How to fix over toned hair

Toning is necessary to maintain your hair color. However, it’s not always easy to get the best quality, especially when it’s DIY and you may end up over-toning.

Well, it’s not the end of the world! 

Today, you’ll get tips on spotting and fixing over-toned hair. 


What does an over toned hair look like?

What does an over toned hair look like

Toner is your friend when your freshly colored hair doesn’t have its original dimension and color. Time is often the culprit, but other external factors like chlorine and sun exposure can quickly bring out some unwanted colors. 

If you have bleached your hair, the warm undertones can easily peak through as brassy strands. A toner can address that by neutralizing the yellow and orange tones with purple or blue toner

Those with natural blonde hair may want to even out their tones by choosing toners on the cooler side of the color spectrum. Some toners can even intensify vibrant colors like red.

However, like every product, toners require you to read and follow instructions carefully. 

There is no one grand manual for toners; therefore, you must read the tiny instructions at the back before slathering your hair with it! If you don’t, you will end up over-toning your hair. 

Overtoning can often occur with those who want to ashen their pale or pastel hair. 

Brassiness can frustrate anyone, but it becomes a more apparent problem for those who have lightened their hair to the lightest levels. They often put too much toner or used it too often to try and neutralize the uneven streaks. 

It may also occur if your hair is very porous, thus absorbing more product than necessary. A hair’s porosity can increase when you frequently undergo chemical processes with your hair. Bleaching, especially, opens the cuticle layer to break down the hair’s pigments.

What does an overtoned hair look like? It is either brassy or too purple. It often looks crude— like a draft of an artwork. 

Others can shrug this off and hope multiple shower sessions will eventually correct their dilemma. However, there are ways to speed up the process too. 


How long does it take over toned hair to wash out?

How long does it take over toned hair to wash out

A problem can only go away quickly if you have identified it as a problem in the first place. That advice goes for everything in life, including overtoned hair. 

One good news for your overtoned hair: a toner is not like permanent hair color. That means the effect of a toner typically lasts three to four weeks. 

There are different types of toners, e.g., glosses, purple or blue shampoos, and conditioners. Some of these can even last for six weeks. Overall, the pigments they deliver are considered demi-permanent. 

After several washes with regular shampoo, the cool tones deposited start to fade. If you use clarifying shampoo weekly, that will quicken the process of removing the toner. 

Do you remember all the activities you should avoid after getting your hair toned or colored? 

Yes! Those same activities can also help you undo the effect of overtoning. 

So put on your swimwear and get that chlorine and that sun in your hair! Hot showers or even frequent showering can also do the trick. Heat tools accelerate fading of the toner’s pigments too. 

However, before you do everything at once, you need to know that fading is a secondary consequence of putting your hair under these external stressors. With heat, chlorine, or UV rays, the structural integrity of your hair weakens. 

In other words, it is not holding on to the color or moisture because the cuticle layer is gradually getting damaged. Along with fading color, you may also experience brittle and dry hair as a result. 

Thus, always take the extra precaution of conditioning your hair. 


How do you get ashy toner out of hair?

An ash toner is an excellent choice when you want to cool down your warm-toned hair, brassy tints, or keep your blonde from turning into yellow straws. Another example of an ash toner is gray toner, which you can use for blending gray strands with the rest of your hair. 

Is your cool-toned hair an era you want to forget already? Or is your hair too ashy after toner? 

Whichever is the case, you can always move on from it. Below are some suggestions that you may want to consider. 

  1. You can visit a salon and ask them to remove the ashy tone. A professional can assess your hair’s health and the amount of toning you have done. They will either neutralize it with golden or warm colors. They may also have other options like weaves and wigs that you can buy as part of a temporary cover-up. 
  2. Use a color remover and focus on the strands, which show more noticeable ashy tones. Know that this option may damage your hair further if you don’t take the time to follow the instructions carefully. If you are a newbie, it might be best to skip this option since it requires skill and precision to get your desired results. 
  3. Try a lemon juice and conditioner mixture. This is especially great if you are into DIYs and home remedies. Lemon juice is a staple in the hair industry and can help your hair’s health and your over toning problem. You can find the instructions below. 

