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The no 1 reason you get orange and brassy hair is this...


The No. 1 Reason why hair gets brassy

The number 1 cause for orange hair, brassy hair, yellow hair & red hair

The number one cause is really very simple...you did not lighten the hair enough.

As you start lifting hair, you start getting an undercoat, or secondary reflect.

Depending on the level to which you have lifted the hair, this secondary reflect is red, orange or yellow.

And none of these colors is typically what your customer wants!

Take a look at this chart of hair color levels and check it against your client's hair:

Why hair gets orange and brassy

if your client's hair has landed up orange or yellowish orange (which is typically what brassy hair is), it means you only lifted it to level 5 or 6.

You need to lift it further.

The number 1 solution is bleaching

The number one solution to lighten the hair really well using bleach, up to level 10. One you do so, you will fi there is minimal yellow visible and minimal brassiness.

Very often stylists make one of the following mistakes:

They don't use bleach

If you did not use bleach, you most likely underestimated how light you needed to lift your hair.

But if your hair is level 6 or darker (any part) you will need to use bleach!

Hairstylists are often unsure of bleaching.

They get scared that they will damage the hair or get breakage and as a result they typically "play safe' and under-bleach.

Sometimes their client says to them "Take me blonde - but don't use any bleach!"

But here's the problem: clients are coming to them because they want to go properly blonde without any brassiness!

And if the stylist can't achieve that, the customer is sure to be disappointed.

They use bleach incorrectly

The most common mistake we see when bleach has been used is that the hair was not properly saturated with the bleach.

Some stylists are too tentative with their bleach applications and do a balayage-type application. 

Or make their mixture too thick.

What happens is that the hair does not get properly soaked in a wet-enough bleach mixture to really lighten properly.

Lastly, many stylists mis-judge how much they have lifted. And rinse too soon.

They use poor bleach quality.

All bleaches are not created equal. In fact, different brands have different lifting properties.

Poor quality beauty store bleaches typically require much longer development times, stronger strength developer.

Sometimes even with the above they still don't lift.

Which Bleach Should I use?

It is really important when using bleach to make sure it is a good one and that it can really lift 6-7 levels without blowing your hair apart.

And not all bleaches pass this test.

At Ugly Duckling, we have a choice of 2 bleaches, Brilliant Blonde & Brilliant Blondexx.

Choice of 2 Bleaches

Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect - 7 levels lift

We recommend the white Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect for almost all cases. It's gentle thanks to the Bond Protect and produces a white creamy mix.

Stylists find hard to believe that the mixture is actually bleach and it is incredibly comfortable on a scalp application. And yes, it can be applied to the near root area without concern.

At the same time it has a very good lift indeed - up to 6-7 levels using just 20 or 30 Vol developer.

Brilliant Blonde Blue Bleach - 8 levels lift

For very very dark hair (for example, Asian hair, hair with color build-up etc) we would suggest you use the blue based bleach, Brilliant Blonde.

This is one of the most powerful bleaches out there & we always use it for very dark to very blonde hair transformations.

Use with 20 Vol or 30 Vol developer according to the lift desired.

Which Toner Should I use to get rid of Brassiness?

The good news is that if your client's hair is 7 or lighter, you can get your client significantly blonde without using bleach.

Just follow this table to guide you in your toner choice.

Blonde Transformation or Blonde Gloss Toning?

If you want to take your client significantly blonder, then use the toners in the first column.

These are our cream toners with ammonia, and then can achieve significant and permanent blonde transformation.

But if your client just wants a quick gloss toning service in-between 2 major color services, then use our the toners in the second column.

These are our (soon to be launched) liquid gloss toners, without ammonia.

If the hair is level 6 or darker, you need to bleached first, then tone.

Toner Choice

Why did i get green hair?

Dumping color onto your hair without lightening properly does not typically work out too well.

A case we get (a lot) is people who put a toner (which contains blue pigments) on top of hair that is too yellow ( in other words, on top of hair that has not been lightened or lifted enough).

The blue + yellow gets you to green - Simple Color Theory - But horrible in practice!

Don't be like that, and lighten and lift properly before using toners.

Green hair

About the author

Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.