What Is the Best Blue Toner for Orange Hair?

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If bleaching or dying your hair has left you with orange tones, and you don’t love the look, there’s no need to panic. Color correction toners and shampoos are specially designed to deal with orange and yellow tones and are very easy to use at home.

Blue toners and shampoos are a simple way to correct orange undertones, but picking the right product for your brassy hair is essential. You will also need to follow some simple steps to get the best results from your color correction product.

Our guide to using blue toner on orange hair will help you to pick a blue toner for your hair so it will soon look fabulous again.

In a hurry? Here are our top picks:

What is Blue Hair Toner?

Blue hair toner is a color correction product that will counteract orange tones in your hair.

Orange bleached hair, also known as brassiness, often happens when you bleach brown or black hair because dark hair has natural red and orange undertones. So if you have highlights or balayage added, there’s a risk that you will be left with orange undertones to the bleached areas.

This often happens when a weak developer is used to lighten naturally dark brunette hair. A 10- or 20-volume developer will often struggle to lift the hair to the desired color, so it can look too orange. If your hair is very dark brown or black, even a 30- or 40-volume developer might still result in orange bleached hair.

Brassy orange tones can also happen if you leave a copper-blonde dye on your hair for too long or when there is a mineral or chemical build-up on naturally blonde hair. 

Blue toner and blue shampoo work by depositing blue pigment onto the strands of your hair. A blue tinted toner cancels out the orange tones because blue is directly opposite orange on the color wheel. 

Hairdresser is dying female hair, making hair highlights to his client with a foil.

Why Use Blue Toner for Orange Hair?

If your hair is colored in a salon, your colorist will use a toner at the end of the coloring process to correct any brassy undertones. You can also use a blue toner or blue shampoo on bleached orange hair at home to maintain your look for longer.

The good news is that it’s easy to correct orange undertones with a blue toner or shampoo. But to get the best effects, you need to make sure that you pick the right product for the cause of your orange hair.

color wheel showing how blue toner can help orange hair

What to Look For in a Toner for Orange Hair

A blue toner will cancel out orange undertones, but it’s vital to pick the right one for the specific tones in your hair.

There are three main factors to consider:

Intensity: You need to match the intensity of your blue toner to the intensity of the orange tones in your hair. Blue toner is better for very orange hair, but if you only have light copper undertones, a blue toner might be too intense and you should choose a blue toning shampoo instead.

Shade: Be sure your undertones are really orange before applying a blue toner. A purple toner or purple toning shampoo would be more effective if you have yellow orange hair.

Cause: Did bleaching your hair cause it to turn orange, or have you left a copper blonde dye on for too long? If you just want to tone down the copper color in your hair, a blue shampoo is the best choice, but if you want to remove intense orange tones altogether, go for a blue toner.

You also need to decide how long-lasting you want the effects to be. A blue toning shampoo is the best choice to give a temporary cool tone to your hair, but a semi- or demi-permanent toner has a longer-lasting result. Demi-permanent toners usually last up to 28 washes, but a semi-permanent toner only lasts up to 6, so you may need to top up the results with a shampoo over time.

orange hair in a braid with brown hair

Using a Blue Toner: Pros and Cons

It’s easy to end up with brassy undertones when you color your hair, even if you follow the instructions perfectly. Using a blue toner at home can be an effective way to correct your hair’s color, but you need to consider the pros and cons carefully before going ahead.

Here are some of the advantages and disadvantages of using a blue toner at home:

Pros

There are a lot of advantages of using a blue toner on orange hair, here are just a few of them:

Blue toner removes unwanted orange tones

If your recent color session left your hair brassy with orange undertones, a blue toner is the best way to correct your hair color. The blue pigments will neutralize the orange tones leaving your locks with a cooler, more neutral tone.

Fast results

It only takes a few minutes to mix and apply a blue toner, and most of them are effective in less than 20 minutes. So you can balance your hair color and transform your look within less than half an hour!

Easy to apply

You might feel nervous the first time that you apply a blue toner. But as long as you pick a recommended blue toner and follow the directions carefully, we’re sure that you’ll find it easy to apply, and you’ll love the results. 

Costs less than salon color correction

Using a blue toner at home will cost less than paying for color correction at a hair salon, which is great if you’re trying to stick to a budget.

Cons

Blue toners are great for color correction, but there are some potential disadvantages of using blue toner for orange hair:

The effect isn’t permanent

Whether you choose a blue shampoo or a blue toner, it’s essential to keep reapplying the product to keep your hair looking great. If you wash your hair every day, the effects of your blue toner will wear off quickly.

