Skip to main content

DIY Hair: How to Use Wella Color Charm Toner

I love to dye my hair all colors of the rainbow. I love all things vintage. I also enjoy creating art, taking photos, and doing it myself.

Pre- and post-toner locks! I used the Wella T18 toner to achieve these results.

Pre- and post-toner locks! I used the Wella T18 toner to achieve these results.

Toners are a great way to keep processed hair looking natural, but finding the right shade and learning how to use the product correctly can take a little practice. Luckily, I've used Wella toner on my hair many times and am here to share my best tips with you.

In this article, we will cover the following topics:

  • Wella Color Charm Shades
  • Choosing the Right Toner for You
  • How to Use Wella Toners
  • Why Choose Wella?
  • What Is Hair Toner and How Does It Work?
  • Can Toning Damage Your Hair?
  • Troubleshooting Toning Mistakes
  • Maintaining Toned Hair

Wella Color Charm Toner

One of the most popular and accessible toners out there is Wella Color Charm. They've got a family of three main branches: silver, ash, and beige.

Silver Toners

  • T28 Natural Blonde
  • T10 Pale Blonde: Formerly known as "Ivory Lady," this toner contains violet-blue undertones and will cancel out yellow-orange tones in your hair.

Ash Toners

  • T14 Pale Ash Blonde: Formerly known as "Silver Lady," T14 is also violet-blue based. This shade will add ashy tones, resulting in a hair shade that is darker than T18.
  • T18 Lightest Ash Blonde: According to many reviews, this toner is better for going to nearly a white blonde than T10. This is a violet-based toner, "White Lady," that will eliminate light yellow tones from your hair.

Beige Toners

  • T15 Pale Beige Blonde
  • T11 Lightest Beige Blonde: This toner has a green-violet base, and will result in a sandy beach tone. It is best on yellow hair, and not ideal if you are looking for a cooler tone.
  • T27 Medium Beige Blonde
  • T35 Beige Blonde: Another toner with a green-violet base, this product will cancel out the red and yellow brassy tones in golden hair while still keeping it warm.

What Color Toner Is Right for Me?

Hair toners are commonly tinted with violet, blue, and green. These colors end up canceling out yellow, orange, and red tones that are present in bleached hair. It's important to understand color theory when toning so that you end up with the desired result. If you want to cancel out yellow, go for a violet-based toner. Orange tones are negated by blue, and red tones by green. (A quick look at a color wheel should help you see why!)

Consult a Toning Chart

In order to use these toners, Wella recommends that you lighten your hair to at least half a shade lighter than your desired end result. I've included a chart showing lightness shades below so you can figure out what level you need before toning! Chances are you're going to want to lighten to a level 10 to 12.

It's important to consider the damage that could be done to your hair through the bleaching and toning process. It's inevitable, but when done properly, you can still maintain a healthy mop.

Natural Hair Color Chart

Natural Hair Color Chart


How to Use Wella Toners

Once you've decided on the proper shade of toner for you, the rest is very simple!

You Will Need

  • Wella Color Charm Toner
  • 20 volume developer (I prefer Salon Care Cream)
  • Gloves
  • Dye brush
  • Glass bowl
  • Tinfoil or plastic wrap
Scroll to Continue

Read More From Bellatory

Step 1: Perform a Strand Test

In your glass bowl, mix 1 part toner to 2 parts developer. As you mix it with your dye brush, it will start to form a gel. It is wise to conduct a strand test to figure out your processing time. Select a small section of hair that isn't terribly visible. Test out the toner and see what amount of time produces the desired result. I'm not very wise, so I usually skip this step.

Step 2: Apply Toner in Sections

Working quickly, separate your hair into thin layers and paint the toner on, saturating the entire section. I usually start with the hair on my part and around my face and neck, and work my way in.

Step 3: Let Toner Sit

The toner may start to change to a deep, dark shade of blue or purple. Do NOT be alarmed! Let it do its work. You will not end up with dark hair. Let the toner sit for 8–10 minutes for a lighter shade or 20–25 minutes for a darker shade.

Step 4: Wash and Condition Your Hair

Once you're ready, wash it out with shampoo and be sure to condition. Just a heads up for people who didn't know this, but you can use any conditioner as a leave-in conditioner, just let it dry on your hair and brush it—you'll get the same result. Don't waste your money on a specifically branded "leave-in" when you have perfectly good conditioner already.

Why Should I Use Wella Over Another Brand?

Wella Professionals, based in Germany, has been making hair products for over 130 years, and they have a real knack for getting things juuust right. From toners to moisturizing shampoos, you really can't go wrong with Wella.

While some DIY products can yield disastrous results (we're looking at you, Sally's boxed dyes), most users have great success with Wella and find that they can get salon-worthy results from home. They also provide a huge range of shades (though you may have to order online, depending on the in-store offerings in your area), meaning there's a much higher chance of attaining the color you're looking for.

Honestly, there's simply no comparison between Wella and most of the other DIY brands you'll find at your local beauty shop!

What Is Hair Toner and How Does It Work?

Simple! It's a product that neutralizes brassy tones on blonde or bleached hair. In other words, it's a miracle in a bottle that keeps your hair looking natural rather than processed. Have you ever seen someone out there who tried to go platinum and got more of a "banana" color instead? This is exactly the issue that toner aims to fix.

