If you’ve ever left the salon loving your blonde, but finding that it’s morphed into a combination of yellow, orange, or red (aka warm tones), your hair has become brassy, and it’s time you toned. Toning corrects the warmer tones by adding in cooler tones, and increases the overall shine level of your hair.
That said, toning on your own can be a little frustrating; particularly because choosing a product that can actually yield visible results is a challenge. It’s important to get the right amount of color on your hair for a particular amount of time – and there’s not a lot of room for error. Luckily, with a little strand testing and a little oVertone, toning blonde is easier than it’s ever been. Hey, it’s in our name – we’d know.
Brassy hair develops when you’ve bleached or lightened your hair. When you bleach or lighten your hair, the warm tones from your natural color have a tendency to come out. The biggest culprit of brassy hair is lightening dark hair, because darker hair naturally contains more warm tones.
If you’re struggling with brassy hair, the good new is, it can be easily corrected at home.
It’s important to choose the right cool shade to balance out warm tones. Your best go-to for figuring out what cool tone to use is the color wheel (see below). Colors on the opposite side of yellow or orange are the cool tones you’re looking for. Hint: They’re probably either Pastel Purple or Pastel Blue shades of our Daily Conditioner.
Hair masks — which are pigmented, deeply conditioning treatments are great at deeply hydrating. We recommend mixing a few tablespoons of the appropriate pastel shade of Daily Conditioner with one of our Colorless Hair Masks and you’ve got an insta-toner! Not enough toning power? Read on to figure out the best ratio for your special head of hair.
While it might not be possible to COMPLETELY avoid brassiness, there’s steps you can take to prevent it as much as possible. The best way to avoid brassy hair is to avoid products with sulfates. Sulfates have the tendency to strip away dyed color and heavily contribute to brassiness. We recommend checking out our post about how sulfates mess with your colored hair.
Day to day conditions can also contribute to brassiness. UV radiation and chlorine are incredibly rough on hair. Look for leave-in conditioners with UV protection, and use coconut oil to protect hair while swimming.
Unfortunately many people live in places where the mineral content in the water you wash your hair with is high. Installing a shower filter can help to reduce the mineral content, which can fade hair faster.
As mentioned earlier, look to the opposite of your warm tone to find the color that will best tone your brassiness — like purple toner for yellow tones.
If you also have orange tones you’d like to see gone, you can mix Pastel Blue with the Pastel Purple too. Either way, we don’t recommend using Pastel Silver to tone, since it will not cancel out brassy tones.
Obviously, we always recommend strand testing, but especially when toning, it’s absolutely essential in order to know if you’re using the right color, or if you need to dilute it. In this video, we tried two strand tests — one using Pastel Purple Daily Conditioner, and the other with the same conditioner, diluted. The undiluted strand ended up being more purple than we liked, and having the strand tests helped us to know how to expect our model’s hair to respond.
If your hair is platinum, you probably don’t need all the color power of undiluted Pastel Purple. Dilute it by mixing it with plain conditioner or one of our Colorless Hair Masks! In the example above, we diluted in a 1:1 ratio, but how you do it is up to you — your strand test will tell you if 1:1 is not enough, too much, or just right.
We weren’t kidding when we said toning is easier with oVertone. Once hair is saturated, no need to let it sit like you normally would with oVertone. Simply rinse out after 30 seconds. Not sure what we mean by saturate? Take a look at our How To Saturate Your Hair With oVertone blog post.
If you’ve recently lightened or bleached your hair and it’s beginning to turn into a color you can’t stand — don’t worry. Toning is non-damaging and can quickly return your hair to the cool color you love.