How to remove brassy orange tones from my hair colour at home

It has always been a topic of conversation in salons for clients, "my hair has changed colour, it's become brassier or yellower, and I'm not happy with it,  what can I do at home to remove the orange tones from my hair until my next appointment?"

To answer this and suggest a solution for removing brassy tones at home, we need to understand why your beautiful salon Balayage, Highlights or Tint service has resulted in a change in tone, only just a few washes post your appointment.

Why does my hair get brassy and yellow tones?

Brassy Tones

How to reduce brassy, golden and yellow tones: the left side has had a treatment the right side is without

Hair that has had a developer application (an oxidant that is mixed with the colour to allow your own natural pigment to be shifted and the new pigment to be deposited), will also lift your own natural pigment to a lighter shade, as a result of this "oxidation" change.  So if your natural pigment is red (black to dark brown hair) you will throw up either a red or orange tone, if you are an orange natural pigment (light brown, blonde) you will through up an orange or yellow tone.

This is why, as your hair gets exposed to any form of further oxidation (sunlight or heat styling) after your salon service, you will lose some of your new pigment and your natural (now lifted) pigment will become more visible. You will then see more of the red, orange or yellow tone in your hair. The colour change that occurs is not a direct result of the colour application, but a combination of your hair's condition, porosity, exposure to oxidation, as well as your genes (i.e. whether you have a red, orange or yellow pigment).

How can I prevent my hair from getting brassy, yellow tones?

There are great products which will prevent your hair from getting brassy yellow tones but you need to think about what is your greatest exposure, as this will help to quickly quick start that protection.

Hair condition can be substantially improved by preventing colour pigment loss (that's the new pigment that you have added in as part of the new colour you have a deposit) with the help of Smartbond. Both an in-salon treatment and a home one, Smartbond, contains Maleic Acid which will remove any ion build-up, that can cause compromise the condition and porosity of your hair. The salon treatment will help repair damage to your salt and hydrogen bonds preventing your hair from becoming dry, brittle and porous.


UV protection is important too if you want to avoid brassy and yellow tones in your hair. Shu Uemura Art of Hair contains UV protection in its Essence Absolue range of products, as well as its styling range.  Like skincare, UV damage can cause ageing, loss of moisture, elasticity, and distress to those Hydrogen and Salt bonds that keep your hair strong and healthy.

More importantly, Shu Uemura has designed a range of products that are specifically formulated for clients who have colour.  Shu Uemura Color Lustre (spelt the American way) range has UV protection and contains added ingredients of Goji Berry Extract and Musk Rose Oil. Combine, they are powerful antioxidants working to Prevent and Correct damage, as well as wrapping the hair follicle in a protective layer of lipids that stop hair colour from being able to escape from the hair itself. 

Color Lustre is available as a ShampooConditionerTreatment Masque and a Thermo Milk (which is ideal if you use heat styling products protect the hair).

How can I treat brassy and yellow hair?

You can of course, if easier, have a toner/glaze service in the salon, your hair technician will be able to remove and revive your colour and at the same time provide added salon Smartbond service to repair your hair.

But if going to the salon is not possible then again Shu Uemura's Color Lustre range has brilliant Reviving Balm which contains blue and violet pigments which when applied to the hair as part of your home cleansing regime, will neutralise the orange and yellow tones if your hair. Left longer this hair treatment effects neutralisation, so repeat it more frequently if you feel you are more exposed to oxidation. This is especially true in the summer, during holidays and when the sun is bright in the sky.  Using the Shu Uemura treatment more frequently will keep the brassy and yellow tones in your hair at bay.

Colour lustre

Shu Uemura Color Lustre range

Shu Uemura Color Lustre Cool Blonde Reviving Balm (it's in the name), will give your hair that cool blonde/"Ashy" tone. It contains Linseed Oil, which again has an antioxidative benefit with lipids and it will give your hair, elasticity, moisture and a lustre (again in the name). This hair treatment for brassy hair is something akin to a salon toner/glaze finish. 

Whilst this won't work as deep as a toner/glaze and therefore not last as long, that said it is a great home maintenance alternative that is easy to use until your next salon service.

Remove brassy tones at home

Paul Edmonds shows you in this video completed in the COVID 19 lockdown, how to fix brassy orange hair at home. The hair used has a dark brown base with balayage and highlights throughout, that have gone brassy and yellow.

How to fix brassy orange hair at home


Keep your hair shiny, and remove brassy, orange tones with ease at home! To purchase any of the products from the Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre range or L'Oreal homecare Smartbond, they are available on the Paul Edmonds London Website Shop.

If you are looking for further tips and tricks to keep your hair healthy at home, check out our blog and Instagram – @PaulEdmonds217