How, you ask? Toner uses ammonia mixed with some other chemicals to create a gel. That gel, when applied to your hair, will slightly lift and tone your hair to specific and delicate shades of blonde.

Note: For an in-depth explanation of toner, check out "What Is Toner, and How Does It Work?"

Loving my new look!

Loving my new look!

Can Toning Damage Your Hair?

Sort of. The toner itself won't damage your hair, but the bleach that often precedes it (it's not possible to lighten your hair with a toner) or the developer needed for the toner to work can absolutely damage your hair.

We're all pretty familiar with the ways bleach can damage your hair, but fewer people are familiar with the potential damage developers can inflict. Developer opens your hairs' cuticles so that color can penetrate them, but using developers that are too strong (e.g. 30 or 40 volume, which you should never use at home) or using weaker developers too often can be very hard on your hair.

For this reason, you shouldn't tone your hair too much or too often. it's important to give your hair time to recover between toning sessions—a few days at the very least. In addition to giving your hair a breather, this will also give you a better idea of what your color is really like, as it will shift a bit after being toned.

Troubleshooting Toning Mistakes

Going from your current hair color to your dream hair color via toning can be trickier than it initially appears. Here are three common toning mistakes and how to avoid them.

1. Toning Lighter Than Your Current Level

This usually happens when you're worried about making your hair too dark, but using a toner for a level that's lighter than the lift you already have can end up creating unbalanced warmth and resulting in an awkward look.

Solution: Never tone higher than the level the hair is already lifted to.

2. Making Your Hair Overly Ashy

This usually happens when you eliminate all warm and gold tones in the hopes that it will give you the silvery look you're going for. Unfortunately, all this does is remove your hair's brightness.

Solution: Never eliminate warmth completely. Instead, try balancing it.

3. Toning Too Much All at Once

While going from your current color to your desired color in a day would be optimal, it often isn't possible, especially if the difference between the two is fairly drastic.

Solution: Don't try to achieve your perfect color all at once. Instead, resign yourself to the fact that it may take several sessions over the course of a few months to achieve your perfect color.

4. Accidentally Turning Your Hair Green

This can happen if you use an ash toner (which contains more green tones) or blue-tinted toner on yellow-toned hair, as the combination could result in a greenish color.

Solution: Avoid green- or blue-tinted toners and opt for purple-tinted ones instead!

5. Toning Darker Without Filling First

Toning darker without filling the hair first will result in a muddy gray color that almost certainly isn't what you were going for.

Solution: Fill hair to balance the tones before using a toner to go darker.

For more information about troubleshooting toning mistakes, including examples, check out this article by @paintedhair.

Maintaining Toned Hair

At this point, you should have a beautiful, non-brassy shade of blonde hair! If that didn't happen, you may need to reevaluate the steps that you took. Did you bleach your hair to the proper level before toning it? Did you leave the toner in long enough? Did you use the proper volume of developer?

Again, if you need to redo the process, wait a few days first to give your hair a breather.

In my experience, toner is not truly "permanent" and will need to be used again once brassy tones start to come back through. This will take some time, though.

There are many ways to prevent brassy hair, but I've found that a particularly great product for upkeep is Generic Brand Purple Shampoo, available at Sally's. This will work to tone your hair every time you take a shower, preventing brassiness! But again, be sure to use a moisturizing conditioner, as toning shampoos can end up drying out your hair.

More Hair DIYs

Now that your hair is perfectly toned, it's time to start thinking of your next hair journey! Read some of my other DIYs here:

What Is Developer and How Do You Use It?

How to Remove Red Hair Dye

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Alex Rose


Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on August 26, 2020:

Bleach always works best on virgin hair, which is why it lifted the top so much and left the bottom looking brassy! The brassy parts are from where the permanent brown dye changed the color of your hair.

Looks like your profile photo is what you are dealing with now? You may be able to go over your hair now with a dye like Clairol's Nice N Easy (no ammonia). Instead of a sandy blonde, I'd personally go for a light brown to help cover some more of the bottom. Your hair will probably need a trim after the bleaching, so if you cut off a few inches you will be able to remove some of the darker stained hair as well!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on August 26, 2020:

T18 should work to make your hair platinum toned! If you'd like to go for silver, you can try out something like Ion Titanium.

Heather on August 20, 2020:

can i strip after Ive already bleached?

Ch33ky44 on August 18, 2020:

Hi Alex,

I desperatly need some help with my hair. I've only put brown hair dye on my hair once about 15 months ago in over 3 years. Well a few days ago I put bleach with 20 developer on my hair. I painted it on towards my roots to leave some light/medium brown and not have it be a harsh line of color. I used to do this to my sisters hair and it always worked well. I followed up with a T28 developer. The result was a medium blonde with yellow and an orange tint to it. My roots were also lightened quiet a bit by the toner. I went back to Sallys and was recommended doing another round of bleach with the 20 developer all over my hair followed up by T14 toner. The result- down to my ears is (I think) a level 10. Very bright light pale yellow. From my ear level down is a level 8 that's brassy with a dominant orange hue. Hair suprisingly still feels pretty healthy. A little more dried out feeling than normal but dosen't seem too bad considering.. I can't afford to go to the Salon due to family hardship at the moment or I would have from the begining. However, my hair looks horrible now and I have not a clue what to do with it. Overall goal was a light sandy or ash blonde that looks more natural and pretty. Any help would be very much appreciated!

