Brassy Brown Hair

Brassy Brown Hair Causes and the Best Brassy Brown Hair Treatment Products in SA

It’s not just blonde locks that get brassy tones. It’s common for perfect brunette tresses to lose their richness and develop unwanted yellow, orange or red tones. Fortunately, the right hair products can neutralise red and fix brassy brown hair.

For in-depth information about what causes brassy brown hair, see our brassy brown hair FAQ below.

How to fix brassy brown hair

No-one wants brassy dark hair. To fix brassy brown hair, you need to treat your hair gently and use the correct anti-red brunette hair solutions.

For in-depth information about what causes brassy brown hair, see our brassy brown hair FAQ below.

Brassy Brown Hair FAQ

If you have beautiful brunette hair, either natural or dyed, you may be surprised to get red and orange brassy tones showing through. But don’t worry. It’s easy to maintain your brunette tresses – and treat those unwanted red and orange hues – when you know what causes brassy brown hair.


When you lighten or dye brown hair, the hair is first bleached to remove colour pigments. This exposes the underlying tones.

Hair colour is determined by pigment in the three primary colours – red, yellow and blue. All three colours make up brown hair with the underlying dominant pigment being red.

If bleaching or lifting doesn’t remove all the underlying pigment, these undertones show through to reveal unwanted red tones as the brunette colour fades.

Even when you simply add colour to darken your base colour, as it fades it can start to reveal unwanted red in brown hair.

If you don’t look after your tresses correctly, you’ll get brassy tones in brunette hair. The reasons why brunette hair turns red include using the wrong hair products and other external stressors, like:

  • harsh cleansers
  • bleaching chemicals
  • exposure to the sun’s UV rays
  • hot styling tools
  • frequent hair washing.

Have you been in the sun? The sun’s damaging UV rays can lighten your brown hair to reveal the red undertones that create a brassy brown hair colour.

Other stressors that strip colour to reveal the red pigment beneath include:

  • regular swimming in chlorinated water
  • washing your hair in mineral-rich hard water
  • using hair products that contain alcohol
  • certain medications.

Bleaching certainly increases the chances of your brunette locks turning brassy.

If bleaching doesn’t remove all the underlying red pigment in your hair, when the colour starts to fade the warm orange and red tones begin to show.

To avoid this, carefully consider your choice of colour and use an anti-red hair dye. Choose a neutral shade with words such as cool or ash in it. Avoid colours with names like gold, auburn or warm.

While your hair will look stunning, gold, auburn or warm shades tend to turn brassy more quickly when the colour fades.

Sadly, yes. Regularly swimming in a chlorinated pool can hasten the arrival of brassy hair.

Chlorine strips natural oils and dries out your hair, leaving it brittle and dull. In this damaged state, it’s difficult for colour to remain intact. Your beautiful brunette locks turn brassy orange.

A simple (though not so glamorous) remedy is to wear a swimming cap.

Alternatively, coat your hair in a natural oil to create a physical barrier between your hair and the pool chemicals. Oils like macadamia, coconut and jojoba work well.

Also, apply a leave-in conditioner, spray treatment or silicone-based serum. Try products formulated for swimmers, such as Malibu C Swimmers treatment.


Now you know what causes brassy brown hair, you can fix it at home. There are plenty of brassy brown hair home remedies.

You don’t have to visit a salon or spend a lot of money. There are many products available online that can be delivered to your door. These products, such as brassy brown hair shampoo, anti-red conditioner and brassy brown hair toner, directly tackle the red or orange tones in your hair.

You’re the proud owner of a head of beautiful brunette tresses. The last thing you want is for your hair to turn red. Take care of your new hue and prevent unwanted brassiness by following these tips:

  • wash your hair less frequently
  • use products for colour-treated hair
  • avoid sun exposure
  • turn down hot styling tools
  • regularly use colour-enhancing hair treatments.

If you find yourself searching for a brassy brown hair fix, try these at-home products:

  • colour-depositing shampoo
  • anti-red conditioner
  • hair toner for brown hair
  • gloss treatment to neutralise warm hues
  • mask for enriching existing colour.

On the colour wheel, the colours opposite counteract each other. The opposite colour to orange/yellow is blue/violet. The opposite colour to red/orange is blue/green.

To take out red tones, use hair products containing blue/green pigments.


Whether you’re dealing with brassy or red undertones, your best option is to start using hair products that are created specifically to counteract red in your brunette hair.

We recommend a three-step anti-red solution of shampoo, conditioner and a regular treatment, such as a mask or toner, to prevent and banish red and orange hues.

A colour-depositing shampoo is one of the most effective ways of keeping your brown strands cool-toned. It effectively covers red undertones to create a luxurious, rich brown.

A colour-depositing shampoo for brunettes has pigments of brown colour in the shampoo. The colour is not as strong as a dye. It builds up with use to maintain colour vibrancy and correct brassy tones.

Use a brown colour-deposit shampoo to boost your brunette and make it look livelier. The Celeb range offers some of the best colour-depositing shampoos for brunette hair.

Intensely nourishing anti-red conditioner counteracts the fading effects of harsh cleaners, chemicals and environmental stressors by depositing colour pigment. A colour-depositing conditioner for brunette increases the depth and vibrancy of colour so brilliant brunette tones last as long as possible.

The best colour-depositing conditioners flatten and close cuticles for better looking and feeling brunette shades. Use a colour-deposit conditioner after cleansing for restorative benefits and protection against the environment to prevent red tones showing.

Definitely not. If you use the colour-depositing conditioner every time you wash your hair, you’ll eventually get the vibrant, bold shade you want.

Leaving colour conditioner for longer than the recommend time won’t damage your hair.

If you want to neutralise red tones in brown hair or tone brassy dark hair, use shampoo and conditioner with blue/green pigment to neutralise and counteract the unwanted red tones.

It may take a few washes to tone down red hair and finally eliminate unwanted red tones but the colour will build up over three or four washes.

People with blonde, white or silver hair use purple shampoo to neutralise yellow, brassy tones. Blue shampoo does the same for brunette hair that contains red brassy tones.

Your blue shampoo contains a pigmented blue-green formula that instantly neutralises orange and red hues in your brown hair and banishes brass to leave it brighter, cooler and more vibrant.

It’s like colour-correction makeup for brunette hair.

Yes. Each time you lather up, you build up the colour that removes those unwanted red tones.

The best blue shampoos cancel out unwanted orange, red and copper tones in your brunette hair and keep your hair looking cooler-toned. At the same time, they strengthen strands, prevent breakage and add a major dose of shine.

At Hairhouse Warehouse, we recommend blue shampoos by leading brands Osmo, Crazy Color and Pravana.

Hair toner is a semi-permanent or demi-permanent colour, glaze or gloss that enhances the tone of your hair. The added colour fades in a few weeks, but a toner for brassy hair works really well to counteract warm red hues.

Toner is free of ammonia and peroxide. Brassy hair toner can be applied to natural, dyed or bleached hair to get red out of brunette hair.

Toning red hair can correct the unwanted orange or red tones lingering in brassy brown hair.