2 ways to tone red hair like a professional: toner and shampoo

  • There are two ways to tone red hair like a professional: by using toner or shampoo. I’ll tell you about both ways in just a moment.
  • The easiest and gentlest way to tone red-dyed hair is to use a red toning shampoo. Some brands of red shampoo are: 3 in 1 KERACOLOR CLENDITIONER, CELEB LUXURY VIRAL COLOR WASH, and 2 in 1 PUNKY COLOUR.
  • You can also opt to tone red hair by using toner, but you’ll need to know a little bit about coloring hair to go for this option, since you need to be very careful about how long you leave the toner in your hair, and you also should have healthy hair because you mix toner with 20 volume peroxide.


tone the color


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Red hair is a classic color that never goes out of style.

From Rita Hayworth in the famous movie Gilda – if you don’t know it, ask your mom – to the Little Mermaid, Ariel, from the Disney movie, red hair is a symbol of vitality, happiness, and daring.



But, it can also be a headache when your roots start to grow in, because  the difference between your natural color at your roots and the red can be attention-grabbing. 

Are you tired of needing to touch up the red dye more often than you were expecting?


You’re not the only one. I have two clients that are crazy about red hair, Erika, and Marina.

They’ve both been dyeing their hair red for years, but the last time they came to the salon, they told me that they were sick and tired of the maintenance, because they end up coming to the salon every thirty days.

When they told me that, a little light bulb went off in my head.


What could I do to help them avoid having to give up on that red color that they love so much?


I thought of a solution: we could tone their hair, but I recommended different products to each of them.

 I suggested that Erika use red shampoo to tone her hair, while I told Marina that she should use a red toner. 

Do you know why I told them to use different products?


If you want to find out, stick around, because I’m going to tell you:

  • How to tone red hair with shampoo
  • How to tone red hair with toner



After reading what I have to tell you, you’ll know which product is better for you to toning your red hair.


How to tone red hair with shampoo

red hair toners

I told Erika to tone her hair using a red toning shampoo because that is an excellent tool when it comes to colors that fade quickly, like red.

It also won’t harm your hair since it doesn’t contain either peroxide or ammonia, and when you wash your hair, when the cuticles come into contact with water, they open and your hair is more able to absorb the pigments in the shampoo.


Why did I recommend Erika shampoo instead of toner?


First, because I was considering her hair’s state of health, and second, I was thinking of her experience using different hair products.

Erika’s hair wasn’t very healthy, and she also didn’t use any kind of hair mask regularly. Because of that, I knew that she wasn’t very meticulous in how she cared for her hair.


And she also didn’t have very much experience in dyeing her hair.


So, I recommended red toning shampoo because it wouldn’t hurt her already damaged hair and she wouldn’t run the risk of using a product that could alter her hair color for the worse.


So, tell me the truth:

  • Are you someone that moisturizes their hair once a week?
  • Do you wash your hair with cool or cold water?
  • Do you use a hair straightener or blow dryer often?
  • Do you have experience with dyeing your hair?
  • Are you very meticulous?


If you don’t take excellent care of your hair and it has some visible signs of damage, and you’re not experienced with coloring it, but you do want to tone it, then your best bet is red toning shampoo.

All you need to do is use it on your hair and leave it in for 5-10 minutes so the pigments soak in and revitalize your faded red color.



It’s a very natural solution that won’t damage your hair and it will allow you to have a bright red color that will last longer.

Do you want to know which are some of the best red shampoos?

These are the ones I recommended to Erika. I’ll tell you a little more about each one.



toner for red hair

This shampoo will give your red hair more color and will help repair damaged hair because it’s made with coconut and rose oil, hydrolyzed keratin, and shea butter.


And if you’re looking for more intense results, you can use it on dry hair and leave it in for 10-15 minutes.



shampoo deposits red pigments

This brand has three different shades of red available so you can choose the one that is the best fit for your hair, whether that’s a pale red or an intense red.

Since its formula is made for frequent use, you can use it every single day. What’s the advantage of that?

That you’ll visit the salon for touch-ups even less often!



  • 2 in 1 PUNKY COLOUR

deposits red pigments

Are you constantly dealing with frizz in your red hair? Do you notice that it tangles easily when you brush it?

If so, then this is the best choice for you because not only will you tone your red hair, but you’ll also hydrate it thanks to the essential oils it contains.


Do you have healthy hair and experience with coloring it?


If so, then toner is a better choice for you because you’ll be able to brighten up your color like a real expert.


How to tone red hair with toner

Marina is meticulousness and responsibility in human form, so I recommended that she use toner.

She moisturizes her hair once a week as she should and uses hydrating masks as needed. She never washes her hair with hot water, and she keeps away from heated styling tools as much as possible. And, she is the one that is always interested in learning more about coloring her hair.


 As such, I recommended that she use toner to tone her red hair. Because I knew she’d be responsible and careful when using it on her hair. 

Why do you have to be so careful when using a toner?



Because toner is like any other dye, meaning that you need to use a 20 volume peroxide when you apply it to your hair and it contains ammonia.

Although it’s a fairly simple process to do, if you leave it in your hair for too long or you rinse your hair too early, then your final result, and your hair color, might not be what you were expecting.


That’s why it’s so important that you have experience with coloring your hair.

  • Because if you want to touch up a dark red color and you leave the toner in for less than 10 minutes, then your hair will turn out lighter.
  • And if you want to fix a light red color and you leave the toner in for more than 15 minutes, then your red will turn out darker.


 That’s because of the intensity of the pigments in toner. The longer you leave it in, the more color you’ll be adding to your hair.  

Are you like Marina, with healthy hair and a tendency to be careful?



If so, you can choose toner and tone your hair without being afraid.


  • Red toner
  • 20 volume developer
  • Dye brush
  • Gloves



  • Detangle your hair and mix the contents of the tube of dye and the 20 volume developer in a plastic container.
  • Start using the toner at your roots and move down to the ends of your hair, covering all of it with the mixture.
  • Constantly keep an eye on your color until you get to the red color you’re looking for.
  • Rinse with plenty of cool water until it runs clear and dry your hair.


After two weeks, you should decide if you want to use the toner again since it will fade in that amount of time, or go ahead and use the red dye again.




  • You have two options for toning red hair: red toning shampoo or red toner.
  • If your hair is damaged, dry, or frizzy, I’d suggest using a red shampoo since it will help brighten up your color without hurting your hair.
  • If your red hair is healthy and you’re experienced in coloring your hair, use the toner to rejuvenate the faded color and make your dye last longer.


Either of these options will make it so you don’t have to dye your hair as often so you can fully enjoy that brilliant red you love so much.

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