McKayla on August 17, 2020:

I have a level 10 light blonde hair will t18 make it a silvery color

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on August 17, 2020:

If it's your first time bleaching your hair on your own, silver is probably a little too ambitious. I would hit a salon first.

Silver is definitely easier to achieve when you know what you're doing, and if you've worked with bleach on your own hair enough. It's kind of a long process, typically with multiple rounds of bleaching involved. I know the first time I tried to bleach my hair at home, I was very impatient and inexperienced, and I fried my hair because of it. Over the years of experimenting, now I feel comfortable to bleach and go silver - but if it's your first time, I would strongly recommend seeing a pro!

Debbie on August 10, 2020:

My natural hair is dark brown with a lil gray here and there around the crown.

But i have had my hair dyed blond (golden) for 11 years.

I so want the silver look.

Should i just go to a salon or can i achieve it myself. Never have done a toner or nkeach just dye jobs.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on July 28, 2020:

There is an important distinction between blonde dye and bleach! Blonde dye is kind of pointless in my opinion, because dye deposits color. If you're trying to go lighter, you need bleach rather than dye.

If you're not super experienced with bleach, I don't really recommend trying it on your own as it can really damage your hair. I do have a few articles on how to bleach at home, so if you're in it for the long haul you can absolutely learn.

Carrie on July 23, 2020:

I naturally have medium brown hair with light red undertones. I then tried to initially tried to dye my hair a light ash blog. Ugh. Now I have light reddish brown brown hair on the top with some red strips running down the back. I have mid length thick hair . I have toned it with fanola blue shampoo and conditioner, Then Kristen Ess gloss. No results . I gave myself a night in my olaplex conditioner. No dice. Now my dark hair at the ends of my hair and the reddish /blond/brown is disastrous.

Abir tsleb on July 20, 2020:

I have a question about a hair color

How i can get rid of darker spots oh the top front of the hair

The hair are already color level 5. And those dart spots are 2level darker

Marisa on June 28, 2020:

What Wella toner would you recommend to put on brown hair that got bleached to a yellow level 7/8? I tried to use t15 and it didn’t stick.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on June 23, 2020:

You'll need to bleach at least one or two more times to get your hair light enough. Toners aren't absolutely necessary for this. If you're going for blue or purple, I would definitely recommend a toner. If you're looking to do any warm colors or green, you should be okay without a toner! If you want to dye a bright red or orange, you will most likely not need to bleach any further.

If you're going to go through multiple bright colors, I do recommend that you do multiple bleaches (spaced out over a few weeks) until your hair is light enough. Typically, if it is a light yellow, you are ready to go.

Tracy on June 22, 2020:

I bleached my brown hair, and it looks just like the picture at the top of this article... red. I plan on coloring my hair some bright colors. I know nothing about toners. Are they necessary to achieve this? What toner/ developer would i get? Can I do it soon after bleaching?

Emma 29 24 on June 21, 2020:

I am planning to use wella t10 toner on deer brown hair, any advice!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on June 18, 2020:

There are certain shades of toner that will work perfectly for you! If you lighten to a golden color, just between orange and yellow, you could use a toner like T11, T27, or 35 to even it out and stay caramel-beige!

Kooky on June 16, 2020:

Hi there! I think I'm getting the hang of this, but most of the information I'm finding is for canceling out warm colours. What if I want a lower level bronde or golden hair/highlights? I keep learning how we must bleach to pale yellow before toning, but what if I don't want my hair that light and I want to work with the warmth instead of cancel it? Even if I do want my hair that light, I'm not sure what to do. Everything revolves around ash, lord help me! lol.. tia :)

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on June 12, 2020:

I would first remove the existing color using a color stripper - this is better for your hair than trying to bleach dye out! I've used Color Oops before, but there are tons of generic brands you can pick up from your local drug store or Sally's.

Once you've removed the existing dye, I *think* a bleach bath could work for what you're trying to do. Everyone's hair is different, but it is very possible a bleach bath will do, rather than a full bleach! I think it's also a better idea since you're only wanting to go a couple of shades lighter.

From there I would choose either a dark blonde or a light brown dye. Personally, I'd choose a dark blonde just because I worry about a light brown being too dark and taking you right back where you started.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on June 12, 2020:

Sounds like the bleach was not left in long enough. Dark hair goes orange first, then yellow, and then the hairstylist should use toner to take out the brassy tones. I would schedule an appointment with a different hairstylist, for a color correction! And maybe see about getting a refund from the first stylist, because highlights are basic and should be easy to do.

amurisen on June 09, 2020:

It turned my white hair an awful color of blond

S Smith on June 08, 2020:

My daughter has brown hair. Had is 'highlighted' by a 'professional' and it's orange. It's pretty bad. What should she do?

Karen Barnes on June 06, 2020:

I have box dyed hair 5 AB L'oreal Medium Ash Brown which looks very dark on me with lots of red undertones. I would like to go to a 6 or 7 Light Ash Brown or Dark Ash Blonde color. I also have greater than 50% grey roots. My natural color is about a level 5. Would a bleach bath work to lighten 1-2 shades, or am I needing to do a full bleach? What would I use to color after bleaching to achieve this? Would a 7NA permanant dye be appropriate to achieve the level 6-7 and cover roots? I do not want any red/orange undertones . Can you recommend any specific products? Thank you!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on June 03, 2020:

I'm not sure it would lift enough color out, you may need to do a round of bleach first! Since your hair is already blonde, I'd try maybe with 10 volume developer and then tone with T18.

