The Best Hair Toner For Brassy Hair

Blondes may have more fun, but when it comes to blonde hair maintenance and fighting brassy hair, not so much. When lifting pigment from hair, yellow and orange tones become apparent. Using a toner for brassy hair is step one to keeping your blonde bright or your brunette cool.

When choosing the best toner for brassy hair, it is important to consider the definition of “brassy hair”. Often people use brassy to refer to warm or golden tones, but that’s not accurate. Brassy actually means unwanted red, orange and yellow tones in bleached hair, that become apparent as the bleach lifts the hair color.

To put it simply: caramel highlights can look great, light pumpkin orange highlights don’t. The natural pigments that are left in hair after bleaching scream bleach and are really unflattering. The best way to get rid of them is using a hair toner for bleached hair to cancel them out.

A toner for bleached hair is a low-peroxide color-depositing hair dye that cancels unwanted hair tones. A hair toner for brassiness has violet and purple pigments. The best toner for orange hair will be blue, whereas the best toner for yellow hair will be violet. The best toner for brassy hair is a blue-violet tone.

Even if your goal is a golden blonde, or a warm brunette, you still want to use a hair toner for brassy hair. Otherwise, the red and yellow undertones will make your hair look less beach blonde and more Lisa Simpson.

Best Toner for Brassy Hair

The following are the best toners for brassy hair that you should use after bleaching your hair:

Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde

Bestseller No. 1
Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde 2-Pack with CC Cream 20 Developer 3.6 oz. - COMBO DEAL!
  • Special Value Combo includes
  • 2x Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blond Permanent Liquid Hair Toner
  • 1x Wella Color Charm 20 Volume Cream Developer
Bestseller No. 2
WELLA Color Charm - T18 White Lady 6-Pack
  • Extra mild toner
  • Gentle to the hair
  • Tones pre-lightened hair evenly

Wella T18, also known as White Lady, is a powerful toner against brassiness in yellow and pale yellow lightened blonde hair. It uses a developer, so it’s not the kindest type of toner and it does smell a bit, but otherwise it’s easily the best toner for brassy hair you can find. The color lasts for a long time, and cancels yellow and brassy tones after bleaching easily. It is also easy to apply, as the developer has a creamy gel texture that doesn’t run off. It also gives the hair a very natural shine that makes double processed blonde look expensive and healthy.

If your hair is very yellow and less orange, Wella Color Charm T14 would work better. If your hair is not light enough (yellow to very pale yellow) this toner may not be as effective. You can check more about which Wella Toner to use here.

Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Shampoo Blonde and Silver

Sale $1.61Bestseller No. 1
Clairol Shimmer Lights Original Shampoo Blonde and Silver 8 oz.
  • Color-enhancing shampoo brightens and refreshes blonde, highlighted and silver hair
  • Renews and refreshes faded highlights and ash-toned hair
  • Removes the dull yellow in silver hair, and leaves hair shiny without residue
Bestseller No. 2
Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo and Conditioner
  • SHAMPCONDI147585
  • Health and Beauty

This is the best toner for brassy hair maintenance, because you can use it on the shower regularly to stop brassiness from coming through. It works great on grey and light blonde hair and makes blonde highlights shine. Even if it’s sold as a shampoo, it works best if left in the hair for about 20 minutes as a treatment against brassy hair. It is gentle with hair, so worth stocking on it if your hair is damaged by bleach and you don’t want to use a toner with developer on it again.

L’Oreal Paris Colorist Secrets Brass Banisher

Sale $1.02Bestseller No. 1
L'Oréal Paris Colorist Secrets Brass Banisher Color Balancing Gloss Treatment
  • In just 5 minutes, Brass Banisher's Color Balancing Gloss Treatment reduces brassy tones and unwanted warmth...
  • For natural, color-treated or highlighted hair
  • 100 percent ammonia-free
Bestseller No. 2
L'Oreal Paris Colorist Secrets Brass Banisher Hair Treatment
  • Brass Banisher
  • Brass Be Gone - Color Balancing Gloss Treatment
  • For Natural, color-treated or highlighted hair

This is another very popular glossing treatment and toner for brassy hair. It offers salon quality results on hair that has become brassy after bleaching or due to sun exposure. It will darken hair a bit, so if you are after snow white platinum locks you should use Wella T18 instead. However, for slightly darker blondes it offers a very natural result.

Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo

Bestseller No. 1
Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Shampoo for Unisex, 0.15 Pound
  • Cleanses the hair of dirt and oil while removing unwanted yellow and brassy tones
  • Organic proteins within the shampoo act as thermal protectors to repair damage
  • Recommended for blonde, highlighted and grey hair
Bestseller No. 2
Fudge Clean Blonde Violet Toning Conditioner for Unisex, 0.16 Pound
  • Help balance out the yellow tones from the hair
  • Leaving it hydrated and replenished
  • Smoothing and hydrating hair daily

This purple shampoo is the best toner for brassy hair if you have grey hairs that tend to go yellow, or a very cool, silvery blonde. It works in about half an hour and doesn’t smell badly at all. It is awesome at removing yellow and making hair look silvery white or steel grey instead of brassy, particularly if you use it as a treatment for about half an hour each week. It also gently washes hair and prevents color from fading.

Redken Blonde Idol Custom Tone Treatment for Warm or Golden Blondes

If you are a golden blonde but are worried about brassiness, this is the best toner for brassy hair you’ll find. It can be customised so less pigment is deposited when your color is fresh, and needs less. You just need to adjust the dial to the amount of brassiness in your hair, and go. In a world of violet and purple shampoos that only suit cool blondes, this product is a lifesaver for warm golden blondes that want their hair to look natural and not brassy. If you are a cool blonde, they also have a traditional purple shampoo that works in a similar way.

The best toner for brassy hair is usually a combination of two: a glossing or toning treatment right after bleaching and every few weeks afterwards, and a purple or blue shampoo as a maintenance. Being blonde ain’t easy! 😀

Best Hair Toner For Bleached Hair (Platinum)

The best time to tone your hair is right after bleaching, and your choice of toner will depend on how damaged your hair is. You want to avoid ammonia-based toners because they will damage your hair, and stick to color depositing toners.

If you are dying your hair at home, the best hair toner for bleached hair is a rainbow hair dye. Yes, I mean those hair dyes that you use to dye your hair rainbow colors. Manic Panic Virgin Snow is a great toner for brassy hair if you are aiming for silver or platinum blonde hair. It will work on hair that has been bleached nearly white, so a level 9 or 10 and it will condition your hair as you use it.

Bestseller No. 1
Manic Panic Semi-Permanent Hair Color Cream 4 Ounce (Virgin Snow)
  • Fades gradually with each shampoo
  • Ready to use, no mixing required
  • Gives highlights to darker hair
Bestseller No. 2
Sale $2.75Bestseller No. 3
Manic Panic Amplified Hair Dye - Virgin Snow White Toner Mixer
  • Virgin Snow Is A White Toner For Bleached Hair
  • Designed To Take Out The Yellow And Red Tones From Bleached Hair
  • High Quality

If your hair is not very damaged, another good option is an ammonia free hair toner for brassiness that uses developer. This kind of products use a developer to open the hair cuticle and fix the color, but don’t lighten hair.

Bestseller No. 1
Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde Toner
  • Vibrant, Long-Lasting, Fade-Resistant Results
  • Removes Remaining "Brass" for Perfect Blondes Every Time
  • Neutralizes Unwanted Warmth After Lighting
Bestseller No. 2
JEROME RUSSELL Punky Colour Hair Color Crème Platinum Blonde Toner 3.5 oz
  • The original semi permanent intense hair coloring cream
  • Vegetable based conditioning cream leaves hair vivid and smooth
  • Available in 26 colors
Bestseller No. 3
Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Blonde Toning - Ice - 2.1 oz
  • Contains support Polymers
  • All Blonde toner can be mixed together to create their own individual looks
  • Can be mixed with the Blonde Brightening and Weisskaschierungs creme
Bestseller No. 4
Purple Shampoo by B Uniq: Blue Shampoo for Silver and Violet Tones - No Yellow: Revitalize Blonde, Bleached & Highlighted Hair – Sulfate Free Hair Toner – 8.45Fl.oz/ 250ml
  • Combat Undesirable Yellow, Brassy Tones: Powerful purple shampoo contains intense violet pigments to...
  • Boost Cool Hair Tones: Stronger than traditional blonding shampoos, the vivid violet of silver hair shampoo...
  • Money Back Guarantee: For any reason you are not satisfied with the Purple Shampoo, please let us know and...
Sale $1.75Bestseller No. 5
Pravana The Perfect Blonde Purple Toning Masque 5 Oz
  • Coconut oil infuses strength.
  • Purple Toning Masque.
  • Incredible shine and moisturizes.

Best Toner For Blonde Hair (Medium and Dark Blondes)

As we go down hair color levels, the underlying pigments change. The best toner for brassy hair for darker blondes needs to cancel unwanted yellow tones. In some cases, there will be some unwanted orange hair color as well.

The best toner for yellow hair is a purple toner. Usually bleaching hair to blonde is not so damaging as bleaching it to white or platinum. This means a toner that uses developer is fine and won’t affect the hair negatively.

