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How Do I Choose the Best Blonde Hair Toner?

Angela Colley
Angela Colley

The best blonde hair toner will be in a shade that matches your skin tone and works well with your current hair color. A hair toner should last the desired length of time. A permanent toner alters the color of your hair until it grows out, while a semi-permanent hair toner lasts through several washes before fading. For best results, you should also select a formula you can apply easily.

A blonde hair toner is a liquid or a cream product that helps eliminate brassiness in blonde hair. Both dyed and natural blonde hair can develop a yellow or orange tint, and hair toners strip the unsightly coloring from the hair and deposit a bright shade over the strands. Violet tinted toners remove the brassiness and add a shine to the hair but do not alter the color. Shades lighter than your current hair color will lift the color in the strands, causing them to look brighter. Darker shades will reduce yellow tones while darkening the overall color of the hair strands.

A blonde hair toner may help eliminate brassiness in blonde hair.
A blonde hair toner may help eliminate brassiness in blonde hair.

Manufacturers make semi-permanent and permanent toners. Semi-permanent toners gradually alter the hair strands. Many brands offer a violet tinted toning shampoo. This shampoo deposits small amounts of blonde toner with each wash, allowing the brassiness to fade over time without any sudden and permanent effects.

Semi-permanent toners give the desired color effects, while still giving the consumer the option to correct any mistakes in coloring. A semi-permanent blonde hair toner will come in either a liquid or a cream formula. Depending on the brand, the consumer either applies the toner to wet hair and rinses or allows the hair to dry with the toner. As the hair dries, the new color forms. The toner will fade after several washes, returning the hair to its normal color.

Hair salons may offer hair toner services for their clients.
Hair salons may offer hair toner services for their clients.

Permanent blonde hair toner gives a permanent change in one application. Depending on the shade, the toner can produce a subtle or a dramatic effect. Once applied, permanent toner cannot be washed out. The hair will need to be professionally stripped at a salon or dyed another shade to remove the effects of the toner.

Many salons apply blonde hair toners for their clients, but consumers can also purchase a toner through a beauty specialty store. To reduce the chance of damaging the hair strands or altering the color in an undesired way, the user should follow the instructions carefully. The best blonde hair toner will come with clear instructions.

Discussion Comments


Will the toner ever make your hair turn brown?


Of course you can apply toner yourself. Just be sure you have the right color and understand what it does. Same for overall hair color; if you can shampoo your own hair, you can apply color. Bleaching is a bit different though as it involves lifting color, not adding it.


I used to have problems with my blonde hair turning yellow. My stylist told me to use purple shampoo several times a week to keep this from happening and to correct it when it already had.

I was amazed at how well the shampoo reacted with my hair color. It looked fresher and more realistic.

My stylist told me that heat damage from the curling iron and hair dryer can cause blonde hair to appear yellow. I wasn't about to stop using either, so I'm glad I can get rid of the hue with purple shampoo.

I have seen several strangers with yellow hair, and I wish that I could share this secret with them without offending them. I suppose it's best to not say anything and hope they somehow find out on their own.


I bought a blonde hair toner shampoo, even though I had golden brown hair. I saw that it was supposed to deposit blond highlights on the hair, and I thought it might work for me.

I didn't consider that for my hair to show up blonde, it would first have to be stripped of the brown. The shampoo did deposit color, but it showed up as red highlights. It actually gave it a slightly orange tint.

It took weeks for the stuff to wash out, but my hair color did eventually return to normal. Red hair was not the look that I was going for, and I was glad that this wasn't a permanent toner.


@wavy58 – I think that's a service that beauty supply stores offer to humanity, don't you? If unlicensed people were allowed to buy chemicals that could drastically alter the composition of their hair, then we could do a lot of damage to ourselves!

Most department stores and pharmacies sell hair color to anyone. This is not necessarily a good thing, unless you happen to be skilled at applying it.

Personally, I always rely on my stylist for choosing and applying a hair toner. I'm not even aware of what kind she uses, and I don't need to know, because I plan to always let her do this for me.


I am clueless when it comes to choosing a hair toner. Thankfully, I have a best friend who is a hair stylist. She does my hair for free, though I do pick up and pay for the toner that she has selected for me.

She calls the beauty supply store and tells them that I will be coming in to pick up a certain shade and style of toner. She has a discount card with them, so she gives them the number. Then, I give them cash when I get there.

There are certain products, like hair color and expensive tools, that they will only sell to licensed cosmetologists. So, if I just walked into the store with no preorder from my friend, I could not buy the toner.


@honeybees - If you are interested in applying the toner yourself, I would recommend you start out with a semi-permanent cream or lotion instead of a permanent one.

Once you find the right color for your hair tone, then you can switch to a permanent cream. By starting out with a semi-permanent, you know it will fade away over time if it is the wrong color for you.

With a permanent color, you don't have as many options if it does not work for you. My sister buys all of her products from a beauty supply store and colors and tones her hair herself. I think the quality of products you buy there are very good.

I am just the opposite, and have my done at the salon. I think working with blonde hair can be tricky because it can look really brassy and/or washed out over time.

For me, I like to depend on the expertise of a professional to keep my blonde hair looking natural and shiny.


@honeybees - It is really a matter of personal preference and what you feel most comfortable with.

I have been coloring my hair and using a blonde hair toner I buy from a beauty supply store for years.

I have been happy with the results and know I save a ton of money over having this done at a salon.

There are other people who have had bad experiences doing this and prefer to have it done at a salon.

I think the most important thing is to know what color and tone works best for your hair. The employees at the store where I buy my products have always been extremely helpful and have been able to answer all of my questions.

Fortunately in all the years I have been doing this, I have not had any disastrous results. I used a permanent toner that comes in a cream, and apply these every couple of months.


My hair dresser has used a blonde hair toner on my hair for years. This has done a good job of keeping my colored, blonde hair from looking brassy.

I am looking for ways to save some money and have been wondering if this is something I could do myself at home.

Can I get the same results by applying this at home as I can at the salon?

There is a beauty supply store just up the street from me, and when I was pricing the toner there, I was surprised at how cheap it was.

I just don't want to try something only to find out it really makes my hair look bad.

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