Ash Toner for Brown Hair, What Toner to Use and How to Apply it?

brown hair toner

  • If your hair is brown and has bright red colors, you should apply a green toner to turn it ashy.
  • Alternatively, if your hair is brown and has bright orange colors, you should apply a blue toner to turn it ashy.
  • In this case, I recommend a toner for home use. I’ll give you some specific ones and also tell you how to apply them.


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How to tone brown hair to turn it into ash brown


According to the previous information, toning brown hair ashy seems to be very simple.   

While it’s not rocket science, you shouldn’t consider it a piece of cake.


Toning brown hair ashy can be easier or harder according to the type of toner you use.

There are two types of toner:   home-use and professional toner. 


As you may imagine, a professional toner is for colorists. That is people who studied colorimetry in a hairdressing school.



They have more intense pigments and can even be mixed to customize the shade.

Are you a colorist, or do you have advanced knowledge in colorimetry?


Otherwise,   if you have no knowledge of colorimetry, you should tone your brown hair ashy using a home toner. 


Home-use toners are very good and will leave your brown hair ashy.

Which one can you choose? That’s what I’ll tell you about next.


Which toner to choose for toning brown hair ashy

toning dyed hair with box dye
Let’s review some concepts before choosing the toner.

 When you tone your hair, you apply a color opposite to the one you want to remove.  For example, your brown hair has orange or red shades because those are the secondary colors of brown tones.

You probably want to get rid of the orange or red.

Let’s look at the color wheel.

hair color wheel to neutralize yellow hair

  • What color is the opposite of red? Green.
  • What color is the opposite of orange? Blue.


 This means that you’ll need to apply a green or blue toner to tone your brown hair to ashy. 


And if you’re thinking that your hair might be completely green or blue, believe, me, it won’t be. The toner will simply act on the bright colors you want to tone.


Of course, for that to happen, you must respect the exposure times. But we’ll see that later when I tell you how to apply the toner.



Now let’s move on to choosing the toner. I usually recommend WELLA toners.


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How to apply toner on brown hair to make it ashy

ash brown hair after toner
The  toner is applied with a 10-volume developer.  Therefore, make sure you buy the most suitable toner.

What you need

  • A 10-volume developer
  • Toner
  • A plastic container
  • Gloves
  • Dye brush


Remember to gather all the elements before you start because the toner has an immediate effect and starts to work as soon as you apply it.


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How to apply toner to brown hair to turn it ashy?

  • Your hair can be dry or damp when you apply the toner. Detangle it and divide it into four or six sections to distribute the toner evenly.
  • Secure each section with a hair clip.
  • In the plastic container, mix the 10-volume developer with your chosen toner to a creamy, smooth consistency.
  • Release one of the sections of your hair and  apply the toner from root to tip with the hair color brush.   Repeat the application on each section.
  • Leave the toner to act for a maximum of twenty minutes.




  • Rinse your hair with plenty of cold water to close the cuticles. You can use your usual shampoo and conditioner.
  • Remove excess water with a towel and let it air dry. You can use the blow dryer on low or cold heat.


There you have it! You have successfully toned your brown hair to ashy. Now, remember to reapply the toner every three weeks.

If you want to extend the effects of the toner, use sulfate-free shampoos, don’t abuse the blow-dryer or flat iron, and apply a heat protectant. Also, protect your hair from the sun or chlorinated water.



Now you know how to tone your brown hair to ashy. Remember to control the exposure time of the toner.

This way, you’ll prevent your hair from ending up with some green or blue tones.

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