5 Best Toner For Brown Hair (Real Reviews and Buying Guide)

If you are a brunette who is desperately trying to avoid your hair color from turning brassy or dull, we hear you! In a world where hair products unequivocally cater to blondes, brunettes may feel left out when it comes to dealing with keeping their color intact and fabulous. While it’s just as common for brown hair to turn brassy, it’s not always as easy to find the right products. This is why today we’ll be discussing toner for brown hair.

If your brown hair is looking too warm or red for your liking, blue and brown toning hues are your biggest allies, just like silver and purple for blondes. The best blue or brown toner for hair will aid you in the fight against brassiness.

Brassy and dull hair can reduce the impact of your gorgeous locks if you don’t have them removed. This is where a toner for brown hair can literally save your mane. A toner for brassy brown hair is considered an answer to a prayer for many for avoiding awful reddish strands. As you can tell these products are specifically designed to get your brunette back in its best shape.

If you are new to toners for brown hair you probably ask yourself how they work, what is the best toner for brown hair, where can you find them, and how to use them. These are all questions that we’ll be more than happy to answer for you. Keep scrolling down and learn more about toner for brown hair options, tips, and more.

Toner For Brown Hair Reviewed In This Guide

How To Choose The Perfect Toner For Brown Hair For You?

Your brown hair can get brassy when the bleaching agent in the hair dye does not remove melanin from the strands effectively.
If you are a brunette and want to avoid your brown tresses developing shades of orange, brass, or red over time, then you should look for toning shampoos with blue pigments.

First off, you need a formula that helps gently cleanse, neutralize warmth, and enhance shine.

Examine the color of your hair closely. Light brown hair takes on warm yellow hues, while reddish-orange hair takes on deeper brassy tones.

Certain toners work better for those with dry hair, oily skin, or sensitive noses. A quality toner for brown hair will replenish your strands while leaving you with just the right amount of brown.
Hair that has been chemically treated is often moisture-stripped, so the best toner for brown hair or a caramel toner for hair should add much-needed nourishment to stressed-out strands and be free of harsh chemicals. Overall you want a toner for brown hair that can protect your hair and help keep it healthy.

Types Of Toner For Brown Hair

Shampoo Toner For Brown Hair

It is one of the most popular types of toner for brown hair. An example is a very purple shampoo. Many with dyed hair may be already so familiar with it. Its main use of it is to both cleanse hair and adjust the hair tone. The effect of the shampoo is definitely not as strong as the normal toner ones.

Conditioner Toner For Brown Hair

This type of toner for brown hair has the best moisturizing effect. In fact, the toning effect is not as significant as the moisturizing one.

Mask Toner For Brown Hair

It is similar to a hair conditioner. Its use is more of a hair care product. However, the toning effect is also pretty amazing. Use a toning mask and your brown hair will be both silky and even-colored.

Other Toner For Brown Hair

Toning hair treatments in general like foams, serums, etc can also be considered toner for brown hair. However, just like the toning mask or toning conditioner, the toning effect will not be so effective. They are more suitable for basic hair care at home.

Regular Toner For Brown Hair

It is a product that has the word “toner” in its name. It definitely has the perfect use of toner. It is the best choice for neutralizing hair color, fixing hair tones, or changing the color.

Best Toner For Brown Hair List

1. Toning Hair Gloss, Cool Brunette, Toner For Brown Hair

What We Like

  • No-Damage Formula
  • Easy Application

What We Don’t Like

  • Unpleasant Smell

This toner neutralizes brassiness while adding a cool-hued tone to brown or black hair, boosts shine, and deeply conditions in one step, leaving hair looking unbelievably healthy, with a fresh hint of color.

Features a coconut oil-infused deep conditioning base; vegan, color- and keratin-safe, and free of ammonia, parabens, phthalates, sulfates, and mineral oils. No-commitment color lasts around 10 days, up to 3 applications per tube.

This in-shower toning gloss is easy to use with no mixing, no gloves needed and a no-hassle 15-minute application; For all hair types and textures, color-treated or natural hair.

What Our Testers Say

I used the platinum color on my balayage and faded brassy color to try to restore my natural hair color after a hair stylist decided to dye it, copper, for some unknown reason, but that’s a whole other story. I was so fed up with it, I was about to just dye over all of it, but this stuff saved it.

It’s now shinier and toned very nicely. The parts near my roots that were dyed copper are a little closer to my natural color, enough that I can let it grow out. No effect on my natural roots (medium-light warm brown) except more shine. This is much better than purple shampoo, in my opinion.

