What to do when your balayage has gone brassy or dull

How To Fix Brassy, Dull Balayage

The go-to guide for keeping your colour fresh

Beauty Crew Editor / October 17 2023

Balayage was meant to be the hair colour of our low-maintenance dreams. One session at the hairdresser once every few months and that was that – subtle ombre colour that suited both blondes and brunettes alike. A low-key finish that added just enough brightness and texture to hair that it looked like it was naturally sun-kissed. 

But have you noticed that somewhere between your balayage appointments the colour loses its oomph? That suddenly those vibrant blonde strands have become dull, or have taken on some warm copper or yellow tones? 

Sadly, some factors can stand between you and the best balayage of your life (think: UV rays, chlorine, salt water, heat), but the good news is that you can get your balayage back on track. 

Here are three things you can do when your balayage starts to look a little dull or brassy. 

#1/ Refresh the colour

If it’s been way too long between balayage appointments, a dull colour or brassiness could be a sign that it’s time to look to the professionals to refresh and revive your hair. 

If your balayage is more on the dull side (i.e. lacking that glossy finish), ask your hairdresser about L’Oréal Professionnel’s Color Correction #MyFlashLuminizer service. By adding a few subtle glittering gold highlights to frame your face and the front section of your hair, the service can help brighten and shine to your balayage. 

But if it’s warm yellow tones that have taken over your previously-perfect balayage, the L’Oréal Professionnel Color Correction #MyReflectsNeutralizer service may be what the doctor hairdresser ordered. This professional colour service will deal with any unwanted brassy tones by neutralising them with cool shades, adding luminous shine and vibrancy to your balayage. 

Both of these Color Correction services (as well as the third one - #MyColorSculptor) use INOA permanent hair colour, which is an ammonia-free formulation powered by ODS2 technology and has no odour and offers optimal scalp comfort.

Pro tip: Ask your hairdresser about coupling Color Correction with Smartbond – a salon service that helps rebuild broken bonds and repairs and strenghtens hair during colouring services.

You can find out more about each of these colour correcting services here, and you can find your nearest L’Oréal Professionnel salon here. 

#2/ Use toning products

Purple and blue-based hair toning products aren’t just for those with all-over blonde who are looking to nix brassiness and improve shine and vibrancy. Toning treatments can bring back the life of any blonde – highlights included – so when your balayage starts to look like it’s losing steam, use a treatment like shu uemura color lustre reviving balm for five minutes for hair that looks fresher and brighter. 

#3 / Go easy on your hot tools

Once your balayage colour is back in top form, it’s important that you take the right preventative measures to ensure the vibrancy and luminosity lasts as long as possible. One of the biggest culprits of brassiness and dullness is a hair tool that is too hot. Excessive heat can strip toner from your hair and can damage the follicle, both of which can lead to that compromise in quality and shine. 

The best option? Try to reduce your use of hot hair tools, and when you do use one, look for a product that has an adjustable temperature so you can control how much heat your hair is exposed to. For a straightener, try L’Oréal Professionnel Steampod, and if you’re looking for a hair curler, try the Beachwaver Pro.

Is it time to give your balayage some TLC? Please share with us in the comments section below.

Image: Getty

Carli was BEAUTYcrew’s Editor from launch in 2016 until May 2020. You can find her words right here on BEAUTYcrew, and previously on beautyheaven.