Color selection can be tricky

You need to pick the right toner color for the undertones in your hair. Blue toner works on orange, but it won’t neutralize yellow tones. So if you misjudge the color of your undertones, the product you choose to correct them won’t be effective.

Blue toner can stain your locks

If you don’t follow the instructions carefully, you could end up with blue-stained hair, and the color will take a few washes to get it out.

Some toners can damage hair

Coloring your hair stresses your locks, and using a semi-permanent toner with a 20-volume lifting developer could cause more chemical damage to your hair. It’s better to avoid toners that use a high-volume developer after bleaching your locks.

Hair stylist applying purple shampoo after hair lightening.

Blue vs. Purple Shampoo

One common question about color correction products is, “What’s the difference between blue and purple shampoo?”

Both of these correct brassy tones in colored hair, but it’s vital to pick the right one for your hair color. And just like blue sits across the color wheel from orange, purple is the complementary color to yellow. 

So, if you have orange brassy tones, which tends to happen when you bleach darker brown hair, you need to pick a blue shampoo. But if you have yellow tones on light brown or light blonde hair, it’s better to choose a purple shampoo.

How to Use Blue Toner on Orange Hair

If you haven’t used blue toners or blue shampoo before, you might feel nervous about applying it to your hair.

Whichever product you choose, it’s essential to follow the directions on the bottle carefully. Before you start, make sure that you have some vinyl or latex gloves ready so that you don’t end up with blue hands!

Dampen or Towel Dry Hair Before Applying

Wet your hair and then towel dry it until it’s about 70% dry before you apply your chosen toner. This makes it easier to see which areas of your hair need to be treated and gives a more even result.

If you’ve chosen a demi-permanent toner or semi-permanent toner, you’ll need to mix it with a developer before applying it to your hair. Be sure to follow the instructions and quantities on your toner’s packaging to ensure you get the expected results. 

Let the Toner Process Before Washing

Use a color brush to apply your blue toner wherever you see orange brassy tones showing, which might be all over your hair or just on specific sections. Make sure you saturate your locks thoroughly with the toner mixture, then set a timer for the time your toner needs.

This could be 5-10 minutes, but some toners need longer to process. Wearing a shower cap will keep heat in and help the toner to penetrate the hair strands better.

Wash With Moisturizing Shampoo and Deep Conditioner

When your timer goes off, do a quick spot by using a towel to wipe the toner mixture from a few strands of hair and see if you’re happy with the color. You may need to leave it a few more minutes if the hair still looks orange.

When the toner has finished working, rinse it out thoroughly with warm water before washing it with shampoo and conditioner as usual. Finish up with a cool water rinse, and then leave your hair to air-dry if possible, as it is gentler on your locks. If you can’t wait that long, use a heat protectant and the coolest setting on your blow dryer to prevent further stress on your locks.

shopping aisle showing different hair dyes and Blue Toners for Orange Hair

Best Blue Toners for Orange Hair

There are many blue toners on the market that can help to neutralize orange tones in color-treated hair. Here are some of the best blue toners to choose from:

Matrix Total Results Brass Off

Matrix Total Results Brass Off is a toning shampoo with a color-depositing formula that neutralizes orange tones with its blue-violet pigments. It is specifically suitable for hair that has been colored in shades of light brunette or dark blonde.

You can use this shampoo instead of your regular shampoo, and it’s really simple to apply. You just have to massage the shampoo onto your hair with gloved hands and leave it on for 3.5 minutes. After rinsing the shampoo out, you should follow up with a conditioner from the same range for optimal results.

You will see a transformation in your hair after just one wash, but you can use Matrix Total Results Brass Off twice a week to maintain the color.

There’s no ammonia, no developer and the shampoo has an attractive rose and vanilla fragrance. However, this shampoo does contain sulfates, so it’s not ideal for people with dry or curly hair.

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01/26/2023 06:29 pm GMT

Schwarzkopf Blond Me Blonde Toning Creative Pastel Tones Steel Blue

Schwarzkopf Professional Blond Me Blonde Toning is an excellent all-round toner that works on orange tones in all shades of blonde hair. It adds a pastel blue hue to your hair and cancels out brassy tones, while the Bond Enforcing Technology leaves your hair shiny and soft.

Before applying it to your hair, you will need to mix this toner with a 7-volume or 20-volume developer. Leave it to process for up to 30 minutes, rinse well, and then shampoo and style your hair as usual.

This toner works well on orange tones, but the results on yellow tones can be unpredictable. A purple toner would be more effective if you have yellow hair.

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01/26/2023 06:39 pm GMT

Redken Color Extend Brownlights Blue Shampoo and Blue Conditioner

Redken Brownlights blue shampoo and conditioner are ideal for lightened brunette hair, like balayage and highlights, as well as natural brunettes. They contain color deposit technology that adds blue pigment with every wash to eliminate brassy tones and prolong a cool look.

