How to Get that Brassy Yellow Color out of Your Gray Hair
Is Your Hair Going Yellow?
The last time I went to the hairdressers, she said my hair was going yellow. Now you have to understand that the region I live in Brazil, virtually everyone has either dark brown or black hair. I assumed, this lady hadn't cut anyone's hair that was blonde.
She kept harping on about it and told me there were products I could buy to fix it. I thought she was deluded, my hair was gray with bits of blonde in it, it wasn't brassy or yellow like this woman was implying.
It was only when I returned home and began to really look at my hair, she was right and I was in denial. This began my journey into what caused it, and how to cure it. If your hair has turned yellow or has a brassy tinge, then you'll find this page useful.
Let's first look at what may have made yours and my hair turn yellow. Now although I am saying yellow if you're a brunette or salt and pepper gray, your hair may have an orange hue to it instead of yellow.
Sadly some of the things we can't do anything about. Genetics plays a large role in not just our looks but also in our hair color, thickness (or lack thereof), and the ability to retain pigment.
As we age, our hair loses pigment and this is why it goes gray. The pigment is the color, whether you are blond, brunette or a redhead.
Now both of my grandmothers had almost white or light gray hair. My mother, well, although she had auburn hair, I never saw it except in photos taken before I was born. My mother bleached her hair blonde and when my father told her she looked like Doris Day, she remained blonde with the aid of hair coloring and always ranged anywhere from a platinum blonde to a honey blonde.
The climate you're in also has an effect. This should come as no surprise and most people who spend time out in the sun without a hat, will notice their hair goes lighter. However when you have gray hair, what tends to happen is that the hair goes yellow. This is why mine has begun to yellow. We have a UV rating in the extreme category and although I wear a hat when I am working outdoors, I tend not to wear one when I run errands. Here it is common to see people walking around with parasols or even using umbrellas as a parasol.
Air pollution can also cause gray hair to turn yellow. Again, keeping the hair covered will help ward off these problems.
For me, this isn't my cause but it may be for some women. I won't state the obvious that you already know about your health and smoking but it can turn your hair yellow. Much as the air pollution does, you have a lot of smoke around your head. Wearing a bandanna, scarf or fitted hat will help protect your hair. If you have ever cleaned the walls of a room where a smoker lives, you'll know how yellow they will be, this too can be contributing to your yellowing hair. Also if you live with a smoker and there is smoke in the room this could be one of your reasons for the condition.
I have lived with smokers all my life and now, I finally realize the possible hazard to my hair it may have been causing.
My hair is light blonde with a lot of white now showing. To get rid of the yellow, which is just damage from the sun in my case, this is the shampoo. I don't use it as my normal shampoo, just occasionally when I notice a tinge of yellow returning. For me, it is keeping my hair to its intended color and leaves it protected.
The Blue Rinse Ladies
When I was younger I always wondered why older women had purplish hair. I never looked into I just thought it was something that had become popular in their heyday and they continued it. Now I know it was a blue rinse to keep the brassy yellow color in check.
These special shampoos and rinses are not only for those going gray, they are for people who color their hair. If you've noticed your hair may look great just after coloring but then it begins to change albeit gradually. The reason for this is the pigments used in the dyes and colors begin to fade over time. The wide range of hair colors is achieved by using different pigment combinations. In these hair colorings, it is the blue tones that tend to fade first. What then happens is you're left with the strong tones of yellows and oranges.
By using a toner shampoo, you can put back just the color you need. If you think of a color wheel, purple and blue are on the opposite side to the yellow and orange. So if your hair is too orange or yellow, commonly called brassy. You need to regain that balance by adding its opposite color, which is blue or purple.
The colors that are suggested are blue for brunettes and purple for blondes and those who have gray hair. Although, as I said, there are blue rinses which are applied in the salon you can also buy the toner and do it yourself or use a blue or purple shampoo.
Have you noticed your hair turning yellow or brassy?
Other Causes for Yellowing
If you have noticed a yellowing of your hair after beginning medication, speak to your doctor. Some medications may list it as a side effect but others may not. If you are concerned about the discoloration, your doctor may be able to prescribe an alternative.
As we age, we tend to settle into a routine and may not be eating as well as we did when we were cooking for a family. Examine your diet, and see where you can incorporate healthier choices.
Stress is not only bad for your overall health, it's bad for your hair. Although it may take some time to show up, too much stress in your life can cause discoloration and damage to your hair.
If you prefer to find a home remedy and not purchase a rinse there are some home preparations using ingredients that you probably already have.
In an effort to go without shampoo, there was a trend some time ago to use baking soda. It's true that many of the dry shampoos have this as their main ingredient. When applied to the scalp it will remove oil. I have read that people use baking soda mixed with water and apply to the entire hair and then rinse it with apple cider vinegar.
Now I know you have read about the benefits of apple cider vinegar and if you want, go ahead and try it.
However, let's be clear, if you remember from your chemistry class, vinegar is an acid. So although you are toning down the yellow, you are in essence stripping the color away. The contrary is baking soda which is an alkali.
I have strong hair but I still don't want to apply baking soda or vinegar, even in a dilute form because I want my hair to be nurtured. Using a strong alkali followed by an acid isn't the right choice for me. If you have oily hair, then vinegar may help reduce the oil and strip shampoo build up. For me, I prefer not to use something that, although homemade and inexpensive, I feel it is too strong and potentially damaging for my hair.
Although some of the rinses and shampoos can seem expensive, they have been formulated to give you the best results. Let's face it if you weren't happy with the results, you'd never buy their product again.
I have read too many reviews in the forums who save their hair felt brittle after applying baking soda followed by a vinegar rinse. My mature hair deserves something better.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Mary Wickison