Hair Too Ashy After Toner? Help Is Here!  

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You’ve bleached your hair and then toned it, but didn’t get the perfect platinum. Instead, your hair has an overly dark and ashy appearance. Well, you can either accept this unpleasant situation (some people love it!), wear a hat and hope it fades, or make the decision to do something about it now.

Luckily, you’ll be pleased to hear, there’s a solution to deal with your hair’s ashy color. This is a very common problem that happens after bleaching hair.

Read on if your hair is too ashy after toner. I’ll go over how to fix ashy hair and get you back on blonde!


Hair Too Ashy After Toner

Hair Toner Before and After

If your hair is too ashy after using a toner, then there are a few reasons why this has happened.

It’s possible:

  • You have high porosity hair, which absorbs toner at a faster rate than normal
  • The toner was applied on dry hair or was darker than you needed
  • You left the bleach on over the manufacturer’s recommendation time
  • A purple pigment wasn’t used as part of the process

The good news, you’ll be pleased to hear, is that you don’t need to be an expert colorist in order to get rid of your ashy-looking, greyish hair.

You only have to do a simple color wash to help make things right.

Most toners will also fade or rinse out completely after multiple washes. But you can speed up this process.

You only have to do a simple color wash to help make things right.

And there are five ways in which you can do this at home that are both fast and usually effective to get the golden blonde locks you crave. If your ashy hair nightmare is corrected within 72 hours, it will be an easier process, because toners are semi-permanent and don’t really penetrate the hair’s cuticle. 

So the sooner you attempt to remove the ashy tone of your hair, the easier it will be to do it. Read on to find out which option will work best for you…

How To Fix Ashy Hair After Toner

If you’ve just bleached your hair, then simply wash it again using an intense cleansing shampoo containing sodium laureth sulfate, combined with very hot water.

Be careful not to burn your scalp, which may be sensitive after using bleach. Bleach is way rough on your hair!

You can repeat this process up to three times. If after doing this you still don’t have your desired look, then you can try the following options.

1. Make Your Own

You can make your own ashy color remover using three ingredients you probably already have at home — aspirin, vitamin C and shampoo. First, dilute two aspirin in a bowl with a bit of water, then add a vitamin C tablet and stir into a paste.

Next, add an equal amount of intense cleansing shampoo containing sodium laureth sulfate.

Apply the mixture into your wet hair, starting at the root and working it into the ends, just as if you were applying a conditioner.

Leave it in for 15-20 minutes, then rinse out and wash your hair as normal. This method can rinse away the ashy color from your hair simply and effectively.

2. Shampoo Two

Both dandruff shampoos and clarifying shampoos contain ingredients that can help to fade ashy color. Dandruff shampoo works when clarifying darker ash-toned hair.

Not only will dandruff shampoo remove dirt and scalp oil, but it also strips color. Make sure you use a good conditioner afterward.

Clarifying shampoo, also known as purifying or detox shampoo, removes product buildup (including color) by deep cleansing hair. When clarifying shampoo contains high quantities of acetic and citric acids, then even better, because they make toners fade faster.

This is because of the intensity of the chemical reaction caused when these acids are mixed together.

3. Bleach Bath

To make a bleach bath solution to tone down ashy hair, combine the following three ingredients of equal amounts into a small bowl:

  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Bleaching powder
  • 10% volume hydrogen peroxide developer

Mix the ingredients into a paste, then add it to hair that has just been washed. Make sure that you cover all your hair thoroughly, then leave it on for 5-10 minutes.

There’s no need to cover your head with a shower cap because this will increase the bleaching process. 

Wash out with cold water after leaving it on for no more than 10 minutes, making sure you rinse all the paste from your hair. Finally, shampoo again and give your hair a thorough rinse afterward before moisturizing and styling.

Hair Too Ashy After Highlights

Sometimes after you’ve had highlights added to your hair, the end result can turn out looking ashy and dull — definitely not the look you were hoping to achieve.

The reason this happens is that sometimes when highlights are added to the hair, it can become more porous due to the lifting of the cuticle. This means it will have absorbed some of the ashy-toned base color.

So, if you’re not ready to rock the trend of gray and silver locks, then you’ll need to do something about it in order to warm up the tone of your strands and correct their color.

The worst thing you can do in this case is to grab a packet of blonde hair dye from the drugstore shelf, and do the color correction at home. This will only damage your hair even more, and could even cause it to break off in clumps.

Your best bet if you want to maintain the healthiest hair possible is to visit a hairdresser that is experienced in color correcting, and who will be able to eliminate the ashy tones of your highlights. 

Your best bet if you want to maintain the healthiest hair possible is to visit a hairdresser that is experienced in color correcting, and who will be able to eliminate the ashy tones of your highlights. 

How to Warm up Ashy Hair at Home

The delicious juice of a freshly squeezed lemon can also be used to remove ashy toner from your hair. This is because the citric acid contained in the lemon juice has properties that have the ability to strip the color.

This is why some people use lemon juice on their hair and then sit in the sun if they want highlights.

1. Lemon Squeezy


To use this method, make sure that you first wash your hair with a very small amount of dish soap — yes really, because its alkalinity reacts well with the citric acid in the juice.

Then make a mixture of equal proportions of lemon juice and your conditioner in a small bowl.

Apply the mixture to your hair and gently massage it into your strands until all of your hair is covered. Leave for no more than 10 minutes, then rinse out with warm water before applying conditioner. 

2. Soda Color Pop

Baking Soda

If you’ve got a box of baking soda in your refrigerator, then you know the powder is great at neutralizing odors. It also has the ability to neutralize ashy tones in your hair. And this method is an extremely easy one, although it also increases the damage to the hair, as it can cause it to become frizzy.

The next time you wash your hair, add one teaspoon of baking soda to your usual shampoo and work into your hair as normal. When you’re ready for rinsing, make sure that you wash all the baking soda residue away before conditioning and styling as normal.

If All Else Fails

So, if you’ve tried one (or all) of the above methods and you still don’t have your desired result, then it’s time to make a call. Only a professional colorist at this point will be able to rectify your ashy-hued hair home disaster. So don’t get overwhelmed.

Find a salon with a colorist that you trust, because it’s their job to nurture hair that’s too ashy after toner.

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).