How To Fix Brassy Undertones In Your Hair (Hair Color Wheel Trick)

Updated on November 9, 2020

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We think it is safe to say that every woman has had at least one trip to the salon end in disaster. Maybe you envisioned a beautiful, icy blonde ala Daenerys from Game of Thrones, but instead ended up with hair that looked like corn husks. Or possibly you wanted a warm, chocolatey brown, yet somehow ended up with a brassy-toned mop. The bottom line, it happens, and when it does it is frustrating, shocking, and it is only a matter of time before the panic sets in.

We all know the best solution is to go to a colorist who knows what they’re doing, or maybe you would rather try to fix the issue at home by yourself. Whatever the situation, you are going to need a hair color wheel to find out what color products you need to neutralize your unwanted tones. This is the most important part of fixing your hair – you need to neutralize. Some will try to bleach out the unwanted color, but I and my lovely team girls beg you – do not reach for the bleach yet! Here’s how you can fix your hair without any damaging stripping with bleach.

 

How To Fix Unwanted Undertones In Your Hair (The Color Wheel Trick)

 

1. What is the hair color wheel?

 

Do you remember your art class from high school? Chances are, somewhere along the way, you were introduced to the color wheel. The color wheel shows all of the primary and secondary colors and helps to explain their complementary colors. This is where the magic that is going to fix the tone of hair happens. The color wheel that you learned about in school applies the same concept to the hair color wheel.

Typically, the three colors that we usually find in unwanted hair tones are yellow, orange, and red.

  • Yellow tones typically show up when we try to go blonde.
  • Orange tones are found when switching to a dark blonde or light brown color.
  • Red tones can be found in brown-dyed hair.

When it comes time to fix these unwanted tones, you are going to need to reference the concepts gathered from the hair color wheel to get your desired result. We are here to break down exactly how to use the hair color wheel to get rid of yellow, orange, and red tones.

 

2. I have unwanted yellow tones, what do I do?

 

If you or a hairstylist has tried to lift the color of your hair to a light blonde color, you may have missed the mark and landed on an unflattering, yellowish color. Other than a botched color change, there are a few alternative reasons that explain why your hair has turned yellow. It could be that you have a naturally yellow, underlying pigment, but it could also be the environment, your styling products or tools, or diet. You never know, that is!

No matter the cause, the best way to rid yourself of a yellow tone is by neutralizing the unwanted tone. By referencing the hair color wheel, you will learn that purple neutralizes yellow tones. A stylist or colorist may use purple toner to help lift the yellow tones from your hair and restore a cooler hue. Or, yo ucan try to lighten your hair tone and keep up with your desired color at home by using purple shampoo and other products that use purple tones, like this shampoo:

MATRIX Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo For Neutralizing Yellow Tones

MATRIX Total Results So Silver Color Depositing Purple Shampoo For Neutralizing Yellow Tones

 

3. I have unwanted orange/brassy tones, how do I fix it?

 

Did you attempt to dye your hair with the hopes of accomplishing a warm, golden blonde color but ended up with a brassy, orange undertone? No worries girl, it happens to the best of us. Chances are you started with a dark, natural color (you’re probably a brunette) and when you tried to lift your color to a light, golden blonde it fell short. The best way to fix it is to tone the orange out by neutralizing the tones.

Your orange-tone, killing superhero is a toner that is made with blue pigments. The reason most women experience unwanted orange tones while dyeing their hair is due to the melanin found in darker hair tones. When dyed, hair that naturally contains more melanin can take on an undesired, brassy tone. Visit a salon or do a treatment at home with a product that contains blue tones to neutralize and rid yourself of the unwelcome orange color.

Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo

Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo | Neutralize Brassy Tones

 

4. How can I get rid of this red undertone?

 

We’ve used the hair color wheel to get rid of yellow tones, orange tones, and now it’s time to kiss the red tones goodbye. Like other unwanted tones, red tones are usually the result of sun, pollution, previous color treatments, cheap color products, chlorine, or your natural color peeking through. To fix undesirable red tones we consult the hair color wheel. Red’s complementary color is green, do you know what that means?

You guessed it; you’re going to need a green toner to fix the unwanted red undertones in your hair. Of course, you can do an at-home treatment, but your best bet is most likely to head to the salon and let a professional take care of the hard work.

MATRIX Total Results Dark Envy Red Neutralization Toning Hair Mask

MATRIX Total Results Dark Envy Red Neutralization Toning Hair Mask

 

No matter what…unwanted undertones are fixable!

 

Many of us who dye our hair have had to deal with the ever-dreaded, unwanted color tones. It comes with the territory of exploring fun, new colors. The great news is that the hair color wheel can be used to easily remedy the issue and have your hair looking amazing.

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