How to fix over-toned hair with lemon juice

The acidic nature of lemon juice makes it an excellent home remedy to lighten the hair. 

However, using it alone will damage your hair strands and may even cause skin irritation. Adding conditioner makes the mixture easier to apply, and most importantly, it gives hydration to counter the drying effect of lemon juice. 

You can prepare ¼ conditioner and mix it with ¾ lemon juice in a bowl. You will also need a hair color brush for a smoother and more precise application. 

First, wash your hair thoroughly, detangle, and pat it dry with a towel. The lemon juice plus conditioner mixture is not dense and will not stay for too long on your hair. You must brush your hair evenly and thoroughly. Leave it on for 1 ½ hour and rinse it with warm water. 

You can proceed with your regular shampoo and conditioning after rinsing. However, it’s ideal that you keep the TLC doubled by using a deep conditioner to restore any lost moisture. 

Note: Bleached blonde hair or those whose hair underwent frequent chemical processes are more sensitive. It is better to make a thicker combination with more conditioner to ensure hydration on every strand. 


How to fix purple hair after toner

Purple shampoos are one, if not the most popular, commercially available toner. If you have pastel hair or brassy yellow strands showing up, purple toner is your friend. 

When you overtone with purple shampoo, the mistake becomes evident. But, it happens even to the veterans of the DIY hair coloring community. No need to worry! 

If you notice a purplish tint, you can wait for it to fade gradually into blonde with several washes. It doesn’t require much voodoo other than your regular shower routine! 

To accelerate this process, you can also opt for pH-balanced shampoos and apply masks and creams to your hair twice a week. It will make your hair healthier and slowly remove the deposited pigments from your toner. 

If it is not a tint but more of a solid hue of purple, then you may not have a choice but to bleach it with a 10-volume cream developer. The intensity of the hue dictates how many times you may need to bleach. 

At most, you can do it thrice. Any more than that, and the damage to your hair becomes irreversible. 

Are you a bit wary of using bleach to remove the purple tone? Another home remedy comes to your rescue in the form of baking soda!

How to fix over-toned hair with baking soda

How to fix over-toned hair with baking soda

Baking soda, like lemon juice, is a household item constantly mentioned in various DIY processes. It’s an effective cleaning agent that can even remove dirt and grime and, yes, hair color too. 

If you have dry and damaged hair, this option may be too harsh even when you condition your hair afterward. It is not an item meant to be casually poured on hair, so think of the severity of the consequences beforehand. 

However, proceed as stated if you think your hair is healthy enough. 

Wash and shampoo your hair normally. Detangle any knots as much as possible in the shower so the application of baking soda can go smoother. 

Get 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda and massage it onto your wet hair, from near the root to the tip. Focus primarily on the noticeable areas. Leave it for 2 minutes, then rinse. 

Do not massage baking soda on the root for very long, as this may lead to skin irritation. Baking soda, like your clarifying shampoo, can remove product and dirt build-up, but it may also strip you of your natural oils. 


How to fix over toned grey hair

You probably started with the hope of using ashy toner to neutralize the pale yellow streaks in your blonde hair but applied it a tad too much. 

The result? Your over toned hair turned grey instead. 

Well, don’t fret! You can fix the overtone with a simple clarifying shampoo or sulfate-formulated shampoo. Again, you can choose a commercial color remover or go straight to a professional for the quickest solution. 

If you don’t like the hassle of a salon visit and are wondering how to fix over toned blonde hair at home, then you can also try the lemon juice mentioned above. 

Dishwashing soap may work similarly. A mixture of baking soda and anti-dandruff shampoo can also do the trick since both have stripping qualities. 

Remember, however, that without any post-conditioning plans, your hair may get ruined more than expected. So, whether you buy or make your solution to over-toning, do not forget to keep your hair’s health the utmost priority. 

Last Updated: August 30, 2022

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