Toner for Brown Hair With Highlights: you have 2 options

dark brown hair

  • If the highlights in your brown hair are dark blonde 6, you can tone them with Wella Color Charm T18 to remove the brassy shades.
  • Alternatively, if they’re light brown 5, you can use Wella Color Charm T14 toner.
  • These toners are applied with a 10-volume developer. So, if your hair is damaged, you can also tone your brown hair with highlights with a blue shampoo.


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Did you highlight your brown hair to lighten it?


It’s an excellent idea because dark hair with highlights adds warmth and brightens the face in a very subtle way.

However, as I’m sure you’ve been told at the salon, highlights require maintenance. Don’t panic.


It’s not a maintenance routine that will prevent you from sleeping at night or break your bank account.

 But remember that those beautiful highlights in your brown hair may start to look a little orange as the days and washes go by. 


  • You can go back to the salon to neutralize the orange undertones.
  • Or you can fix them yourself by choosing the right toner according to the color of your highlights.

How will you know which toner to choose?


Don’t despair. Here is all the information you need to choose the correct toner.


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What toner for brown hair with highlights?

toning orange hair

When dark colors such as brown are bleached, orange undertones always appear. In the salon, the final step to remove that orange is to tone the hair.

Toner is a permanent hair dye that neutralizes unwanted color after bleaching.


 Although toner is a professional coloring tool, manufacturers have begun to launch lines for home use. 

This is the case with Wella Color Charm. You can apply it in the comfort of your own home even if you don’t have the experience of a stylist.


However, before I tell you which toner to choose for your highlights, let me give you some tips:

  • Before applying the toner, read the instructions carefully. You need to follow the manufacturer’s instructions to prepare it.
  • Respect the exposure times. If you’re determined to tone your highlights, respect those indications too.
  • Prepare all the elements you’ll need in advance.


Why do I make these recommendations?


While Wella’s toner is for home use, it should be applied with a 10-vol peroxide.

And peroxide is a chemical.


 If you leave it on longer than indicated, you may damage your hair. Also, you run the risk of getting bluish highlights. 


Remember that peroxide is not included in the toner kit. You’ll need to get it too.

Having made these clarifications, let’s move on to the most important thing.


Since I don’t know how brassy or orange your highlights are, I’ll recommend some general toners that cover several options. In my opinion, the best ones are:

  • Wella T18, which will cover the lighter orange undertones in your highlights.
  • Wella T14, which will cover darker colors of orange.


Let’s see some examples.

  • If your hair is dark brown 3, and you got highlights, they’re probably dark orange. They usually lighten 2 or 3 levels with each wash. As they’re probably dark orange, you could use Wella T14.
  • Alternatively, if you have light brown hair 5, and you got highlights, they should be light orange. So, Wella T18 will neutralize them with an ashy undertone.


 So, the intensity of your orange undretones will guide you to choose the most suitable toner. 

Having chosen the toner, it’s time for application.


How to apply the toner?

using purple toner on bleached yellow hair

Step 1: Preparing the hair

Your hair should be damp and detangled. Separate your hair into four sections, from forehead to nape and from ear to ear, holding each section with a hair clip.

You could also apply the toner on dry hair if this is easier for you.


Step 2: Preparing the toner

In a plastic container, mix the 10-volume developer with your chosen Wella Color Charm toner to blend.


Step 3: Applying the toner

Release one of the sections of your hair. Apply the toner from root to tip with a hair dye brush.

Since the highlights are distributed throughout your hair, you should apply the toner to your entire mane to remove the orange undertones. Don’t worry. The toner will only cover the highlights to neutralize the orange undertones. It won’t change the brown color of the rest of your hair.

Leave the toner on for 20 minutes.


Step 4: Rinse and dry

Rinse your hair with plenty of lukewarm water until it runs clean. You can use your usual shampoo and conditioner.

Then, blow-dry your hair on a low or cool heat, and style. Now, enjoy your brown hair with the unique shine of the highlights.


The toner lasts for about three weeks. Therefore, you can reapply it. Alternatively, during those three weeks, you can maintain the color with a blue shampoo.


Another alternative for toning highlights on brown hair

toning unwanted orange tones

If you don’t feel too confident to use Wella toners, or your hair feels a bit rough, you can use the blue shampoo to remove the unwanted orange.


It neutralizes the brassy tones with its blue pigments.

 It’s easy to apply. You only need to replace it with your usual shampoo. You can also use a blue conditioner to complete the treatment. 


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As there are several brands of blue shampoo on the market, I recommend you read the instructions carefully.

Here are some recommendations.

  •  Use it once or twice a week instead of your usual shampoo. 
  • Leave it on for three to five minutes.
  • Rinse it off with lukewarm, almost cold water, for the pigmentation to adhere to your hair and last longer.


You can alternate with a sulfate-free shampoo to protect the color and extend the effects of the coloring process.



Highlights on brown hair always tend to turn orange because of the base pigmentation. You can solve it with a toner for home use.

If your highlights are dark orange, use Wella Color Charm T18. Alternatively, if they’re light orange, your best choice is Wella Color Charm T14.

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