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Turn Brassy Brown Into Ashy: Formulas, Toners & Tips for Stunning Ash Brown Hair (2024)

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how to tone brown hair to ashYou want stunning ash brown hair, yet brassy tones plague your locks. Seek freedom from unruly warmth; understand color theory granting control.

We juxtapose formulas and tips for correcting clashing pigment against inspiration showcasing possibilities.

Ashy brunettes model sleek styling, so why settle for less? You can conquer lackluster hues.

Key Takeaways

  • Hair toning rectifies unwanted brassiness in brown hair.
  • Toning utilizes color theory and the color wheel for specific tones.
  • Effective toning products for brown hair include Osmo Colour Revive, Fudge’s Cool Brunette shampoo, Total Results Dark Envy, Fanola No Orange shampoo, L’Oreal Paris Toning Hair Gloss, and Luseta Purple Hair Set.
  • Proper application and maintenance, including following product instructions, even application, adjusting processing time, and using color-safe products, are crucial for achieving and maintaining ash-toned brown hair.

What is Hair Toning?

What is Hair Toning
When toning your hair, you’re using a semi-permanent hair color designed to neutralize or counteract unwanted brassy, orange, or yellow tones in color-treated or naturally light hair.

Hair toners contain pigments that cancel out the underlying warm pigments. By applying a toner formulated with blue and violet pigments, also called cool tones, you can neutralize unwanted brassy tones for a more natural, ashy shade.

When used properly, toner enables you to achieve your ideal hair color and brilliance.

After shampooing, apply toner evenly throughout clean, towel-dried hair. Process according to manufacturer directions then rinse thoroughly.

Using the right toner for your base color is key for natural looking color correction and long-lasting results between salon visits.

Purpose of Toning Brown Hair

Purpose of Toning Brown Hair
To truly achieve the stunning ash brown hair color you desire, understanding the purpose of toning brown hair is crucial. Toning serves multiple purposes, all aimed at achieving balance and enhancing vibrancy in your hair color.

  1. Neutralizing warmth: Brown hair often carries warm undertones that can result in brassiness or unwanted red-orange hues.
  2. Enhancing vibrancy: Toned brown hair looks more vibrant and lively compared to dull or faded shades.
  3. Customized techniques: Depending on your specific needs, there are various toning techniques available that allow for customization based on individual preferences and desired outcomes.
  4. Color correction: If you have previously colored or treated your brown hair but ended up with an undesirable shade, toners can help correct those mistakes by counteracting unwanted tones and restoring harmony to your overall color.

By understanding the purposeful nature of toning within the context of achieving ashy browns from traditional brassy browns,you will gain more control over creating beautiful results tailored specifically for you.

Using Color Theory to Tone Hair

Using Color Theory to Tone Hair
To achieve the perfect ash brown hair color, it’s essential to understand how color theory can help you effectively tone your hair.

The color wheel provides guidance on which shade counters another. For example, green neutralizes red tones and purple offsets yellow, while blue combats orange.

By identifying unwanted warm pigments, you can select a toner that color corrects appropriately. Consider an ash or platinum toner for brassiness and a violet one for golden hues.

Skilful application blends these contrasting tints, transforming the overall color balance into a cool brunette. With some tonal artistry, you can neutralize warmth for stunning ash brown hair.

Unwanted Tone Toner Selection
Yellow/Gold Violet/Purple
Orange Blue
Red/Copper Green
Brass Ash/Platinum

Toning Dark Brown Hair to Ash

When your dark brown locks become lackluster from brassiness or sun exposure, revive their cool essence with products designed specifically for brunettes seeking ashier tones.

Osmo’s ammonia-free Colour Revive treatment in Cool Brown penetrates brown hair to restore vibrancy and shine while activating rich, cool brunette pigments.

For regular upkeep after coloring, incorporate a max-strength violet shampoo like Fudge’s Cool Brunette to counteract red and orange hues.

Osmo Colour Revive Cool Brown

Osmo Colour Revive, Cool Brown,401-7.61flView On Amazon
Revive your dark brown hair and transform it into stunning ash tones with Osmo Colour Revive Cool Brown. This ammonia-free and peroxide-free hair treatment is designed to refresh and maintain color-treated brown hair.

Infused with nourishing avocado oil, vitamins A, and E, it penetrates the strands to restore vibrancy and shine in just minutes. With frequent use, you can maintain stronger cool brunette tones for longer periods of time.

Available in 7 popular shades, this easy-to-apply cream will help you achieve a natural-looking ash color on your dark brown locks.

