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Home / Blog/ How to Tone Yellow Hair: Step-by-Step Explanation with Pictures
Home Blog How to Tone Yellow Hair: Step-by-Step Explanation with Pictures
Toning down yellow hair & Achieving a silver blonde

How to Tone Yellow Hair: Step-by-Step Explanation with Pictures

BY SALLY MADISON
NATIONAL COLOR TRAINER


How Do You Tone Away Yellow Hair?

Toning away yellow is the number one request that women make to their hairdressers.

In this blog tutorial, we show you how exactly to do this.

We will break it up into 3 steps.

Follow these 3 steps and you should have no problem keeping hair totally yellow-free.

TONING AWAY YELLOW HAIR - WATCH VIDEO:

Hair Tutorial by Elona Taki.

STEP ONE: LIFT THE HAIR UP TO LEVEL 9

First, you will need to examine the hair & check which areas are excessively dark, brassy or yellow-orange.

You will need to deal with these parts before toning. Otherwise you could end up with blue, green or other inconsistent results.

In most cases the regrowth area will need to be lifted. That would be natural hair, and it could be as dark as level 3.


You will also need to lift the lengths if they are yellow-orange, or brassy. 

The basic aim should be to get the entire hair up to a consistent level 9. 

We recommend you use Brilliant Blondexx.

It contains Bond Protect and can be used for lengths as well as for near-root applications.

Brilliant Blondexx

Make sure that the color has lifted to level 9

Hair Being Rinsed After Bleaching

Rinse when done. The hair should look like this when wet

Hair is level 9

Get your pre-lightening right: the hair should look like this at the back wash

Hair lifted to level 9

And like this when it is towel-dried.

Hair Pictures from Elona Taki.

STEP TWO: APPLY TONER TO GET RID OF YELLOW

Now we are ready to tone to tone away the remaining yellow pigments.
By toner, we don't mean purple based shampoos or masks.

They have their uses (we will get to that later) but first you need to do proper toning using oxidative toners.

Ugly Duckling has a very extensive range of toners, both cream based and liquid based.

Cream toners will give you very significant blonde makeovers.

Whereas liquid toners are for gloss toning and for refreshing blonde highlights. And also for instances where you don't want to touch or alter your client's dark base.

Today, we will show you 3 types of toners: High-lift cream toners, No-Lift toners and liquid toners.

1. HIGH LIFT CREAM TONERS - INTENSE TONERS

High Lift toners are toners with boosters built in.

Use these when the hair is very very yellow, bordering on orange.

These toners are excellent at kicking out yellow and pushing hair up by one extra level.

If the hair is very very brassy, even after bleaching, we suggest that you use Ugly Duckling's Intense toners.

Ugly Duckling has Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V., which is purple based. And Intense Silver Blonde 100B, which is blue based.

Rinse as soon as you get the right result that you are looking for, as these toners are really very powerful.

When applying Ugly Duckling toners, always saturate the hair as much as you possibly can.

That way, you get the best toning and truly vibrant 3D hair color.

WATCH VIDEO OF INTENSE PEARL BLONDE TONER IN ACTION:

2. REGULAR CREAM TONERS

If the hair has been fully lifted all the way to level 9 or 10 (yellow, or pale yellow, in other words) then you can use Ugly Duckling's regular cream toners.

Ugly Duckling has 2 such toners:

Pearl Blonde Toner 10V, which is purple based and nd Silver Blonde Toner 10B, which is blue based.

Both toner are very heavily pigmented indeed, and remove yellow incredibly fast.

The pictures below show Pearl Blonde Toner 10V. being used.

Refer to the video at the top of the page to see how this toner in action.

Hair Toner to Tone Away Yellow

Pearl Blonde Toner 10V

Toning with Pearl Blonde Toner 10V Pearl Blonde Toner

The Final Result

The Final Result After Toning with 10V

Hair Pictures from Elona Taki.

3.LIQUID GLOSS TONERS - NO LIFT TONERS FOR YELLOW HAIR

The third type of toner that you can consider is liquid gloss toners.

These are suitable for toning away yellow without touching the base or lifting the root in any way.

Ugly Duckling's liquid toning range is called Blondify.

These toners are ammonia-free, and they are designed to work with low-strength developers in only 10 minutes.

Although they are non-lifting toners, they also have powerful neutralizing pigments.

Use the Natural Ash Blonde toner when the hair is very yellow, bordering on orange.

And use the Natural Violet Blonde toner when the hair is just yellow.

WATCH VIDEO OF BLONDIFY NATURAL ASH BLONDE TONER IN ACTION:

MIX AND DEVELOPMENT TIMES FOR UGLY DUCKLING TONERS

The mix for all Ugly Duckling cream toners is 1 part toner to 2 parts developer. Use 20 Vol developer.

The mix for Blondify liquid toners is 1 part toner to 1 part developer.

You can use 7 Vol, 10 Vol or 20 Vol depending on the power of toning required.

You should keep watching & rinse as soon as you get the desired result.

Normally, around 10 minutes processing time is correct.

STEP THREE: USE PURPLE SHAMPOO & MASK

So you have done your bleach and you have done your toning.

Is there anything else you can or should do?

Yes, there is. A final step which we do recommend is to use Purple Shampoo and Mask.


If your client's hair has had different colors put in at different times, even after toning a final application of purple shampoo and mask is recommended. It will help you get a more consistent, even blonde color. 

Brilliant Blonde Purple Shampoo & Mask both contain intense violet pigments which will do the job of killing any remaining yellow.
They will also create a more consistent color result between regrowth, mid-lengths & ends.
You can use these products straight after toning.

You can also use them as maintenance products on a weekly bases. They will keep your client's blonde hair white.

Purple Shampoo

Brilliant Blonde shampoo

Watch video to see how an application of Purple Shampoo & Mask can tone away yellow:

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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