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Why does blonde hair turn yellow?

Updated: Jun 20, 2022

Let me guess, you probably left the salon feeling like a blonde goddess then suddenly after a few washes you noticed your hair starting to look brassy. It can feel completely frustrating, especially if you weren't prepared for that! Let me break down why this happens, and how you can better maintain your blonde.

At the salon when we are lifting your hair with lightener, your hair goes through stages to get to the desired level(how bright or dark you are) you are looking to achieve. Lightner exposes the underlying pigment. Underlying pigment for lighter levels typically are between levels 7(orange)-10(pale yellow). From there we use color(also known as toner) to either enhance or refine the that color.

Essentially this color lays over the underlying pigment as a blanket. Each time you wash your hair, your blanket gets a little more transparent. After a few washes, you'll find that your blanket (toner) is no longer there exposing your underlying pigment (orange, or yellow etc.)

Often times people run to purple shampoo as soon as that happens, however purple shampoo is not always going to fix the situation. Purple is opposite on the color wheel from yellow, so for people who are a 8-10 purple shampoo may help neutralize unwanted yellow tones. For people who have more orange tones, you will benefit from a blue shampoo to help neutralize unwanted orange tones.

It's important to remember that color depositing shampoos such as, blue or purple shampoo, deposit a layer of color onto your hair each wash. The more you use it the darker your hair can appear. These shampoos can also leave your hair feeling dry. If over used it can even break your hair. It's always best to pair them with a hair mask to ensure the hair gets enough moisture.

Often times minerals, heat styling, and non professional hair products can change the color and texture. It's always beneficial to consult your stylist to see what the best option is for your hair so you can ensure you're maintaining your blonde properly at home. In salon we love to schedule our blondes for in between maintenance appointments so we can help balance out any unwanted tones and keep you feeling bright.

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