The surprising reason why your blonde is throwing 50 shades of orange   

You might not like the answer…

April 13 2022

Maintaining the perfect shade of blonde is hard work (dramatic? us?). It takes commitment, investment, time, and a killer purple shampoo. But if you’re using all the right products, following your colourist’s at-home advice, and still not seeing the results you want, there could be something else at play.

Here, Boho Blonde owner Kim Haberley explains the surprising reason why your blonde is throwing 50 shades of orange – plus, what you can do about it.

What are the most common causes of brassiness in blonde hair?

When we see brassy warm tones, we automatically assume that it’s time to book our next hair appointment. Yes, this is true, but there is also a little more to it.

When you lighten your hair, your natural colour is lifted to welcome new colour. And the reality is that whether you are a natural blonde or brunette, we all have some underlying warmth that bleach can often bring it out.

But this isn’t the only reason. Hot showers, UV rays, chlorinated pools, smoking and overusing purple shampoo can all contribute to your blonde hair turning warm. And they all have something in common: they dehydrate your hair, and sadly, can ruin your hairdresser’s good work.

Hot tools – hair straighteners, curlers, and the like – are also colour-changing culprits, especially if you have a toner or semi-permanent colour in your hair. “Heat damage can cause a colour change,” Haberley shares. “This is because of the breakdown of areas in the hair shaft losing colour pigment.” So if you’re noticing that your hair is throwing more warmth or fading quicker than usual, and you’re partial to a hair straightener, then it’s time to reconsider how often you're using your hot tools.  


Why does this happen to blondes specifically? 

“The chemical process of bleaching requires the pores in the hair to be open for the bleach to be properly absorbed,” Haberley explains. Bleaching your hair can strip the oils and nutrients out of the hair, which is why your colourist will recommend a bond builder or hydrating treatment to care for your hair during the bleaching process.

“We use La Biosthetique PCC ($47 at, which helps to restructure and protect the hair,” says Haberley. With the hair already brittle, hot tools cause “dryness, with excess heat sucking the moisture out of the hair”.  

Is it ever safe to use hot tools on bleach blonde hair?  

Does this mean bottle blondes should steer clear of hot tools altogether? The short answer is no – but you do need to proceed with caution. If you don’t prep your hair and proceed to crank up the heat too high, your hair will weaken over time. And let’s be real, while blondes are the most at risk, hot styling tools can damage all hair types.

What are the best tools, products, and techniques for blondes to stay healthy and vibrant?  

We’ve said it once and we’ll say it again: you need to use a heat protectant. Haberley recommends La Biosthetique Heat Protector ($50 at but other hairdresser-favourites include ghd Bodyguard Heat Potect Spray ($30 at Adore Beauty) and ELEVEN Australia Miracle Hair Treatment ($24.95 at Adore Beauty). If you do pick up the tools, keep the heat to a minimum: “We recommend nothing over 150-180 degrees Celsius.” Anything over 190 degrees Celsius can potentially damage your hair.

Styling tools are a long-term investment, and Haberley suggests sticking with reputable brands like Cloud Nine and ghd that have been designed to keep damage to a minimum. “Your hot styling tools, like flat irons, should have ceramic plates, tourmaline coating, and temperature control. If it does not have ceramic places and temperature control, do not buy it,” Haberley explains.

Maintaining the perfect blonde requires a special kind of relationship between you and your colourist – it’s about trust and honesty. “Professional haircare recommended by your hairdresser and having a proper at-home haircare routine will keep your hair looking vibrant and healthy,” Haberley confirms. So trust your hairdresser when they recommend that deep conditioning treatment, they care for your hair just as much as you do.  

5 quick tips for healthy blonde hair

#1/ Replace your drugstore haircare products with professional products!

#2/ Be careful not to overuse your purple shampoo; this dulls your bright blonde. 

#3/ Don’t put off your next hair appointment

#4/ Invest in a showerhead filter – this will help to lessen damage to your hair

#5/ Lower the heat setting on your styling tools and always use heat protection

Main image credit: @melissa.hernandez

Blonde sound like too much work? Why not try the copper hair colour trend instead…