The Best Hair-Toning Products for When Your Color Has Turned

Kick the brass with our favorite corrective formulas.

We independently research, test, review, and recommend the best products—learn more about our process. If you buy something through our links, we may earn a commission.

hair toning products for colored hair
courtesy of manufacturer

You walk out of the salon with your dream hair color. Two months later, you look in the mirror, and your hair just doesn't look the same as it did before. What happened?

If you've ever dyed your hair, your strands have fallen victim to oxidation at one point or another. You've probably heard about oxidation in chemistry class, where clear formulas (or foods) can warp into a brownish hue when exposed to environmental aggressors. The same goes for your hair.

Unfortunately, there's nothing you can really do to prevent this process. There are countless environmental factors that work against your hair's hue, including the sun, hard water, and styling products, making some level of color change inevitable. However, there are ways to revert your shade back to its desired color—and the best part is you can do it yourself. From masks and shampoos to glosses and conditioning treatments, these are the best toning products to eliminate unwanted brassy and red tones and revive your strands at home (so you don't find yourself in the stylist's chair every other week).

For orange tones in blonde hair: Kerastase Blond Absolu Anti-Brass Purple Mask

Courtesy of brand

Purple opposes yellow and orange on the color wheel, so when it's incorporated into hair, it helps to cancel out those brassy undertones. In addition to neutralizing, this mask also repairs damaged hair with hyaluronic acid, leaving bleached hair softer and healthier than before.

To buy: $64,

For orange tones in brown hair: IGK Mixed Feelings Leave-In Brunette Toning Drops

Courtesy of brand

Brassy hues plague brunettes, too. Specifically designed to eliminate orange and red from dark hair, this bottle contains concentrated blue pigment drops that instantly eliminate brass, make hair shiny, and prevent color fading. The drip packaging lets you control the dose—simply add the desired number of drops to any shampoo, conditioner, or styler, depending on how cool you want to go.

To buy: $29,

For red tones in dark hair: Matrix Total Results Dark Envy Green Shampoo

Courtesy of brand

Green counteracts red, and this color-depositing shampoo uses just that to enrich dark bases and neutralize red undertones. It's recommended to wear gloves when you apply, but don't be thrown off by the purplish stain—the color rinses off in a few washes.

To buy: $20,

For gray tones: Madison Reed Color Reviving Gloss in Crema

Courtesy of brand

Going gray has never been more stylish. Infused with hair-loving keratin, argan oil, and ginseng extract to deep-nourish dry strands, this color reviver returns luster and tones down yellow tones in gray hair to help you reach the silver finish of your dreams.

To buy: $30,

For dulling tones: Rita Hazan Ultimate Shine Gloss

Courtesy of brand

If you just want to boost your overall shade instead of turning it, Rita Hazan's clear universal shine-enhancing gloss brightens all fading hair colors, from blondes and redheads to brunettes alike. The mess-free product is meant to be applied in-shower: Work a handful of foaming gloss into your strands, leave it in for up to three minutes, and rinse. Your hair will be just as vibrant and shiny as the day you got it colored.

To buy: $13;

Was this page helpful?
Real Simple is committed to using high-quality, reputable sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts in our articles. Read our editorial guidelines to learn more about how we fact check our content for accuracy.
  1. De Vecchi R, da Silveira Carvalho Ripper J, Roy D, et al. Using wearable devices for assessing the impacts of hair exposome in Brazil. Sci Rep. 2019;9:13357. doi:10.1038/s41598-019-49902-7

Related Articles