Bestseller No. 1
Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Blonde Toning - Ice - 2.1 oz
  • Contains support Polymers
  • All Blonde toner can be mixed together to create their own individual looks
  • Can be mixed with the Blonde Brightening and Weisskaschierungs creme
Bestseller No. 2
Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde Toner
  • Vibrant, Long-Lasting, Fade-Resistant Results
  • Removes Remaining "Brass" for Perfect Blondes Every Time
  • Neutralizes Unwanted Warmth After Lighting
Sale $2.00Bestseller No. 3
T11 Lightest Beige Blonde Color Charm Toner
  • Works On Naturally Blonde Or Pre-Bleached Hair
  • Made in United States
Bestseller No. 4
Bestseller No. 5
Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde 2-Pack with CC Cream 20 Developer 3.6 oz. - COMBO DEAL!
  • Special Value Combo includes
  • 2x Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blond Permanent Liquid Hair Toner
  • 1x Wella Color Charm 20 Volume Cream Developer

This kind of toner is best applied right after bleaching hair, and can be used to tone blonde highlights, ombre or balayage.

Another option that works very well to cancel yellow hair tones is a semi-permanent blonde dye . This kind of product contains ammonia, so they are better used as part of your blonde maintenance routine. They can also be used to refresh blonde hair that has turned orange due to sun exposure.

To use box dye as a toner for brassy hair you need to choose a color that is about the same level as your desired blonde. Instead of mixing it with a 20 vol developer, use a 10 vol developer to avoid lightening the hair further.

Sale $6.23Bestseller No. 1
Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Color Kit (Pack of 3) 7A/10 Sandalwood Dark Cool Blonde Color, Ammonia Free, Long Lasting
  • Pack of 3 Clairol Natural Instincts semi-permanent hair color kits in Sandalwood Dark Cool Blonde. Ammonia...
  • Natural Instincts hair color will infuse your hair with natural looking, radiant color that conditions. This...
  • Our Natural Instincts hair color lasts for 28 shampoos, fading naturally without harsh root-lines to keep your...
Sale $18.97Bestseller No. 2
Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent Hair Color (Pack of 3), 5A/24 Clove Medium Cool Brown Color, Ammonia Free, Lasts for 28 Shampoos
  • Pack of 3 Clairol Natural Instincts semi-permanent hair color kits in Clove Medium Cool Brown. Ammonia free...
  • Natural Instincts hair color will infuse your hair with natural looking, radiant color that conditions. This...
  • Our Natural Instincts hair color lasts for 28 shampoos, fading naturally without harsh root-lines to keep your...
Sale $5.18Bestseller No. 3
Clairol Natural Instincts, 010, Sandalwood, Dark Cool Blonde (1 Count)
  • Clairol Natural Instincts Hair color is shinier, healthier looking color with 100% pure Aloe and chamomile.
  • It gives you natural-looking color that's alive with shine and depth.
  • It is superior damage protection. Shinier, healthier looking color.
Bestseller No. 4
L`oreal Diarichesse Semi-permanent Creme Hair Colorant 7.01/7nb Natural Cool Blonde
  • L`oreal Diarichesse Semi-permanent Creme Hair Colorant 7.01/7nb Natural Cool Blonde
Sale $5.38Bestseller No. 5
Sparks Long Lasting Bright Hair Color, Purple Passion, 3 Ounce
  • BE BRIGHT, BE BOLD: For color that makes a statement: Purple Passion is a dark, cool-toned purple that is so...
  • HEALTHY BEAUTIFUL HAIR: Sparks conditions as it colors, leaving the hair healthier looking than ever before....
  • ENDLESS COLOR CREATIVITY: Sparks Hair Color is designed to be able to be mixed with other Sparks Colors. You...

A semi-permanent hair dye is the best hair toner to remove brassiness on dark blonde and light brunette hair colors.

Best Toner For Orange Hair (Light Brunettes)

Wondering how to bleach dark hair without it turning orange? Often, even if the end goal is blonde, you will need to spend some time as a light brunette in between bleaching sessions. If you bleach dark hair to light brunette without toning it you will end up with muddy orange brown hair. This is less than ideal if you need to leave the house, so a toner for bleached hair is a must.

In this case, the best toner for brassy hair that looks orange is a blue toner. As you are applying on brunette or dark blonde hair, you want to avoid lightening the hair further (which would cause more brassiness). The best hair toner for brassiness in this case can be  actually quite a deep blue color, as anything light won’t show on dark hair.