Jessica on June 02, 2020:

My hair is currently lightened to about a T35 but I would prefer it to have more of an ash tone like a T18. Is it possible to achieve that by toning it?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 28, 2020:

I used to make this mistake too - when removing color, you should use a color stripper rather than bleach! I've learned within the past few years that putting bleach on top of dye can result in some staining. The color should be removed first, and then bleach should be applied.

If this were me, I'd try out a color remover next. Some dyes can be very stubborn. I know you can find brands like Color Oops at a drug store! You can also find packets of Pulp Riot Blank Canvas on Ebay. This is my favorite brand, and it doesn't smell nearly as awful as Color Oops. I use one packet on my hair which is almost down to my waist. Mix with 10 volume developer, and it usually works pretty quickly. I use it pretty much the same as I would bleach, leaving it in about 40 minutes or less!

Donotw84it on May 28, 2020:

My daughter has used several different colors of Arctic Fox on her slightly lifted bayalage hair (maybe between a 7-8 near the bottom of her hair and blended up to about a 4-5 at the roots), over the course of about 9 months. She has used pinks, purples, reds, violets and the last color she used was a sapphire blue tone and it faded out to blue/green on the lightest pieces of her hair. In an effort to try and remove these last traces of blue and go back to blonde highlights/bayalage, she did an all over bleach bath with 20v developer, dandruff shampoo, lightening powder and Ion’s version of Olaplex. This has lifted her a shade or two all over which she expected, but turned the blue to a mint green on the lower parts of her hair, pulled up some various shades of pink/rose in other areas and a orangish-gold on her natural roots (probably about 4-5 inches of new growth). We are kind of at a loss as to where to go from here given all the different colors happening right now. Our thought was to do another bleach wash in a week or so and then toner, but we are just not sure. We are nervous to tone because, what color do we use?? Several different colors/toners? Ketchup?? Totally at a loss here, but this is the first processing she has done since last August, so her hair is relatively healthy. Any advice would be appreciated. Please and thank you.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 27, 2020:

I don't think that T18 would work on copper hair, T35 with 20 volume is probably your best bet! Good luck! If it doesn't lighten up enough, you may need to use bleach to lift some of the copper out.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 27, 2020:

I would definitely put them on separately! The T18 won't do anything to the orange parts, but I'd worry about the T27 on the lighter parts.

Adriana on May 27, 2020:

Hello, I have light copper hair (9.34) and would like to take away the red and just have a normal blond. Should I use T18 or T35? I am really confused! Thanks for the advice and congrats for this very useful article! :)

vanessa61 on May 22, 2020:

Hi! I have some light yellow highlights and other orange parts in my hair. Can I mix T18 with T27 and developer in the same bowl and apply all over or should do it separately?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 18, 2020:

It takes a while to turn purple, maybe 20-30 minutes before it really starts to show up. It is possible that your chemicals or brands were bad? I've never heard of it happening, I usually use developer that I've had sitting around for months and I haven't had any issues.

It's hard to know what could have happened without more details.

SARAH BROWN on May 15, 2020:

Anyone know why the toner would not turn purple?

I added 2 parts 20 vol developer and nothing happened! Sitting here with white blonde hair and yellow roots!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 15, 2020:

No need to bleach again! Not sure where you're from but you should just be able to pick up a box dye from the drug store that can achieve the brown/red that you're looking for. Maybe Loreal 6AB if available by you? It is an auburn-brown.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 15, 2020:

Yes that should work perfectly!

Charlie on May 14, 2020:


I normally have full bleached hair. Decided to bleach my own roots and they are yellow in comparison to the white length which i expected. It is not massively different but just looks a bit naff. I have ordered T18 & 20vol to even it out so assume thats the right one?

Nikno on May 12, 2020:

Hello, I love everything I'm reading. I really need help. I'm naturally level 5 med brown but have been a level 3 Clairol dark brown/black 10 years, grey roots. I went quarantine craze and ordered from Sally. I bleached with 30 v and prism light bleach powder - I did this 2x. I didn't leave it in very long - because I'm afraid of killing my hair. I am now a fairly even drab bright pumpkin color level 6. Very flat no shine, some hot yellow under the lower layers. I would be thrilled to get to a med/light natural-ish looking auburn. My hair is porous and pulls dark. If I tone orange hair will it go ashy brown? If I put a auburn or red brown color over my pumpkin color with a 10v peroxide - will this backfire? Is there a way to get where I want with no more bleaching? I'm thinking of med brown/red with some honey tones. I'm afraid if I put med brown color on it will pull dark. And if I put red or auburn on it I'll look like Ronald McDonald.Thanks so much! This is very accurate to color I'm currently at but very dull no shine

and this is where I'd like to go with it - anything close would be amazing Thank You

Siribai on May 10, 2020:

If your roots are still a tad yellow after toning (or a little lighter than the rest of your hair you could get a demipermanent color in an ashy tone in a level 7 or 8 (wella colorcharm demipermanent 8-A works well for me) and apply it just lightly at the roots of your hair in dry or barely damp hair - going a bit longer as you head toward the back of your head. It's just a subtle (or less subtle) root shadow/root tap. This is what I do and it makes me look like a natural blonde. slightly darker (blended) roots ALWAYS look best in my opinion. If you want to get really fancy you can blend it out with a brush dipped in conditioner.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 10, 2020:

