How to Keep Beach Blonde Hair from Going Brassy

Rachel Krause


We’re of the mind that everyone should go blonde at least once in their lives. Blondes don’t necessarily have more fun, but it is fun to go blonde, that’s for sure. “Beach blonde” hair is one of our favorite ways to test the waters—it’s not quite ombré, but the placement should be where the sun hits, with lots of highlights but with some of your natural hair color preserved for a seamless natural look.

With that said, blonde can quickly become brassy, especially on dark hair that’s been lightened. When you’ve spent so many hours in the salon chair, who wants to have to return more frequently than necessary? There are a few effective ways to fend off undesirable warm, orangey tones—and they’re easier than you may think. Long live beach blonde hair.

Use toning shampoo or conditioner.
Cool tone-depositing shampoos and conditioners—namely, those of the purple and blue variety—are marketed towards platinum and grey hair, but anyone with highlights or lightened blonde bits that wants to keep brassiness at bay can use them to combat orangey tones. Using pigmented purple products too frequently can result in, well, hair that’s stained purple, so we recommend using them every other wash with a regular shampoo in between. Shu Uemura Art of Hair Color Lustre Cool Blonde Shade Reviving Balm (whew) is our top pick for a conditioning, color-depositing product that really works.

Always use color protecting products.
When you’re not using the purple stuff, always be sure to use shampoos that are meant for color-treated hair. Sulfates in shampoo are often responsible for serious color fading, no matter how careful you think you’re being. When you have colored hair that’s at risk of turning brassy, examining the ingredients list before purchasing is a necessary evil. We’re partial to Davines Minu Shampoo for holding on to our color as long as we can—it’s really gentle on all hair types, so it helps preserve color and won’t worsen damage. Using a color protectant before you bask in the sun is also crucial for fending off color change from the UV exposure. We like spritzing on Rene Furtherer Solaire Protective Summer Fluid before hitting the beach.

Invest in a water filter.
Problematic pH, minerals, chlorine—water alone can present a host of hair and skin problems, and color fade is high up on that list. A shower filter will remove those variables and prevent color stripping. The filters aren’t cheap, but they are worth it: Just think about how much you pay to get your hair colored in the first place, and how much repeat visits can cost you. Investing in a shower filter now can very well mean saving a ton of money in the long run.

Grab a DIY toner.
If you have some experience with at-home hair coloring and feel comfortable playing around with your hair, you can head to your local beauty supply store and pick up a salon-quality toner to banish brassiness. It’s a bit of a gamble, and we can never guarantee perfect results, but it can totally save you a trip to the salon if you know what you’re doing.

Read more from Daily Makeover: How to Keep Your Blonde Hair Color Intact This Summer