  • Ammonia-free and peroxide-free formula
  • Nourishes the hair with avocado oil
  • Restores vibrancy and shine quickly
  • Some users have reported unintended color results (blue or green)
  • May cause staining if not careful during application

Cool Brunette Blue-Toning Shampoo

Fudge Cool Brunette Blue-Toning ShampooView On Amazon
You’ll erase brassy tones and repair damage in one wash with Fudge’s max-strength violet shampoo containing blue micro-pigments targeting red and orange hues in brunette hair.

Apply it to wet strands, lather evenly, leave in for up to 5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly before following up with the matching dual-force conditioner. Its sulfate-free formula fused with Opti-PLEX technology claims to make hair 85% stronger after a single use while providing a 24-hour fragrance.

  • Counters red and brass tones
  • Repairs damage
  • Strengthens hair
  • Potential staining
  • May not fully neutralize orange hues
  • Requires caution when handling

Toning Light Brown Hair to Ash

When toning light brown hair to ash, turn to the Total Results Dark Envy and Fanola No Orange formulas.

Both shampoos use color-depositing pigments to neutralize red and brassiness in lighter brunette shades.

Apply them consistently when cleansing hair to transform undesirable warm undertones into refined, ashy coolness.

Total Results Dark Envy Color Depositing Green Shampoo Conditioner

MATRIX Total Results Dark EnvyView On Amazon
Matrix’s color-depositing shampoo reduces red tones in light brown hair as you cleanse, improving texture and softness over time.

The Total Results Dark Envy Color Depositing Green Shampoo Conditioner is specifically designed to neutralize unwanted brassiness and enhance cool ash tones in your light brown hair. This green-toned shampoo deposits color while providing nourishment to your colored locks, resulting in a natural-looking and vibrant ash hue.

  • Effectively reduces red tones in light brown hair.
  • Improves texture and softness over time.
  • Enhances cool ash tones for a stunning appearance.
  • Potential concerns about the color getting everywhere during use.
  • Might take multiple washes for noticeable results.
  • Some users may prefer mixing it with a blue-toned shampoo for better toning effects.

Overall, Matrix’s Total Results Dark Envy Color Depositing Green Shampoo Conditioner is an excellent choice for toning your light brown hair to achieve beautiful ashy shades while maintaining healthy-looking tresses.

Fanola No Orange Shampoo

Fanola No Orange Shampoo WithView On Amazon
The Fanola No Orange Shampoo gently cleanses and neutralizes unwanted copper/red highlights in colored hair with dark tones. As an extra-strength formula, this shampoo contains blue pigments to eliminate orange reflections and restore hair’s shine and moisture levels after coloring treatments.

For optimal results, apply the liquid to damp strands, massage into hair for 1-5 minutes, then rinse thoroughly before conditioning as usual.

  • Neutralizes brassy orange hues
  • Restores softness and hydration
  • Enhances hair color
  • Can potentially cause blue staining
  • Mixed reviews on scent
  • May dry out tresses without conditioner

Best Toners for Brown Hair

To achieve stunning ash brown hair, it’s essential to choose the right toner for your brown hair.

Two highly recommended options are Loreal Paris Toning Hair Gloss and Luseta Purple Hair Set.

The Loreal Paris Toning Hair Gloss adds cool brunette tones while deeply conditioning without harsh chemicals, while the Luseta Purple Hair Set neutralizes brassy yellow tones and repairs damage with its sulfate-free shampoo and paraben-free conditioner.

Incorporating these toners into your routine will help you achieve a beautiful ashy hue for your brown hair.

Loreal Paris Toning Hair Gloss

LView On Amazon
To achieve stunning ash brown hair, one of the best toners for brown hair is Loreal Paris Toning Hair Gloss. This no-damage, in-shower gloss adds cool brunette tones to brown or black hair in just 15 minutes.

The nourishing, coconut oil-infused formula boosts shine, neutralizes brassiness, and deeply conditions without harsh chemicals. Simply apply this easy-to-use, ammonia-free treatment and rinse with cool water for refreshed color and luxurious hair.

  • Adds cool ash tones
  • Deeply conditions
  • Boosts shine
  • Easy, no-damage application
  • Results may fade quickly
  • Can temporarily turn hair purple if left on too long
  • Requires cold water rinsing to maintain tone

Luseta Purple Hair Set

Luseta Purple Shampoo and ConditionerView On Amazon
You’ll control brassy tones with Luseta’s sulfate-free purple shampoo and paraben-free conditioner set that gently cleanses while aiming to repair damage and reinforce thinning strands. Specifically formulated for blonde and gray hair, it neutralizes yellow tones. The shampoo eliminates brassiness while the conditioner promotes glossiness, protects from damage, and is pH balanced.

  • Neutralizes yellow and brassy tones
  • Repairs damage and split ends
  • Reinforces thinning strands
  • Restores shine and glossiness
  • Safe for color-treated hair
  • Small bottle size
  • High price point for quantity
  • May not eliminate brassiness for all hair types

How to Apply Toner to Brown Hair

How to Apply Toner to Brown Hair
With the right toner selected, it’s time to transform your brassy locks.

