baking soda is well-known for decolorizing. It can act as a lightening agent when combined with a sulfate-free shampoo and food color in neutralizing cool tones.
Since you’re combating brassy tones in yellow and orange hair, you will need purple and blue food colorings as the contrasting colors so that they will neutralize each other. This is based on the positions of the colors on the color wheel.
What Do I Need?
- One teaspoon of baking soda
- Sulfate-free shampoo
- Half teaspoon of purple food coloring
- Half teaspoon of blue food coloring
- Water, in case your mixture is too thick
Step 1: Mix Everything Together
Mix the teaspoon of baking soda, food color, and enough sulfate-free shampoo to create a baking soda mix. Be careful with the food coloring since a little can go a long way.
Add a few tablespoons of water if your mixture gets too lumpy. It’s difficult to use unless the mixture is runny enough. The addition of water will help dissolve the baking soda clumping together.
Step 2: Shampoo Your Hair
Use the mixture as your shampoo and massage it into your hair. Leave for 10 minutes before rinsing. You can use a conditioner afterward if you like.
3. Purple-Toned Conditioners
You may also use your conditioner to help get rid of brassy hair. Do note that it will make your hair purple at first. But it can be washed off as you shower.
This recipe is simpler than the baking soda one. You will need a purple or bluish-tone hair dye here instead of blue food coloring.
What Do I Need?
- Purple hair dye
- Gloves to prevent staining your fingers
- Hair dye applicator
Step 1: Prepare Your Toner
Add more than your usual amount of conditioner. Then, gradually mix in small amounts of the purple or bluish hair dye until the conditioner is dyed a light purple.
Do not add too much color, or else your hair will become a dark purple color.
Step 2: Apply to Wet Hair
Apply the conditioner mix onto washed, wet hair. Let it set for an hour before rinsing it off. You can use a shower cap to keep things neat since the conditioner can easily stain your furniture.
4. Lemon Juice Toners
The acid from citrus fruits can also help remove the brassiness in your hair. Lemon juice works best amongst other fruits by working with the sun to get rid of brassy hair.
What Do I Need?
- Three-fourths cup of water
- One-fourth cup of lemon juice
- Two tablespoons of honey
- Spray bottle
Step 1: Shake Well
Add all your ingredients into the spray bottle. Then, shake the solution thoroughly until the honey is dissolved.
Step 2: Spray On
Spray the toner solution on your hair. You can lift your hair in sections to ensure all areas are covered. If possible, cover your eyes with protective material since the lemon juice can sting your eyes.
Step 3: Stay in the Sun
Leave the toner in your hair for two hours. Make sure to stay somewhere with direct sunlight to amplify the effects of the lemon juice. Afterward, wash it off with sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.
5. Hollyhock Toners
This is a variation of the apple cider vinegar toner, with hollyhock herbs acting as an extra-strength color remover for brassiness.
What Do I Need?
- Two tablespoons of hollyhock herb
- Two tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
- One cup of water
Step 1: Boil Them Together
Boil all the ingredients in a pot until you get a mixture with a thick consistency. Remove from the heat and leave it to cool.
Step 2: Apply Onto Hair
Use the thick paste and massage it onto your hair. Let it set for 10 minutes before washing with shampoo and conditioner.
6. Herbal Green Tea
Tea makes gentle hair toners which you will need to use repeatedly until you reach your desired tone. You can use either green or black oolong tea, depending on how intense the tone you need is.
What Do I Need?
- Three teabags
- Two cups of water
- Pot for boiling
Step 1: Extract the Tea
Boil the water to steep the tea bags in. Wait until you get a light green color, or if you want a more intense color, until it’s a dark green or black. Take it off the heat to cool.
Step 2: Massage Into Hair
Once the tea has cooled, apply the tea onto your hair and leave for 30 minutes. You can then rinse your hair with water.
Tips To Avoid Brassiness in Hair
- Keep your hair health up to reduce breakage by following a proper hair care routine. Damaged hair strands make it harder to remove pigments, making hair brassy. Use a color-nourishing conditioner for optimal results.
- Avoid staying too long in the sun. Ultraviolet rays can damage your hair further. Wear a hat or cover your head when you expect to get a lot of sun exposure.
- Avoid mineral build-up by washing your hair in filtered water. The mineral deposits in hard water contribute to the brassy hair color.
- Use sulfate-free hair products. Other than being good to color, sulfate-free hair products mean less mineral residue.
- Find good-quality hair coloring. Low-quality ones will only damage hair and use the wrong pigments, which will mess with your final look.
- Check the right kind of product for your hair type. Not all hair types are made equal, so some products will work on a certain hair type only. Always check and do a trial before continuing the use of any product or hair treatment.
- Keep bleaching hair to a minimum. Bleaching strips hair of melanin, the color-producing part of each hair strand. Repeated bleaching will cause the hair shaft to weaken and also cause scalp infections.
- Avoid products with harsh chemicals. Be wary of the ingredient used in your hair care or store-bought toner. There may be hidden chemicals that are not good for a weakened hair shaft.
- Easy on the shampooing. Shampoo is meant to clean your hair, but when your hair is thin and already compromised, you need to make sure that it is not contributing to breakage. You can shampoo your hair less often or use only a small amount at a time.
- Get colored by a professional. There are many DIY recipes to achieve most hair colors, but when it requires bleaching, it is not an easy thing to learn. Doing it yourself will only increase the chances of damaging your hair. Invest and consult with a good professional, so you won’t have to suffer from brassy hair.
The Bottom Line
Your brassy hair can be a nuisance, but you can quickly get rid of brassy hair with homemade toner. Not only do you save on costs, you can also be sure that these home remedies are all-natural without any harmful chemicals that can further cause hair damage.
Still, the best way to ensure that you have gotten rid of brassy hair is to take care of your hair and avoid substances that can stain your hair. Good hair care will be better for your mane in the long-run.
It can take some experimenting to discover the best brassy hair home remedies for you, but it’s worth the benefits!
So now, go ahead and try any of our homemade toners! If all else fails, you can just rely on your natural hair growth to wait out the brassiness and damage.
If it’s red tones that you’re more worried about and not just brassiness, then check out our article on how to correctly neutralize red tones in hair.
July 16, 2021 – Updated internal links, updated external links, removed author box