The Best Toners For Orange Bleached Hair

Here’s how to bust brassy tones for good.

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Whether you’ve single-processed your way to silver hair or you’re a brunette with blonde highlights, when bleach is involved, there’s always the risk of unwanted brassy tones popping up. "Orange tones in bleached hair are unrefined warmth that is exposed during the lifting process," explains colorist Rebekah Norris to Elite Daily. "When you're removing the melanin from the hair, these unrefined tones can appear," she says, adding that "there is no way to minimize this from happening, but you can tone the hair." When you want to neutralize brassy tones at home, the best toners for orange bleached hair are sulfate-free shampoos and masks with blue or purple pigments. "Think about how opposites attract," says Norris of using the color wheel to determine what pigment is right for your hair. "Purple shampoos are great for bright or medium blondes, and blue shampoos are great for light to dark brunettes." And when at-home products won't cut it (or, if you don't want to take things into your own hands), Norris recommends booking an appointment at the salon. "Stylists can neutralize unwanted orange tones in between your normal hair color appointments by using a gloss like Redken's Shades EQ," she says.

The Expert

Rebekah Norris is a New York City-based colorist and educator at Cutler Salon in SoHo.

How To Tone Your Hair At Home

Because toning shampoos and masks are depositing pigment onto your hair, it's important that you follow the instructions specific to the product you're using. Unlike bleach, which alters the internal structure of your hair, toners deposit color on top of the hair shaft. While this is less damaging, overusing toner on hair that's been bleached can lead to dryness and brittleness. In addition to only using semi-permanent or temporary toners and following the directions, Norris shares that you should also be aware of your hair porosity (how easily your hair soaks up and retains moisture) when using a toner. "If you have thinner, fine hair, you should use a toning shampoo about twice a month," Norris says. "If you have thicker hair, you can use it more often," she continues, adding, "This is because finer hair tends to absorb more color, so you don't want to over-tone the hair." Then, in between using your toning product, Norris recommends you stick with a shampoo and conditioner that are color-safe and sulfate-free.

Shop The Best Toners For Orange Bleached Hair

In a hurry? Here are the best toners for orange bleached hair:

  1. Best Toning Shampoo For Brunettes: Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo
  2. Best Toning Shampoo For Blondes: Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo
  3. Best Toning Mask For Brunettes: Matrix Total Results Brass Off Custom Neutralization Mask
  4. Best Toning Mask For Blondes: Verb Purple Mask

1. The Pro's Pick: Best Toning Shampoo For Brunettes

Norris' favorite way to tone bleached hair at home is with a shampoo, and the Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo is her top pick for brunettes that have lightened their hair. In addition to the blue pigments that neutralize orange tones in brown hair, Norris likes that this sulfate-free formula contains citric acid to help balance the pH level of your scalp and strengthen your hair. You'll also find hydrolyzed wheat protein in here, which can help repair damage and leave your hair looking smoother.

Key Ingredients: Blue Pigments, Hydrolyzed Wheat Protein, Citric Acid Size: 33.8 oz. Cruelty-Free: No

Relevant Review: "I got this because my hair always gets brassy/orange between salon visits. I haven't had my hair colored for almost a year now, and it was getting really bad. I've been using the blue shampoo one to two times a week for three to five minutes each wash for about two months. It's made all the difference! Very impressed and will continue to use this!"

2. Best Toning Shampoo For Blondes

For blondes that want to neutralize unwanted orange and yellow tones, a violet-pigment shampoo is what you'll want to keep in the shower. The Moroccanoil Blonde Perfecting Purple Shampoo combines purple pigments with a moisturizing blend of castor oil, glycerin, and the brand's signature ingredient: argan oil. Like all Moroccanoil products, the shampoo uses cold-pressed, nutrient-rich argan oil sourced from argan trees in Morocco, which works to increase hair's elasticity and shine while keeping your color protected against UV damage.

Key Ingredients: Violet Pigments, Argan Oil, Castor Oil, Glycerin, Citric Acid Size: 6.7 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: "Wonderful and rich product that keeps my hair from getting that orange/brassy look. Very nice smell too! HIGHLY recommend!"

3. Best Toning Mask For Brunettes

If you've got more of a balayage color going on or notice that your orange tones tend to be throughout the lower lengths of your hair, try a color-depositing conditioner (this is also a solid choice for anyone who feels that toning shampoos are too stripping to their already fragile color-treated hair.) For brunettes, the Matrix Total Results Brass Off Custom Neutralization Mask contains a mix of blue and purple pigments that target brassy tones, as well as conditioning ingredients like soybean oil and vitamin E. If you're a darker brunette noticing tones that are more red than orange, you can also try the brand's Dark Envy Shampoo, which has blue and green pigments.

Key Ingredients: Blue Pigments, Violet Pigments, Citric Acid, Soybean Oil, Vitamin E Size: 6.8 oz. Cruelty-Free: No

Relevant Review: "Been struggling forever w orange/red tones in my light brown hair and have tried every product imaginable. This stuff works! I left it on for an hour and saw results so decided to try the mask overnight and OMG my red tones are now dark blond highlights. My hair is very healthy but feels super soft after overnight treatment, this product is seriously gentle and actually beneficial to hair. Try it, you’ll be so happy!"

