How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (2023)

Do you want to know how to tone brown hair to ash? If your brunette hair has developed unwanted shades of red, orange or yellow, these are the best tips and products to tone brassy hair at home.

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (1)

Hair that’s been dyed or faded by the sun can often develop red, or brassy undertones. This is easily corrected using a hair toner which contains pigment to neutralize warm colors.

Cooler colors like ash have become popular in recent years and a variety of different hair toners now exist for both brunette and blonde hair. Since ash hair colour does not contain many red and orange tones, a hair toner is required to change warm brown hair to ash.

Ash hair colors can vary from light ash blonde to dark brown ash and there are a variety of toners available to suit each hair shade. Although toners often work better on blonde hair there is still a range of good products available that work well on darker hair or brown highlights.

This post is all about how to tone brown hair to ash

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash

This post may contain affiliate links, which means I’ll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you. You can read full the disclosurehere.

What is Hair Toner?

Hair toner is a product that adds pigments to the hair to alter the shade slightly. It does not permanently change the color of the hair but simply adds tone to the existing color, usually making it appear cooler. For example changing warm brown hair to cool ash.

Toners are often used on color-treated hair to neutralize any ginger, brass or yellow tints. They cool the shade of the color down, making it appear more natural. They can also be used to remove warm tones from natural hair that’s been altered by the sun.

How to Use the Color Wheel to Tone Your Hair

When you are toning your hair at home the color wheel can be very useful. When you go to a beauty salon, a hair stylist uses the color wheel to decide which color to use to neutralize warm tones in your hair.

The color wheel contains 12 different colors with each color’s contrasting color located opposite it on the wheel. To use the wheel you first locate the color that you want to remove from your hair and then look at the color opposite to determine which hair product to choose.

For example if your hair has unwanted orange tones you should choose a blue shampoo since blue is opposite orange on the color wheel. Since blue is the opposite of orange, blue pigments will neutralize orange.

If your hair has red tones then you should use a green shampoo to counter unwelcome red, and if your hair has yellow tones then a purple shampoo will help to cancel them out.

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (2)

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash

If you have a brown hair color and want to remove warm tones, there are a number of different products you could use depending on the brown shade of your hair, and the color of the unwanted tone.

If you have dark brown hair a semi-permanent hair toner would be recommended to achieve good results. For light brown hair however a good blue shampoo may be sufficient to transform your hair to ash brown.

Before you start it’s important to first understand how hair color charts work, and ensure you are choosing the right brown color for your skin tone.


How to Tone Dark Brown Hair to Ash

Semi Permanent Dye: Clairol Natural Instincts – 6A Light Ash Brown

Available at Amazon, Superdrug or Ocado

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (3)
  • Lasts for 28 washes

Another way to remove red undertones from brown hair is with a semi-permanent dye. Clairol Natural Instincts have a shade called “Light Cool Brown” which is effective at turning warm browns to ash-brown hair.

Although this is a hair dye rather than a toner, it is the easiest way to turn natural brown hair to a medium ash color. If you are dying your hair for the first time this product is the best option for turning your natural hair color to ash color. It gives your hair cool undertones with a natural look.

The Clairol Natural Instincts Conditioning Colour is free from ammonia or any harsh scent. It also contains coconut and aloe vera to condition and moisturise the hair. This product will last for 28 washes.

Watch my video about ammonia free hair dyes


How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (4)

Clairol Natural Instincts Semi-Permanent No Ammonia Hair Dye, 6A Light Ash Brown

  • Optimal coverage for first greys.
  • Shade 6A Light Ash Brown is great for covering first greys and neutralising brassy tones
  • A SEMI-PERMANENT HAIR DYE WITH NO AMMONIA: A non-damaging and a short-term way to colour your locks
  • A GENTLE CONDITIONING COLOUR: Formula made with 80 Percent naturally derived ingredients, and...
  • ENHANCES YOUR NATURAL COLOUR AND BOOSTS SHINE, NATURALLY: Enjoy rich, natural looking colour results...

Last update on 2023-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Semi Permanent Toner: VIPs Prestige BeBlonde BB03 – Icy Down

Available at Amazon (although Icy Down is sometimes unavailable)


How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (5)
  • Lasts for 6-8 washes

If you have dark hair, the best way to remove unwanted brassy tones is with a semi permanent hair toner. VIPs Prestige BeBlonde make toners that suit brunette hair. They have different shades to create an ashy look in different hair colors including warm browns.

