Do blondes have more fun? The OUAI jury is still out on that one. If you've ever taken the peroxide plunge, you know from experience that the saying only comes true after you've nailed the recipe for goodbye-ing brassy tones. Whether you're (trying) to have more fun in a high-wattage hue like Kim Kardashian or a balayage blonde like Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, finding a regimen that maintains that angelic color while also moisturizing it isn't as easy as a Google search. Ahead, celebrity colorists Riawna Capri, co-owner of Nine Zero One Salon in LA, and Lena Ott, owner of Suite Caroline in NY, spill their secrets on how they eliminate icky, brassy tones on their A-list clients, including the right shampoos, conditioners, and culprits to keep in mind while kicking brassiness to the curb.

What are some causes of brassiness in blonde hair?
Lena: It could be prolonged exposure to the sun, your shampoo, or it could be that you weren’t lifted light enough past the brassy tones in the first place.

Riawna: Brassiness in blonde hair is often a result of unwanted mineral deposits left in the hair due to your water supply, hair products that contain dyes, as well as shampoos that contain sulfur that will wash out your toner.  

What shampoo do you recommend to your blonde clients who want to combat brassy tones? How often should they wash with it?
Lena: Everyone who invests in a good colorist should have a Cleansing Cream in their regimen for the best return on their investment. We love Christophe Robin’s Cleansing Mask With Lemon. It acts as a two-in-one, so you don't have to use conditioner, it wont strip your color, and leaves the hair feeling moisturized.

Riawna: Blonda Shampoo by Unite, and Joico’s Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo. You should use these as you see fit, on average once a week. If you look in the mirror and see brass starting to kick in, it’s time to use a purple shampoo. The brightening shampoo can be used regularly, but in between any of those, make sure you’re using a color safe, sulfate-free shampoo so you aren’t literally washing your expensive salon toner right out of your hair.   

Can you use the aforementioned shampoos on hair that has blonde highlights or balayage too—or is it only meant for platinum blondes?  
Lena: Cleansing Creams can be used on everyone including brunettes, red heads, and creative colors. I recommend a Cleansing Cream for every three times you wash your hair, and then on the fourth shampoo I like something with bubbles again. Using a bubbly shampoo every time you wash is too much—for your color and your hair’s health.

Riawna: Yes, it can be used on both. Although you may want to use it more often with platinum hair.

Is the right shampoo enough to eliminate brassy tones?
Lena: The right shampoo is crucial, but if you have chronic brassiness you may need to rethink your color with your colorist.

Riawna: Not at all. For prevention, I highly recommend the @raindrops shower filter. A filter will GET RID of any unwanted minerals and free your hair completely of buildup. A purple shampoo will only temporarily mask and cover up the mineral deposits in your hair. Raindrops will free your hair from all of that as well as collect any chlorine in your water, which we all know what that does when we go in a pool—change the color and dry our your skin and hair. 

Do you recommend any specialty conditioners or masks to your blonde clients?
Lena: I love Christophe Robin’s Nutritive Mask With Temporary Coloring in Baby Blond to control unwanted golden hues without dulling the blonde out. You use it just like a regular conditioner, let it sit for a few minutes then rinse. Dependent on how often you shampoo, you’ll probably only need to use the mask once or twice a month. It's a must for clients who prefer a cooler, toned blonde.

Riawna: Joico's Blonde Life Brightening Conditioner and Fabuloso Color Intensifying Conditioner by Evo.

A post shared by Lena Ott (@lenaott) on

Are there any ingredients or unusual factors that contribute to brassiness that should be avoided? 
Lena: Stay away from harsh shampoos that are heavy in sulfates. Not just for blondes, but anyone with colored hair. Keep your hair out of direct sunlight for prolonged periods of time. If your underline pigment is strong and you are constantly fighting brassiness I recommend investing in quality products. There are many great brands out there, but there are even more that are not.

Riawna: I would avoid any styling products that may contain dyes. If you have blonde hair and your shampoo, conditioner or styling product come out in your hand as a yellow or orangish color, guess what—over time it’s going do the same to your hair. Blonde hair is porous, meaning it will absorb whatever you are using, whether it’s orange OR purple!


Find out how to switch colors without damaging your hair