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Best Color Wheel Toners for hair


Do you need to cancel out yellow hair on a client's hair?

Or orange?

Or gold?

Or red?

These are all well known Color Wheel problems..

To cancel these colors, you need to have a basic understanding of Color Wheel Theory.

In this tutorial, we will explain how the Color Wheel works.

And we'll also suggest some toners that you can use for color correction purposes.

What is the Color Wheel?

The color wheel arranges the colors to show which colors cancel out which.

If a color is opposite to another, it will cancel that color out.

Color Wheel Theory

The Hair Color Wheel shows which colors cancel out which

Blue is opposite to yellow and orange-yellow and will cancel it.

Blue/green is opposite to orange and will cancel that.

Green is opposite to red-orange and will cancel that.

Color Wheel Colors Rules for Toning Hair

The Color Wheel rules for toners are as follows:

Use a purple based color to cancel out light yellow.

Use a blue based color to cancel out yellow and orange-yellow.

Use blue-green to cancel out orange.

Use green to cancel out red.

Color Wheel Theory Vs Color Wheel Practice

Orange hair

Orange hair. For best results, first use bleach to lift to pale yellow. Then tone.

In practice, dumping color on top of color is not such a great thing to do.

It can be done, but should only be done when you really and truly cannot lighten any more.

It is much better to lighten the hair properly first. 

So our practical recommendation to colorists is to do the following instead:

Lighten until you get to level 10 very pale yellow.

Then do your color correction using an appropriate toner.

How to Lighten the Hair

Lighten to level 10

Lighten the hair to level 10 first. Then tone.

Bleach & 20 Vol

Brilliant Blondexx Bleach & 20 Vol Developer will lift away yellow and orange hair

To lighten the hair correctly, you really need to use a good quality bleach.

In fact, many stylists get yellow and orange hair in the first place because the bleach that they had used was ineffective.

We would suggest that you use Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect.

It contains Bond Protect.

Which means that the hair is protected while the bleach is in the hair.

It also gives a remarkably good lift.

In most cases of yellow and orange hair you will just need 20 Vol developer to go with it and lift to pale yellow.

How light should I bleach the hair? When do I rinse?

Level 10 Hair

This is what the hair should look like after bleaching when wet

Once you have bleached the orange hair you should arrive at a very pale yellow.

This means that you have lightened to something approaching level 10.

The picture above and below show what level 10 hair looks like when wet and when dry and ready to be toned.

Yellow hair ready to be toned

Bleached yellow hair ready to be toned.

Best Color Wheel Toners for the hair

As we saw, using a blue based toner is more appropriate if the hair is bright yellow level 8-9.

Whereas using a purple based toner is best used when the hair is pale yellow level 9-10.

In general, blue will tend to give a more natural, pure white blonde result.

Whereas purple will give a more rich, pearly or violet toned blonde result.

Ugly Duckling has a choice of both blue based and purple based toners.

We'll show you some blue and purple based toners you can use now. 

3 Best Blue Based Toners 

We will now go through 3 blue based toners that you can use. 

The first is an ammonia-free liquid gloss toner.

It's non-lifting. It's probably your best go-to product for yellow-orange hair.

The second is a blue based toner with added lift.

It's cream based and it's permanent.

It's a good toner to use when you want to push the hair a little more towards blonde, without adding bleach.

And the third is a blue based ash. 

It's a color, rather than a toner.

Which means it produces truly vivid, 3 D color results.

Blondify Natural Ash Blonde Toner

Blondify Natural Ash Blonde 010A is an ammonia-free liquid gloss toner.

The "A" indicates ash. In this case, a blue based ash for counteracting yellow.

This is an ideal, fast, blue-based toning product for hair that is yellow or yellow-orange which is at level 8-9. 

It contains Bond Protect and Argan oil.

It's also paraben-free and PPD free.

And it's non-lifting.

Blonify Natural Ash Blonde

Blondify Natural Ash Blonde - a blue based ammonia-free toner

Orange hair transformed with Blondify 010A

Before and After

Blondify Natural Ash Blonde toner: Before and After


Hair bleached with Brilliant Blondexx, then toned with Blondify Natural Ash Blonde toner.

Hair by Elona Taki

Intense Silver Blonde 100B

Our second suggestion for a blue based toner would be Intense Silver Blonde 100B.

This is a toner with extra lift. 

So use this when you wish to lift a little more and tone at the same time.

Intense Silver Blonde 100B


Hair by Elona Taki

Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde 10.1b

Our third blue based color is 10.1b Extra Light Cold Ash Blonde.

It will neutralize any yellow that it comes into contact with. 

It also produce a truly stunning pure ash blonde result.

And in case you're worried, there's no blue visible in the final result.

Just a beautifully clear pure (and very natural-looking) white blonde.


Hair by Brittney Worley

3 Best Purple Based Toners 

Let's now have a look at 3 purple based toners. 

Blondify Natural Violet Blonde 010V, our first choice, is an ammonia-free non-lifting toner.

It contains intense purple pigments. 

It produces a natural pure blonde result.

We would recommend you use this as your go-to solution after bleaching to counter yellow.

Use with 10 or 20 Vol developer. 

Natural Violet Blonde 010V

Blondify Natural Violet Blonde 010V - a purple based, ammonia-free toner.

Result 010V

Result Using Blondify Natural Violet Blonde


Hair by Elona Taki.

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Our next purple based toner is the intense pearl blonde 100V.

It's one of the strongest purple toners and colors around.

It will counteract yellow and also give some additional lift to the hair.

Use then when you want to push your customer's hair to a totally white result, bordering on grey.

You can also use it when you feel that the bleached results is really too yellow, and needs to be bumped up by a level.

Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V


Hair by Elias

Extra Light Cool Blonde 10.2

Our last purple based suggestion is Extra Light Cool Blonde.

It's a color, not a toner. And as such it produces really vivid, rich, 3D colors.

It's probably the single most vivid white hair color that Ugly Duckling has - thanks to all those purple pigments.

Use with 20 Vol on bleached hair and process for 30 minutes.


10.2 Extra Light Cool Blonde


Hair by Elona Taki

About the author

Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.

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