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How to tone level 9 hair & turn it cool and ashy


Level 9 Blonde Toning

Level 9 hair tends to be quite yellow. Especially if you have bleached it.

So how do you tone it to turn it cool and ashy?

And keep it level 9?

We'll show you in this blog.

Is your client's hair Level 9 blonde? 

It is important to be precise about your hair color level.

Use this chart below to determine what level your hair is currently.

Hair Color Levels

Hair Color Levels

Why does level 9 blonde hair go yellow, anyway?

This is to do with the way all hair works.

So it's not just your client's hair, it's everyone's hair.

All hair has a secondary reflect, and it is always warm.

When it is level 6 or level 7, this reflect is orange.

When it is around level 8, it is yellow-orange.

And when it is level 9, it is typically yellow.

Incidentally, when you bleach someone's hair (see image above), this is typically the level it will be just after bleaching.

Which toner should I use for level 9 hair?

For level 9 hair, the easiest and best solution for you would be Blondify toners.

They are available in 010A and 010V

The A stands for "Ash", and the V stands for "Violet."

Ash and violet pigments are excellent for toning level 9 blonde hair.

These toners act to counteract the yellow present in the hair and turn it cold white ash blonde.

Use the ash toner if the hair you are looking to correct is more of a brassy yellow.

And use the violet toner if you are looking to correct pure yellow tones.


Yellow hair toned cold and ashy with Ugly Duckling 010V. Hair by Elona Taki


Yellow hair toned with 010A. Hair by Elona Taki

You can also do what many stylists do, and mix the 2 toners (ash and violet) together.

Here's what you get when you do:


Hair bleached with Brilliant Blondexx Bleach. Then toned with a mixture of 010A and 010V.

Hair by Erica Six.

How do I mix and apply Ash and Violet Toners?


Blondify Natural Violet Blonde 010A


Blondify Natural Violet Blonde 010V

Blondify liquid toners are in liquid form and they come in small 2 oz bottles.

The mix ratio is 1+1 and you can mix them in an applicator bottle, shaking well.

Having done so, yo ucan just pour over the hair and rub in thoroughly.

Wait 10 minutes, and then rinse.

You should find a significant difference in the color and reflect of your blonde hair.

It will be colder, whiter, ashier.

Can't I just use 40 Vol developer to lighten level 9 hair?

Yes, you could...if you wanted to blow up the hair integrity, and still not get the correct cool, ashy tone.

Can't I just use Purple Shampoo to tone level 9 hair?

Purple Mask

Ugly Duckling's Purple Mask in action at the back wash.

Purple shampoo and purple mask are excellent products for toning blonde hair.

Ugly Duckling's Brilliant Blonde Purple Shampoo and Mask do an excellent job toning.

And they're sulfate free and acid based as well.

These products will get rid of some yellow, but of course they are demi-permanent.

So they will wash away over time.

It would be better to use these as maintenance products.

And do some real toning first on your client's hair to give her a proper ash blonde transformation.

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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