Leave brassy hues behind with the best toner for blonde hair
Finding a colourist who just gets your hair and manages to flawlessly create the shade you’re after is a fantastic feeling. Blondes know this to be particularly true. Getting the perfect ashy platinum or creamy cool highlights isn’t easy.
Though it looks and feels remarkable when you get the colour just right, maintenance is a whole other beast. One way of combatting unwanted colours in-salon, especially for those with fairer shades, is with the use of a toner for blonde hair. These formulas are excellent for customising the shade you want and are often the reason you don’t leave your chair with bright orange or yellow streaks.
While professional products and salon treatments are great, colour maintenance doesn’t stop there; blondes need a great at-home routine, too. Though toners are typically used by your colourist, there are versions that can be used without the help of an expert.
Whether it’s a toning conditioner or a leave-in spray, these toners for blondes will make it easier to keep your dream colour in between appointments.
Best toner for blonde hair: At a glance
- Best toner for medium and light blondes: Pureology Colour Fanatic | £29
- Best mask toner for blonde hair: Bold Uniq Purple Hair Mask | £20
- Best toning shampoo for blonde hair: Redken Blondage High Bright Shampoo | £23
- Best budget toner for blonde hair: Jerome Russell Bblonde Maximum | £5
- Best toner drops for blonde hair: Shrine White Blonde Toner Drops | £10
How to choose the best toner for blonde hair
Toners are best used in-salon. There are some products available for home use, but they’re generally best left to stylists with a professional skill set. That said, there are numerous products with toning capabilities. They’re not necessarily the expert brush-on formulas but they’re impressive at toning down yellow, brassy and orange tones in blonde hair.
What types of toners for blonde hair are available?
Toners come in many different formats. If you’re looking to keep unintentional brassy or warm tones to a minimum, you can choose between sprays, shampoos, conditioners, drops, masks and leave-in treatments. They range from more permanent applications to temporary rinse-out formulas. The right one will depend on your hair colour and what you’re hoping to achieve.
Although shampoo and other treatments and styling products aren’t toners through and through, they provide toning effects. For example, the bright purple pigments of a toning shampoo help change the shade of hair that may be edging towards yellow or brassy. DIY treatments are exceptionally good these days, but if you need a more permanent solution, it’s best to head to the salon.
What features should I look for in a good toner for blonde hair?
Consider the following three factors when shopping for a great blonde hair toner:
- Format: Look for a format that’s best suited to your lifestyle. If you have more time on your hands or professional hairdressing knowledge, toner drops or brush-on formats might be great. If you don’t have time for a lengthy toning session or simply need something to maintain colour before you see a professional, then toning shampoos, conditioners, sprays and masks are best.
- Colour: Purple and blue are the best colours for counteracting brassiness. Most toners will come in these shades. Be wary of toners that aren’t professional-grade and have a different colour.
- Application: Before purchasing, understand how long it’s going to take to tone your hair with the specific product and make sure it’s a good fit for your hair type and shade. Lighter blondes may require a toner that’s different to darker blondes.
The following blonde hair toners will help you maintain the shade you worked so hard to achieve.
How we test toner for blonde hair
At Expert Reviews, we know that hands-on testing delivers the most complete information about a product. We test all the toners we review, using the formulas on blonde hair, trying out various application formats to come to a conclusion about which toner colours work best. Where blonde toners are recommended for a particular hair type or use, we test under those circumstances to ensure we make an accurate recommendation.
When testing, we closely follow the product directions on the packaging, and evaluate for overall ease of application, quality of the product, and the result after use. We also note if, or how well, a formula improves hair health. Finally, we confirm the quantity of the product.
The best toner for blonde hair in 2023
1. Pureology Color Fanatic Top Coat and Tone Purple: The best toner for medium and light blondes
Price: £29 | Buy now from AmazonPlatinums to balayage blondes can use this bottle of toner, which is ideal for medium and light blonde hair.
Fans appreciate this particular treatment as it doesn’t leave a blue or purple hue in your hair after it’s rinsed out (a common complaint of blondes who use at-home toning products). Some may find that toning products feel drying, but Pureology has avoided that by creating a formula with oat milk and camellia oil. The oat milk helps moisturise and repair damage, which is essential for anyone who bleaches and tones their hair. The camellia oil targets the hair and scalp, boosting the health of both.
This toner is meant to be used in the shower. After shampooing and rinsing, run the toner through your hair, ensuring that each section is covered evenly. One way to do this well is by bringing a brush or comb in the shower with you (missed portions can lead to patchy colour, so this is key). After five to ten minutes, it can be rinsed out.
Key details – Format: Liquid; Time: 5–10 minutes; Difficulty: Easy
2. Bold Uniq Purple Hair Mask: The best mask toner for blonde hair
Price: £20 | Buy now from AmazonThousands of shoppers swear by this toning mask for banishing brass and yellow hues. Over time, these unwanted colours can emerge, caused by hard water, hot tools and outside factors such as the sun and pollution.
To combat discolouration, apply this mask to wet hair and watch those cool, silvery tones return to your tresses. This won’t cause additional dryness and straw-like texture, either.
As it’s a mask, it won’t only tone your hair, but help bring back the moisture that it may have lost during bleaching treatments. To build strength and keep your hair feeling nourished, this mask has soy protein, vitamin B5 and a combination of oils in its composition. It’s also free of ingredients you don’t want in your hair, such as parabens, mineral oil and sulphates. On top of these benefits, it’s been formulated to protect hair from UV rays as well, which is a common cause of damage and faded colour.