Bestseller No. 1
Bestseller No. 2
Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Blonde Toning (NEW VERSION - 2.1 oz); includes"Sleek Tint Brush" (STEEL BLUE)
  • includes a SLEEK Tint Brush for easy application of BlondMe Toning by Schwarzkopf
  • BlondMe Blonde Toning creams can be used on pre-lightened or natural base shades of 9 or lighter and can also...
  • The low-ammonia formula of BlondMe Blonde Toning allows for use directly after lightening or highlighting...
Bestseller No. 3
Schwarzkopf BlondMe Bond Enforcing Blonde Lifting Steel Blue 2.02oz.
  • Integrated bonding technology.
  • Up to 5 levels of lift.
  • Helps to protect the hair during development for minimized hair breakage.
Bestseller No. 4
Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Blonde Toning - Ice - 2.1 oz
  • Contains support Polymers
  • All Blonde toner can be mixed together to create their own individual looks
  • Can be mixed with the Blonde Brightening and Weisskaschierungs creme
Bestseller No. 5
Scruples Power Blonde Conditioning Gel Toner, Steel Blue Base, 2.05 Ounce
  • Scruples gel toner
  • Not tested on animals
  • Made in the United States

If you intend to bleach your hair further, your best option is a color depositing purple shampoo and conditioner. This will wash out before your next bleaching session is due. This is also great for maintenance if your hair tends to turn brassy. If you want to fix orange hair after bleaching you may need to bleach your hair again to a lighter shade of blonde, and tone the yellow away.

Judging how yellow or orange brassy color is is not easy. Generally speaking, brassy blondes have yellow warm tones. Darker blondes and light brunettes have orange warm tones.

If your hair is too light and you use any of those blue toners, you risk your hair becoming green. This is why the best toner for blonde hair is usually purple or violet, and lighter in pigment. So if you are trying to figure out the best toner for brassy hair and you are unsure try first with a purple shampoo or blonde hair toner.

Best Toner For Brassy Hair (Brunettes)

If you are brunette, your hair will have red pigments on it. Those red pigments require a greenish toner to cancel them. A purple or blue hair toner for brassiness will remove the orange, but not the red.

The best hair toner for brassiness in darker hair is usually a semi-permanent dye with ashy undertones. Cool brunette, Ashy brunette, they all use greenish blue undertones to create the perfect cool brunette hair color.

Sale $1.02Bestseller No. 1
L'Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Hair Color, 4A Dark Ash Brown
  • Super Rich Care
  • Super Rich Color
  • 100 Percent Long-Lasting Gray Coverage
Sale $1.02Bestseller No. 2
L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Color Care System, Hi-Lift Ash Brown
  • Leave Hair Soft And Silky
  • Excellent For All Hair Types
  • Paraben Free Formula
Sale $17.42Bestseller No. 3
Just For Men Original Formula Men's Hair Color, Ash Brown (Pack of 3)
  • Natural looking full gray coverage
  • Targets only the gray for a natural look
  • Works in 5 easy minutes
Sale $4.54Bestseller No. 4
Revlon Colorsilk Beautiful Color, Light Ash Brown, 1 Count
  • Long-lasting, high-definition color
  • Revlon 3D Color Gel Technology delivers natural-looking, rich, multi-tonal color from root to tip
  • Enriched with UV Defense to help keep color vibrant and dimensional
Sale $5.22Bestseller No. 5
Garnier Nutrisse Nourishing Hair Color Creme, 61 Light Ash Brown (Mochaccino) (Packaging May Vary)
  • Permanent, nourishing hair color creme with three fruit oils- avocado, olive, and shea
  • The only hair color creme with a separate ampoule of grape seed oil to start nourishing as you color
  • Rich, radiant, long-lasting color with 100 percent grey coverage

Choose a dye that is about the same color as your hair, but use a 10 vol developer with it instead of a 20 vol one. Ammonia free hair dye is kinder to your hair.

In a pinch, you can make a toner with green food coloring mixed with conditioner. This can be a great temporary fix if your hair turned brassy over the holidays until you can fix it more permanently. It is readily available online and on supermarkets, and you can fix it with your regular conditioner. Do not mix it with purple or violet conditioners though.

