Banish the brass? Expert colorist reveals how to keep your colored hair brass-free this summer

If there's one thing that makes any woman who frequently colors her hair cringe ... it's brassy hair. Colored or highlighted hair requires enough maintenance as it is, but it turns out there are some extra steps you should be taking in the summer months to maintain your color. 

We spoke with Jana Nigrovic, the senior colorist at Kieran McKenna Salon in New York City, and she shared with us a few helpful tips and tricks to banish the brass this summer.

The No. 1 hair tip you should be following in the warmer months? Stay out of the sun as much as possible! And while we find this nearly impossible (hello, the rooftops are calling our name!), Nigrovic did dish out some alternative options to protect your dyed tresses. 

"Wear a hat or scarf to protect your blonde locks from the harmful effects of the sun. If that is not an option, use a leave-in hair protectant or conditioner. You can also take a small amount of sunblock and use it as a light moisturizing cream in your hair, keeping it hydrated and sun protected," she told AOL Lifestyle. 

The most flattering blonde hair colors for every skin tone
See Gallery
The most flattering blonde hair colors for every skin tone


Gwen Stefani's signature platinum hue is "gorgeous with an edge," says colorist Marie Robinson. It's also tailor-made for the pop star's fair skin, colorist Rita Hazan adds, because the shade is so close to her complexion. That said, when your skin is this fair, take a cue from Stefani and try rocking one of her other trademarks: red lips. "Bright lips ensure that your facial features don't get lost," says Robinson.

Related: Celebrity Hairstyles That Will Make You Look 10 Years Younger


Margot Robbie may have shocked the world when she showed up at the Oscars as a brunette, but who can forget her equally striking blonde? "The shade works perfectly with her light eyes and light skin," says Hazan. The secret, she adds, is making sure to ask your colorist for Robbie's multidimensional mix of butter, gold, and honey. "This makes the color look natural—not bleached-out or overprocessed," she says.


The sexy star always seems to get it right, and her hair color is no exception. "Scarlett [Johansson]'s color is rich and warm, but still subtle," says Hazan. "It has depth—it's not flat or drabby—and it's perfect for her skin tone because it isn't too red or too orange." To copy the look, ask your colorist for a dark blonde base with cool-toned highlights on the midlength and ends.

Related: The 10 Best Drugstore Anti-aging Products


Kate Bosworth may have just gone red a hot second ago, but how beautiful was her lighter hair? Robinson says the brownish-blonde shade works because of its "natural-looking warm roots and cascading buttery highlights." When roots are tinted slightly darker like this, she says, they provide "richness and contrast," helping the color blend gracefully with her fair skin. To re-create it, ask for a "caramel base with lighter blonde tones through the midlength and ends, and pale highlights around the face," says Robinson. "This will make the color look very natural."


If you've ever doubted that Asians could pull off blonde, you've never seen this stunning example. The "modern, pale platinum" shade works on model Soo Joo Park, says Hazan, because it's balanced out by the tinge of yellow in her skin tone. It's a bold look, to be sure, but if you're ready to try it, Hazan recommends asking your colorist for an "allover ashy blonde with a slight golden or butter tone."

Golden Ombré

Confession: We have a major hair crush on Blake Lively—both for those beachy waves and for that beachy color. "Her sophisticated, golden-strawberry blonde has an extremely subtle ombré," says Hazan. "You don't get that harsh dark-to-light, so it's a more modern version of an ombré." To get it, ask your colorist to add varying tones of honey highlights through the midlengths of your hair on top of a light brown base, keeping the ends ever-so-slightly lighter.


Kim Kardashian may now be back to her trademark raven, but we're still loving that blonde phase. What made it work? The fact that the reality star didn't stray too far from, well, reality, holding on to a substantial stretch of the dark roots she was born with. "This is the proper way to do this," says Hazan. If you want to go similarly honey blonde, Robinson recommends asking your colorist to leave your dark roots intact. "That way, you'll still have depth next to the skin," she says.


Is it any surprise that Queen Beyoncé totally rules as a blonde? "Her baby blonde shade works because of the dark base," says Hazan. "The darkness balances the blonde." To get the look, ask your colorist for "cream and butter highlights," says Robinson. Another tip when becoming this blonde: Go slowly. Hazan suggests lightening little by little over three or four appointments, so that your hair doesn't turn too orange or red in the process.


Talk about a golden girl: Ciara's stunning honey-ish hue looks "natural and soft," says Hazan. To steal it for yourself, leave your roots dark (or ask your colorist to give you a dark brown base), then pile on several layers of highlights. "You want some of them golden beige and some slightly lighter ones mixed in on top," says Robinson. "Keeping the brown roots next to your skin ensures that you don't become washed-out."


And before you even consider jumping into any pool, the colorist with years of experience under her belt suggests thoroughly rinsing your hair first: "Bleached hair is extremely prone to discoloration from chlorine. If your hair is already wet before taking a dip, it won’t soak up as much chlorinated water."

But how about color maintenance in between salon visits? When it comes to maintaining your color, the right products are key! Her top three products? Oribe's 'Bright Blonde' shampoo and conditioner, Oribe's Gold Lust Nourishing Oil and Olaplex's No. 3 Hair Perfector

The Oribe's purple shampoo and conditioner "keeps the hair bright and lustrous without drying it out," while the nourishing oil "reduces frizz, encourages manageability and improves the condition of the hair whilst shielding the hair against UV rays and environmental pollutants."

For more on summer hair, watch the video above.

Read Full Story

From Our Partners