How can you tone down copper hair? Use one of these three products…

woman who wants to change the copper tone of her hair

  • If your hair is naturally coppery or dyed copper, you can use a blue shampoo to tone it down. Blue shampoo will make your copper color less harsh.
  • If you want to tone down hair that’s too coppery after bleaching, you can use a toner. In this case, the copper color will disappear completely, leaving your hair ashy.
  • You can also use an ash-colored hair dye to tone down hair that’s too coppery after bleaching or dyeing. I’ll tell you how to properly use an ashy hair dye below.


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 Is your hair too coppery? Or maybe you don’t like it because you notice it’s too orange? 


You have three ways to tone down your copper hair:

  •  Wash your hair several times with blue shampoo  to gradually tone down the copper shade to where you want it to be.
  •  Apply a toner , which will remove the copper tone of your hair, leaving it ashy.
  •  Use an ashy hair dye , which will make the copper tone disappear completely.


Blue shampoo is ideal if you like copper hair, but don’t want the shade to be too harsh, while toner or ash dye are the best options to neutralize the copper completely.

But let’s get into the details for each option.


Use blue shampoo to tone down natural or dyed copper hair

blue shampoo that is used to reduce copper tone of hair

Coppery tones can show up after using a permanent dye or occur naturally in brown hair.

Why do I recommend using blue shampoo in either of these cases? Because blue shampoo works by accumulating in your hair.


In other words, the shampoo will deposit blue pigments with each wash, neutralizing the copper shades.

That way,  you can control how far you lower the copper tone, leaving your hair ashier. 


You should use blue shampoo up to twice a week. Leave it on your hair for 3 to 5 minutes and always rinse it out with cold water.

Once you’ve successfully toned down your copper hair, you should maintain it by using blue shampoo once a week.


Use a toner to tone down copper tones after bleaching or applying a copper hair dye

before and after lowering copper tone in hair

Toner is a coloring tool used to neutralize harsh colors, for example, copper or orange.

But  after you apply it, there won’t be any traces of those copper tones left in your hair at all. 


In other words, your hair will stay ashy for at least three weeks, which is the time it takes for the toner to fade with washing.

  • Therefore,  my advice is to use blue shampoo instead of toner if you like the copper tone and just want to soften it a little. 
  • And  if you want to completely remove the copper tone from your hair , apply an ash toner for home use, e.g. Wella Color Charm.


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Choose an ashy dye to tone down your copper hair after bleaching or dyeing

Applying an ashy hair dye to copper hair can be a definitive solution in these cases. Ashy dyes contain blue pigments that completely neutralize orange or copper tones.

How can you identify an ashy hair dye?

Ash brown dye 4.1 by Schwarzkopf to reduce copper tone of hair


All hair dye brands use a numbering system for coloring.

That is,  on each box of hair color, you will find a number, made up of several digits. 

  •  The first number indicates the level of the shade , e.g. 1 is black while 7 is blonde.
  •  The second number, which always appears after the main number and a dot, represents the hue or shade of the color. 

For example, .1 indicates that the tint has ashy shades, while .4 indicates the tint has copper shades.


So  to identify an ashy tint, you’ll need to look on the dye box for a numbering ending in .1. 

For example:

  • Ash-blonde 7.1
  • Ash brown 4.1
  • Dark ash-blonde 6.1


Now, you must apply an ash color on your copper hair, respecting the height of the color. In other words, you can’t apply a light-ashy blonde 8.1 on a coppery brown 4.4.


So, you should look for an ash color at the same color level as the color you previously applied.

For example, if your hair is coppery because you applied a 4.4 coppery brown hair color, you should tone down the copper by applying a 4.1 ash brown hair color.


 If you don’t remember the exact number of the dye you used , I suggest you choose a dye that’s around the middle of the color chart, for example, dark ash blonde 6.1 or ash blonde 7.1.



Now you know how to tone copper hair. Remember, don’t ever apply bleach because this chemical process, besides being very aggressive, will remove all the natural and artificial color from your hair.

And here, you want to simply tone down the copper shade.

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