It is interesting that you have gotten the correct result before but it isn't working now. Really the only thing you can do to remove color is to bleach, and it is great that you have been spacing them out so far! I'm not sure which products you are using, but maybe it would be good to try a new bleach/developer? For the last few years I have been using Ion Bright White Creme Lightener, and it works better than anything else I have used. If your hair is currently orange, I'd use Salon Care 20 Vol developer. Sometimes when my hair is stubborn I leave it on a little longer than recommended, which is usually fine because I take very good care of my hair. Maybe 40 mins to an hour would do the trick? Just make sure you are monitoring the bleached sections while they process and don't use any on your ends!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 10, 2020:

I usually order from Sally Beauty, but I'm not sure if they ship to ireland! If that doesn't work, definitely try Ebay.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 10, 2020:

I would try a green based toner rather than bleach!

Mistena on May 06, 2020:

I need help

Meggie Golden on May 06, 2020:

I have dark hair. I bleached/toned my hair before to get a level 10/11 lightness. I then went ash grey. That was a year ago and the grey of course faded out and i had growth about 4 inches on my roots. I should have kept up with it but life happened. Anyways i figured I would do the process again. Bleach everything level 11 blonde. I have bleached it 3 times (waiting months in between). 3 times was the magic number laat time. This time i cant seem to bleach it light enough. I cant get the orange out of my hair. I have bleached, toned with T18 and T14. Nothing is working. Im confused why i cant get the sane results i did last time doing the same process. Any ideas?

Dolores on May 06, 2020:

Hi please help i live in ireland and ive heard so much about wella toner but i cant get it anywere ive tryed looking on line but no luck. Where can i get it

Soso on May 06, 2020:


I've been wanting to color my hair

I have my dark roots, also highlights grown out, they're still beautiful color, I want to color my whole hair to mushrooms brown, what color should I use, by Wella please

thank you in advance

A-P on May 05, 2020:

Hello! I'm naturally a medium blonde. I've previously bleached and dyed my hair artificial, bold reds. A few months out, My hair is mostly just bleachy-pink. I'd like to neutralize the red tones in the previously bleached sections. Could I simply use a green-based toner or should I bleach those sections again?

I'm trying to go a light blue.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 05, 2020:

The problem with that is that you're using a dye to go blonde, and dye deposits color. What you need is bleach, which lifts color. If your hair is orange, you're not going to get anywhere close to blonde unless you bleach it. Purple shampoo is merely for toning your hair once it is light yellow. If you still have purple in your hair, it means you didn't wash the shampoo out well enough.

In order to get to blonde you will need to use a lightener. I use Ion Bright White Creme Lightener and Salon Care 20 volume Creme Developer. You will probably want to have someone help you apply it so you can be thorough and quick.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 05, 2020:

I've never had it turn my hair gray, it usually makes it platinum - but everyone's hair is different. Maybe go for something a little more warm toned, like T14 or T15?

Penny Champion on May 04, 2020:


I’ve used a permanent nutrisse blond colour on the roots of my hair and it’s turned my hair colour orange. I then went and bought a colour kit that takes colour out but that just made it more orange. I’ve then bought purple shampoo and that has left purple shades throughout my hair. Now have orange and purple shades on my hair. What can I do?


Alicia on May 04, 2020:

Hello! I’ve been hoping to achieve the gorgeous blond hair color you have in the picture for years. It never goes right even at salons, I’ve never tried a toner and I seen the exact ash blonde one at Sally’s today that you’re talking about (the woman working in there even suggested it) I didn’t buy it because I’ve always heard that any kind of Ashe will make my hair grey which I don’t want! I’m also pretty scared to try, what do you suggest? Should I give it a go after dying my hair or try something else? Thank you!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 01, 2020:

Hey! I think I just replied to your other comment - for a medium blonde I'd say T11 or T15!

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 01, 2020:

For medium blonde, I think T15 or T11 would work well!

Marne G on May 01, 2020:

I am not sure if you answered this, if so I apologize but I didn't see the answer... I was due for a highlight mid March, so I now have 11 weeks of growth. I have medium blonde hair, and I get a lot of very light highlights. I would like to tone my highlights so the new growth isn't quite as much of a contrast. What level would you recommend?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 30, 2020:

You can mix two, but it sounds to me like your hair wasn't pale enough the first time you used the toner. You may want to go back in and lighten the parts that are still showing yellow through. I just worry that using a toner again won't actually do the trick, in which case you waste a bunch more toner.

Once you've got that yellow down to a super pale yellow, you should be able to tone successfully! T10 is definitely more silver too, T18 always gives me a platinum blonde.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 30, 2020:

It sounds like it didn't lift enough the first time, so I'd go back in and re-bleach the roots. But it's important to take your time between processes, since you've just done two in a week. I'd space it out and lighten again next week, and then give it a day or so before toning again! And try to avoid the super light spots - just put the lightener on the darker bits.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 30, 2020:

If your hair has lifted to very white, I would avoid toner! Toner will create a small amount of color lift, so it may end up making your hair even lighter. I'd try a semi-permanent blonde, whichever brand you prefer. I don't normally do blonde so if I were doing this, I'd probably try Ion or Garnier.

