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How to Get Brassy Tones out of Brown Hair

It's complicated.
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Coco Rocha at Christian Lacroix.

Welcome to our Hair Consultation column. To request an online hair consultation from celebrity hairstylist Tony Chaar, follow the instructions here.

Q: My natural hair colour is a dark brown. Currently it is a bronzy, reddish-brown colour with brassy highlights. I typically dye it seasonally, and this winter I am trying to get back to my natural colour!

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My roots are showing by an inch or two and my bangs have faded to what I previously highlighted and are very brassy (yellow). What is the best way I can get back to my natural colour?

I'm mostly trying to get rid of the brassiness and I've read that purple shampoos may work. If I dye it all dark brown, won't the brassy, yellow bangs show up after a week or two? How can I avoid this and keep it all dark brown? — Marie

A: Marie, you have a very detailed situation—so you have to follow detailed instructions, please.

First of all, for you to be able to go to dark brown, you must use a red-brown colour on the ends and all the yellow parts, but NOT on the roots.

You need that red-brown pigment to grab and stay, because your hair has been highlighted for so long. So the red-brown on the yellow hair will come out dark brown, like your natural colour.

However, if the red-brown goes onto the natural brown, it will come out red-brown—so you have to be very detailed in your application to avoid this.

Even if it fades after one week, you should do this same application every two weeks, and then the hair will eventually have enough colour deposited.

I would also like you to moisturize your hair every 10 days to two weeks with a deep-conditioning treatment. That will help the colour not to fade.

Tony Chaar is one of Canada's top celebrity hairstylists and the owner of Tony Chaar Salon at 140 Avenue Road in Toronto. Call 416-920-9965 to book an appointment.