Best Toner for Balayage: ash, blonde, platinum, caramel and others

toning down to make it ash

Did you get a balayage that turned out beautifully, but after a few washes, lost the magical shine it had from the salon?


Don’t worry! That’s totally normal!

But, like always, I have a solution for you:

Toning products.


  • A toner is a product that just adds color pigments to your hair to neutralize bright, unwanted colors.
  • You can also use them if your hair starts to lose its shine after a few washes to renew the color.


When you first leave the salon, your balayage will look amazing, but after a few washes, the color will wear out.

That happens for a few different reasons: the chemicals in your shampoo, cream baths, and water salinity.

 That’s why a toning product is a perfect tool for maintaining your balayage as bright as it was the first day you got it.  


Now, did you know that toning products come in several different colors and formats?


  • First, I’m going to tell you about the three different formats that toning products come in
  • And then, I’m going to help you choose the best color toning product for your balayage.


Toning products come in three different formats

Toner comes in three different forms:

  • Toning shampoo
  • Toner
  • Pure pigments

Which of the three options is best for you?


Toning Shampoo

The easiest product to use is by far toning shampoo. That’s why I recommend using shampoo if you don’t have any experience with hair coloring.

You just have to let it sit for 5-10 minutes and rinse. Yes, it’s that easy.

That way, every time you wash your hair, you’ll also tone your balayage.


There are toning shampoos for all kinds of hair colors and shades, from red to golden blonde.

What color shampoo should you choose for your balayage?


I’ll tell you in a few seconds.

But first, I want to tell you about toner.



Toner is a little bit harder to use, but it’s not different from applying hair dye.

Have you ever dyed your hair? If so, you won’t have any issue with toner.

The first thing you’ll have to do is choose the right color toner. You’ll also have to buy 20-volume peroxide and have a pair of gloves on hand to apply the product.


  • Once you have all the materials, you can begin.
  • Mix the 20-volume peroxide with the toner in a plastic container.
  • Once the mix is smooth, apply the mix to your hair with gloves as if it were a cream bath.
  • Let it sit for 20-30 minutes and rinse.

You’ll see right away that your color has a new life.


Pure Pigments

The last toning product format is pure pigments, pure colors like red, purple, yellow, or grey.

You apply them in the same way as you would a toner, but they’re hard to get in just any store; you’ll have to go to a store for stylists or a hair salon’s store.


 But, let me warn you, dear friend, that they are tough to work with. If you don’t have any knowledge about hair coloring, I would not recommend them at all.  

Like I told you about the other two methods, I also want to tell you how this one works. But, I repeat, if you don’t know anything about hair coloring, choose one of the other options.


  • You apply this like you would the toner or any other dye.
  • Mix the 20-volume peroxide with the pure pigments and apply the mixture to your hair with gloves on like you would with a keratin bath.
  • But there is the critical detail: you should only leave pure pigments in your hair for 10-20 minutes, no more!
  • If you leave it in for longer, your hair will look like it was painted on with watercolor, and there is nothing a stylist can do to fix it, not even with bleach.


So, now, you know.

If you don’t have any experience with dyeing your hair, choose the toning shampoo or the toner. Your goal is the same; it’s just the way you get there that’s different.

You still need to know which color toner to choose for your balayage.


That’s what I’m going to tell you about now.


What color toning product should you choose for your balayage?

You already know that toning products come in three forms.

I’m going to tell you which toner to choose according to what your balayage needs.


Platinum Balayage

for lightened and bleached hair

If your balayage is platinum blonde, your hair might fade to a pale blonde, which you might not be happy with.

If that happens, then you have two options to get it back to its original color:

  • Use a pink/purple toning shampoo. (I’d recommend No Yellow by Fanola. It’s easy to get and affordable. )
  • Use a silver-grey toner. Some brands call this a grey toner, while others call it grey dye.


Ash Balayage

yellowish grey hairs

If you have an ashy balayage, then with time, it might fade to a buttery blonde.

If that happens, then you have two options to get it back to its original color:

  • Use a grey or silver toning shampoo. (Loreal Silver works well)
  • Use a grey toner (you can ask for grey toner or dye in the store)


Blonde Balayage

toning blonde balayage

If you have a blonde balayage, your hair might start to look yellow after some time.

If that happens, you just have one option.

  • Use a toning shampoo for blonde hair (like Revlon’s Color Stay line)
  • Depending on the shade of blonde you have, you should be able to choose a shampoo that’s best adapted to your hair (coppery blonde, golden blonde, honey blonde, caramel blonde, etc.).


Honey Balayage

If you have a honey-colored balayage, it might look yellow after some time.

To solve this, you just have one option.

  • You must tone blonde hair with shampoo. So, your only option, in this case, is to use a purple toning shampoo. (For example, the No Yellow one by Fanola that I previously mentioned).


Caramel Balayage

for caramel balayage

If your balayage is a caramel color, it will start to turn orange with time.

  • The solution is to use an orange toning shampoo (like No Orange by Fanola).


If you’ve been paying attention, then you’ll have noticed that what each of the products that I’ve named does is add a few pigments to your hair to cancel out unwanted tones.

For example, to cancel out yellows, you can use purple shampoo. To cancel out oranges, you can use blue shampoo.


How often should I use toning shampoo on my balayage? How often should I use a toner?

I recommend using toning shampoo every time you wash your hair.

  • If you wash your hair every day, use the toning shampoo every day.
  • If you wash it every other day, then use the toning shampoo every other day. It’s that simple.


 The shampoo has color pigments and cleaning agents, so you don’t need to use the shampoo in combination with another one. Just using the toning shampoo is enough.  


You should only apply toner once a month or when your balayage’s color has reached a point that you can’t bear it anymore.


So, when you leave the hair salon with a brand new balayage, you have two options:

  1. Use a toning shampoo periodically to maintain your color. It will go away eventually, but you’ll be able to maintain it longer by using a toning shampoo.
  2. You can let the color washout, and after 30 days, apply the toner.


I recommend my clients use a toning shampoo, but it’s good to know your options.


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