Ask The Beauty Editor: How Can I Stop My Blonde Hair From Looking So Dull?

By Ashleigh Cometti
Billie Eilish debuted platinum blonde locks back in 2021 and had everyone rushing to the salon with her photo.

Dear Beauty Editor,

I’m religious with my hair colour appointments, booking in every eight weeks for a half head of blonde highlights. But I find by the time I’m a month out from my next appointment that my hair has gone from being the creamy, ash blonde I walked out

What am I doing wrong? I’d love for my hair to look its creamy best for the full eight weeks before my next touch-up.


Brassy Betty

Dear Brassy Betty,

How’s this for a jump scare: your purple shampoo could be harming, not helping, your blonde hair.

So says my hairstylist, who I quizzed during a recent trip to her Mount Eden salon.

Bemoaning the tank water I subject my blonde hair to (how’s that for rural living) she quickly interjected to tell me that overusing purple shampoo could be to blame for going brassy.

Regularly using purple shampoo can leave colour deposits in your hair, which build up over time and achieve the opposite of their intended effect — leaving blonde hair looking dull and brassy instead of bright and glossy.

The secret to ensuring your colour doesn’t throw too warm is to sub in a clarifying shampoo into your hair care routine, one which helps to remove those pesky deposits and thoroughly cleanse strands of any build up.

A good rule of thumb is to use a clarifying shampoo once a week, and on other days use your regular colour-protecting or purple shampoo. Always follow a clarifying shampoo with a moisturising conditioner to ensure hair is silky, smooth and manageable.

But purple shampoo isn’t the only perpetrator when it comes to causing bright, dimensional blondes to look dull — over washing hair and overdoing it with hot tools are also to blame.

Wash blonde hair two to three times a week to preserve your colour, and use a little bit of dry shampoo in between if hair is appearing oily or greasy.

Reduce how often you use hot tools on blonde hair, and if you do, remember to always spritz on a heat protectant first. Turn down the heat — you never want to be using a hot tool on its maximum heat setting on any hair colour (not just blonde hair) which can leave hair dry, damaged or brittle.

Whenever you can, allow hair to air dry or use a hair turban to speed up the drying process.

A shower filter is a worthy investment for ridding the water you’re washing your hair with from hidden nasties like heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides and other contaminants which can turn blonde brassy.

Hard water can penetrate porous, coloured hair, and over time can grab the minerals and metals which can change the colour of hair. Try Filtered Beauty Shower Purifier, $110.

Chlorine is also a big breeder of brassiness (ever heard of “chlorine green”?), so always ensure your hair is wet before you jump in the pool (hair can only absorb so much water once wet) and remember to cleanse and condition it thoroughly after your dip.

Love, Ash

Add To Cart

Honey hues causing you bother? These brass-beating toners and clarifying shampoos promise to achieve your brightest blonde yet.

No time to refresh your colour in between salon appointments? Olaplex’s non-drying toning shampoo works triple duty to cleanse, tone and hydrate all manner of blonde, lightened and grey hair from root to tip.

Yeet yellow tones with this deep violet shampoo, which defends against colour fading and neutralises unwanted brassy tones. The sulphate-free formula works in as little as three minutes to brighten lightened or grey hair.

A chic addition to any shower, Kevin Murphy’s colour-enhancing shampoos restores dull blonde hair back to its original glory — from vanilla latte through to icy platinum. It does so thanks to rich formulation of essential fatty acids which maintain cool tones, restore shine and brightness, and prevent colour stripping.

Deeply cleanse hair with this citrussy shampoo bar, designed to lift impurities, oils, chlorine and styling product build-up from hair, leaving it balanced and nourished.

Take it from someone who’s tried it — this detoxifying shampoo means business. It’s laced with Binchotan charcoal (hence the colour) and plant-based exfoliants to remove product build-up, dead skin and excess oil, rebalancing the scalp and roots with a blend of key vitamins and minerals.

Cleanse hair without stripping its surface oils with this clarifying shampoo, which promises to remove hard water deposits and impurities while leaving hair soft, healthy and shiny. It does so with its blend of chelating agents and apple cider vinegar, alongside hydrolysed keratin to soften and smooth.

You asked, Ashleigh Cometti answered.

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