How To Fix Over-Toned Hair: Transforming Terrible Tones To Tremendous Tresses

Dyeing or coloring your hair can be the most fun thing to do when it comes to experimenting and transforming your hair look.

Toning your hair comes next!

A toner deepens and enhances the shade or color of your hair, leaving a fresh look with maintained tresses. It works remarkably to get rid of brassiness and unwanted orange, yellow, red undertones by neutralising or cancelling those shades out with an alternate color to give you the desired look without any mess.

But have you ever thought if toning can go wrong too? It surely can! And coming to that point, we can tell you by experience that it is no worse than a nightmare!

However, let us also assure you that it is not permanent and can be fixed. (whoosh! Sigh of relief). Yes, with each wash, the toner or toning shampoo that you may have put on too much, will gradually fade and then vanish.

Nevertheless, if you do not wish to wait for so long to let it happen on its own and want to fix it immediately, you should know how to fix over-toned hair in the comfort of sitting at your home.

In this article, we will accurately and quickly guide you about how to fix over-toned hair at home so that you do not have to pay hefty amounts to the salons to get it done professionally.

Shampoos Hub
Shampoos Hub


Which Causes Your Over-Toned Hair?

Toning is terrific but over-toned hair can be troublesome
Toning is terrific but over-toned hair can be troublesome

Before we proceed to tell you the ways to fix over-toned hair, let us first determine if you have over-toned your hair by using a toner or a toning shampoo.

This is because the solution to fixing your over-toned hair will depend on the product you have used to tone your hair.

If your hair has been over-toned because of using toner, there are a few ways to fix them. You can fix them by using a clarifying shampoo, lemon juice with a conditioner, a hydrating mask with heat, baking soda, hydrogen peroxide, or bleach.

On the other hand, if you have over-toned your hair accidentally by using a toning shampoo (blue or purple), then it is best to wait a little because it will easily fade with a few washes without doing anything extra.

How To Fix Over-Toned Hair Ruined By A Toner?

Using too much toner can make your hair lose its charm
Using too much toner can make your hair lose its charm

We will give you a quick, honest, and helpful tip before proceeding to reflect on the methods.

Firstly, try washing your hair a couple of times. This way you will be able to see a color that would emerge after those 2-3 washes.

The thing is you may want to settle for this color because it would not be messy looking and would still be deep. If you like that color, well and good! We would recommend keeping it that way so that you do not have to go on exploring more methods.

However, if you are still unable to develop a liking for that final color, then let’s make a transition from easy to a little effort putting steps.

Clarifying Shampoo

Clarifying Shampoo
Wash your hair repeatedly to remove the hair color molecule quickly

Probably the very obvious, simplest, and safest method to save your hair from that overzealous toning, clarifying shampoos work to expel and eliminate colors artificially absorbed by your hair.

Not only hair dyes, but they also work to remove any excess product build-up. And because they are not very over stripping, they turn out as a great option to be used on colored hair.

However, this also means that you will have to wait a little longer to see the results.

What will you need?

  • A clarifying shampoo (preferably with keratin-infused in it). Or you can also use chelating shampoo as an alternative.
  • A good conditioner to deep condition your hair after the wash

How to do:

  • Simply wash your hair with a good clarifying shampoo a few times a week.
  • Take out a little amount as per your hair length and put it all over your hair strands.
  • Leave for 2-5 mins to achieve maximum effect. Rinse it out fully.

You may go for regular and daily hair wash with a clarifying shampoo until the unwanted color is completely wiped out and desired results are achieved. This may take a few washes and a few days so you need to be patient.

Remember, more frequent washes mean faster results. However, make sure you deep condition your hair after using clarifying shampoo regularly by using a good conditioner right after each wash and a conditioning mask twice a week to lock in the natural moisture and prevent hair from over-drying.

Note: If in any way, you see small fly-aways and frizz coming up, you may want to restrict your hair washing to twice a week only.

Hydration Mask

Hydration Mask
Use a hair mask to provide moisture and nutrients to the hair

Hydration masks work best for nourishing dry, weak, and damaged hair. So it is a win-win to apply it to fix over-toned hair. This is also our preferred method to try before proceeding to opt for other bleaching and stripping methods.

Hydration masks also contain sulfates (although they are not very harsh if used for a little period of time) and since sulfates have the tendency to deep clean the hair, they accelerate the process of wiping the unwanted pigments from your hair.

If used in combination with heat, the effect achieved will be stronger and intensified therefore it is recommended to cover your hair with something like a shower cap or any bag after applying the mask.

What will you need?

  • A good restorative hydration mask of any brand with keratin in it
  • Aluminum cap/head wrap/nylon bag

How to do:

  • Simply apply the mask on moist or damp hair covering each strand of your hair from the root to the tips.
  • After covering your hair, put on a nylon bag/head wrap/aluminum cap.
  • Let it sit for around 20 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly.
  • Do this procedure at least twice a week until you achieve the color you want.

