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7 Ways to Fix Over-Toned Hair | Step-by-Step Guide

There’s nothing fun about heading to the hairdresser and coming out with shades of blue in your pretty blonde streaks. If you want to learn how to fix your over-toned hair at home, you’re in the right place.

Fixing Over-Toned Hair: A Summary

Woman looking at her hair wondering how to fix over-toned hair


If you’re in desperate need of a fix for your over-toned hair, you’ll be happy to know there are several ways you can get to work correcting the problem. Instead, you can try one or more of the following methods right in your own bathroom to quickly get back to your intended look.

  • Clarifying shampoo
  • Dishwashing liquid
  • Baking soda mask
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Hydrating masks
  • Lemon and conditioner
  • Commercial color remover

Each of these methods for fixing over-toned hair is fairly straightforward, but some require more steps than others. Read over each method carefully, and only pick one that you feel comfortable applying yourself.

How to Fix Over-Toned Hair 7 Different Ways

There are seven at-home methods you can use to fix your over-toned hair. Fortunately, in most cases you’ll be able to use items you probably already have on hand.

And remember, if you have any concerns about fixing over-toned hair yourself, you can put in a call to your hairdresser for advice.

Method 1: Clarifying Shampoo

Woman holding a bottle of clarifying shampoo to fix over-toned hair

Body Stock/Shutterstock

Clarifying shampoo is the simplest and least-damaging method of fixing over-toned hair, so if you want to maintain your hair’s health post-dye, this should be your first choice.

It’s great at removing dirt and grime from your hair, but it’s also effective at removing toner. The only downside is that it might take a few washes to see the results you want.

Step 1: Purchase a Clarifying Shampoo

You could ask your hairdresser which clarifying shampoo they recommend, or you could base your decision on user reviews. Either way, clarifying shampoo is an easy product to find a drug, grocery, or beauty store.

Step 2: Wash Your Hair

Wash your hair with the clarifying shampoo as you usually would, then check the color and wash again. You’ll most likely need to wash your hair at least 2-3 times before you’ll see a noticeable change.

The most important thing to keep in mind if you want to use clarifying shampoo is that you’ll need to use it right away. If you leave the salon and notice your hair doesn’t look quite right, grab a bottle of clarifying shampoo on the way home and get to work.

Read Next: How to Clarify Hair

Method 2: Dish Soap

Liquid dish soap in a close-up image for a piece on how to fix over-toned hair

Liquid dishwashing soap is designed to cut through nearly anything that could gunk up your dishes, which means it also works well at getting your hair clean.

Dawn is the most commonly-used dish soap for removing toner, but others with similar cleaning powers will work well, too. However, be sure to have a good conditioner on hand, and don’t use this method often, as it can be very drying.

Step 1: Wash Your Hair

Wash your hair with dishwashing liquid just like you would your regular shampoo. Once you’ve lathered up, let the suds sit for a few minutes to let the bubbles work. This is the equivalent of “soaking your dishes.”

Tip: Add a dash of lemon juice to help give your soap a boost when removing purple toner. The acidity does a great job of lightening up those purple tones.

Step 2: Condition Your Hair

Dishwashing liquid is so good at removing toner because it’s incredibly stripping. So, once you’ve finished washing out the soap, apply an intensive conditioner to help prevent breakage and drying and to bring that soft feeling back to your hair.

As with clarifying shampoo, in order for dishwashing liquid to be effective, you’ll need to use it right away. The longer you wait to apply it, the less effective it’ll be.

Method 3: Baking Soda Mask

Person using baking soda to fix over-toned hair


Baking soda can work similarly to clarifying shampoo when removing toner from your hair. In fact, you can substitute baking soda for a clarifying shampoo if you can’t get to the store for a new bottle of shampoo. 

Step 1: Mix

Combine 1-2 tablespoons of baking soda with your preferred brand of shampoo. It can be your regular shampoo or one with increased hydration benefits.

Step 2: Apply and Set

Apply the baking soda and shampoo mixture to all of the affected sections of your hair. Then, let it sit for up to 30 minutes, checking it every few minutes to confirm it’s working.

Step 3: Rinse 

Once your hair is ready, rinse the shampoo out just as you usually would. Then, check the color, and if it looks like it needs another treatment, you can do so. If everything looks good, apply a conditioner to keep your hair soft.

Method 4: Hydrogen Peroxide

Image of a bottle of hydrogen peroxide, great to use on over-toned hair

Jesse Franks/Shutterstock

Another way to strip away toner is by applying a bit of diluted hydrogen peroxide to your hair. If a clarifying shampoo or dishwashing liquid treatment didn’t do the trick, you could give this a try. 