How To Use Toning Hair Gloss, Cool Brunette, Toner For Brown Hair

  1. Evenly distribute Le Color Gloss through clean, damp hair.
  2. Leave Le Color Gloss on hair for 15 minutes.
  3. Rinse hair thoroughly with water.
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2. ProVoke Color Depositing Shampoo Toner For Brown Hair

What We Like

  • Silicon-Free
  • Paraben-Free
  • Sulfate-Free

What We Don’t Like

  • May Leave Hair Purple

Whatever your shade of brown, natural or dyed, this color-depositing shampoo is an easy solution that makes great hair days effortless and possible from the comfort of your home. Always look and feel your best!

The unique IoPlex technology adds color vibrancy to all shades of brown hair and blends away first greys after just one wash. No need for frequent trips to the salon anymore…its color effect builds after every use!

The toner for brown hair is enriched with Inca Inchi oil to make your hair feel soft and silky smooth, it hydrates even the thickest, most coarse hair. The hydrating AquaPlex formulation nourishes and restores your locks to keep them strong.

What Our Testers Say

I bought this shampoo to use as a toner, I had Blue hair then went to brunette but after months of letting my natural hair grow my ends were already blonde again. I didn’t quite like the blonde it had, I bought The brunette color shampoo and it didn’t quite turn it brunette obviously but left a darker tone, and what I loved Was that it left my hair so shiny and smooth.

Pro: Voke’s hair darkening shampoo is rated best in class thanks to market-leading technologies, which contain UV filters to protect hair color from fading.

Illuminex is an advanced range, specifically formulated for color-treated hair. Sulfate-free products are kinder to your hair, helping keep its vibrant color for longer.


Apply to wet hair. Lather. Leave in 1-3 minutes. Rinse. Use 2-3 times a week.

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3. Wella ColorCharm Permanent Liquid Hair Toner For Brown Hair

What We Like

  • Color-Treated Brunettes
  • Tones Hair
  • Removes Brass
  • Sulfate-Free Shampoo

What We Don’t Like

  • May Leave Hair Greasy

Is your brown hair starting to look brassy? To keep highlighted, color-treated and natural brunette hair color looking cool, bright, and healthy, use a blue toning shampoo formulated with blue pigments to neutralize unwanted brass and warmth.

Apply toning shampoo to wet hair, leave in 3-5 minutes and rinse. Follow with Brownlights blue toning conditioner.

What Our Testers Say

I dye my hair brown. I like a rich cool brown. I’ve tried all the dyes and within a couple of weeks, my hair pulls red as the color fades. And yes, I mix my brown with ash. My hair is very healthy so I only need to wash it 2-3 times a week. I leave the shampoo on for minutes.

It gets my hair so clean and soft and is preventing the red I hate. It’s a little thick, and it’s a little messy but it works. It doesn’t stain your skin or your shower. Just rinse well. It’s worth it.

Wella ColorCharm is the last step in your hair color routine to LIFTING unwanted warmth after lightening. Liquid form and easy-to-use bottle application. This toning conditioner color corrects and prevents brassiness.

Great for all brunettes (natural or color-treated) who want to neutralize and tone unwanted brassiness. Tones brunette hair and removes brass.


Apply to wet hair, leave on for 5-10 mins and rinse.

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4. John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Toner For Brown Hair

What We Like

  • Cocoa Infused
  • Evening Primrose Oil
  • Rich Nourishing Formula
  • Ammonia-Free

What We Don’t Like

  • Small Bottle

Intensify your color in just 5 minutes with our color-deepening treatment designed for all shades of brunette hair.
This blend of ingredients was specifically designed to elevate your brunette color and give you indulgent shades of brunette hair.

Boost your color with this penetrating brunette color treatment for natural or color-treated hair. Dare to go darker with John Frieda. Test our product and see results after just one use.

What Our Testers Say

I have dark brunette hair with lighter balayage mid-length to end. When this becomes brassy I turn to a gloss at the salon. This product worked very well to tone down the brassiness.

My hair is pretty dark and I only left it on for 3-4 minutes so it didn’t deposit a ton of color but enough to make the current color richer. It goes on easily and didn’t stain my hands, unlike the John Freida gloss. I would recommend this for anyone wanting to tone down brassiness.

This shampoo is also ammonia and peroxide-free, with color-deepening technology for indulgent chocolate tones.

This in-shower weekly treatment works in place of your conditioner to hydrate and boost shine while enhancing all shades of brunette hair with rich, chocolate tones.
Use once a week with John Frieda Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper Colour Deepening Shampoo for best results.


Start with Brilliant Brunette Visibly Deeper Color Deepening Shampoo. Massage a generous amount of treatment evenly through the lengths of wet hair. Comb through, leave on for 5 minutes, and then rinse well. For deeper color, leave it on for up to 10 minutes before rinsing. Use as often as desired.

