Makeover: How to fix brassy blond hair

By: Julia McEwen / Assisted by Katherine Flemming / Photography by Alvaro Goveia

Author: Canadian Living


Makeover: How to fix brassy blond hair

By: Julia McEwen / Assisted by Katherine Flemming / Photography by Alvaro Goveia
When Sue Paterson, 44, walked into Marc Anthony Salon in Toronto, she was game for anything, with one exception. "Don't give me short, spiky hair," she said, explaining that she wasn't interested in a trendy style fit for a 20-something.

What she wanted
Every morning, Sue wages war against her thick, naturally wavy hair, arming herself with her trusty blow dryer and beloved flatiron. Her main request was for a more manageable style. "I want something that will speed up my routine," she said, preferring a cut that would take less time than her current 45-minute ritual.

Before and after: Take a look at Sue before and after her makover.

What she got: Colour

For the past 16 years, Sue has been sporting a similar shade of blond, dyeing it herself for the past five years. However, she wasn't able to achieve the true blond she saw on the box, says Jenneffer Gutierrez, master colour technician at Marc Anthony Salon. "Her current colour is on the brassy side, a reddish blond, almost strawberry," Gutierrez says. "The brassiness is picking up the redness of Sue's skin tone," she says.

To neutralize the reddish undertone, Gutierrez lightened Sue's locks to a golden beige and applied highlights and lowlights in various shades around Sue's head. Once the foils were removed, a toner was applied to eliminate any lingering brassiness.

The new sparkling shade of blond instantly changed Sue's skin tone. "Her skin is glowing now – it almost looks sun-kissed," says Gutierrez.

What she got: Cut

Sue's former cut was long with very little movement. "She's playing it too safe," says Marilisa, artistic director for Marc Anthony Hair Care/Plutino Group.

Marilisa suggested a blunt cut with light layers through the ends to break up the heaviness. She started by chopping off four inches of hair – "I'm cutting off just enough to lift her face," says Marilisa.

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Find out which beauty products were used to give Sue the perfect look on page 2.
After blow-drying the hair and using a flatiron, Marilisa used a point-cutting technique to diffuse the layers. A mid-length fringe was added to give the style movement – while also allowing it to grow out with no fuss.

The verdict?
Sue adores her new look. "Wow! I love my hair. It looks and feels healthy and fresh," she says. Her styling routine has been trimmed down now that she's ditched her flatiron. As for the colour? "It looks so natural – I'll never use a box again."

Get the look:
• Marc Anthony Style Straight Iron Shine, 50 mL, $10.
• Marc Anthony 2nd Day Clear Dry Shampoo, 150 mL, $12.
• Live Clean Exotic Shine Bali Oil Smoothing Shampoo, 350 mL, $7.
• Bumble and Bumble Shine On (and on) Finishing Spray, 125 mL, $32.50.
• Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Oil Slick, 1.2 g, $22.

Tip: For soft, smoky eyes, try grey eyeliner instead of black, says Melissa Gibson, senior artist for M.A.C. "Black can be overly dramatic. Grey won't overpower light eyes."

This story was originally titled "Bright Idea" in the October 2011 issue.

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Makeover: How to fix brassy blond hair