This $15 Purple Toning Mask From Amazon Rids My Blond Hair of Brassiness

Calling all platinum, ash, and silver blondes: this is your secret weapon.

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True story: I started going gray when I was 15 (around the same age when my mom started going gray). At the time, I was a sophomore in high school and it was still many years before the popular silvery-blond look would become a thing. So to camouflage my silver strands, I started getting my hair highlighted blond, and haven't stopped since. To blend in as naturally as possible (and go as long as possible between pricey hair appointments!), I aim for an ash, rather than a golden, tone. But as any platinum, ash, or silver blonde knows, it's all too easy for your hair to become brassy, revealing the underlying yellow and orange tones in your natural hair color. It's taken me about 15 years, but I have finally uncovered the secret trick to banishing brassiness: Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Hair Masque ($14, amazon.com).

The last time I went to the salon, my colorist, Natalie Maria at Kinloch Salon in Brooklyn, asked me what purple shampoo I was using. I froze with the same trepidation as if my dentist had just asked how often I floss. After letting out a nervous giggle and mumbling the name of the drugstore-brand purple shampoo I was using (alternating with my beloved New Wash), she started shaking her head. At first I was afraid she was about to replace my under-$10 shampoo with some $50 high-end "miracle," but when she suggested a $14 Amazon buy, I clicked "Order" faster than you can say Pravana purple mask.

Compared to my old purple shampoo, which was a light violet shade that I would rinse out of my hair after a quick lather, the Pravana purple mask is a thick cream formula in the most vibrant shade of purple-blue I've ever seen. Seriously, this stuff will stain your hands (and shower curtain and bath towels) if you're not careful. And spoiler alert: It's just as powerful on your hair.

Similar to purple shampoo, this purple hair mask combats warm, yellow-toned brassiness with contrasting, cool-toned purple located on the opposite side of the color wheel. But because the dye is even more vibrant and the cream formula stays on your locks longer than shampoo, the effect is so much stronger.

While the instructions on the tube recommend leaving the mask on your hair for up to five minutes before rinsing completely, Natalie suggested I try a longer eight-minute session a few times per week. After my first time using the mask, I could see the results right away. Areas that were looking a little more golden than I would like suddenly appeared a cooler, more platinum shade. After one month of using the mask regularly, it's safe to say Pravana will be permanently replacing the drugstore purple shampoo in my hair care routine. Brassy-blond locks, you won't be missed.

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