How To Tone Down Blonde Hair That Is Too Bright – 8 Super Simple Ways.

Yikes! You’ve dyed your hair a fab new blonde hair shade that’s brightened up your look – too much! Now you need to know how to tone down blonde hair, fast. That’s why we’re here!

It’s a simple problem to fix, don’t worry. All it takes is some simple supermarket products or common household items and you can make your hair color look totally fab again!

We’re here with 8 easy tips to take it all down a notch. Let’s go!

How do you fix hair color that is too bright?

  • Toning shampoo
  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Cool-toned hair dye
  • Lemon juice
  • Dish soap
  • Coffee
  • Apple Cider vinegar
  • Toner

Why is my hair color too bright?

Your hair color can look too bright when there’s a significant difference between your new hair color and your natural shade.

If you have gone from dark to light, or from very intense to more subtle it’s likely that your hair appears brighter than normal.

It could be the professional dye product you used, or maybe you decided to DIY your new look at home with a box dye kit. Or maybe you’re just going through a phase of funky hair colors!

It’s particularly common in blonde hair shades and blonde highlights which are tricky to keep cool and unbrassy.

Here are the most common reasons why new hair color might seem too bright:

Reason #1 Not the right shade for your skin tone

If your chosen color clashed with your natural coloring or skin tone, it can appear way too bright.

This happens most when people who have warm undertones go for ashy light hair colors – and vice versa! Make sure you’re choosing colors that suit you.

If you have fair skin, go for a cool-toned blonde like ash or pearl. If you have medium or olive skin, opt for a warm-toned blonde like honey or golden. And if you have dark skin, you can go for just about any shade of blonde – from platinum blonde to wheat.

Reason #2 Not the right hair dye

Second, make sure to use the right formulas. If your hair is on the dry side, look for a demi-permanent or semi-permanent hair color.

These formulas deposit color while also adding moisture and shine. If your hair is normal or oily, a permanent hair color should be fine.

Reason #3 Overbleached hair

This is the worst case. It will take a LONG time for this hair to recover, so always try not to overdo it with bleach!

The result can be disastrous and visible even after toning down your new dye job.

Reason #4 Untoned hair

If you have bleached blonde hair, the most likely problem is that the toner didn’t tone down your hair enough after the bleaching. Or you didn’t use it at all!

Hair toner before and after.

toned ash blonde hair color instagram post
how to tone down hair colour that is too bright instagram post
toned red hair brunette color instagram post

Can you tone hair to darken it?

You sure can! Toning your hair is an easy process.

Essentially, the toner will ‘correct’ your hair color while protecting it at the same time. Toner works by depositing a color pigment on your hair so it darkens your dye job.

Toning is often done by using opposing colors on the hair color wheel to cancel out unwanted tones and brassiness.

For example, if we want to tone down orange tones we would use a violet toner (the opposite color on the wheel). Green and blue toners are also used sometimes to correct brassiness.

It’s called color theory and it’s an important part of getting your hair color perfect for you.

hair color wheel from pinterest

I dyed my hair too light how do I darken it naturally?

So what now? It’s time to tone down that hair color! Here are 8 simple ways to tone your hair naturally at home:

1. Use A Gloss Or Toning Shampoo

If your hair’s too bright or brassy after using a semi-permanent hair dye, then go for a color correcting shampoo or gloss to keep it cool.

If you’re a brunette – you can use blue shampoo which will darken and cool your color.

Blondes – you’ll need purple shampoo to neutralize nasty yellows.

Silver shampoos – can be used on blonde on silver/white hair or bleach blonde shades like platinum.

2. Try a cool hair dye.

This is a great rule for life: ‘If in doubt, use ash-based hair dye’ is a good motto to live by. Why?

Because ashy hair tones will tone down any brassy or yellow-based hair color and create a more refined, sophisticated look that’s easy to maintain and flattering for your skin tone.

Try ash blonde, natural blonde or cool rose gold hair dye to add ashy dimension.

3. Use a clarifying shampoo

A clarifying shampoo can cut through vibrant tones left in your locks by deposit-only hair colors (e.g. Manic Panic, Arctic Fox, Punky Color etc.) and allow the toner to do its job.

Clarifying shampoos are great for removing any last traces of color before toning down hair dye that is too bright, especially if you used a semi-permanent or demi-permanent color recently!

The result? More even tone on bleached or lightened hair.

4. Dish soap works well too!

Yes it does – one amazing tip I learnt from my stylist when I had way too red hair was this: Use dishwashing liquid soap with cold water to bring down vibrancy.

We strongly recommend you do a tiny patch test first to make sure your locks won’t fade, but on the whole it’s a safe and cheap trick!

5.Lemon juice

Lemon juice is another option for toning hair that’s too yellow or brassy.