If your hair is a brown color with yellow undertones the best VIPs Prestige toner to turn it ashy brown is called “Icy Down”. This toner helps to correct any unwanted yellowish color in hair that has been discolored from dyeing.

Brown hair color with unwanted orange tones would be best suited to the VIP Prestige toner called “Caffé Latte”. This toner turns brassy hair to an ashy brown color. It may also work well on black hair to turn it to dark ash.

All VIP Prestige toners are free from ammonia and gently nourish the hair with olive oil, macadamia oil and caster oil. They also contain nettle to keep the hair healthy. This product will last for 6-8 washes.

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (6)

Vips Prestige - Semipermanent Hair Toner Ammonia and Peroxide Free (BB01 Silvery Platinum)

  • The new formula of our Prestige Toner contains no ammonia and oxidizing agent hair dyes and gently...
  • The products of the BeBLOND line are suitable for the correction of the unwanted yellowish color of...
  • This product is suitable for natural or dyed hair. Color fades away after 6-8washes. You can...

Last update on 2023-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How to Tone Light Brown Hair to Ash

Osmo Colour Revive Conditioning Colour Treatment Cool Brown

Available at Amazon, JustBeauty or Ubuy

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (7)
  • Use once a week

Osmo Colour Revive is a cool brown conditioning treatment which revives your color and prevents dyed hair turning orange in between salon visits. It is especially effective on hair that is a lighter brunette color. If your hair color has become brassy or a dirty brown this treatment will turn it back to an icy ash brown hair color.

(Video) Brassy To Ashy Tutorial | Ashy MUSHROOM Brown Hair Color

The cool brown treatment is infused with avocado oil and vitamins a and e which nourish and condition the hair. It is also free from ammonia and peroxide. It is recommended that you use this product once a week to maintain an ash hair color.

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (8)

Osmo Colour Revive Conditioning Colour Treatment Cool Brown 225ml

  • Penetrates to revive hair colour in just a few minutes.
  • Infused with Avocado Oil, vitamins A and E to nourish and deeply conditions the hair.
  • Ammonia FREE and Peroxide FREE
  • 7 popular shades to choose from.
  • Presented in a 225ml pump bottle.

Last update on 2023-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fudge Professional Blue Toning Shampoo

Available at Amazon, Fudge UK or Beauty Bay

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (9)
  • Use once a week

If you have brown hair color which has developed orange or red tones, the Fudge Professional Blue Toning Shampoo will turn your hair back to ash brown. This blue toning conditioner neutralizes warm shades and leaves your hair color cooler, deeper and stronger.

The Fudge Professional Blue Toning Shampoo is sulphate free and contains Opti-PLEX technology that makes hair 85% stronger and smoother.



How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (10)

Fudge Professional Blue Toning Shampoo, Cool Brunette Shampoo, For Brunettes, Removes Orange/Red...

  • A sulfate-free blue toning shampoo that instantly removes orange and red tones from brunette hair...
  • The formulation contains Opti-PLEX technology that makes hair 85 percent stronger and smoother
  • For brunette hair that needs cleanning, refreshing and strength restoring
  • Fragrance fuse technology infuses each strand of hair with an explosion of fragrance that lasts 24...
  • Blue toning conditioner neutralises orange and red tones in your hair for hair that is cooler,...

Last update on 2023-03-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

FAQs on Toning Brown Hair to Ash

What happens if you put ash toner on brown hair?

Toner can alter brown hair in a number of ways. It can neutralize brassy tones in the hair and at the same time even out the overall hair color.

How do I get my hair from brown to ash?

Firstly look at the base color of your hair to determine its shade of brown and the shade of unwanted color. If your hair contains unwanted orange tones, a blue shampoo would help to neutralise them. If, on the other hand, your hair has red undertones then a green shampoo would be more beneficial. Whether your hair is dark or light brown will also depend on the type of ash toner you should use.

Photographs for Inspiration

When thinking about which ash tone for your hair you should think about your skin tone and hairstyle. The following posts contain photographs to help you choose exactly the right color of ash for you.