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5. IGK MIXED FEELINGS Leave-In Brunette Toner For Brown Hair

What We Like

  • Leave-In
  • Toning Drops

What We Don’t Like

  • Sample Size
  • Bad Dispenser

Concentrated blue pigment drops that tone out orange and red brass and adds dimension when added to any styling product, shampoo, or conditioner.

What Our Testers Say

I mix a few drops in with my leave-in conditioner and it works like a charm! I added too many at first and it did leave a purple tint in my hair. I backed down the amount, and the result was the perfect ashy tone I was aiming for. I noticed reviewers saying it’s hard to squeeze the product out of the tube. There’s a button on the bottom of the tube that you push to dispense the drops. Will definitely be repurchasing.

The leave-in formula delivers instant toning results. The IGK MIXED FEELINGS leave-in brunette toning drops, is made with key ingredients which include blueberry extract and artichoke extract.

With this toner for brown hair, you can get instant results by adding this toning mixture of drops to your shampoo. A little goes a long way, only use 4-5 drops for medium-length hair and it’s perfect.


Add three drops to the product of your choice, mixing in the palm of your hand before applying.

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Toner For Brown Hair Buying Guide

What Is A Toner For Brown Hair?

Toners not only help prevent color fading, but it also keeps your hair from the brassy, yellow, or orange tones from sun exposure and harsh hair products. Even better, toners for brown hair also multi-task to keep your hair shiny and vibrant for longer, aka giving you more time between visits with your colorist.

Hair toners are color correctors that eliminate the yellow, red, and orange undertones in your brown hair. Some toners may deposit pigments directly onto the hair follicles, while others have activators to penetrate the hair and leave behind a semi-permanent effect.

Hair toner is a product that can be used on natural or color-treated warm-tone brown hair to neutralize unwanted red or orange undertones. It can be applied between color treatments to help your client’s hair color last longer.

How Does A Toner For Brown Hair Work?

Toning products work by depositing hair color pigment onto each individual hair strand. Anyone can use hair toners regardless of whether their hair is dyed or not, but they’re especially great at topping up faded color, getting rid of those unwanted warm orange or brass tones, and adding intense shine.

Hair toners come in loads of different shades. Hair toning products for brown and brassy hair must be diluted with shampoo or conditioner before application. You can also purchase a toner-enriched shampoo, conditioner, glaze, or gloss.

Toner for brown hair works to neutralize brown hair tones by offsetting any unwanted warm or brassy tones in the hair. Because complementary colors neutralize each other, we know that hair with red undertones can be neutralized using matte (.7) tones. Using a toner can help you achieve popular cool brown shades like ashy brunette, mocha, and walnut!

Features To Look For In A Toner For Brown Hair

Skin Tone

If you have warm undertones, choose a cool toner for brown hair shades such as chestnut, dark chocolate, or dark auburn. A cool shade of brunette will complement your warm skin tone which can help brighten your complexion.

If you’re looking to cool down your color and your brunette is throwing too warm or red for your liking, blue toners will aid you in the fight against brassiness. If you’re just wanting a color refresh that adds the shine and depth that we love about brunette right back into it, go for one that mimics your ideal shade of brown.


The toner for brassy brown hair should contain antioxidants to protect color against pollution and the elements.

Natural Hair Vs. Color-Treated Hair

Toner for brown hair can be applied to natural hair that’s been affected by lifestyle factors such as heat styling or sun exposure. A period when their natural hair was most likely exposed to sun and chlorine, and their brown hair tones could be particularly warm-looking.

Toner should be applied immediately after a coloration service to protect hair condition and ensure the correct tone, but it’s also a great way to protect permanent hair color’s longevity.


If you’ve decided that a traditional toner is the best choice for you, decide if you need a semi- or demi-permanent toner. Both are temporary dyes, but demi-permanent lasts longer (24-28 shampoos) than semi-permanent (3-6 shampoos). If you choose a semi-permanent toner, you may need to grab a blue toning shampoo to keep up the results over time.

UV Absorbers

If your toner for brown hair is made with UV absorbers that help fight fading and tonal change to keep color looking great, it is definitely a keeper.

Neutral Hair Dye Vs. Toning Shampoo

Neutral dark and medium brown hair dyes contain a blend of green and blue hair dyes to neutralize red, yellow and orange tones. They also refresh the hair color and impart an envious sheen and glow to your hair.

Blue-toned shampoos are typically best for natural brunettes that are going lighter or want to cool off their warm hair color. It will help to remove the warmth and brassy tones from your hair, leaving you with ashy blonde locks. Toning shampoos are primarily used for those who have already lightened their hair.