Step 1: Prepare the Peroxide

The first step is to dilute the hydrogen peroxide with water. This will help minimize hydrogen peroxide’s damaging effects on your hair. It will also give you more control over how much you apply to each area.

Step 2: Spray and Soak

Once your peroxide is diluted, spray it onto the worst-affected areas in even sprays until your hair is sufficiently coated. Focus on the most over-toned sections first. Then, let your hair soak for about one minute.

Step 3: Rinse

After letting your hair soak, rinse the hydrogen peroxide out of your hair right away. Be sure to follow up with a good conditioning treatment after using hydrogen peroxide because it’s a very damaging chemical. Not only does it have bleaching abilities, but it’s also very drying.

Method 5: Hydrating Mask

Image of a hydrating hair mask used to fix over-toned hair


A hydrating hair mask can help remove toner from your hair, but it might take a bit longer than you’d like. However, if the over-toning isn’t too bad and you just want to remove some brassiness, this method will be the most beneficial to your hair.

Step 1: Choose a Mask

When shopping for a hair mask, choose one that has ingredients that suit your needs. For example, coconut or sunflower oil and keratin all have hydrating or strengthening effects on hair. Also, make sure to avoid products with alcohol or other drying agents in their ingredient list.

Step 2: Apply the Mask

For best results, apply the mask to damp hair. Once your hair is fully coated, cover it with tin foil to keep the mask from drying out.

Step 3: Let it Set

Allow the mask to soak into your hair for 30 to 45 minutes before rinsing. Repeat a few times a week or until your hair gets back to the color you want.

Method 6: Conditioner and Lemon Juice

Lemon juice and conditioner used to fix over-toned hair

Joshua Resnick/Shutterstock

Since shampoos can be very drying, you might want to opt for a solution that uses conditioner instead. Combining your daily conditioner with a bit of lemon juice can help correct over-toning.

Step 1: Wash Your Hair

Before using the conditioning treatment, take a few minutes to thoroughly wash your hair. This will allow the conditioner mixture to cling to your hair better.

Step 2: Mix

Combine one part conditioner with four parts lemon juice in a small bowl. The mixture will be much thinner than your conditioner, so it’s best to apply it outside of the shower to avoid it washing away too quickly. 

Step 3: Apply

Apply the conditioner mixture to your hair, focusing on the areas that have the worst over-toning. The best way to do this is with a hair color brush that’ll allow you to apply the conditioner precisely. Repeat once a week until you get your desired results.

Lemon juice is very acidic, which is why it’s an effective method of removing toner and lightening hair. However, even combined with conditioner, lemon juice can damage your hair. Therefore, you should only use this method as needed, but not daily.

Method 7: Color Remover

Bottle of hair color remove to help fix the reader's over toned hair


Commercial color remover is another method you can try to remove toner from your hair. However, it’s a pretty damaging method, so it should be a last resort or only be used if your hair is beyond the help of any of the previous methods.

Step 1: Choose Your Remover

There are many commercial color removers on the market, so choose one that suits you. If you’ve never used color remover before, check with your hairdresser to see if they have a suggestion for one you could use.

Step 2: Apply

Each color remover comes with its own set of directions. For best results, treat your hair according to the instructions in the box.

If you think color remover is the best method for removing toner from your hair, consult with a professional to make sure you can properly condition your hair once you’ve washed out the remover. This can help prevent further drying or damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

Fixing over-toned hair can be a frustrating process. Here are the answers to a few of the most commonly asked questions about getting those frustrating hues out of your hair:

How long does it take for over-toned hair to wash out?

How long it takes toner to wash out depends on how frequently you wash your hair. On average, it should take about a month. However, the toner will wash out much sooner if you wash your hair every day.

How does lemon juice remove toner from hair?

Since lemon juice has a natural bleaching effect, it can help counteract the toner in your hair. You’ll need to use it in small amounts, though, to avoid drying out your hair or lightening it too much.

Can a color remover remove toner?

Color remover can help strip the toner out of your hair, but only if you want to make it lighter. You should try using color remover before you attempt a bleaching method.

Can you dye over-toned hair?

If you want to simply cover up the over-toned hair, you can use a permanent dye to cover it up. This won’t remove the toner, but it will help conceal it.

Why is my hair still yellow after toning?

If you’ve toned your hair and it’s still yellow, it’s likely you didn’t lift enough color from your hair. You can try using a bleaching method, then attempt to tone again.

So, How Do You Fix Over-Toned Hair?

There are several methods you can try to fix over-toned hair. However, most won’t fix the problem in one treatment, and some can be quite damaging.

The most important thing to remember is to choose the method that best suits your hair and work to correct the problem right away. And, when in doubt, consult a hair care professional before trying any of the methods listed here.

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