20 Ash Brown Hair Color Ideas to Try

16 Ash Brown Hair Color Ideas

30 Trending Ash Brown Hairstyles

How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash - Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 2023 (11)

Other Posts Related to Hair

  • How to Use Ginger Shampoo for Hair Growth
  • Best Shampoo and Conditioner for Black Hair Growth
  • Best Curl Enhancer for Wavy Hair
  • How to Dye Brown Hair Blonde Without Bleach
  • Best Wide Tooth Comb

This post was all about how to tone brown hair to ash


What happens if you put ash toner on brown hair? ›

Toner for brown hair works to neutralize brown hair tones by offsetting any unwanted warm or brassy tones in the hair. Because complementary colors neutralize each other, we know that hair with red undertones can be neutralized using matte (. 7) tones, while orange undertones can be neutralized using ash (. 1) tones.

How to turn dark brown hair to ash brown? ›

If you're starting with dark brown or black hair, your colorist will likely need to use bleach to achieve your chosen ash brown shade. It's important to note that bleach will always cause some damage, but your colorist will help to improve the look and feel of your hair before you leave the salon.

How do you tone brown to Ash? ›

Similarly, if you want to tone brown hair to ash, you'll need to cancel out the shades of red and orange in your hair. Blue is the color that is opposite to orange in the color wheel, so if your hair has brassy notes, then a blue-tinted toner or shampoo can help.

How do you tone brassy hair to ash? ›

When deciding how to tone yellow hair to ash, try using a violet shampoo first. As purple is the opposite of yellow on the colour spectrum, the shampoo's purple pigment draws out the yellow brassiness from your blonde, neutralises those unwanted tones, and makes your colour look cooler, healthier and more vibrant.

What happens if you put silver toner on brown hair? ›

You could use a silver toner on brown hair to remove any yellow tones, or to refresh the cool tones (for example on ash brown or cool cocoa shades).

How do you get warmth out of brown hair? ›

Use Blue Shampoo and Conditioner

Orange is across from blue on the color wheel, which means the blue pigment in blue shampoos and conditioners can neutralize brassy orange tones in brunette hair. Specifically designed for brunettes, blue shampoo helps knock out brassy tones in brunette hair.

What color cancels out dark brown hair? ›

Pink: Cancels BROWN | This helps camouflage brown spots, age spots, sun spots, acne scarring, and more; it is especially helpful for fair skin tones.

What happens if you put ash blonde dye on dark brown hair? ›

If you apply blonde hair dye on dark hair, you will never reach a blond hair colour. You will however damage your hair from the chemicals in hair dye and risk ending up with dry, brassy, straw-like hair. If you have dark hair and you want to go blonde, you'll have to bleach it.

What is the combination of ash brown hair color? ›

Ash Brown. If you are looking for a deeper Colour, mix 7.1 Ash Blonde with 5 Light Brown. The 7.1 will give the Ash hit and the 5 brings the Natural, darker Colour. Combined, this is a true Light Ash Brown.

What is the best toner for brassy hair? ›

Violet (purple, in other words) would be the right choice of toner to counteract this yellow and help you get to a cool ash blonde or platinum blonde result.

How do you get rid of brassy tones in brown hair naturally? ›

You can remove these brassy tones with apple cider vinegar, baking soda, or chamomile tea with lemon juice. You can also try blue or purple shampoos, and hair toners and conditioners. Keep your tresses from gaining a brassy hue by avoiding heat, using the right hair products, and more.

Does Ash toner make hair darker? ›

KNOW THIS: Hair will always appear darker when it has an ash tonality, according to Constance. Explain to your client that warm tones reflect light and cool tones absorb it.

What toner makes hair ashy? ›

If you're trying to cancel out orange tones to achieve a dark, ashy blonde or light brown, a blue toner is your best bet. Going for a platinum or silvery blonde? Use a violet-based toner to remove yellow undertones.

Does Ash cancel out brassy? ›

Ash simply refers to the absence of warmth, and it's great for counteracting brassy tones. Ash can be gray, blue, green, or violet-based depending on the type of warmth being covered.

What happens if you put toner on brassy hair? ›

Toning neutralizes unwanted brassy tones to reveal a cooler blonde or light brown shade. The trick is figuring out which color toner to use, where the choice is usually between blue and purple depending on your hair color. “Toning neutralizes unwanted brassy tones to reveal a cooler blonde or light brown shade.”

What is the best hair color for brunettes going gray? ›

Colors like butterscotch, light auburn and golden brown, or ash brown for those with a cool skin tone, are all versatile brunette shades that aren't too dark and are some of the best hair colors to hide gray.