Sale $1.36Bestseller No. 1
McCormick Culinary Green Food Color, 1 pt, Premium Quality and Color in Every Batch, Great for Holiday and Event Recipes
  • By McCormick Culinary, the premium brand that delivers pure consistent flavor
  • Enhances treats for Earth Day, St. Patrick's Day, Easter and more
  • Add a pop of color from pale lime to deep forest green
Bestseller No. 2
Americolor Soft Gel Paste Food Color, 4.5-Ounce, Leaf Green
  • Soft gel paste is an effective coloring system
  • It's consistent from batch to batch; Certified kosher and made in the U.S.A
  • It has coloring strength superior to any other food color
Bestseller No. 3
Spice Supreme Assorted Food Colors Red Blue Green Yellow 1.2 Oz
  • Includes 1 of each - blue, green, yellow and red.
  • 4 - 0.3 oz bottles
  • Made in the USA
Bestseller No. 4
Bestseller No. 5
Chefmaster Liqua-Gel Food Color, 10.5-Ounce, Leaf Green
  • Used to color icings, buttercream, fondant, Gum paste, cookie dough
  • A rainbow of colors is available from Chef master, ready to blend together for creating your own custom shades
  • By adding just a small amount of this concentrated formula you can achieve the exact shade you want without...

How To Use Hair Toner To Remove Brassiness

You can use a hair toner for brassy hair right after bleaching, or as a glaze to refresh your color between bleaches. Most toners are applied on wet, towel dried hair. You will need to mix the color with a 10vol or 20vol developer, depending on the condition of your hair.

It is important to apply the toner only to the affected areas, and not to the entire head if not necessary. You may need to combine a toner for brassy hair on some areas, and a toner for yellow hair or orange hair in others depending on how your hair lifted.

As a rule of thumb, even the best toner for yellow hair will have little effect on hair that has unwanted orange or red undertones. This means you need to tone for the darkest undertone present in that section of hair, and an all over toner for brassy hair won’t do. This is why color correction is an art and can take significant time at the hairdresser.

Generally speaking, applying toner for bleached hair requires between 10 and 20 minutes exposure. But bleached hair can be very porous, so keep an eye on it and wash once the unwanted warmth is gone.

Color Depositing Toner For Brassy Hair

It is often not practical to tone your hair every week, and depending on your hair and circumstances brassiness can appear quickly. This happens more often to blondes, and can result in dull hair that looks yellowish.

The best way to keep yellow and orange at bay is with a color depositing shampoo and conditioner combo, used at least weekly.

Bestseller No. 1
Fanola No Yellow Shampoo, 350 ml
  • Ideal, for grey, super lightened, or decolored hair
  • Violet pigment tones down unwanted yellow hues on grey, light blonde, or streaked hair
  • Note: This product does not come with spill seal. Please contact customer care if there are issues with your...
Bestseller No. 2
Clairol Shimmer Lights 16 oz. Shampoo + 16 oz. Conditioner (Combo Deal)
  • Shimmer Lights refreshes faded highlights, removes the dull yellow in gray hair and leaves hair shiny without...
Bestseller No. 3
TIGI Bed Head Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo, 13.5 Ounce
  • Helps gently cleanse blondes while refreshing and conditioning hair
  • Contains purple toning pigment to neutralize brassy tones in blondes and enhance cool tones
  • Blended with Polyquaternium 10 to prevent and control frizz, static and flyaway
Bestseller No. 4
Joico Color Balance Purple Shampoo Plus Conditioner 10.1 oz.
  • Joico color balance purple shampoo 10.1 fl. oz. + purple conditioner 10.1 oz. duo
  • The shampoo and conditioner preserves 89 percent of your precious hair-color
  • Preserves 89 percent of hair color for up to eight full weeks
Sale $1.41Bestseller No. 5
Joico Color Balance Shampoo, Purple, 10.1 Ounce
  • Color Balance Purple Shampoo
  • For blonde/gray hair
  • Formulated to Protect and Enhance Your Color

If you are a brunette, you will need a blue shampoo instead of a purple shampoo.

Bestseller No. 1
Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo and Conditioner, 10 oz.
  • The shampoo and conditioner true-blue formula color-corrects on contact, instantly banishing those overly...
Sale $5.51Bestseller No. 2
Joico Color Balance Blue Shampoo 10.1 oz
  • Joico's Color Balance Blue color-balancing conditioner nourishes and protects while neutralizing...
  • Preserves 89% of haircolor for up to 18 washes (or 6 to 8 weeks)*
  • Tone-correcting pigments attach to the hair fibers & stay attached through multiple shampoos
Sale $14.01Bestseller No. 4
Bestseller No. 5
The Perfect Brunette Toning Shampoo - 10.1oz
  • Instantly eliminates unwanted orange/red brassy tones associated with brunette colored hair
  • Fights the effects of fading
  • Restores richness of color

As a rule of thumb, the best toner for yellow hair is purple, and the best toner for orange hair is blue. The best hair toner to remove brassiness from brunette hair is green.

Choosing the best toner for brassy hair is not easy. Take into consideration the kind of brassiness you are trying to remove and your hair color level before using a toner for brassy hair.

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