The Glass guide to keeping brassy brunette hair at bay

AS WE venture valiantly into autumn, many of us are left frustrated by our summer ravaged strands. That luxurious holiday spent frolicking in the sea and basking in the sun may have been essential for recharging our energy, but when it comes to our hair, it certainly hasn’t done it any favours.

Traditionally, this results in an early September dash to the salon, where that post-summer brassiness our highlights have taken on can be eradicated. For many of us, myself included, that means switching it up for a richer, darker shade, something more fitting for the muted, earthy tones of autumn fashion.

But more than just fashion contributes to this change – darker colours are excellent at masking the signs of damage, something that blonde strands exacerbate, and unless you’re naturally very fair, a darker shade is far easier to maintain than highlight appointments every two months. The issue with colouring your hair brunette is that, much like brassy blondes, even darker shades can far too easily take on an orange or red tinge, creating a very artificial look.

For bottle blondes, this has long meant utilising the pure magic that is purple shampoo, a highly pigmented violet formula which cleanses whilst neutralising yellow and orange tones for a cleaner, more silvery blonde. For brunettes, it only makes sense that a similar colour theory would apply – blue and green cancels out orange and red, so teal shampoos would surely be the best bet for eradicating brassy tones in darker hair, a problem which has only recently begun to be addressed by beauty companies with a wide reach.

So for those of us who darkened our locks as a solution to the perennial blonde plague that is brass, I’m very sorry to be the one to bring you this news. Alas, as it turns out, being brunette sadly isn’t the cure-all solution for a no-fuss hair care routine. It’s disappointing, we know, but never fear – that’s where we come in. Glass is pleased to hold your hand through this chocolate-tinted transition period, supplying you with the brass eradicating survival guide you deserve to be your best brunette self. Read on, and find out how to help keep your brunette hair looking as fresh and cool as the moment you left the salon.

Osmo Colour Revive Cool Brown

Best for: Raven-haired brunettes

Osmo Colour Revive Cool Brown, £7.99 for 225ml

The rich, near-black formula makes this perfect for any darker brunettes such as myself. It has a violet sheen to it which makes a nice change from the vivid aqua blue of some of the other products in the lineup, and also imparts an iridescent shine to hair upon rinsing. Plus, the dark formula means it refreshes faded colour, and the conditioning element makes it double as a hair treatment as well as a colour care product.

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper Colour Deepening Treatment

Best for: Reviving faded brunettes

John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper Colour Deepening Treatment, £9.98 for 150ml

Less of a toning treatment and more of a quick-fix for faded colour, this in-shower treatment delivers a shot of temporary rich brunette colour to the hair. It’s potent enough to deepen and blend highlights and will leave your hair feeling softer as well as looking richer, but its effects begin to fade from the first wash, so daily shampooers beware – this won’t last as long as you’ll no doubt wish it would.

Charles Worthington ColourPlex Toning Blue Shampoo

Best for: Brassy brunettes on a budget

Charles Worthington ColourPlex Toning Blue Shampoo, £.7.99 250ml

One of the most vividly pigmented blue shampoos on the market, this shampoo should come with a warning label – apply with extreme caution! Whilst its perfect for those with single-process medium to dark brunette colour trying to eradicate red tones, anyone with highlights or lighter tones or any kind should steer well clear – this strong formula will stain any blonde strands blue in a flash, and the aqua tint is seriously difficult to remove once its in there.

Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Ash Brown

Best for: Lighter brunettes and luxury lovers

Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care Ash Brown, £38 for 250ml

There are few hair care lines in the world as universally coveted as Christophe Robin’s eponymous products. Accurately described by Into The Gloss as “endearingly difficult to obtain”, Robin’s products are not only incredibly gentle and nourishing, but quite possibly the creme de la creme of the hair care world. His Shade Variation Care mask in Ash Brown is no exception to this rule. With no luminescent blue tones in sight, the light brown formula softens and neutralises brassy tones whilst adding an almost pearlescent hue to brunette hair.

Josh Wood Colour Everything Mask & Cool Me Down Shade Shot

Best for: Dry, brassy brunette hair

Josh Wood Keep Me Cool Shade Shot, £5 for 25ml and Everything Mask, £15 for 140ml

The celebrity colourist Josh Wood aimed to revolutionise the world of home hair colour with his namesake line, Josh Wood Colour. While the range has yet to set the blogosphere alight, many beauty aficionados have been quietly impressed with the mid-price range. Among the line’s highlights are the shade shots, available in four different colours, which, when combined with the everything mask, create a hydrating and healing toning mask. Crucially, you control the amount of shade shot that you mix with the everything mask, meaning you can tailor the toning strength to your exact brass-busting needs.

Fudge Professional Cool Brunette Shampoo and Conditioner

Best for: Eradicating red tones

Fudge Professional Cool Brunette Shampoo and Conditioner, £13.95 for 250ml

Two of the strongest products on this list, the Fudge Professional Cool Brunette shampoo and conditioner duo are not here to play around. The shampoo acts much the same as the Charles Worthington ColourPlex does. However, the vital difference here is the addition of the conditioner element – for those who feel that the toning shampoo would be too much for their hair (and trust me, it is strong enough only to be used very infrequently) the toning conditioner is a godsend. With a more gentle colour neutralising power, the conditioner can be used as more of a treatment, leaving on for longer to achieve a cooler brown whilst also nourishing the hair. For extra brassy brunette strands, however, this double whammy set will soon kick you onto the right path.

by Thomas Marrington