It’s no secret that I change my hair colour about as often as I change my mind, which is to say… a lot. I’ve gone from brunette to ombre blonde, back to brunette, to brunette with purple, to bright purple and finally to blonde in the last couple of years alone. The blonde has been the look which I’ve loved more than any other (apart from maybe the purple), so I’m eager to maintain it. Because my hairdresser (Cara from Daly Salon if you were wondering) just gets me, my blonde is a bit of a balayage style because I’m a lazy, lazy individual who would be very unlikely to bother getting her roots redone as often as they would need to be if I went fully blonde. Consequently, I have quite a few different tones of blonde through my hair and the darkness varies depending at what length on my hair it is. I was thus pretty intrigued to hear about Matrix’s new Brass Off shampoo which is designed to remove the brassy tones that come along with being blonde, especially if you’re naturally brunette.
I had a chat with the amazingly lovely and helpful Josephine from L’Oreal Australia (who are the parent company of Matrix along with a whole host of pretty awesome brands) via email to figure out if Brass Off would be right for me. Based on that conversation, she very kindly sent me both the So Silver and Brass Off shampoo to try. Today, I’ll take you through my thoughts and how to tell which would be right for you.
Which one to choose?
Which of the range, So Silver or Brass Off, will be right for you depends on your hair colour. As Josephine explained it to me, Brass Off has a blue-violet pigment which is better for neutralizing orange and deep gold tones. So Silver, however, has a violet pigment which is better for neutralizing gold tones. Based on our discussions, this is how it breaks down:
Best for: light brown, dark blonde and medium dark blonde hair
Effect: will reduce brassy tones over time
Best for: medium dark blonde, grey and platinum blonde hair
Effect: will reduce yellow tones over time
In my case, because I have a mixture of quite cool toned lighter ends with darker blonde and light brown closer to my roots, strictly speaking both would work for me on different parts of my hair. If you’ve got darker hair than mine (i.e. if you’re a darker brunette with balayage or just have lighter highlights in your hair), then the Brass Off would work very well for you. Otherwise, if you’re a lighter and cool toned blonde, especially grey, then the So Silver is probably more appropriate. If you’re not sure like I wasn’t, then you can do what I did and alternate between them. Because I wash my hair every day, I used the Brass Off two to three times a week and the So Silver all other times.
I’m going to review the two as one because they perform equally well and have almost identical usages. The only real difference as far as I can tell is the pigments in them, and even that you wouldn’t be able to tell just from looking at the product in your hand.
Using them isn’t complicated. You apply them to wet hair and lather up as you would a normal shampoo. The only real difference is that you’re then meant to leave it on for about four minutes and let it sink in. As previously mentioned, I’m a lazy soul so this was a little challenging for me. I tend to prefer to leave conditioners on to sink in but just rinse out shampoos quickly, partly because I don’t want to dry my scalp out and partly because I usually have to let conditioners sink in anyway because the ends of my hair are dry. Nevertheless I did as instructed. I was pleased to note that neither Brass Off nor So Silver dried out my scalp despite being left on for much longer than I’d usually leave on a shampoo. I do think, however, that I’d prefer to grab the conditioners from the range and leave those on for longer and leave the shampoos on a bit shorter, but that’s just because I’m slack and I’d rather kill two birds with one stone and have my conditioner do the heavy lifting for both the moisturizer and colour treatment.
The bottom line is that both of these work quite well. I still needed to put toner through my hair as often as I did before, but considering I was using a good colour correcting shampoo AND conditioner before, it’s a positive sign that the shampoos were able to keep up. I’d say the shampoos by themselves didn’t perform as well as my usual shampoo/conditioner duo but given that I was only using half as many products that contained colour correctors, that’s to be expected and it certainly did better than half as good!
The Brass Off did as promised and kept the brassier tones closer to my roots at bay. For my hair colour, I think this is probably the more appropriate choice for me for a shampoo. Because I shampoo my roots and avoid the ends, this one is more likely to be in contact with those places where I have the darker blonde and light brown tones which tend to go more orange.
So Silver, likewise, kept the unwanted gold tones out of the ends of my hair. With this one, I suspect that the conditioner option would have been more effective for my colour as obviously you don’t tend to shampoo right to the ends of your hair, but for someone who is blonde right up to the roots, or someone with platinum or ashy blonde right through, I think this would be great. For me though, I think this is in conditioner form would be great for my ends while the Brass Off shampoo would be good for my roots.
Frankly, I don’t think you can go wrong with either product. They do what they say they will and keep your hair clean and shiny in the bargain, without drying it out. I would definitely recommend picking up the conditioner as well for maximum results, but in a pinch even just the shampoos will help you get through. The price point is also a huge plus – they run about $16 a pop from Ry.com.au, which, incidentally, is about $10 cheaper than my usual blonde shampoo. I do find having to leave the shampoo on for so long a bit of an inconvenience, but if you’re not a crazy person who washes their hair every morning like I do then it probably won’t be a problem for you.
Overall, make sure you pick your product according to the guide above, or mix and match depending where you need which pigments, then you too can be a lazy person and yet still have blonde hair that looks like you’ve maintained it. Win win!