How Do I Tone Down My Hair Highlights?

Maria Morri/CC-BY 2.0

There are many ways to tone down brassiness in hair highlights, but an easy method is to counteract the warm golden and orange tones with a cool blue, purple or ash tone. This process takes less than an hour, and you need hair toner, shampoo and styling utensils.

  1. Inspect the undertones in the hair before choosing a toner

    Highlighted hair that appears too orange requires a blue or purple toner to neutralize the brassiness.

  2. Choose a toner

    Glosses add a temporary shot of color and shine, and they generally do not contain harsh ingredients like ammonia. Foam toners are best for correcting brassy tones in hair. They have the consistency of mousse and are semipermanent, which means they last for 12 to 24 washes.

  3. Prepare and apply the toner

    If the toner you choose is not a ready-to-use gel or foam, mix the color and developer according to the instructions on the packaging. Apply the toner from the roots to the ends of your hair, and leave it on for the recommended amount of time, which is usually about 20 minutes. Rinse the hair, and style it as usual.

  4. Use a blue or purple shampoo

    Use a blue or purple shampoo that is specifically designed for blond hair. If the hair is dyed blond, maintain it with a shampoo that’s designed for hair that’s dyed.