5 Best Hair Toners and Why They Work (2023)

Toner is an important component of the bleaching and dyeing process. Without hair toner your hair will look brassy, orange, yellowish, and a little cheap. Instead of looking cool and intense, you might just end up looking a bit cartoonish.

And so, we’ve come up with a list of the five best hair toners on the market. These products will help you even out your hair colour and perfect the blonde look in no time.

RELATED: Grey Hair Dye: 8 Grey Hair Colour Styles

What Is Hair Toner?

According to the Schwartzkopf website, hair toner is used on hair after strong chemical bleaching and lightening processes in order to get rid of brassy hair tones.”

An NYC hair colourist told Hello Giggles that hair toner is actually an umbrella term used for a variety of hair products that help either darken or lighten hair colour. There are temporary toners and permanent ones. And then there are also glosses, which simply work to add colour and tone to your hair without adding any lightness to it.

Purple and blue toners are best used by people with lighter haired, as it will help tone down the yellow blonde and orangey tones of newly bleached hair.

The Loreal website says there are two types of toners, those that you get at the salon after getting your hair bleached, and the toner found in hair care products like shampoos that’ll help you maintain the colour of your hair at home.

What Does Toner Do To Your Hair?

It improves the colour of your hair by reducing undesired shades like yellow and orange.

Hair toner works by changing the undertones of your hair colour without altering the current colour or shade. As mentioned above, toner changes hair colour a bit darker or lighter, depending on the desired effect.

If you want to see a hair toner before and after, check out these photos:

5 Best Hair Toners and Why They Work (1)

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5 Best Hair Toners and Why They Work (2)

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How To Use Hair Toner

While it’s advisable to have your hair toning done at a salon with a professional, it is possible to tone your hair at home. Remember to ask a friend to help so that you don’t miss any spots.

When toning hair at home, follow these simple steps:

Step 1

Wash your hair, towel dry, and apply the toner to your hair.

Step 2

Find areas in your hair that need toning the most. For example, find the parts of your hair that are the brassiest. If you need a full overhaul, just start from the centre of your strands and work your way up to the roots. Do the tips last.

Step 3

Let it sit for about 20 minutes. If you want to check if you have your desired colour, just wash a small segment of your hair. If it’s not quite there yet, leave it on for a bit longer.

How long does toner last? Most toners last several weeks. Just remember, the more you wash your hair, the more frequently you need to be using hair toner.

Does Toner Damage Hair?

Toner won’t really damage your hair too much, but some say it can have a negative effect on your roots. Be sure to seek professional advice (or better yet, have your hair toned at a salon instead). Toning your hair on your own can also lead to over-toned hair, which results in a purplish grey colour.

Top 9 Best Hair Toners

For this article, we’ll be focusing on toners for bleach blonde hair. There are different types of toner for different hair colours, from brown hair, grey hair, purple hair, pink hair, blue hair, to dark hair. But here, we’ll just be covering toners for light blonde hair and natural brunette.

5. Wella Colour Charm T10 Pale Blonde Toner

This shade used to be known as ivory or white lady because of its very effective lightening effect on hair. This is perfect for anyone who wants to achieve the icy white hair look that’s trending these days. Say goodbye to orange strands as this toner can effectively remove brassiness and leave you with a nice pale blonde.

Pros: Pros for Wella’s Colour Charm product are its lifting factor and its ability to make hair look refreshed and vibrant.

Cons: If we were to pick a downside to this toner, it would be that it might not be a good fit for those who are looking for a sandier, natural blonde look.

Buy this for $USD6.59 at Sally’s

4. John Frieda Colour Refreshing Gloss for Cool Brunette

For girls with dark hair or brown hair, John Frieda’s Colour Refreshing Gloss for Cool Brunette is a good option in helping bring vibrancy and life back to your hair. This is a shampoo toner that can be used once a week in the shower.

Pros: Shiny, healthy-looking hair has been noted by users of this product. Some have also noted that it brings darker hair to a lighter shade while maintaining evenness and cutting out the brassiness.

Cons: Because it’s a darker shade, it has been observed to stain hands and clothing.

Buy this for $AUD49.90 on Amazon

3. Fudge Whiter Shade Of Pale

This toner for blonde hair is another product that is perfect for those seeking light blonde hair, grey, and white hair by toning down yellow and orange tones in bleached hair. This treatment is also a semi-permanent toner, which means that there’s no need for frequent application. You can expect it to last several weeks before the need to apply again.

Pros: Soothes scalp, has a UVA/UVB filter, works as a hair treatment as well.

Cons: Leaving this on for too long may result in purple hair.

Buy this for $AUD91.59 on Amazon

2. L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Silver Shampoo

For icy cool silver hair, this toner definitely delivers. The brand has been in the hair business for many years, so you know you’re getting what you pay for here.

This silver toner works wonders on grey, white, metallic and platinum hair and helps brassier hair achieve these colours in no time. Like most silver toners, this works with the help of a neutralising formula with magnesium and anti-yellow agents that help target brassy tones.

This toning shampoo also has a nourishing factor, which gives your hair extra sheen and gloss, along with stronger hair fibres.

Pros: This is another one of those products that nourishes while toning. That’s two for the price of one.

