Are your highlights letting you down? Chances are, it is because the toner applied over them has faded, revealing unwanted yellow or orange tones. On top of that, bleached hair tends to be a bit frizzier than uncolored curls and coils, and frizzy hair can give off a cast. If you want to banish the brass without damaging your hair, follow the tips below.

Image source Daili Perez

Start with a trim

If your ends are dry, they will pull down the rest of the curl, causing it to lose definition and appear frizzier. It is also difficult to keep parched ends moisturized because extra dry hair is more porous than the healthier parts of the hair shaft. A trim will instantly improve the look and feel of your curls.

Deep condition

Brassy hair needs moisture and a bit of protein to help it look and curl its best. Regular treatments will calm down the frizz, while helping to nourish new hair growth. Some tried-and-true curly community favorites include:

Use Butterfly Pea Flowers

These lovely blue flowers are antioxidant powerhouses. They are used in Chinese medicine to improve the health and elasticity of hair, and to reduce premature graying. When steeped as a tea, or boiled, they create a deep blue liquid that can be mixed with other ingredients to make blue or purple shampoos, conditioning products, and rinses. This is a great option for curlies who are struggling to find blue/purple shampoos and conditioners without sulfates, silicones, and parabens. Just add a little of this magic blue (or purple) liquid to your favorite products to freshen up those highlights. If you have brassy yellow highlights, use blue, and if you have brassy orange highlights, use purple.

For the blue liquid, you will need:

  1. 10 butterfly pea flowers
  2. ¾ cup water
  3. 1 fine mesh strainer

Variation: for the purple liquid, you will also need 1 tsp. Apple Cider Vinegar

In a saucepan, boil the butterfly pea flowers and water together until the water is a deep blue (about 15 minutes). You will be mixing this liquid with your shampoo, so you may want to remove the flowers after 15 minutes, and then allow the liquid to reduce further until it can be mixed with your products without making them too runny. Once you are done reducing the blue water, turn it off and then allow it to cool. If using, add the apple cider vinegar, and then stir. Use immediately.

Blue or Purple Shampoo Treatment

Mix the blue or purple liquid with a quarter-sized amount of your favorite gentle shampoo. Apply this mixture all over your head, carefully working it into your ends, and then rinse thoroughly.

Blue or Purple Conditioning Treatment

Mix the blue or purple liquid with a quarter-sized amount of your favorite conditioner. Work the conditioner through your hair, using your fingers to detangle. Massage the conditioner into your ends. Let the treatment sit on your hair for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.

Fermented Rice Water and Butterfly Pea Flower Rinse

Use this rinse to help strengthen your hair and give it subtle toning. You will need:

  • ½ cup dry rice, rinsed
  • 2.5 cups water, divided
  • Blue or purple liquid, prepared as directed above
  • 1 mason jar
  • 1 spray bottle
  • 1 funnel

Soak the rice in 2 cups of the water for 1 hour. Drain the rice water into a mason jar, and place that jar into a dark corner of your kitchen. Allow it to sit undisturbed for 2-3 days. When ready to use, mix it with the blue or purple liquid and ½ cup water. Shake or stir to combine, and then pour the mixture through the funnel and into the spray bottle. 

Spray the mixture all over your head, working it into the ends of your hair. Gently massage your scalp. Rinse thoroughly.

How do you bring down the brass? Let us know in the comments. For a great article on keeping your hair from turning brassy click here.