4. Best Toning Mask For Blondes

Whether you've bleached your hair a blonde, silver, or gray color, this Verb Purple Mask can help reduce orange and yellow tones with just a once-weekly use. The conditioning mask was designed to be used on all hair types, and it contains panthenol, sunflower seed extract, and acai extract to further enhance your color by leaving it shinier and protected from color-fading UV rays. As a bonus, this mask is PETA-certified cruelty-free and vegan, too.

Key Ingredients: Violet Pigments, Glycerin, Panthenol, Acai Fruit Extract, Sunflower Seed Oil Size: 6.3 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: "In addition to toning brassy highlights to a nice soft, creamy blonde, the condition of my hair improved tremendously. I have tried many other hair masks, and this is by far the best one."

5. Best Toning Drops For Brunettes

Finding the right shampoo for your hair can take a lot of trial and error. If you've found a color-safe formula that you love and refuse to part with, consider a customizable toning product. IGK's Mixed Feelings Leave-In Brunette Toning Drops let you mix up your own toning shampoo (or conditioner, or mask, or leave-in oil) by adding drops of blue color to your favorite product (you can follow the brand's dosage chart for an exact recommendation as to how many drops you'll need). The vegan and cruelty-free formula is also packed with good-for-hair ingredients like blueberry extract, panthenol, and artichoke leaf extract, which offer conditioning and color-protecting benefits.

Key Ingredients: Blue Pigments, Glycerin, Panthenol, Prickly Pear Extract, Artichoke Leaf Extract, Blueberry Fruit Extract, Citric Acid Size: 1 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: "I needed an at-home product in between salon visits, and this product is amazing! I have light brown highlighted hair that tends to turn orange in between washes. I was generous on the amount of drops. I added this to my Olaplex leave-in treatment, wrapped a bun, then rinsed out after three hours. No brassy orange hues! My hair now has a cool brown tone with shine!"

6. Best Toning Drops For Blondes

Similarly, these OGX Blonde Enhance+ Purple Toning Drops let you turn any shampoo or conditioner into a nourishing toner for blonde hair. Just mix in three to five drops of the concentrated formula, and you can rinse it out after you let it sit for a few minutes, or you can even pair it with a cream-based leave-in product. To help keep your hair shiny and soft, the drops are formulated with hydrolyzed keratin, fig fruit extract, and castor oil.

Key Ingredients: Violet Pigments, Glycerin, Hydrolyzed Keratin, Fig Fruit Extract, Castor Oil, Citric Acid Size: 4 oz. Cruelty-Free: No

Relevant Review: "I liked the scent and how soft it left my hair. It also got the orange undertones out of my blonde hair."

7. Best At-Home Toning Hair Gloss For Brunettes

You may already know how great a gloss can be when it comes to adding noticeable shine and leaving your hair instantly smoother. But you can also use a pigmented gloss to neutralize unwanted warm tones while still getting all of those other benefits. Pureology’s Color Fanatic Top Coat + Tone combines blue pigments with sunflower seed extract, camellia seed oil, and oat kernel extract to leave you with richer color and hair that immediately looks and feels healthier. This is best-suited for dark blondes and brunettes, and its results last for up to eight washes, according to the brand.

Key Ingredients: Blue Pigments, Coconut Oil, Camellia Seed Oil, Sunflower Seed Extract, Oat Kernel Extract Size: 6.7 oz. Cruelty-Free: Yes

Relevant Review: "I've used several purple products over the years. I have dark blonde balayage that looks bright and amazing when I step out of the salon but tends to get brassy as the months go on. This product does a great job on cutting back the brassy tones. Some other purple conditioners and shampoos I have tried leave my hair feeling dry but this one leaves my hair feeling great! I use it a few times a month and that's enough to keep my color in line. Pureology consitently puts out quality products and this one lives up to their good name."

8. Best At-Home Toning Hair Gloss For Blondes

You don't really need any special skills to use an at-home gloss like this L'Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss. The ‘Cool Blonde’ shade of this gloss is perfect for blondes, as it cancels out brassiness and conditions with coconut oil. After you shampoo your hair, dispense a generous amount of product into your hands and work it through your hair from the roots to the tips (if you have thick or curly hair, use a wide-tooth comb to make sure it's evenly distributed). Once you've let it sit for the recommended time, rinse it out and you're good to go — no conditioner necessary.

Key Ingredients: Violet Pigments, Coconut Oil Size: 4 oz. Cruelty-Free: No

Relevant Review: "Easy to use, not expensive, and does exactly what it says it will! My hair had a ton of discoloration due to the horrific water here. It pulled all the orange out and it moisturized the heck out of it. My hair looks so healthy and shiny. Love this stuff."


Rebekah Norris, colorist and educator at Cutler Salon in New York City.