Is Your Hair Looking Brassy?

It’s happened to almost all of us—you fork over a mere fortune for gorgeous color only to have your strands inexplicably morph from that just-right-shade to a headful of brassy hair. “Hair naturally has warm tones to it that are usually hidden. When chemicals are used to lighten or alter the color, this underlying warmth comes through,” says Ben Stewart, color director at Cutler Salon. If you want to make brassy tones a thing of the past, you can, with the right techniques and color-maintaining tips and products.

Sometimes it’s hard to distinguish between brassy color and color that has some warmth to it. If your hair resembles any of these shades or descriptions, it’s probably time to visit your colorist:

If you have blond hair...
How it should look: Buttery blond, cool platinum and sun-kissed
How it looks when it is brassy: Yellow and dull

If you have red hair...
How it should look: Rich with tones of copper, cinnamon and deep ruby
How it looks when it is brassy: Faded or blond red

If you have brown hair...
How it should look: Lush, ranging from dark chocolate and mink shades to lighter tones like caramel and honey
How it looks when it is brassy: Orange, reddish or like the color of a penny