Carefully read instructions and don protective gloves before mixing your formula.

Section damp hair and use a tint brush to thoroughly distribute product from roots to ends, ensuring saturation.

Wrap hair and allow toner to process for recommended time based on:

  • Desired level of ash
  • Current hair color and porosity
  • Toner brand guidelines

As toner develops, check strands at regular intervals. Rinse thoroughly upon achieving your ideal cool brunette shade.

Be patient – this process allows the corrective blue and violet pigments to neutralize the yellow in your hair. Done properly, these application techniques lift brassiness to reveal stunning, salon-worthy ash brown tresses.

What to Expect When Toning Brown Hair

What to Expect When Toning Brown Hair
When toning brown hair, it’s important to understand what changes you can expect.

Toning your hair can result in a color transformation, as it neutralizes any unwanted undertones and creates a cool ash tone. However, keep in mind that the results are temporary and may fade over time or with regular washing.

The effectiveness of toners may vary depending on factors such as your hair texture and the starting shade of brown. Lighter shades of brown tend to be more receptive to toners compared to darker ones.

It’s also worth noting that different ash toners or purple shampoos may yield varying results, so experimentation might be necessary for finding the perfect product for your desired color alteration.

Caring for Toned Brown Hair

Caring for Toned Brown Hair
You must incorporate color-safe shampoos and deep conditioning treatments into your hair care routine to maintain your ash brown hair’s vibrancy and prolong the results of toning over time.

  1. Hydrate hair with a weekly deep conditioning mask to restore moisture and prevent dryness.
  2. Protect hair from UV rays with hats or sprays when outdoors to avoid warmth creeping back into cool ash tones.
  3. Maintain toning results with a purple or silver shampoo 2-3 times per week to reinforce ash tones.
  4. Style ash brown hair with heat protectants if using hot tools and avoid over-washing to retain tone.

Additionally, make seasonal adjustments like using lighter ash shades in summer. Touch up regrowth with an ash brown demi-permanent color and refresh faded ends with a conditioning toner gloss every 6-8 weeks.

Color-depositing shampoos boost cool tones between salon visits. Sulfate-free shampoos keep moisture locked in.

Stunning Ash Brown Hair Inspiration

Stunning Ash Brown Hair Inspiration
Get inspired by some stunning examples of ash brown hair.

Ash brown hair is a trending style that combines cool undertones with traditional brunette locks for a fresh and contemporary look. One way to achieve this color is through color blending techniques such as mink-toned highlights, smoked-out ombre, or ashy balayage.

To maintain the vibrancy of your ash brown hair, follow these maintenance tips:

When it comes to styling techniques for ash brown hair, embrace its versatility by experimenting with different hairstyles that complement the cool-toned hue.

For celebrity inspirations on rocking ash brown hair:

Celebrity Hair Color
Mila Kunis Ash Brown
Lily Collins Smoked-Out Ombre
Lucy Hale Mink-Toned Highlights
Rihanna Ashy Balayage

Take inspiration from these celebrities and make a bold statement with your own stunning ash brown locks!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How long does ash brown hair tone last?

The longevity of ash brown hair tone varies depending on factors such as hair care routine and maintenance. On average, it can last for several weeks to a few months before requiring touch-ups or toning treatments.

Can I tone my brown hair at home or do I need to go to a salon?

Yes, you can tone your brown hair at home.

Use products like Osmo Colour Revive Cool Brown or Fudge’s Blue-Toning Shampoo.

Follow instructions carefully and be cautious of potential staining.

Achieve stunning ash tones from the comfort of your own home!

Will ash toner damage my hair?

Ash toner won’t damage your hair when used correctly.

It’s important to follow the instructions and not leave it on for too long.

With proper application, you can achieve beautiful ash tones without causing harm to your hair.

What level does my brown hair need to be to successfully tone it ash?

To successfully tone brown hair ash, aim for a medium to light brown base, at level 6 or lighter.

The lighter the base, the more readily it grabs cool tones, so staying well above level 4 gives you the best chance of neutralizing warmth and realizing an ashy color that flatters.

What happens if I leave the ash toner on too long?

To avoid unwanted results, don’t leave the ash toner on for longer than instructed.

Leaving it on too long can lead to overly cool or gray tones in your hair.

Follow the recommended processing time for best results.


Achieving stunning ash brown hair is within your reach. By understanding the principles of hair toning and utilizing the right products, you can effectively tone brassy brown hair to a beautiful ashy shade.

Whether you have dark brown or light brown hair, there are specific toners and shampoos available to help you achieve your desired look.

Take care of your toned hair with proper maintenance and enjoy the cool radiance of ash brown locks.

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Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.