Alison on April 30, 2020:



I use T18 after bleaching to get rid of the yellow, this works on most of my hair but i always see a sight tinge of yellow at my roots even after toning with the T18. I also like it to be more silver than white which toner would you suggest or can you mix 2 together for example T18 and T10? What would you suggest for the yelllow tibhe even after toning.



clairebbbear on April 29, 2020:

Hi - I got desperate in iso and used a boxed dye (L'oreal) to dye my roots, which are light ash brown compared to the rest of my hair which is light silvery ash blonde.

I don't think I left it in long enough because my roots are brassy/golden in comparison to the rest of my hair. I have used a toner and a purple shampoo, which helped with the brassiness, but it seems like they both took to the rest of my hair much better than to the newly dyed bit (the rest of my hair is now even more silver/lilac, while the roots are more yellow in comparison).

So I'm wondering if I need to re-lighten my roots using a 20 vol developer as well as a toner this time, and will my hair take that? It has been nearly a week since I bleached the roots.

AnnC67 on April 29, 2020:

Because of all the salons being closed since last month, I decided to bleach my hair rather than touch up my grey roots that were getting too long because I always wind up making the rest of my hair too dark because I have trouble keeping it just on the roots. My natural hair color was light brown but it grey/white when I was in my 30s.

After bleaching my hair, I used Wella Color Charm T14 toner, which is too light, so now my hair is very white (I look like Viserys Targaryen from Game of Thrones). ;0)

Can I use a T11 toner to make it less white or should I use T35 or something other than toner? I'd hate to use permanent color and mess it up and negate the reason for bleaching it i the first place.


Marne G on April 29, 2020:

I was due for a highlight mid March, so I now have 11 weeks of growth. I have medium blonde hair, and I get a lot of very light highlights. I would like to tone my highlights so the new growth isn't quite as much of a contrast. What level would you recommend?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 27, 2020:

You can just tone the blonde areas if you'd like! The toner won't do much at all on hair that isn't light blonde anyways, so I'd say mix up half of the formula and save the unmixed toner for next time.

Lauralei6 on April 25, 2020:

Question - if I’m am growing out natural roots, silver and mid brown but with bleached ends say 5-6 inches , can I tone all over with a blend of violet/warm Wella or just do the blonde part? Thank you

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 23, 2020:

A color stripper is different than bleach and can be purchased at a drug store typically! Color Oops is a popular one. It is designed to remove existing dye, not lighten your natural hair color. So, if you're trying to go blonde, you should first remove the red dye, then bleach roots/the rest of your hair to the level you desire. If you're looking to go for a golden blonde, once you've lightened your hair to gold (somewhere between orange and yellow) and use Wella T35!

Nicole Patrick on April 23, 2020:

Hi there. I am going to try and lift red box color during this quarantine. I noted you mentioned using a stripper. Is that different than bleach? Also, I have dark brown and gray roots, should I handle them differently than the colored hair? Finally, my hair tends to pull brassy. Can you recommend a toner shade?

Thanks for doing this.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 23, 2020:

If your hair hasn't been bleached light enough, the Wella T18 toner will not work. It only works on light yellow hair. If you're still seeing orange tones at your roots, you will need to do another bleach process before toning! Or, use a different toner like Wella T35 - this is for hair that is more orangey to become golden/honey toned.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 22, 2020:

That COULD work, but I'm not as familiar with using blonde dyes to tone. I wouldn't recommend putting developer in a dye unless it's in the instructions.

I'd say if you have highlights that are more orange, try Wella T35 toner with 20 volume developer. If you google image search "Wella Toner Chart" you should be able to find a graphic that shows what each of their toners should do!

Sabrina Adams on April 22, 2020:

Hi my question is the toners I use is the Wella t18 and It’s still not white enough for me and I don’t know how to get rid of the brassiness at my roots do you have any suggestions please help

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 22, 2020:

So Wella T18 is for hair that is yellow, it's not going to do much for orange hair. What you can do is use a different toner on the orange parts, while using the T18 still on the yellowy bits. Maybe try Wella T35 or T11?

And you don't need to put it on all of your hair, I usually just apply it to the sections that need it. However, if you have a ton of highlights and it's just easier to put it all over, that shouldn't cause you any problems!

Karin on April 20, 2020:

I just had a quick question, first ur amazing at explaining things and it makes it so easy to understand how to do things.

BUT I need help lol .. I have medium brown hair and I usually do blonde highlights around this time of year. Sometimes little parts of it come out a little orange, when I use the toner do i just put that in all of my hair, like roots etc? Cuz I bought wella 20 developer and wella t18 toner. I need help lol. Me and my hubby just got over being sick for 3wks and now that I'm feeling better I need some normalcy but was stuck on the whole toner thing.I just had a quick question, first ur amazing at explaining things and it makes it so easy to understand how to do things.

BUT I need help lol .. I have medium brown hair and I usually do blonde highlights around this time of year. Sometimes little parts of it come out a little orange, when I use the toner do i just put that in all of my hair, like roots etc? Cuz I bought wella 20 developer and wella t18 toner. I need help lol. Me and my hubby just got over being sick for 3wks and now that I'm feeling better I need some normalcy but was stuck on the whole toner thing.