Ease Of Use

IS your toner for brown hair a color toning shampoo or conditioner? Is it a leave-in mask? Do you have to wait for it to work? If you don’t have the patience, it needs to be easy and simple.

Common Questions About Toner For Brown Hair

Can you use toner on brown hair?

You should use an ash toner for brown hair to improve the shade quality. If you choose the right toner for brown hair, then the hair can turn pastel or neutral without making it blonde. You need to apply ash toner to neutralize all the warm undertones.

What does purple shampoo do to brown hair?

Purple shampoo removes the reddish tones in dyed blonde hair or highlights found in brunettes. This type of shampoo does not change the tones or colors of brown hair but can cool down the tones of highlights.

Is cool brown the same as ash brown?

Yes, cool brown and ash brown are the same color. Here “cool” refers to the lack of warmer undertones in brown hair such as red or orange. This gives hair an ashy look.

Which is the best ash toner for brown hair?

The best ash toner for brown hair depends on the undertones of your brown hair. If you have mahogany brown hair with reddish undertones, then you should try out a green hair toner.
If your brown hair appears auburn or “ginger” with more orange undertones then the best ash toner would be one with blue pigments.

How to neutralize orange in brown hair?

  1. Blue toning shampoo. Toning shampoo is to be used in almost the same manner as your regular shampoo. The only difference is that, instead of rinsing it out immediately after lathering, you will leave it in to process for several minutes and then rinse.
  2. Blue toning conditioner. Blue toning conditioner is a gentler toning option that people gravitate towards. To use it, apply it to your hair after shampooing and leave it on for a few minutes to allow it to deposit the blue pigments into your hair.
  3. Blue traditional toner. Traditional blue toner is a color-depositing liquid that should be mixed with a developer to work. It utilizes harsher chemicals than the previously mentioned options, but it could give you a more even and long-lasting color result than other methods.

How to tone brassy brown hair at home?

  • A tea and lemon juice toner. Lemon juice is a natural bleaching agent and can help remove some of the brassy undertones.
  • Apple cider vinegar. ACV is known to remove product build-up from hair and has so many other benefits for your tresses as well. Its acidity can help remove brassy notes from hair to a certain extent.
  • Baking soda. You can mix some baking soda with your sulfate-free shampoo and then use it to tone brassy brown hair. However, this can leave your hair dry and dull so be careful not to overdo it.

How to keep brown hair from brassiness?

  • Switch your hair product. Regular shampoos and conditioners fade the hair color faster. Always use color-safe hair products to prevent fading and brassiness.
  • Avoid excessive heat. Excessive exposure to heat styling tools like blow dryers and hair straighteners or curlers in one on high heat can fade the hair color and cause brassiness. If you cannot avoid using them, coat the hair strands with a heat protectant before styling.
  • Limit sun exposure. Protect your hair from the UV rays, as they can alter your hair color and cause brassiness. Cover your head when you step out in the sun. Use a UV protection hair spray.
  • Neutral hair dye is your friend. Use a neutral dye to achieve the same effect as blue and purple shampoos.
  • Limit washing your hair. The more you wash your hair, the quicker the color will fade. Wash your hair not more than twice a week to prevent brassiness.
  • Avoid swimming. It is because chlorine exposure can damage your hair. Chlorine has an abrasive effect that may roughen your hair and fade its color.

Enjoy Your New Toner For Brown Hair

Keep in mind, that toner for brown hair could give you a more even and long-lasting color result than other methods. Now that we have reviewed some of the best toners for brown hair options we hope your quest for a toner for brown hair gets easier.

If you have any comments or questions, please feel free to send us a message. We are always happy to hear from you!

Disclosure: The Hair Products recommended in this article are our top favorites because they have a great combination of quality, features, and affordability. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases made through the links as a way to support this site. If you buy a qualifying product, you’re not charged anything extra, but I’ll get a small commission to help pay for my expenses. I hope you find our advice helpful and discover the Best Hair Products for your needs on this list.

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After graduating from an apprenticeship program in 2010, color specialist Doris began working behind the chair. She started with color corrections and then moved on to creative color. Currently, she works with blonding and grey-blending clients. Sarah views hair color as both an art form and a science and is passionate about salon education, which is the main reason why she started this blog. She has the Invisible Bead Extension Certification and the Bellami Master Certification for extensions.
Photo of author
After graduating from an apprenticeship program in 2010, color specialist Doris began working behind the chair. She started with color corrections and then moved on to creative color. Currently, she works with blonding and grey-blending clients. Sarah views hair color as both an art form and a science and is passionate about salon education, which is the main reason why she started this blog. She has the Invisible Bead Extension Certification and the Bellami Master Certification for extensions.