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How to Tone Brown Hair to Ash – Turn Brassy Brunette to Stunning Ash in 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 brassy hair at home, how to tone brown hair to ash

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 disclosure here.

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

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

  • 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

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 2023-11-15 / 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)

  • 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.

VIPs Prestige BeBlonde Semi Permanent Hair Toner Colour Silvery Platinium BB01, No Ammonia No...
  • 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 - 8 washes. You can...

Last update on 2023-11-15 / 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

  • 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.

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.

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 2023-11-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Fudge Professional Blue Toning Shampoo

Available at Amazon, Fudge UK or Beauty Bay

  • 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.

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 2023-11-15 / 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

Other Posts Related to Hair

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

Corinne Fiacco

Saturday 18th of December 2021

Hi! What product and formula was uses on the model in the pics? Thanks!

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