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 until my next appointment?”

To answer this and suggest a solution, we need to understand why your beautiful salon Balayage, Highlights or tint service has resulted in a change in tone, in only just a few washes or a couple of weeks post your appointment.

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, and therefore you see more of the red, orange or yellow tone.  It is not a direct result of the colour application, but a combination of your hairs condition, porosity, exposure to oxidation and your genes i.e. whether you have a red, orange or yellow pigment, this colour change occurs.

So what can I use to prevent the natural pigment from coming through?

There are great products which will prevent oxidative stress from occurring 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 thereby 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 condition and porosity to your hair, the salon treatment will help repair damage to your salt and hydrogen bonds without this amazing product, your hair will become, dry, brittle and porous.

UV protection is important too, 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, as well as having UV protection also contains added ingredients of Goji Berry Extract and Musk Rose Oil, in combination, 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 Shampoo, Conditioner, Treatment Masque and a Thermo Milk (which is ideal if you use heat styling products protect the hair).

When my hair has become brassy and yellow what can I do?

You can of course, if easier, have a toner/glaze service in the salon, your 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 it’s effect is more neutralisation, repeated more frequently if you feel you are more exposed to oxidation like summer holidays and the sun, then you can keep the brassy and yellow tones at bay.

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 also contains Linseed Oil, which again has an antioxidative benefit with lipids, it will give your hair, elasticity, moisture and a lustre (again in the name) 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.

Paul Edmonds shows you in this video completed in the COVID 19 lockdown, how it works, the hair used was a dark brown base with balayage and highlights throughout that had gone brassy and yellow.

How to fix brassy orange hair 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