Lemon Juice & Conditioner

Lemon Juice
Lemon Juice

Who would have thought getting rid of over-toned hair only requires getting something as economical and accessible as lemon juice?

Lemon juice is a natural antioxidant, rich in Vitamin C (ascorbic acid) that helps in lightening dark hair colors and hair shades. It works as a bleaching agent by removing any oxidized coating on the hair.

However, it can be over-drying which is why it is strongly recommended not to use it directly and alone but with a conditioner to retain moisture.

What will you need?

  • ⅔ cup of lemon juice
  • ¼ cup of any hydrating conditioner
  • Anything to cover like a plastic wrap, shower cap, or a grocery bag

How to do:

  • Take the aforementioned quantities of both lemon juice and conditioner and mix them really well until paste forms.
  • Apply the mixture all over your freshly washed hair using either your fingers or a wide-tooth comb. You can also use a hair color brush to distribute the mixture evenly.
  • Cover your head with a shower cap. If you do not have a shower cap, use nylon, plastic, or grocery bags. This will ensure capturing heat to bring faster results. (Pro tip: You can also use a blow-dry or sit under a hooded dryer to heat it up.)
  • Let it sit for about 2-3 hours.
  • Rinse out well.
  • Apply a shampoo and use a conditioner after the treatment as well to avoid the potential damage and stripping that comes with acid in the lemon juice.

Note:  Since Lemon juice being rich in ascorbic acid can dry up your hair, use it only sparingly.

Moreover, this treatment best brings results if done within 24-48 hours after you have used the toner. The sooner you start this treatment, the better and more efficient it would likely work.

Baking Soda & Shampoo

Baking Soda & Shampoo
Similar to lemon juice, baking soda is also used as a remedy for over-toned hair

If lemon juice can be mixed with a conditioner, why not baking soda with a shampoo to bring promising results!

Baking soda, as we all know, is one of the best cleaning agents you can find in your kitchen that can be used for cleaning anything under the sun!

When mixed with a shampoo (ideally an anti-dandruff shampoo), it facilitates in stripping the unwanted color from the hair. This is because it is abrasive, harsh and catalysts the deep cleaning process to remove any product build up or excessive toning.

What will you need?

  • 2 tablespoons of baking soda
  • 10ml of any anti-dandruff shampoo (Head & Shoulders does the job pretty well)

How to do:

  • Mix the prescribed ratio to form a paste.
  • Apply and scrub it directly on your hair.
  • Leave it on for not more than 3-5minutes.
  • Rinse off well with a good shampoo.
  • Deep condition your hair by either using a highly moisturising and nourishing conditioner or using essential oils or conditioning masks.

DO NOT SKIP CONDITIONING YOUR HAIR AFTER THIS TREATMENT! It is because being abrasive both baking soda and a anti-dandruff shampoo could be very very drying for the hair.

Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen Peroxide
Diluted Hydrogen Peroxide can also wash away color pigments

Hydrogen peroxide is another agent that effectively clears out stains, tints and colors from anything by stripping that color off.

If none of the above is working for you, try using diluted hydrogen peroxide (mixed with water or mixed with a shampoo).

What you will need?

  • 100ml of hydrogen peroxide
  • 100ml of water/ mild and gentle shampoo
  • Spray bottle
  • Hair color brush

How to do:

  • Mix equal ratio of hydrogen peroxide with either simple tap water or shampoo.
  • Pour this mixture into a spray bottle.
  • Spray a few times on your hair especially on the areas covered with toner.
  • Now spread the mixture evenly all over your hair strands with the help of a hair dyeing brush.
  • Let it sit for just 1 minute. (DO NOT LEAVE IT FOR MORE THAN 1-2 MINUTES)
  • Rinse thoroughly, carefully wiping out any remaining traces.
  • You must definitely go for a deep conditioning process afterwards either through applying a conditioner, any essential oil, or conditioning mask to get back the lost moisture due to this treatment.
  • Repeat only twice a week to achieve desired results. Meanwhile, ensure maximum conditioning to avoid any damage.


Prepare to bleach hair
A mixture of bleach and developer will improve over-toned hair

If the toner has messed up your hair real bad and the immediate results are not showing up, then one final resort is to use a bleach. We only recommend this process if you have tried the above mentioned ways and none is working for you and if you have healthy hair.

It is a big NO NO for weak, thin, damaged or prone to breakage sort of hair. This is because using a bleach, although it brings quick and promising results, can be extremely harsh for your hair.

What you will need?

  • Bleaching powder
  • 20-volume developer
  • Container to mix
  • Repairing and nourishing hair serum (anti-frizz is the best!)