Rebecca on April 20, 2020:

If I have added balayage to my medium brown hair (Dyed my natural color to cover grays) Would I be able to use an Ash blonde boxed dye on the highlighted portion of my hair in order to get rid of the brassy orange color? Would using a 20 developer with the color make a difference? Is this an obvious disaster waiting to happen.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 14, 2020:

Hi! I think I just responded to your e-mail. Don't worry about stripping toner, I'd just add the T18 on top. Sounds like you're good to go with it. If you have any particularly bad color banding, I'd go back in and do a spot touch up with bleach (just quickly in the bad spots) before toning.

I always apply toner on dry hair, so you know you have hit every section. I'd give it a few days between your bleach and tone processes, should be fine because you're home anyways! Once you've got the banding out, go in with the toner and 20 volume. Apply it in small sections on dry hair and use a dye brush! Just don't leave on for too long, the toner box will have some instructions for you!

When it's time to rinse toner out, don't use shampoo - just rinse it out thoroughly and you shouldn't really have any purple left in there.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 14, 2020:

I would try out a nice warm blonde dye! If your hair is already lightened you can find blonde dyes at most drug stores. Maybe Garnier Butternut or Apricot Jam is more what you're looking for?

Sarah English from Essex on April 13, 2020:


So quarantine and waiting to go to the hairdressers doesn’t work!

My natural base is about 6 with a natural red/gold tone

I have pre lightened my root with powder bleach and 20 vol (yes it’s patchy underneath the back but hey ho) the top sides and front are good coverage

My root is lifted to around a 10 base, and a little darker than my lengths (I’d say around 11/12) I think there’s still a little toner left from my last appointment in February, So don’t know if it’s best to try and strip that out first.

I’ve ordered T18, as it seems the best. Will this level out the colour banding?

Can you recommend application methods for best results please. I’m not working at the moment so don’t mind a lilac/grey result.

Also, wet or dry application?

Thank you for your advice!

Stay safe and well x

Erica Williams on April 10, 2020:

Hi I have 4B textured hair and I previously bleached my hair and achieved a nice warm blonde (t15/t27). I went back to do my roots and used T28 toner. It basically took all of the warmth out and is a more natural blonde but doesn’t fit my complexion (I have Carmel brown skin with hazel eyes) How do I get back to a warmer blonde that better suits me?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 07, 2020:

So, there's a difference between blonde hair dyes, and bleach. Sounds like you've used a dye, which won't help to lift a whole lot of the color. I'm not sure what's available to you, but since you're on lockdown it's okay to take your time with lightening as not a lot of people should see your hair in this in-between stage!

I'd get a color stripper first, and try to remove any residual dye that may be present. Then, wait a few days and give your hair some time to recover. If you can get bleach and developer and toner, I'd recommend Ion Bright White Creme Lightener, Salon Care 20 volume Creme Developer, and Wella T-35 Toner. Use the lightener and developer at the recommended ratio (I think it's one part lightener to two parts developer). Make sure you're applying them evenly with a dye brush. Apply in small sections, so you don't get splotches. Let sit for about 40-50 minutes before rinsing. You can repeat this process a couple of times if your hair is naturally dark - just space out the bleaches by a few days and make sure you're conditioning heavily. Don't use shampoo for a bit as it will only dry your hair out more.

I'd focus right now on lifting the red and orange out - go easy on the yellow spots, as they seem to have lightened enough already. Once you can get all of your hair to be gold, I'd use Wella T-35 Toner and the same 20 volulme developer. This will tone your hair to beige!

It's super important to take your time here - it's not going to turn out perfect your first bleach. But you've got the time, it's definitely better to go in baby steps than to ruin your hair and have to cut it all off. Good luck!

Sarah Fernandes on April 02, 2020:


So ive been taking quarantine well and dyed my hair using box dyes, blonde ones. Ive bascially gone from dark brown/black to very light orange with a pale blonde and then to a vitamin C colour (yellow gold at the roots, orange/red almost for the rest of my hair) after thinking a platinum blonde would help me go lighter. Its dark red/orange/yellowey now. What do i do? I basically wanted to go light enough (i miss the very plae orange now) to dye it with something that gave me a rose goldish colour. Got a deep rouge red 4.26 hair dye. With covid i thought i could do it myself

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on March 10, 2020:

If you're going to platinum, you'll need your hair to be bleached to yellow! When you have it yellow like the inside of a banana peel, use Wella T18 to remove the brassiness and achieve a white-platinum.

Ruby on February 25, 2020:

Hi, I have reddish (dyed) medium brown hair (natural) and I want to know which toner I should use after I bleach my hair? I'm trying to get it to a platinum color. I know it'll be brassie and orange one I bleach it cause of the red. PLS help me!!!! Lol

Tetatate2 on February 17, 2020:


I'm looking for advice .

I just jumped into dying my hair for the first time.

I really wanted to cover some odd looking grey.

I went with a henna product that was meant to give a rich brown but actually gave a lot of red .

I then used a garnier nutrise brown to try and cover the red .

But of course it is still a very red - brown .

Reading up and watching videos it is all a bit confusing

Seem I should be using something with a green tone to try and neutralize but what and how exactly - e.g. shoud I try and take some of the colour out first .......

