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Welcome to SELF KERR, a new column in which noted Fixer of Problems, Jolie Kerr, will help you with your most vexing grooming, wellness and self-care issues. Benign nail fungus got you down? Are you looking for bath products that won’t make a huge mess of your tub?? Are you plagued by bruises that linger forever??? Ask Jolie for help! She’s here for you, and she Kerrs. (GET IT?!? OH GOD WE’RE SORRY, YOU GUYS.)


There are a great many fears a dark-haired lad or lass might face when deciding to go super, super blond(e) for the first time. Will my hair fall out? Will it break so badly as to require bangs?? Will I bear, in any way, a resemblance to Katie Maloney in Season 2 of Vanderpump Rules???

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That last fear is especially chilling, right? CAN CONFIRM. Because I am a naturally light brunette who sports an unnatural super, super blonde mane and a year or so into my Blonde Period, disaster struck: With every fresh application of platinum, the roots turned out brassy. One time I ended up with a full set of orange and blue highlights, which would have been excellent if I was a huge UTEP booster, but I’m not, so it’s just been crazy-making. I knew I needed a toning shampoo and conditioner to take the brassiness down — so I did the logical thing: I turned to Blonde Twitter for help.

And Blonde Twitter delivered, oh did it ever!

There was a problem, though. Sticker shock! Because, my God, some of the recommendations were jaw-droppingly expensive. I’m sure that $60 Shu Uemura stuff is great but wow $60 for conditioner is just so much money. But after weeding through all of Blonde Twitter’s recommendations, I found a decent number of options that cost $25 or less for both anti-brassiness shampoo and conditioner. Jackpot!

Clairol Shimmer Lights, $25
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

There are two words of caution to offer about Shimmer Lights. The first is that, yes, there is a smell issue. Some people are very bothered by it and others find it tolerable, comparing it to the way your hair smells immediately after a fresh color job. The other thing is this: If your blonde is very light (ash, platinum), be careful not to leave Shimmer Lights on the hair too long, and consider alternating use with a regular shampoo and conditioner to avoid ending up with purple hair.

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Joico Shampoo and Conditioner Set, $23
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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The Joico shampoo and conditioner get high marks for not smelling terrible, so if you’re sensitive about such things, it will be a good choice for you. It can also be used as a regular daily shampoo and conditioner, or you can use it as a leave-in treatment for lifting more severe brassiness.

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Not Your Mother’s Blonde Moment Shampoo and Conditioner, $10 each
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez

If you need to tone out brassiness RIGHT QUICK, the Not Your Mother’s Blonde Moment shampoo and conditioner is what you want. It’s a darker purple formula than many other brands, and fans of the product say that it can eliminate orange brassiness in three uses.

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Jhirmack Shampoo and Conditioner, $21
Graphic: Ana Luisa Suarez
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If you can get past the fact that Jhirmack markets itself as shampoo and conditioner for gray and silver hair, you should because it’s also great for use on very light blonde hair. It will lift yellowing, and it doesn’t cause hair to get staticky in the way some other purple treatments do.


Jolie Kerr is a cleaning expert, advice columnist and the host of the podcast Ask a Clean Person

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