What does silver shampoo do for brown hair? ›

Silver shampoo is designed for those with gray or silver hair, and as silver is opposite yellow on the color wheel. This shampoo fights brassy tones of yellow that can appear in your gray locks, and take away from your color.

Is there a toner for brown hair? ›

A hair toner can help boost and maintain your beautiful brown-hued hair by neutralizing the color and lessening the undesirable hues, such as orange undertones that cause brassiness. By using toner for brown hair, you won't feel the need to re-dye your hair and splash out a salon appointment right away.

What is the best product to remove brassiness from brown hair? ›

Matrix's Brass Off blue shampoo tops our list as the best overall blue shampoo to banish brassiness in brown hair. Over 28,000 Amazon reviewers rated this shampoo four stars or above.

Will purple shampoo tone brown hair? ›

Purple shampoo works the same way to eliminate brassiness on brown hair as it does on blonde. It helps to prevent color fade, while emphasizing shine, keeping brown hair vibrant and rich. Using purple shampoo on brown hair regularly will take out any unwanted warm tones in your strands.

What brings out brown hair? ›

Orangey-reds, gold, bark browns and deep forest greens are a terrific complement to brown hair. You also look great in a range of greens — mossy to olive and sage. Nature's best browns are universally flattering to brunettes, who can wear dark chocolate and creamy lighter tones, as well as browns with a reddish cast.

What color stays best in brown hair? ›

6 Best Hair Colors for Brunettes, According to Hairstylists
  • 01 of 06. Suede Mocha. Getty Images. ...
  • 02 of 06. Smoky Brown. Getty Images. ...
  • 03 of 06. Espresso. Getty Images. ...
  • 04 of 06. Brunette Balayage. Getty Images. ...
  • 05 of 06. Pale Walnut. Getty Images. ...
  • 06 of 06. Comfy Camel. Getty Images.
Feb 16, 2022

What color overpowers brown? ›

Red + Yellow + Dark Blue

Generally, black simply overpowers brown to the point where it loses its textured nuance. A dark, inky blue is often a better option for darkening brown than black.

What colors to avoid with brown hair? ›

If You Have Pale Skin
Hair ColorBest ColorsColors to Avoid
BrownOlive, Gray, Tan, Brown, Blue, medium GrayDark Gray, Mustard, Orange
GrayNavy, Gray, Maroon, BlackBrowns, Green, Tan, Yellow, Pastels
RedBrowns, Medium Gray, Green, Blue, pale YellowLight Gray, Red, Yellow, Orange
2 more rows
May 17, 2021

Can you put ash brown on brown hair? ›

If you have dark brown or black hair, you're likely going to have to lighten your strands using a hair color bleach before you can achieve your desired ash brown color. When it comes to DIY, it's all about using the right hair dye.

Will light ash brown cover orange brassy hair? ›

As it turns out, you can use a blonde hair dye to neutralize your orange hair — the secret is to look for a shade that's ashy. Ashy, cool undertones are the key to canceling out the warm, unflattering orange tones that currently adorn your strands.

What color does ash brown hair fade to? ›

Like ash blonde hair, light ash brown hair often turns a brassy yellow color after a few weeks.

What number is Ash brown? ›

If you're a wintertype, the best colours you can choose are dark neutral- or ashtones, like black (1.0), dark brown (3.0), ash dark brown (4.1), brown (5.0) and ash brown (5.1).

What's the difference between ash brown and brunette? ›

"Whereas warm brunette shades look lighter and richer, ash-brown colors are usually deeper with a smoky, matte-like finish," says Nina Rubel, colorist at Rob Peetoom in NYC. And if you're anything like me, you've probably already convinced yourself three times this week that it's time to try ash-brown hair yourself.

Can brown hair go ash blonde? ›

Unfortunately, these colour pigments cannot be lightened or changed, despite common belief, by simply popping another colour on your hair. So if you want to go blonde from brown you will need to use a 'bleach' to do so.

Is T18 or T14 better for brassy hair? ›

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).

Can I use ash toner on brassy hair? ›

Wella Colour Charm Toner T14 Pale Ash Blonde

The Wella T14 Toner has a violet - blue base, meaning that it will target golden orange and yellow brassiness. I would recommend this toner if you have quite light hair that is more golden orange.

What color can go over brassy hair? ›

Yellow and violet are opposites on the color wheel, so purple is used to cancel out overly warm, brassy tones.