Cons: Might turn your hands and nails purple.

Buy this for $AUD21.75 on My Hair Care

1. Nak Blonde Plus 10V

This is one of the most well-loved toning products out there today. It’s a simple product that delivers great results, and that’s all you really need to know!

This semi-permanent toning foam helps tone down yellow, gold, or brassy colours in the hair. It’s got a blue-violet pigment that brings in blonde tones reflective of natural blonde colour or ash blond hair.

Pros: Lasts 4 to 6 washes. Neutralises brassiness in between professional salon visits. A good DIY toner.

Cons: We haven’t seen any bad reviews of this, so we can’t really give a con!

Buy this for $AUD14.50 on Amazon

Honourable Mentions

Redken's Color Extend Blondage Purple Shampoo, Clairol’s Crème Permanente 10V, De Lorenzo’s Nova Fusion Colour Care Shampoo, and Keune’s Ultimate Power Blonde are all pretty good and well-reviewed toners as well.


If you’re going for the icy hot blonde look, don’t ever forget your toner. Refer to this list in case you ever feel the need for a touch-up!



What is the most popular hair toner? ›

Purple and blue shampoos are arguably the most popular hair toners since they're (a) easy to apply and (b) pretty foolproof (no mixing or measuring required—just a quick lather and rinse), but you also have options like glosses (temporary dyes that amp up your color's vibrancy and shine), deep conditioners spiked with ...

What toners do stylists use? ›

A professional salon-use toner is more pigmented meaning the results will last longer than an at-home toning product, like a shampoo or mask.
  • dpHUE Gloss+ (Various shades) ...
  • Bleach London Toner Kit (Various shades) ...
  • Wella Professionals Care Color Fresh Semi-Permanent Colour (Various colours)
Jun 29, 2023

How do I find the best toner for my hair? ›

They'll choose a toner that is on the opposite side of the color wheel from the tone you're trying to get rid of. If your hair is too red, a green toner is used; if your hair is too orange, a blue toner is used; and if your hair is too yellow, a purple toner will neutralize the unwanted yellow tone.

Should I use Wella T11 or T18? ›

Choose the Wella T11 Lightest Beige Blonde if you're looking for a very light, creamy blonde. Or, choose the Wella T18 Lightest Ash Blonde if you're looking for a white ash blonde.

What toner does Kim Kardashian use on her hair? ›

Color Wow Color Control Toning and Styling Foam

The Color Wow toner was used in the prepping stage for Kim's blonde hair, leaving the colour fresh and bright, banishing any brassy tones.

What toner gets rid of brassy hair? ›

An ash toner (which is essentially blue mixed with a dollop of green) will neutralize and get rid of the yellow-orange.

What are the 3 types of toners? ›

There are three main types of toner available on the market today:
  • alcohol-based formulas.
  • glycerin or glycol-based.
  • water-based.
Jul 13, 2020

What is the best toner for brassy hair? ›

For orange and yellow brassy tones, a purple or blue tinted toner will work. Similarly, for red tones, a blue or green toner is ideal.

Should I use T14 or T18 toner? ›

The Colors are Different

Violet cancels out yellow while blue cancels out orange. If you have any orange left in your hair, T14 is probably the best for your hair over T18. T18 is only effective if your hair is a level 10 or higher (purely yellow).

What is the least damaging hair toner? ›

Choose an ammonia-free toner

Another effective way to minimize toner damage is to opt for an ammonia-free toner. Ammonia-less toners are generally milder than ammonia-based ones. They open up the cuticles, but not too much, so your hair does not lose a lot of moisture during the process.

Is 10 or 20 volume better for toner? ›

How do you know which developer to use with the toner? 10 volume will allow the toner to deposit more color, 20 volume will deposit less. Once you decide which toner shade and developer you will use, measure using a hair color measuring cup and mix 1 oz. toner to 1 oz.

Is T14 or T11 better for orange hair? ›

Wella T14 toner has a violet/blue base which will neutralize orange tones to leave you with cool ash-blonde hair. This makes it the preferred toner for orange hair.

What does Wella T10 toner do? ›

Ready to remove that yellow orange brassiness from your hair? Say hello to the Wella T10 Pale Blonde Toner. With blue and violet pigments and shimmering silver shades, this toner will help you to not only reduce that yellow orange brassiness, but create a pretty neutral blonde with silver reflects too.

What color does Wella T11 look like? ›

If so, you're going to want to say hello to the ultimate solution - the Wella T11 Lightest Beige Blonde Toner. Perfect for those looking for a light, shimmery, creamy blonde, this toner can be used to remove brassiness from your light blonde hair.

What toner does Kim Kardashian use for blonde hair? ›

Before you ask, Chris created Kim Kardashian's iconic platinum with an industry toning fave: Wella T-18. But here's some advice: “Toners are only a façade,” he says. Without proper application and keeping the hair healthy and strong, the hair won't look good, no matter what you tone with.

What blonde toners do hairdressers use? ›

  • Osmo Ikon 6.
  • Schwarzkopf BlondMe 3.
  • Schwarzkopf Igora Royal 2.
  • Wella True Grey 2.
  • Indola Profession Blonde Expert 1.
  • Matrix Total Results 1.
  • Olaplex No.4P 1.

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