color treated hair How to Add a Toning Shampoo to Your Hair Care Routine

Plus, how to use the color wheel to find the right shade of toning shampoo.

July 29, 2022
Toning Shampoo

If you have highlighted or blonde hair, then you definitely know the wonders of purple toning shampoo and the importance of having one in your hair care routine. But there’s more to toning shampoo than just purple shampoo, because brown hair and black hair can deal with brassiness, too. Below, we’re sharing all the details on what toning shampoo is, the different types you should know about and how to use one in your hair care routine.


What Is Toning Shampoo?

The first thing that probably pops into your head when you think of toning shampoo is purple shampoo. But, there are different shades of toning shampoo and the name refers to any shampoo that helps to neutralize unwanted, brassy tones. Toning shampoo is a great way to keep your color refreshed between salon visits.


Are Toner and Toning Shampoo the Same Thing?

When you get your hair done by a professional, toner is used to adjust the undertone of your hair, like icy blonde or warm, golden blonde. While hair toner and toning shampoos are different, they work similarly to help maintain the color and tone of your hair. Toning shampoos are an at-home option and are considered part of regular upkeep for colored strands.


What Color Toning Shampoo Should You Use?

The best way to figure out what shade of toning shampoo you should be using is by looking at the color wheel. Choose the shade that sits opposite the one you want to counteract, for example, purple sits opposite yellow which is why it’s used to counteract brassy tones in blonde hair


3 Types of Toning Shampoo to Get Familiar With

There’s more than one color of toning shampoo so we’re filling you in on three of the most popular toning shampoo options and when you should use them.


1. Purple Toning Shampoo

Purple shampoo is the most widely-known toning shampoo and it’s most commonly used by those with bleached strands, blonde highlights or silver hair. If you look at the color wheel, you can see that purple is located across from yellow, so if you have unwanted yellow and brassy tones in your hair, purple shampoo neutralizes them. 


The L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate-Free Shampoo is a fantastic option formulated with hibiscus and purple dye to hydrate and neutralize brassy tones in blonde, bleached, highlighted, and silver hair. Pair your purple shampoo with a coordinating purple conditioner like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Conditioner to complete your toning hair care system.


Once a week, switch out your purple conditioner for a purple mask like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Anti Brass Purple Mask Treatment to deeply hydrate your colored strands.


2. Blue Toning Shampoo

When you reference the color wheel, you’ll notice that blue is directly across from orange which means that blue toning shampoo should be your go-to if you’re looking to cancel out orange hues. 


Just like blondes, brown hair can get brassy and blue shampoo works to neutralize unwanted orange tones, a pretty common occurrence for brunettes with highlights or colored hair.


3. Green Toning Shampoo

Green is the opposite of red on the color wheel, so if you notice unwanted red tones popping through your hair color, green toning shampoo is the answer. Green toning shampoo is most commonly used for natural or colored dark brown or black hair with unwanted reddish hues.


Editor’s tip: For those looking to banish unwanted orange and red tones, the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss in Clear can help to correct brassy, faded tones in colored or natural hair. Once a week, reach for this glossing treatment to help boost color, enhance shine and deeply condition strands for a vibrant finish that looks like you just left the salon.


How to Use Toning Shampoo in Your Hair Care Routine

Now that you know the different types of toning shampoo, it’s time to cover how and when you can use one in your hair care routine


1. Wash Your Strands

Reach for the toning shampoo that best matches your hair color concerns. Some toning shampoos can be rinsed off immediately after a quick lather and massage (just like a regular shampoo), while others may need to be left on your strands for a few minutes. Follow the directions on your shampoo bottle and use accordingly. 


Toning shampoo is only meant to be used when your hair looks brassy or has unwanted tones, not for daily use. Using toning shampoo daily can really dry out your strands so depending on how often you wash your hair, you may only want to use a toning shampoo once a week or once every other week. 


On the days when you don’t wash your hair with a toning shampoo, reach for a glossing shampoo and conditioner like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo, pH Balanced and the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Conditioner, pH Balanced. This glossing duo cleanses without stripping color, leaving hair silky, soft and smooth with a glossy finish that lasts.


2. Follow Up With Conditioner

Purple conditioners tend to be easier to find than blue or green conditioners but your toning shampoo should be more than enough to curb unwanted tones. After your toning shampoo, you’ll want to follow up with any hydrating conditioner for color-treated hair like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Hyaluron Plump Hydrating Conditioner, Paraben-Free. Toning shampoos tend to be drying so this hydrating conditioner formulated with hyaluronic acid is just what your strands will crave after using one. 


3. Use Treatments Accordingly

Follow up your toning shampoo with a glossing treatment to keep your vibrant and freshly toned strands looking their best. Safe for virgin strands and color-treated hair alike, use the L’Oréal Paris Sulfate-Free Glossing In Shower Acidic Glaze post-wash, two to three times a week to help seal the hair cuticle and restore hair with a shiny, silky finish. Spray all over wet hair after shampooing, let it sit for one to three minutes (do not rinse) and follow up with conditioner.


If you heat style your hair, make sure to prime your strands with a heat protectant like the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Dream Lengths Frizz Killer Serum Leave-In which also doubles as an anti-frizz serum.


Next: Can You Use Purple Shampoo On Brown Hair?


Edited by: Reece Andavolgyi, Photo Design by Crystal Simone