web analytics

How to Maintain Your Hair Color: Avoiding Green, Brassy and Faded Color

Prevent hair color from fading

Recently I shared some tips from Brad Johns on how to keep your blonde hair looking great, but note that many of these tips will actually work for other hair colors as well.

I thought I would also share my favorite tips and products to maintain your hair color. Currently I color my hair a few shades darker than my natural color, but I was a “blonde” for about 8 years, the brunette is a pretty recent change for me.

These product swap outs and treatments will maintain your hair color for weeks longer! No more fading color, brassy or green tints!

the best treatments to make your hair color last

1. Prevent Damage from Hair Color

Going darker will deposit color onto your hair, and won’t damage it at all. But if you’re going lighter, you can expect to damage your hair with the bleach. For this reason it is usually recommended that you stay within a few shades of your natural color and if you want a more drastic change you should do it gradually.

One way you can help prevent damage from bleach is to use Olaplex (more information in this hair mask post). Your stylist can add it directly to the bleach, and there is a take home treatment as well. It will help restore di-sulfide bonds in the hair.

2. Filter Your Water

When blonde hair goes brassy or green it is the result of metals, and that is in your water. A water softener can help somewhat, but it is better to filter the metals out of the water completely. T3 created a shower head (in regular and handheld versions) to help preserve your hair color, but you can also find similar shower heads at lower price points such as this Culligan version.

3. Clarifying Shampoo

Sometimes it is inevitable that your hair will get some buildup on it. Whether that is from styling products, heavy metals from your regular water or maybe you’ve been swimming in a pool. That is when you need a clarifying shampoo to remove the build up and chelate the metal out of your hair. Note these aren’t meant to be every day shampoos, they’re periodic use products to remove buildup.

After years of living as a blonde in an area with hard water and now as a mom of two natural blondes with hard water and pool… you can imagine that I’ve tried just about every clarifying shampoo out there. I’m pretty picky about which ones work and don’t work, here are my favorites. I use the Paul Mitchell on my 7 year old, her blonder (and pickier about shampoo scents) 3 year old uses the more expensive R+Co. I’m hoping to transition her to Paul Mitchell this summer!

Paul Mitchell Clarifying Shampoo Two
Oribe The Cleanse Clarifying Shampoo
R+Co Oblivion Clarify Shampoo
Pureology Purify Shampoo

4. Color Specific Shampoo and Conditioner

One of the best things you can do for maintaining your hair color is to use a shampoo/conditioner duo created specifically for your color! Each shade of hair has its own specific concerns, and you can address them every day with the specific shampoo and conditioner. I’ve listed a few options here for different colors, but you should know that these products come at all price points and for all shades of color, not just Blonde!

Blonde Hair Shampoo
R+CO Sunset Boulevard Blonde Shampoo
Oribe Bright Blonde for Beautiful Color Shampoo
John Freida Sheer Blonde Brilliantly Brighter Shampoo
Joico Blonde Life Brightening Shampoo

Red Hair Shampoo
Note because red hair tends to fade so quickly, red hair shampoos are usually color depositing shampoos. Rather than using one of these shampoos daily, I recommend periodic use and using a general color protecting shampoo daily.
Joico Color Infuse Red Shampoo
John Freida Radiant Red Boosting Shampoo

Brunette Hair Shampoo
Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo
Madison Reed Tune Up Color Reviving Shampoo
John Freida Brilliant Brunette Multi-Tone Revealing Moisturizing Shampoo

Grey/Silver Hair Shampoo
AG Hair Colour Care Sterling Silver Toning Shampoo
Matrix Total Results So Silver Shampoo

Color Protecting Shampoo
Note there are also just general color protecting shampoos that aren’t specific to a color.
Matrix Biolage Colorlast Shampoo
Kerastase Bain Chromatique
Redken Color Extend Magnetics Shampoo
Klorane Color Enhancing Anti-Fade Shampoo with Pomegranate
Bumble & Bumble Color Minded Shampoo

5. Products to Remove Brassiness

We’ve all had hair color turn brassy, even if you didn’t realize that was what was happening. It’s the super golden/brown tone that can dull your blonde or make your brunette hair warmer than it should be.

If your hair color is just “off”, you’ll want to neutralize that brassiness with a purple toned treatment product. Note that because this is an issue experienced by all blondes, many of the products will be labelled for blonde hair. However, they will neutralize brassiness in other hair colors as well.

I’ve listed both treatments and shampoos for this problem below. The treatments will work more quickly, but just swapping out your shampoo every now and then will prevent the issue.

Brassy Hair Treatments
John Freida Sheer Blonde Colour Correct Treatment
Kenra Brightening Treatment

Brassy Hair Shampoos
Matrix Total Results Brass Off Shampoo
Sexy Hair Bright Blonde Shampoo Violet Shampoo
DryBar Blonde Ale Brightening Shampoo
Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Shampoo

6. UV Filters

One of the main ways that your color fades is via exposure to the sun. If you’re wearing sunscreen, you should also protect your hair!

Klorane Mango Oil
Shiseido Ultimate Sun Protection Spray Broad Spectrum SPF 50+ For Face/Body

How do you protect your hair color? I’d love to know your favorite products in the comments below!

Affiliate Links

Sign up for updates

About Me

I’m a doctor, a mommy and a bit of a beauty addict. If you let me, I can take 2 hours to get ready in the morning. Really. I'm on a quest for faster beauty that works!

Leave a Comment


  1. 10.18.20
    Diane F Drinker said:

    Your recommended R+Co Oblivion Clarify Shampoo, contains PEG-120 Methyl Glucose Dioleate. This is a synthetic polymer that is a very popular skin care ingredient and is used to dissolve oil and grease. But, it’s also used in caustic spray-on oven cleaners. This petroleum-derived compound can alter and reduce your skin’s natural moisture factor. This could increase the appearance of aging and leave your skin more vulnerable to harmful bacteria. I certainly don’t want that on my scalp or hair.

    • 10.18.20
      Christine said:

      Just because that ingredient is also used in other products such as oven cleaners, doesn’t mean it is caustic to the skin. As you stated, it is very commonly used in many skincare products. This isn’t a one off where they’ve taken the active ingredient in oven cleaner and it is automatically going to burn the skin. (Oven Cleaner’s caustic ingredient is Sodium Hydroxide, a rather potent alkaline ingredient. But that doesn’t mean every ingredient in the formulation is also caustic.) This ingredient is included in many skincare ingredients because it is known to be safe and does a job.

      This ingredient could potentially be drying or irritating (as many ingredients are), but your skin needs to be dried out to the point of breaking down to increase the risk of infection or increase the appearance of aging. These are things that are a potential issue with every surfactant, which means pretty much every soap or shampoo out there on the market (which all also strip your skin of NMF, it isn’t unique to this ingredient). As a physician, I am well aware that the relationship between these things is not immediate and not as direct as you imply.

      Personally, Oblivion is one of my favorite Clarifying Shampoos. I use it about every 1-2 weeks all summer long, since I swim almost daily. Clarifying shampoo is a little more drying than non-clarifying shampoo, as it is intended to strip the hair of impurities. But that’s about it. It is not intended to be used daily.

  2. 12.22.21
    Tselmeg Erdene said:

    Hi, I’m on second trimester pregnant and I wanna ask about henna hair dye if it’s safe to dye my hair.
    HennA hair dye-unisex
    Ingredients: Lawsonia Inermis, Indigofera Tinctoria, Emblica Officinails Garth, Eclipta Alba, Azadirachta Indica.
    Thank you for your time!

    • 12.23.21
      Christine said:

      It’s fine! 🙂