Check out this article if you want to know how to get rid of brassy hair without toners. Find at-home remedies like apple cider vinegar or baking soda that you can use to remove orange/yellow tones from hair.
If you have dyed your hair light blonde or have naturally blonde hair and often find your tresses looking more orange than platinum, then you might have a problem with hair brassiness.
You see, our hair color comes from a pigment called melanin which is present in the innermost structure of our strands. During bleaching, this pigment is removed by a process called oxidation.
However, if you have naturally warmer hair colors or if the bleach isn’t too strong then the undertones remain behind, giving hair a brassy, coppery tone.
Related: What Does Brassy Hair Look Like
Even if you have naturally platinum or white-blonde hair, the sun’s UV radiation, minerals from swimming pool or hard water, heat damage, etc. can oxidize the hair color and bring forward brassy undertones.
The easiest way to remove these brassy undertones is by using a hair toner. These toners contain blue pigments which neutralize the orange shade on your hair.
But as they’re quite expensive and it can get tedious to use them every other week, I’ve listed out some home remedies you can use to remove brassy hair without toner.
How To Get Rid Of Brassy Hair Without Toner
If you want to know how to get rid of brassy orange hair at home, check out some easy remedies below.
Try A Blue/Purple Shampoo Instead
It might sound too easy, but if you don’t want to use a hair toner to maintain your bleached blonde hair, you can use a purple or blue shampoo instead.
These products are just like regular shampoo but with the addition of blue/purple tint that helps neutralize the orange or yellow undertones in blonde hair.
It has an edge over hair toners because you can simply use them instead of your regular shampoos. So you won’t be adding an extra hair care step or product to your routine.
Also, the pigments used in toners are much stronger than those in blue shampoos. So toners can stain your hair and skin blue sometimes.
Note: Orange tones in hair are canceled out by blue and yellow tones are canceled out by purple as these shades are opposite to each other in the color wheel. If your bleached or naturally blonde hair is looking “brassy” or too orange use a blue shampoo. However if you think your platinum hair is looking yellow try a purple shampoo instead.
Apply Apple Cider Vinegar To Hair
On first glance it might not appear to be that obvious of a solution. But apple cider vinegar is really a cult hair care product!
It clarifies your scalp and smoothens frizz by making your hair cuticles lie flat.
But if you’re wondering how ACV or apple cider vinegar can help get rid of brassy hair, then here’s what you need to know.
ACV is an organic acid. So its pH levels are naturally low, which is just how our scalp likes it.
In fact, using a lot of alkaline products can cause scalp pH to get messed up leading to excessive oiliness, dryness or itching. And an alkaline pH also makes hair cuticles open releasing dye pigments and causing hair color to fade.
Now this leads to the warm undertones on hair showing up and your hair to appear brassy.
Using an ACV hair rinse can help balance the pH on hair strands and scalp, preventing color from fading and brassiness from showing up.
Use A Box Dye To Neutralize Brassiness
I know it sounds counterintuitive but sometimes the best way to remove orange, brassy tones from your hair is to dye it over.
However, you’ll need to be VERY careful to pick the right hair shade. If you’ve bleached your hair to a platinum shade and have brassy hair now then applying a platinum blonde hair dye won’t work.
And even if it does, the effect won’t last long as the dye will oxidize leading to brassiness reappearing again.
Instead I suggest going for shades like ash blonde to cover up brassiness.
This particular hair color has blue-green undertones which will counteract the brassy undertones in your hair pretty well.
But this is just one of the more drastic suggestions out there. If you really want to remove brassiness from your hair, I’d suggest giving blue shampoos or ACV a try first as further dyeing can damage hair.
Apply Virgin Olive Oil To Hair
Now this is more of a preventive measure than a remedy but olive oil works wonders for reducing brassiness in hair.
If you regularly massage olive oil onto hair strands, it helps form a protective coating on hair, preventing dye pigments from oxidizing and causing brassiness.