How do you tone stubborn brassy hair? ›

May 16, 2022

What color covers brassy brown hair? ›

Just as a purple shampoo neutralises brassy tones for blondes, a blue shampoo on brown hair neutralises orange and red tones for brunettes. After using our Blue Crush Shampoo, follow up with the blue conditioner for brown hair like our Blue Crush Conditioner.

Why is my brown hair turning orange? ›

What causes hair to turn orange? Reasons include high-mineral or chlorinated water, frequent sun exposure, high-sulfate and high-chemical products that can strip the hair, or simply lifting out melanin in a color treatment and revealing naturally existent undertones.

How long do I leave ash toner in my hair? ›

Leaving toner in your hair can take as quick as a minute but should not exceed 45 minutes.

How long does a ash toner last on your hair? ›

This depends on how often you wash your hair. The less frequently you wash your locks, the longer your colour stays in, but you can increase the longevity of your colour by using professional hair care. Depending on you hair type and hair condition, toner can last between 2-to-6 weeks.

What colour is ash toner? ›

The Colour must be Cool Shade — an Ash or Beige Hair Colour. Only use a No Lift Developer — because you are not Lightening your Hair. Ash is the Coolest pigment and will give you the strongest Toning result. The Ash pigment will subdue the brighter, Warmer tinges into a crisper, subdued Hair Colour.

What does Ash toner cancel out? ›

Green and green-based ash cancel out red, magenta and orange. Blue and blue based colors and toners cancel out orange and yellow orange. Violet, purple and purple based toners cancel out yellow and pale yellow.

How do you keep ashy hair Ashy? ›

Purple shampoo is the key to maintaining ash blonde hair. This is due to a little secret called color theory. Purple and yellow sit on opposite sides of the color wheel. This means violet hues counteract brassy tones.

Do you apply toner to wet or dry hair? ›

You see, a toner has a semi-permanent color base, so when you apply it on wet hair, the lifespan of the product has tampered. So, it is best to apply toner on an 'almost' dry hair. Not too wet, and certainly not too dry.

When should you use an ash hair color? ›

Ash hair colours are on the cool side of the spectrum, meaning it is particularly flattering on those with a cool-toned complexion. The blue/purple pigments in ash blonde and ash brown hair colour are great for counter-balancing any redness in the skin, turning ruddy cheeks into a light rosy blush.

Does Ash hair color take orange out? ›

So the way to neutralize the orange would therefore be to use blue-based colors. Also, for very orange hair, you can add in some ash (which is simply the colorist's way of saying blue-green). This way you will be able neutralize your orange.

Does vinegar remove brassiness from hair? ›

Vinegar has acetic acid, a natural conditioner that can remove the yellow/orange color from your hair. Here are some valid reasons why vinegar is a great choice to treat hair brassiness: It helps in restoring the pH balance in your hair because it's acidic. It's inexpensive and easy to use!

How long should I wait to tone my hair again? ›

A chemical process that happens when you tone your hair weakens the fibers. Wait at least 4 weeks after toning to give your hair time to heal. If your hair is dry or brittle, you should wait at least 7 to 8 weeks before toning it once again.

Can I put ash blonde on dark brown hair? ›

Unfortunately, these colour pigments cannot be lightened or changed, despite common belief, by simply popping another colour on your hair. So if you want to go blonde from brown you will need to use a 'bleach' to do so.

What can I mix to make my hair ash brown? ›

Ash Brown. If you are looking for a deeper Colour, mix 7.1 Ash Blonde with 5 Light Brown. The 7.1 will give the Ash hit and the 5 brings the Natural, darker Colour. Combined, this is a true Light Ash Brown.

What colors look best with ash brown hair? ›

Warm-Toned Ash Brown Blend

A brunette-to-blonde ombre doesn't have to be dreary. Add some smokey ash blonde to transition from the dark brown roots to blonde ends. It looks perfect for the winter. The warm tone works well with colors like orange, yellow, and gold.

What color hair dye will lighten dark brown hair? ›

You can lighten your dark brown hair with natural ingredients such as green tea, honey, cinnamon, henna, or coffee. You can opt for a lighter brunette shade or go for funkier shades like purple or blue to change up your look.

Can you tone brown hair with ash blonde toner? ›

You should use an ash toner for brown hair to improve the shade quality. If you choose the right toner for brown hair, then the hair can turn pastel or neutral without making it blonde. You need to apply ash toner to neutralize all the warm undertones. Thus, you will get stylish ash-colored hair.


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