Celeb Hair Colorist George Papanikolas Tells Us How to Avoid Brassy Locks at Home


Celeb Hair Colorist George Papanikolas Tells Us How to Avoid Brassy Locks at Home
George Papanikolas. Courtesy of Andy LeCompte Salon

Social distancing and quarantining has brought many changes to everyone’s lives — and one difference people have noticed is in their hair. To help Us alleviate this stressor, celebrity hair colorist George Papanikolas shared his top mane secrets with Stylish.

The hair guru, known for creating gorgeous colors for Kim, Khloé and Kourtney Kardashian, Britney Spears, Penelope Cruz, Jenna Dewan, Hailey Bieber (née Baldwin), Madonna, Miranda Kerr and more, revealed how to avoid brassy locks — and suggested some styles we should try out for FaceTime and Zoom dates.

”This is a great opportunity to give your hair a break from heat tools, embrace your natural texture and give your hair a little extra love and care,” Papanikolas says.

“The biggest issue people are having is maintaining their color and other than grey roots, the second biggest issue is the brassiness. The brassy tones happen when the color starts to oxidize and fade, leaving behind the unwanted red, orange and yellow undertones,” the Matrix hair stylist reveals.

Celeb Hair Colorist George Papanikolas Tells Us How to Avoid Brassy Locks at Home
Jenna Dewan at the 2017 American Music Awards. Rob Latour/Shutterstock

To combat this, the colorist recommends using Matrix Triple Power Masks at home. “They are heavily pigmented to neutralize the unwanted brassy tones. … Blondes will have unwanted yellow tones, so a purple mask like the Matrix So Silver will neutralize them. Brown hair fades to orange, so a blue-based choice neutralizes orange. Finally, dark brown and black hair fades to red, so the Matrix Dark Envy Mask, neutralizes unwanted red tones,” he explains.

The stylist also religiously relies on the Biolage All-In-One Coconut Infusion Multi-Benefit Spray to keep hair hydrated and healthy. “It works with every texture and will help enhance shine, fight frizz, detangle, protect from heat and prevent split ends and the best part is it can be used on wet or dry hair,” he advises.

One thing to avoid right now? DIY hair projects and dramatic hair changes. “As tempting as it may feel, don’t attempt drastic hair color changes like going platinum, cutting bangs or really anything extreme unless it’s with your partner that you hate and are planning on breaking up anyway — in that case, go for it,” he jokes.

“There is a reason you pay as much as you do for highlights. It’s not recommended as a DIY because it requires not only strategic placement, but also an experienced eye to know when to rinse it out. If you take it out too early, then your hair will be yellow or orange. If you leave it on too long, then it could become too light and potentially cause damage and breakage. Most highlights also require toner which also requires an experienced professional. Salon corrections are expensive and the hairstylist cannot fix damage and breakage without cutting it off,” he warns.

Celeb Hair Colorist George Papanikolas Tells Us How to Avoid Brassy Locks at Home
Penelope Cruz at the 2019 Golden Globes. David Fisher/Shutterstock

Some hairdos we can attempt in the comfort of our homes for a fresh update: “If you have finer hair and wavy texture, then try spraying Biolage Airdry Glotion. It has a light hold and repels frizz without the damaging heat. If your hair is more coarse or curly, then try the Matrix Style Link Air Dry Twisted BoHo Curl Defining Air-Dry Cream,” he says.

As for styles that are perfect for virtual dates? “If you have longer hair, pulling it back in a ponytail gives a clean finish and if you have fringe, blowing out the fringe. They really only see the front, so you are able to get away without full hair glam,” he dishes.

The hair colorist will be sharing more expert tips on the Raise My Bar Education YouTube channel.

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