Plus, oil helps to smoothen hair cuticles, prevent hair color from fading.
To use olive oil for hair I’d suggest heating the oil lightly and massaging gently onto the hair and scalp at least 2-3 hours before you shampoo.
While this remedy might not instantly neutralize the brassiness in hair, it sure does prevent brassy undertones from forming in the first place.
Wash Hair With Chamomile Tea
Yes, chamomile tea. The one you drink for stress relief.
I know it seems hard to believe chamomile tea can lighten hair. Not upto a great level of course like bleach or peroxide, but enough to get rid of brassy undertones from hair.
You see chamomile is rich in a flavonoid called quercetin which is known to inhibit the hormone called tyrosinase which is responsible for the production of melanin in hair.
So save up that chamomile tea you’re drinking, cool it down and use it to rinse your hair. You’ll see the orange tones disappear gradually.
Note: This remedy works well on natural blonde hair or even dyed hair with very light orange undertones. If your hair is brassy or orange all over after the bleaching process, I’d highly recommend you at least use a blue shampoo if you cannot use a toner.
Can I Get Rid Of Brassy Hair With Baking Soda
There has been quite a popular “recipe” going around online that involves the use of shampoo, baking soda and food coloring.
Apparently a lot of influencers on social media are swearing that this mixture is a great substitute to hair toner.
However, this is straight up untrue.
For starters, blue food coloring is nowhere as strong as to neutralize the orange tones from hair.
And mixing shampoo with baking soda will only make the solution more abrasive and cause your hair to dry out.
In fact, it can make brassines worse by opening hair cuticles and causing hair dye to fade.
So I’d highly suggest you use a purple or blue shampoo for toning hair. And if you do want to try out a home remedy, use ACV or olive oil so at least this way you won’t damage your hair.
FAQs about Getting Rid Of Brassy Hair
Will light ash blonde cover orange brassy hair?
Yes actually, ash blonde hair color can neutralize orange brassy hair. This particular hair color has blue undertones so applying it will reduce brassiness as blue pigments cancel out orange.
Does vinegar get rid of brassy hair?
Yes both white vinegar and apple vinegar are acidic in nature and their low pH levels help in removing brassy undertones from hair. However, regular vinegar is a lot more acidic than apple cider vinegar so it can be very harsh on hair. So if you’re using it either dilute it with 3 parts of water or substitute it with apple cider vinegar instead.
What removes brassy tones from hair?
The only thing that can remove brassy tones from hair is something that neutralizes the brassy, orange notes. In this case it is the color blue. So hair toners, shampoos or masks with blue pigments are the best products to remove brassy tones from hair.
Should I bleach my hair again if it turns orange?
Brassy and coppery tones are formed on hair when you bleach hair that has naturally warm undertones. The outer layer of melanin is stripped away by the lightening agents removing the hair’s actual “color”.
However, sometimes the undertones remain behind and come to the forefront making hair appear orange.
And yes, technically bleaching hair again will remove these undertones as well. But it can be very harmful to hair.
You should consult a colorist to see if it’s safe as too many back-to-back bleaching can cause hair loss and damage.
If you have recently bleached your hair, then I’d highly recommend using a good hair toner for brassy hair.
However, if you simply want to maintain your blonde hair dye (or even natural color), I think these tips should be sufficient to remove brassy undertones and give your hair a shiny, silvery shade.
One of the easiest ways to tone your hair without using a toner is to opt for a purple or blue shampoo instead.
The shampoos are also available in the sulfate-free variety and perform other functions like moisturizing and damage repair apart from toning.
So using such formulas can help maintain hair color at no extra cost or effort.
Leah LOVES hair. So much so, she dedicated an entire website to it! One of the founders of Hair Everyday and Chief Editor, Leah enjoys reviewing all the hair products and showcasing the best. She believes her most underrated articles are her hair care tips!