You can use these products instead of your regular shampoo and conditioner, and you’ll notice a difference from day one. But the effects will also build up with regular use, helping to prevent brassy tones from appearing over time.

The conditioner is ideal for use on both natural and chemically treated hair, and because these products are sulfate-free, they won’t dry out curly locks. The only downside to these products is that they’re not suitable for blonde hair.

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01/26/2023 06:44 pm GMT

Manic Panic Virgin Snow Hair Toner Amplified

Many people say that Manic Panic Virgin Snow Hair Toner is one of the best blue toners for orange hair, and it’s easy to see why.

This creamy toner is easy to apply and doesn’t have to be mixed with a developer. It’s made from 100% natural ingredients, with no ammonia, and also acts as a deep conditioning mask for your color-treated hair. It’s even suitable for curly hair, as it’s sulfate-free.

This blue toner gives excellent results, with an icy blonde finish that you can use all over your locks or on specific sections of your hair. And like all Manic Panic colors, it’s vegan and not tested on animals.

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01/26/2023 06:52 pm GMT

Wella Blondor Pale Silver

If you have light-colored, fine hair with yellow or orange tones, this toner will leave your hair a beautiful shade of platinum or silver blonde.

And because there’s no risk of over-depositing, it’s an ideal product to try if you’re not very experienced in toning orange hair with blue toners. You can use this toner safely without any risk of ending up with a bluish tone to your hair if you leave it on too long.

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01/26/2023 06:54 pm GMT

DIY Blue Toner for Orange Hair

You can make your own DIY Blue Toner for Orange hair by mixing a couple of tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and a couple of drops of liquid food coloring into a cup of water. Choose blue food coloring if your hair looks more orange and purple food coloring for hair that is more yellow.

Wash and condition your hair as usual, then apply the mixture and wait for 10-15 minutes before rinsing it out with lukewarm water. You can use this DIY toner every two weeks to keep your hair from looking brassy.

This homemade blue toner for orange hair may not work as effectively as a commercial blue toner, and the results aren’t guaranteed. You may have to apply it a few times to see the full effect. 

If you want to be sure of the results, choosing a commercial blue toner for orange hair from the list above is safer.

Happy young woman with luxurious curly orange hair. Studio portrait on yellow background.

FAQs

Still got questions about using blue toner on orange hair? Here are some of the questions we receive most often:

Is It Best to Put Blue Toner on Wet Hair?

It’s better to apply hair toner that is slightly damp, as this will give more even distribution than you can achieve on completely dry hair. It also avoids diluting the toner by applying it on dripping wet hair.

It is also easier to see where you need to spot-treat hair when it is damp rather than wet. Blonde hair can naturally look much more yellow when wet, which could lead to you applying toner on areas that don’t really need it. This will make your hair look flat or ashy when it’s dry.

Why Did My Hair Turn Orange?

The main reasons for hair turning orange are using bleach on naturally dark brunette hair or leaving a copper-blonde dye on for too long. If you use a weak developer on very dark hair, it can also struggle to lift enough color out of the strands to avoid orange tones.

Will Purple Shampoo Help Orange Hair?

Like blue shampoo, purple shampoo is an at-home treatment that can help to neutralize unwanted tones in color-treated hair. Purple shampoo doesn’t neutralize orange tones but it will work better if your hair has more yellow tones.

What Hair Color Does Blue Toner Cancel Out?

Blue Toner will cancel out brassy orange tones in your hair because blue and orange lie on opposite sides of the color wheel.

Does Blue Toner Lighten Hair?

A blue toner won’t lighten your hair because it just uses blue pigments to cancel out the orange colors in your hair. However, if you leave it on for too long, you might see a change of hair color, especially if your hair is light. 

How Long Does It Take for Blue Toner to Work?

You’ll see the effects of your blue shampoo or blue toner for orange hair almost immediately. A blue shampoo takes around 3-10 minutes to work, while blue toners can take up to an hour before you see their full effect.

The effects of most blue toners should last around 4-5 weeks, depending on how often you wash your hair. If you wash your hair daily, you should expect the color to fade out sooner than that.

Blue Toner for Orange Hair: The Bottom Line

Orange hair is a very common problem when you bleach dark hair, but you don’t have to live with a look you don’t love. A blue toner or shampoo will counteract the brassy undertones and give your hair a more neutral look, and they’re really easy to use at home. 

Now that you know how to choose and use a blue toner for orange hair, your locks will look fabulous again in no time!


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Blue Toner for Orange Hair - how to fix orange hair with blue toner text overlay on woman with orange curly hair with her hand in her hair

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