Any advice appreciated . great if it can be kept simple :)

I don't really mind what colour - within reason other than red - or probably black :)

Elisabete Balula on January 03, 2020:

Hello. Finally I found an article super informative. I dye my hair a lot, I have been dying it with semi permanent La Riche black, before this my hair was white... and I have used this black about 4 to 5 times with a space of 4 to 5 weeks in between, now I would like it silver gray, but the black left this green and I have already bleached it twice, one time with 20 volumes developer and another with 40 volumes developer, now I have green and orange hair, can I correct it to get to silver with a toner?

Brenda on January 03, 2020:

I had dark brown hair and have bleached it 2 times and the orange/gold will not go any lighter I tried toner t18 nothing happened. My roots are more yellow then an inch from my roots the orange color. I don’t want to bleach again but need help to see what toner will help get this awful hair color gone!!! Plz plz help

Roro on November 10, 2019:

After bleaching the hair, which color i have to use to shade the roots? Then after shading the roots i want to use t18+t14.

Dkbrn57 on September 11, 2019:

I have grey roots that I color with dark brown root touch up. What toner should I use after the root touch up? The remainder of my hair is highlighted a caramel color.

Diane Teutsch on September 02, 2019:

I highlighted with a mix of 30 & 40 volume taking from red auburn, dyed med brown first Brassy so I used T35 toner. Should I have used T11 or T15? T35 makes it look brown again like I never highlighted

Deborah on August 25, 2019:

Can this be used on highlights mixed with lowlights? I really don’t want the darker pieces to lighten.

Kat on July 27, 2019:

I bleached my hair and then used the T18 to get the brassy out and a more platinum/silvery colour but there are areas even after washing that are purple? Why and how do I correct?

HawkHire on July 25, 2019:

Wow this One is very nice and always Your blog give me Most Informative Details,


Bunie Jaeger on July 02, 2019:

I had my hair bleached , used toner pale ash blonde then used 050 violet to obtain grey hair . It was grey but after a few washings its back to pale yello ?

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on June 26, 2019:

I use it on dry, dirty hair. Usually bleach and dye take better on dirty hair. The amount of time since you've bleached it shouldn't matter, but how light your hair is does matter. Say you were using Wella T-18. Your hair needs to be a light yellow for this to work - no matter when you last bleached it. I would leave on no longer than 40 minutes. You can leave it on longer, but you risk serious damage to your hair.

chloehunt on June 19, 2019:

Do you use on washed or dirty hair? Wet or dry? Does it matter if my hair hasn’t been bleached for 6 months?

What would the max time you would leave it on for lightest possible hair?

Patsy on June 05, 2019:

What toner would I use to enhance my gray hair. T14 r T18 ty

colonel blonde on June 03, 2019:

T18 toner WILL NOT correct Orange hair. Ive been bleaching/toning for 23 years. T18 has a violet base and is for yellow/gold blondes, for orangey blondes you need a toner with blue in the base.. T10, T14. All of the beige toners add neutral/sandy tones you can mix a little into your cool toners if you don't want to be too ashy or silvery.

violet cancels out yellow

green cancels out red

blue cancels out orange

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on May 28, 2019:


SuzanneA7 on May 27, 2019:

Hi! In the first side by side photo where the hair is orange on the left and blonde on the right...which Wella toner was used? Thank you :)

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 29, 2019:

I'd say that's ash blonde! If you bleach to a level 9 or 10 blonde and then hit it with the T-18 toner it should do the trick - that's exactly how I got that shade.

Christina from Charlottesville on April 26, 2019:

In your very first picture, the orange side by side with the toned hair, the bottom of hair is pretty much what I want. I don’t know if it’s ash blonde, pale blonde or beige but it’s not platinum or super light. I see the color a lot but never know how to get it lol. Thank you.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on April 26, 2019:

What are you trying to get to? My hair pulls orange as well but if I'm going for a blonde it just takes a few more rounds of bleach. Once your hair is more yellow you can tone it easier.

Christina from Charlottesville on April 26, 2019:

So I have been obsessing about toners, bleaching, colors. I’ve watched literally every video and yet I still bleached my hair to a nasty orange color. I’ve used 3 different toners over the years and still got it wrong

Roc on April 24, 2019:

Blond brilliance toner works better for getting rid of orangy redish tones after bleaching. I like the platinum tone with 15 developer. It also lifts 1 level.

Alex Rose (author) from Virginia on March 27, 2019:

Your toner WILL fade, so maybe the trick would be to wash it out. If you wash your hair every day, it should fade pretty quickly. Then I would do T18 and hopefully that does the trick! If you have the T14 in now, I don't think it would get any lighter by applying another toner on top. I haven't had this issue before, but I'd try just washing it out first and then adjusting to the T18.

Ladylovetkn420 on March 27, 2019:

Hi Alexa, unfortunately I came to you a little late. I made a mistake. My hair turned out more of that grey dull color. And I need to know how to correct this. Please help.

Can I add t18 over the t14 toner? After the fact

HighinthecloudsX from Toronto on March 22, 2019:

Hi Alex. (I made a profile I commented earlier.) Yes sorry I forgot to put what colour I wanted to achieve I'm going for a icy white blonde. Something like your picture, captioned (my new look) My friend reccomended to dye my hair with an Ash/gold blonde level 7. Do another bleach and then tone it.What do you think about that idea?

Thanks for answering

Related Articles