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Adding Food Coloring to Your Shampoo Could Be the Quick and Easy Way to Banish Brassy Hair


The trees are blooming, the temperature is rising, and the sun is finally shining — bring on the warmth… unless it’s on your hair! Getting the perfect summertime glow can be hard, especially if you’ve recently dyed your hair. The sun, hard water, and even touching up your color too often can strip blue pigments from your beautiful locks, causing them to take on an orange or yellow tint. The easy fix? Many colorists recommend using a “violet” shampoo (like Pantene Pro-V Silver Expressions Shampoo, $5, twice a week to help replace the lost pigments and neutralize the warm tones.

What does brassy hair look like?

If you’re unfamiliar with the term, brassiness refers to unwanted warm tones that show up in colored hair. Usually, this happens in darker hair that is dyed platinum or blonde, but brassiness can also occur in highlighted hair or hair that’s been lightened to brown. See the photo below for a before-and-after look. The Mystique Hair Studio in Michigan calls this transformation “brassy to ashy.”

How to Get Rid of Brassy Hair

Here’s a quick trick for getting rid of that brassy hair color for good from celebrity colorist Mike Petrizzi of Livian Salon in New York City. (Bonus: it doesn’t require buying a new shampoo!)

1. Combine two drops of blue food coloring, one drop of green, and one drop of red to create violet.

2. Pour 12 to 18 ounces of your regular shampoo into a mixing bowl, add two or three drops of violet food coloring, and mix well. For smaller bottles, add one drop at a time until you achieve the right level of color.

“Ideally you want the shampoo to look like a light, pearlescent violet,” says Petrizzi.

3. Use the DIY violet shampoo twice a week (or as you notice your hair becoming too yellow or orange) for a beautiful, rich, brass-free color!

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