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How to Fix Any Brassy Hair in Exactly 40 Minutes


Do you have orange, yellow or brassy hair that needs fixing?

Did you know that any brassy hair can be fixed - in just 40 minutes?

Professional colorists do this in the salon all the time.

In this article we will show you how you can do it too.

You will learn:

  • Why hair goes brassy
  • How you can go about color correcting for brassy hair
  • How to lift hair using bleach
  • How to choose the right toner your hair
  • How to maintain your color corrected hair over time.

In the process you will learn how to fix any brassy hair perfectly in just 40 minutes.

We'll also give you a choice of products that you can use according to the exact color you are looking to achieve.

Let's start now!


Why Does Hair Go Brassy?

Brassy Hair

Brassy Hair

Hair is brassy for one reason and one reason only.

It is because it has not been lifted enough.

In other words not all the way to level 10 extra light blonde.

Usually this lifting has been done either with bleach or developer. 

And it has been done imperfectly, so that the hair's underlying reflects show through.

This underlying reflect could be orange, or yellow-orange  or orange-yellow.

Getting these warm reflects is totally normal. It's the way all human hair functions.

Have a look at some of the pictures below and you'll see.

What should I do to color-correct for brassy hair?

Bleaching Levels

Use this chart to assess the level your brassy hair is at.

If your underlying reflect shows any trace of orange, either orange-yellow or yellow-orange, that means you are at level 8 or lower.

And that means that you need to use bleach before you do anything else.

If your hair is orange or lighter, the bleaching process should not take you more than about 20 minutes.

Which Bleach Should I Use and How do I Apply it?

Brilliant Blondexx

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach with Bond Protect

We would suggest you use a quality bleach like Brilliant Blondexx.

You will find that it will achieve a powerful, fast effective lift without the use of unnecessarily strong developers which blow up the hair.

Brilliant Blondexx is also a very fast-acting bleach.

If your or your client's hair is orange, 20 Vol developer will be strong enough.

Make a nice wet bleach mixture using 1 part bleach to 2 parts developer.

Saturate the hair very well so that it is literally drenched in the mix - hair lifts very well that way.

If the root part lis also orange, then do that part last because it will lift faster than any other part.

Watch the hair as it lifts and check how fast it is lifting.

After 10 minutes, if it is still looking orange, make some more mix and re-apply to the parts that need it.

Rinse off when you see the level that you are looking for.

Remember that level 10 very pale yellow is ideal for all women looking to go white blonde.

Level 9 yellow is acceptable for women looking to go medium blonde.

The whole bleaching process should not take you much more than 20-25 minutes.

When done, rinse.

What Should I Do After Bleaching?

After you have bleached, you should have a nice clean head of hair, all lifted to one consistent color, looking something like this:

Now you are ready to tone.

What are hair toners and How do They Work?

Toners Color Correct Using Blue & Purple

How Toners Work: Using Blue and Purple To Counteract Yellow-Orange & Yellow Tones.

Hair toners open up the hair cuticle and color correct the hair's melanin.

They color-correct for yellow and orange, generally using blue and purple pigments.

As you can see from the table below, these are the colors that most effectively neutralize yellow and brassiness.

Some toner also lift the hair up, which is very helpful if you are trying to get to a very white blonde.

Which Toner Should I Use?

There are essentially 4 types of toning solutions you need to know about.

We will go through these now.

Toners With Extra Lift

Intense Pear Blonde 100V

Result After Using Intense Pearl Blonde 100V - Purple Based Toner with Added Lift. Hair by Elona Taki

The following toners have extra lift:

Purple-based intense pearl blonde 100V 

Blue-based intense silver blonde 100B.

These toners contain special ingredients which lift up the hair (even after bleaching).

Only Ugly Duckling has this technology to lift and tone in this way.

If you are looking to go ultra white blonde or platinum blonde, these are the toners that you should use.

Use intense pearl blonde for an ultra cold white blonde and use intense silver blonde for a more natural blonde.

Mix with 20 Vol developer in a ratio of 1 part toner to 2 parts developer and apply quickly using a tint brush.

Once again, apply to the root section later in order to avoid a hot root - the root part always lifts the fastest.

15 minutes of toning should be enough.

Rinse as soon as you see your desired color coming through.

Toners With Regular Lift

Result After USing Blue Based Blonde 10.1B

Result After Using Blue Based Ash Blonde 10.1b. Hair by Brittney.

Result After Using Purple Based 10.2

Result After Using Purple Based Toner 10V. Hair by Elona Taki

There are 4 toners which are best sellers at Ugly Duckling and which we would specially recommend here.

All have regular lift, plus extremely strong blue, purple and grey (ash) based pigments which do the job of kicking out brassiness.

These toners will produce very clear, vivid accurate blonde results.

They are given below:

Pearl Blonde 10V

Silver Blonde 10B

Blue based Extra Light Cold Blonde 10.1b

Purple based 10.2

Use them also with 20 Vol developer, with a 1 +2 mix ratio.

Rinse when you see the color you want coming through.

Once again, 15 minutes of toning should be enough.

Ammonia-Free Liquid Toners

Hair Toned with Natural Violet Blonde

Hair Toned with Blondify Natural Ash Blonde. Hair by Elona Taki

Ammonia-free toners are what is known as semi-permanent colors.

They do the same thing as other toners, but without ammonia.

They are in liquid form, you make your mix by shaking in an applicator bottle.

Then you can pour the mix onto the hair hair and just rub it in.

So very easy to use and almost error-free.

Ugly Duckling's ammonia-free toners are called Blondify.

They contain blue and purple toning pigments.

You should apply them on properly bleached hair, as they have limited to no lift.

You can also apply them onto blonde faded highlights to refresh and tone them.

Use the violet based toners if your hair is yellow after bleaching.

And use the blue based toners if your hair is yellow-orange after bleaching.

In addition to blue and violet (purple based toners), you can also use Purple Grey and Clear (soon to be launched!)

Purple Grey will give added pigmentation and help you neutralize very very brassy hair.

Clear will give some added lift while toning.

Mix these with your other Blondify toners to give added nuance, depth and lift.

Purple Shampoo and Mask

Purple Mask Being Used

Using Purple Shampoo and Mask at the Back Wash

This last type of toner is purple based shampoo and mask.

This is not a true toning product in the sense that it does not penetrate into the hair cuticle.

However, it will color correct the hair from outside the hair shaft.

And it works amazingly well to correct for light yellow.

You can expect it to last a few days - up to 1 week.

So you will need to re-apply every week.

However, the good news is that while you are doing so, you are also conditioning your hair.

Ugly Duckling's Purple Shampoo and Mask are sulfate-free, and acid-based formulas.

Meaning they will make your hair stronger, more moisuturized and healthier every time you use them.

How Should I Maintain the Color Of My Hair Over Time?

Bond Protect Shampoo & Mask

Bond Protect Shampoo & Mask.

Once you've achieved the perfect shade of blonde, it's important to take steps to maintain the color over time until its time to fix your roots again.

Keep using Purple Shampoo and Mask once a week. It will help you keep your hair from getting warm.

Also, try and avoid heat styling as much as you can.

You should also use Brilliant Blondexx shampoo and mask.

It has been developed for bleached and lightened hair and will make your hair stronger and thicker.

As well as prevent hair breakage - thanks to the Bond Protect.

Working fast, doing the above recommended steps of bleach followed by toning should take you around 40 minutes or so.

At the end, you will find that you have achieved perfectly lifted & toned hair, with no brassiness.

Maintain this hair and you should be good until your next major root regrowth.

Good Luck!


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.

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