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Home Blog 4 types of Purple Toners & When to Use Them

4 types of Purple Toners & When to Use Them


Purple-based toners are a great way to correct yellow hair and get it white, cold and ashy.

But did you know that there are 4 kinds of purple based toner out there?

And that purple shampoo is only one of these 4 kinds.

All colorists need to know about these 4 types of purple toner.

So that you can choose the perfect one based on your or your client's hair. 

Why Does Blonde Hair Turn Yellow In the First Place?

Yellow Hair

Hair turns yellow when it has been lifted with bleach. The solution is to use Purple based toners to neutralize the yellow tone.

When hair is bleached, the natural pigments in the hair shaft are lifted and removed.

And as the hair becomes lighter, it starts to reveal underlying warm tones.

First it goes orange. Then yellow-orange. Then yellow.

This is totally normal. It's the way all hair works when it is lightened using bleach.

To correct for this yellow, we will need to tone it after bleaching it.

How do Purple Toners Work?

Purple Neutralizes Yellow

Using Purple Based Toners will help to correct for yellow hair.

It's a basic principle of Color Theory.

Purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel and helps to cancel it out.

The chart above shows which color corrects for which.

As you can see, yellow hair is the undercoat you get when hair has been lightened to level 9 or 10.

To neutralize this yellow, we need to use violet, or purple.

This is where purple-based toners come into the picture.

What types of Purple Hair toner are there?

There are essentially 4 types of purple toners you need to know about.

In decreasing order of lift and impact on the hair they are as follows:

  • High lifting purple based toners.
  • Regular lifting purple based toner.
  • Ammonia-free toners purple based toners.
  • Purple based shampoos and masks.

We will go through these 4 types of toners now, and show you when you need to use each one of these 4 types of toners.

1. High Lifting Purple Based Toners

High lifting purple based toners are the most powerful type of purple toners there are.

They contain added boost, or lift.

They are particularly useful when there really is a lot of yellow in the hair, and when it is basically nearer level 8 rather than 9 or 10.

In other words, you need to use them when for some reason the bleaching hasn't been done very well and the hair needs more lifting.

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V is a high lifting purple based toner, and in fact one of Ugly Duckling's best sellers.

You mix it with 20 Vol developer in a ratio of 1 part cream toner to 2 parts developer and apply, saturating the hair really, really well.

The application typically takes around 15 minutes. And the processing takes another 15-20 minutes.

You should see a good lift plus really effective purple toning with this product. 

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Results when the hair is toned with Intense Pearl Blonde 100V (purple based high-lift toner)

2. Regular Lift Purple Based Toners

Regular lift purple based toners are what you should generally aim to use to correct yellow hair has been correctly lifted to level 9 or 10.

Ugly Duckling's Regular Lift Pearl Toner 10V is a great choice here.

It lifts by around one level.

At the same time, it is really intensely pigmented with purple pigments.

In fact, it is probably the most purple toner out there.

These purple pigments are really effective at cutting out yellow, exactly as per the Color Wheel.

Leaving the hair a pure white pearl blonde.

Mix this toner with 20 Vol on level 9-10 hair.

Again, it takes around 15 minutes of application time and around 15-20 minutes of processing time with this toner.

Pearl Blonde 10V

Pearl Blonde 10V - purple-based, regular blonde toner.


Hair by Elona Taki

If you want even more purple toning, you can use Purple Grey.

Or you can mix Pearl Blonde 10V with Purple Grey.

You will find that doing so will give you incredibly rich purple toning results.

Purple Grey

Purple Grey


Hair by Elona Taki

3. Ammonia-Free Purple Based Toners

There are also ammonia-free toners which are purple based.

These act in 10 minutes and are typically gentler.

They are perfect for toning yellow blonde highlights and taking away the yellow without touching the base in any way.

They are also great for quick toning and refreshing in between regular salon color visits.

Use Blondify 010V Natural Violet Blonde if your hair is at level 10.

And use Blondify 9V Violet Blonde is your hair is at level 9

Mix this toner with 20 Vol developer in a mix of equal parts toner and developer.

This is a gel-based toner, so you can shake and mix in an applicator bottle.

And then pour right over the hair.

Then rub in thoroughly, exactly as you would do for shampoo.

Then process for around 10 minutes. Then rinse.

Blondify Ammonia-Free Toner

Blondify Toners - Ammonia Free, 10 Minute toning without lift.

Natural Violet Blonde

Blondify Natural Violet Blonde 10V

9V Toner

Blondify Violet Blonde 9V


Hair by Taylor's Beauty Chair

4. Using Purple Shampoos and Masks

Purple Mask

Purple Mask being used at the back bar in a salon after bleaching and toning.

Shampoos with purple in them are excellent products to tone.

But you need to be aware that they act on the surface of the hair only.

And as such, they won't lift the hair if it is very yellow.

And they will also wash out after a few days.

However, they do contain plenty or purple toning ingredients.

Especially Ugly Duckling's Brilliant Blonde Purple Shampoo & Mask.

So our suggestion is to use these 2 products on top of hair which has been nicely bleached and toned - but is still a little yellow.

The purple pigments will do their job and get rid of the last traces of yellow and get the hair white.

You should also use these products once a week at least to prevent the blonde hair from veering towards yellow again.

Be generous with product when you apply purple shampoo and mask.

You need to allow plenty of time for the purple pigments to come in contact with the hair.

And rub in very thoroughly.

In the case of the mask, leave it in the hair for around 10 minutes.

Then rinse.


Hair by Elona Taki

A step-by-step guide to using purple-based toners

Do this and you will get excellent results.

Step 1: Bleach your hair as fas you can, ideally up to level 9 or level 10. This is a really important step. Don't take short cuts and make sure that the hair is truly level 9 or 10.

Step 2: Choose the purple based toner that most suits your need and your case.

Step 3: Mix with either 10 or 20 Vol developer.

If you are using our cream based toners (either high lift or regular lift), then the mix ratio is 1 part developer to 1 part toner.

If you are using Blondify ammonia free toner, which is a liquid toner, then the mix ratio is 1 part developer to 1 part toner.

Mix well and apply

Step 4: Leave the toner on the hair for the recommended amount of time, usually 10 and 20 minutes, depending on the desired level of toning.

Step 5: Rinse the toner out of the hair thoroughly with cool water. 

Step 6: Condition the hair with Purple Shampoo and Mask to tone the hair once more.

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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