Key details – Format: Gel mask; Time: 5–10 minutes; Difficulty: Easy
3. Redken Blondage High Bright Shampoo: The best toning shampoo for blonde hair
Price: £23 | Buy now from Look FantasticEvery blonde knows the importance of having a good purple shampoo in their shower caddy. It plays a vital role in maintaining the tone, but not every shampoo is kind to your strands. These formulas can often be extremely drying, though great for the overall colour. Rather than compromising on the integrity of your hair or its shade, Redken’s shampoo gives you both. The bright purple pigments lift out brassy hues but your hair feels silky and smooth after conditioning and rinsing.
Infused with vitamin C, it revives dull hair, too. Rather than weighing it down, it cleanses build-up and creates a luminosity that bleach, styling products and hair damage often diminish. Although it’s not a pure toner, it’s a must-have for blondes and only takes minutes to work. Combined with the right conditioner and mask, this sets anyone up for healthy hair, regardless of the treatments done.
Key details – Format: Liquid; Time: 2–4 minutes; Difficulty: Easy
4. Jerome Russell Bblonde Maximum Blonde Toner Atomic Blonde: The best budget toner for blonde hair
Price: £5 | Buy now from AmazonFor the closest thing to a professional toner that doesn’t require a hairdresser, Jerome Russell’s Bblonde toner is the way to go.
Like at-home hair dye, you mix and apply this toner more carefully and strategically than you would a shampoo or mask. For an at-home formula, it’s powerful and can completely lift unwanted colours, leaving you with silvery, white strands. This takes longer than other toner options on this list, but has a much bigger (and longer-lasting) impact.
Many shampoos and sprays won’t last long, depending on how frequently you wash your hair. This toner, on the other hand, can handle eight washes before the colour begins to fade. Then you can reapply it or see your colourist for a touch-up.
It’s free of peroxide and bleach, but you should still mix and apply with caution. One bottle is enough to cover medium-length to long hair, but it may even be enough for two sessions for some people.
Key details – Format: Liquid; Time: Up to 30 minutes; Difficulty: Medium
5. Fanola No Yellow Colour T21 Anti-Yellow Toner: The best cream toner for blondes
Price: £8 | Buy now from AmazonSearching for a professional-grade toner? This cream version from Fanola must be used with a developer, so it’s best reserved for in-salon professionals or experts who are toning their own hair at home.
There are three different options to choose from, including a specifically no-yellow toner. When applied correctly, they give yellow and orange-tinged hair the creamy, cool or icy finish you’re after. They’re also eligible bases for creating different colours of hair once the bleach work is done, whether it’s bright blue, green or a pastel shade.
One treatment is capable of covering mid-length hair with ease, completely lifting any signs of yellow. As this is an actual toner, it’s not going to have the smoothing or nourishing effects of a multipurpose product. Regardless, it’s much longer lasting and more permanent. When used with a thick conditioning mask and a good shampoo/conditioner duo, blonde hair can look healthy, strong and perfectly coloured.
Key details – Format: Cream; Time: Up to 30 minutes; Difficulty: Professional
6. Shrine White Blonde Toner Drops: The best toner drops
Price: £10 | Buy now from Look FantasticYour entire head of hair can change tone with only one or two drops of this product, meaning it lasts for up to 30 uses. The Shrine White Blonde Toner Drops mix in with your everyday conditioner to create a toning formula that’s backed by the restorative ingredients that are already in the conditioner.
It’s a relatively quick transformation. After applying it to towel-dried hair, leave it in for ten minutes to obliterate the brassiness, then rinse off for cool tones.
This is made for hair that’s already been lightened and is the perfect quick fix. It will last for roughly a week before you’ll need to apply again. You can run it through your tresses with gloves, but a brush will offer better coverage. Although it doesn’t last as long, the colour is comparable to that of salon treatments.
Key details – Format: Liquid; Time: 10 minutes; Difficulty: Easy/medium
7. Amika Bust Your Brass Cool Blonde Repair Conditioner: The best toning conditioner
Price: £23 | Buy now from Cult BeautyLike purple shampoo, a purple conditioner should be in any blonde’s hair-care routine. The great part about conditioners is that they’re typically more nourishing and smoothing in comparison to shampoos, which can often be drying.
Amika’s Bust Your Brass supports the structure of your hair and has helpful oils, such as sea buckthorn and avocado. Quinoa protein and plant butters are also in the mix to ensure the integrity of each strand is protected.
The purple-tinted conditioner is fit for almost any type of hair and any shade of blonde. It comes with specific directions, depending if you have bright platinum hair, highlights or your own natural colour.
Used every couple of days or so, it’s the perfect complement to your daily conditioner. It creates the cool shade wanted on its own, but is especially powerful when used with a purple shampoo and other toning products (such as a mask).
Key details – Format: Liquid; Time: 2–5 minutes; Difficulty: Easy
8. Bumble and Bumble Blonde Tone Enhancing Leave-in Treatment: The best leave-in toning spray
Price: £27 | Buy now from Look FantasticDepending on how long your hair is, this spray can be applied in about 30 seconds. It’s the easiest option on this list for blondes who may not have the time for a full toning treatment. All it takes is spraying on to damp hair then styling.
The purple pigments in the spray latch onto hair and diminish the look of brassiness almost instantly. It’s effective for anyone searching for light toning that can be reapplied as needed.
The Bumble and Bumble spray goes beyond a typical toning product—it’s much more multifaceted. It brightens and adds shine to hair whilst combating frizz and roughened hair cuticles. It’s also a heat protectant and can defend against temperatures of up to 232° C, which is perfect for summer weather or prior to using heated styling tools, both of which contribute to yellowing and brassiness.
This vegan product is also free of parabens, mineral oil, formaldehyde donors and sulphates.
Key details – Format: Spray; Time: 1 minute; Difficulty: Easy