Lemon juice lightens hair in the same manner lemon juice lightens your skin – through a chemical reaction that occurs when the acid reacts with the pigment in your hair. So it can strip some unwanted tones from your hair color.

Mix it up with some conditioner, apply to dry hair and leave it on for 15 minutes then rinse. Do a final cold water rinse to seal the hair cuticle.

6.Coffee shampoo

If you’re brunette, you can also tone your hair by mixing coffee into your shampoo.

If you don’t mind the smell of coffee, this is another great option that will help to tone down brightened hair.

7. Apple cider vinegar

It may smell like a salad but apple cider vinegar has some awesome toning and clarifying properties and acts as a great substitute for traditional purple shampoo!

Just apply it to dry hair and leave on for 10 minutes. Rinse with cold water (to seal the cuticle) and there you go!

8. A toner is your best bet!

If you’re not ready for a new hair color just yet, then using an ash-based toner on bleached or lightened hair can tone down that brassy/too vibrant color easily and quickly.

It can also get rid of unwanted green or orange tones in your hair.

Just leave the toner in for the right amount of time given by the instructions on the box and the hair color results you want to achieve.

Watch and learn: How to tone down blonde hair.

Here’s a great video that shows you how to tone hair color and bleached hair that’s too bright step-by-step.

YouTube player

What do you do if your blonde is too bright?

If you’ve already tried one of the above tips or hacks to tone down hair color and it’s still too bright and blonde, don’t worry!

In this case, it might be time to consider going darker with your locks.

This tone down your overall look and get rid of any brassy undertones and give you a sophisticated and cool-toned vibe.

If you’re thinking about going dark with your blonde or silver/platinum locks, try consulting a stylist first for some great style inspiration!

We’re loving dirty blonde and beige blonde for a more muted sassy style.

How to tone down red hair color that’s too bright.

So you’ve gone to your stylist and gotten the perfect red hair color…only to find out that it’s a little too bright for your liking.

Or maybe you’ve decided to dye your own hair copper at home, and the results are a little too intense. Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Here are a few tips on how to tone down red hair color that’s too bright.

Use purple shampoo: Yes, this tried-and-true method for blondes is good for toning down red hair color too.

Purple shampoo neutralizes brassy yellow and orange tones, so it’s perfect for taming next-level reds. Just be sure to use it sparingly, as too much purple shampoo can make your hair look gray or purple.

  1. Try a gloss: A gloss is like a conditioner with color pigment in it, and it can help tone down hair that’s been colored too light or too dark. If your red hair color is looking a little bit washed out, try using a gloss with a reddish tint to give it some new life.
  2. Play with lowlights: Adding lowlights is another great way to tone down overly bright or vibrant red or copper hair color. Lowlights are usually 1-2 shades darker than your actual hair color, and they help create depth and dimension. If your red hair is looking flat, ask your stylist about adding some lowlights.
  3. Go for an ombre: Ombre is a gradation of color, usually from dark to light. So if you have very bright red hair but want something more subtle, an ombre might be the right choice for you.
  4. Get a trim: Sometimes, the best way to fix overly bright or intense hair color is to simply get rid of it…or at least most of it. Getting a trim or even just lightly dusting the ends of your hair can help take away some of the brightness and give you a fresh start.

Toning down excessively bright or vibrant red shades can seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be!

There are plenty of ways to achieve a more subtle look, whether you dye your own hair at home or go to a professional stylist. With some trial and error (and maybe even a little bit of damage control), you’ll be rocking your perfect shade in no time!

Will toner damage my hair?

We’re always being asked if toner can damage your hair.

Well, there’s no simple yes or no answer – because it really depends on how you use it.

When used correctly, toner can darken highlights and tone down any brassy or yellow tones after bleaching.

It’s important to avoid overusing as this could cause dryness/irritation and leave your hair feeling limp.

But with the right after care and routine, you can have cool colored tresses and healthy, vibrant hair.

How to remove hair toner.

If you’ve ever accidentally ended up with unwanted toner in your hair, don’t worry: it’s easier than you think to remove toner without the help of a hairdresser.

All you need is some shampoo and a clarifying conditioner.

First, wet your hair with warm water. Then apply a generous quantity of shampoo and massage into the scalp and throughout the length of your hair strand-by-strand.

Rinse out with plenty of lukewarm water until all of the shampoo has been removed (you’re going to want to make sure that no residue remains).

Finally, finish off by applying a clarifying conditioner just to your scalp. The end result? Toner-free tresses!


Parting words

So there it is! A few ways to help you tone down blonde hair and other hair colors that are too bright!

If all else fails, please do consult a professional!

They’ll be able to give you advice and the right products based on the current color and condition of your hair.

Good luck!