How to do:

  • Prepare a mixture of 2 parts 20-volume developer with 1 part bleach powder.
  • Apply the mixture beginning from the tips or ends, working all the way through your roots. The reason why we go reverse in bleaching is because the roots tend to absorb the bleach faster than the tips.
  • Let it sit for 3-5 minutes
  • Rinse well until clear.
  • Blow-dry your hair and apply the hair serum to bring nourishment back to your hair. You can also use coconut oil or anything which is super moisturised to retain nourishment and minimize damage.

Related: How to Fix Uneven Bleached Hair?

How To Fix Over-Toned Hair Ruined By A Toning Shampoo?

toning shampoos
Like a toner, toning shampoos can also leave your hair over-toned.

If you do not follow the instructions on the shampoo bottles regarding quantity and duration of application, you may run the risk of getting over-toned hair.

The good news is, if your hair has been over-toned by a toning shampoo, you would just need a few washes to let it go completely without having to use other methods.

What will you need?

  • A good gentle cleansing shampoo with keratin
  • A conditioner to follow afterwards

How to do:

  • First you will need to completely stop using any toning shampoo you have been using for a while no matter which color shampoo it is, otherwise the problem may get worse.
  • Simply apply a little amount of any good gentle shampoo (preferably with keratin and other nutritive ingredients) as per your hair length and work into a lather paying special attention to the over-toned areas.
  • Let it sit for 2-5 minutes.
  • Rinse well with water.
  • Follow up with a coin sized amount of good suitable conditioner after each wash to avoid over drying of the hair.
  • Repeat this hair wash regimen daily until you see the overtones wiped out completely. This means that if you are an infrequent washer washing your hair twice a week or alternate days, switch to being a daily and frequent washer to achieve immediate results.

Note: Choose a shampoo that is free of any pigment that may darken or lighten your already existent over-toned pigment. 

Which Color Should I Apply To My Hair Once The Toner Is Removed?

After trying out these methods, you will find you have effectively got the same color you had before over-toning your hair. However, since pigments like blue, purple and red are very much showy and strong colors, there is a chance they can make a comeback to your hair.

If, by any chance this happens, make sure that you use colors and dyes to neutralize those tones accordingly. (Check out the color wheel)

For example 


Are there any factors that influence over-toned hair?

Yes, definitely. It is quite obvious that some treatments work for people while the same treatments do not seem to work for others.

Though much less talked about, it may depend on the porosity of your hair, the roughness and thickness of your hair and the timing, quality and strength of the toner used.

For example, if you have used a strong toner, you will end up having over-toned hair. If your hair is coarse and porous, you will find that the toner has messed up your hair by showing up just too much.

And finally, the most obvious, if you have used a lot of toner or left it for a longer time than required, your hair will be over-toned.

How much time should I expect to get the toner out of my hair?

It depends. But using the ways we have mentioned above, it should approximately take about 3-4 weeks to fix your over-toned hair and get its old color back.

I have Vitamin C pills. Can I use them to fix over-toned hair?

Yes. We have mentioned a natural remedy of using Lemon juice which contains Vitamin C – the acidity of which helps to clear out the unwanted extra tones from the hair. In the same way, you can use vitamin C pills by grinding them in a grinder to get a powdered form.

  • Simply mix this powdered vitamin C with a gentle shampoo.
  • Apply on damp hair by using a coloring brush and massage onto the rest of your hair for an even distribution saturating your hair strands completely.
  • Leave it for about an hour and rinse well. Follow up with deep conditioning.

Once I get to fix my over-toned hair, is there anything more I should watch out for?

The methods given above, although safe, can be over stripping for your hair so let us give you some quick tips regarding hair care post toner removal:

  • Get your hands on a sulfate-free shampoo with mild ingredients such as plant oils, essential oils, xanthan gum and glycerin.
  • Do not forget to condition your hair.
  • A deep conditioning mask at least once a week works best to lock in the moisture and hydrate your hair strands. So use it!
  • Make oils your best friend no matter how greasy you find them. Try putting moisturising and smoothening oils like coconut, almond and jojoba oils to your scalp and hair strands for better nourishment.
  • Take a little break before going for a dye/color or other chemically processed treatments right after fixing your over-toned hair as too much chemicals back to back can damage your hair.


Toners, though a bright addition to your hair color family can sometimes prove to be a nuisance if gone wrong since we know that excess of anything is bad. But, it may not be as bad as it seems to be if you try these safe hacks we have listed above.

Remember, every hair type is different and while some methods work pretty efficiently for some people, they might not work for others. It is therefore best to be your own judge with respect to your hair type and the severity of your over-toned pigment and choose a method accordingly.

So now that you know how to fix over-toned hair by sitting at your own homes, you can bid farewell to bothersome salon visits to get them fixed.

Wishing more power to your enchanting tones. Happy dyeing and coloring sessions!

See also: How To Remove Permanent Hair Dye From Grey Hair?

Edna Feber

I’m Edna. I'm here to guide you about hair products and maintenance tips. You'll fine here product reviews regarding hair tools, hair color, hair care and more along with tips to keep your hair healthy!

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