Disclaimer: I’m not a hair stylist. All advice in this post is based on my experience.
I’m writing this post in the hopes that it’ll help someone out there struggling with brassy hair – whether it’s from a bad hair dye job or color fading between salon appointments. Personally, I’ve spent hours researching the right toners for removing brass from my balayage hair. As a natural brunette, I’ve always leaned more towards blonde shades, so I’ve learned a lot about removing orange and yellow tones (major thanks to YouTube vloggers!).
As recently as a couple of months ago, I left a high-end salon with terrifyingly orange hair that needed to be fixed ASAP. Thankfully, after a quick visit to Sally Beauty Supply, I was able to tone my hair back to normal for under $20! If you have blonde or bronde balayage, highlights, or single-process hair color, this post is for you.
Below are the most common types of brassy hair problems and the right Wella toners to fix them:
If your hair is a brassy orange, use Wella T14 Pale Ash Blonde.
If your hair leans more yellow, use Wella T18 Lightest Ash Blonde. Note: this is most effective if your hair is mostly blonde. It won’t work as well if you’re brunette. For a golden hue, mix with T11 Lightest Beige Blonde. T11 and T18 are usually used together to prevent hair from looking too ashy.
If you want to fix a bad bleach job, use Wella Permanent Hair Color 7A/672 or 7AA/632 and mix with volume 10 developer.
What you need:
- Volume 10 or 20 developer. I recommend using volume 10 if your hair isn’t healthy to prevent further damage. Volume 10 is helpful for depositing darker color (for those bleach jobs gone wrong) while volume 20 provides a gentle lift for lighter tones. Never go above volume 20 if you’re doing this at home!
- Wella toner: T14 or T18 (see above for the right one to use).
- Gloves, dyeing bowl, and brush. This is a budget-friendly kit.
- Olaplex 3 (optional but highly recommended for repairing and preventing damage).
- Purple shampoo + conditioner. I love dpHUE, Drybar and Shimmer Lights.
- Dampen hair and apply Olaplex 3. Leave on for 30-90 minutes.
- Shampoo, condition, and rinse.
- Mix 1 part Wella Color Charm toning color with 2 parts 20 volume developer (or 10 developer).
- Apply toner to damp hair and develop for up to 30 minutes.
- Rinse and apply a deep conditioning mask. I like this one.
Of course, toner eventually fades after 6 or so washes, so be sure to use purple shampoo and conditioner and limit heat styling (I need to take my own advice!) to keep hair vibrant, healthy, and prevent brass. Have questions? Leave them in the comments below. x
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