Tone Your Hair at Home | Get Rid of Brassy Yellow or Orange

If you like playing around with different hair colors, chances are you’ve needed some toning done. Hair likes to turn brassy, whether it becomes yellow or orange. It can be expensive to get that brassiness fixed at the salon but the thing is, you don’t have to. You can learn how to tone your hair at home.

pennyMy problem is that I went a bright red color with my hair a couple times in the past, so now when I dye my hair darker or lighter, there are always orange-red tones underneath that want to come through. No matter what color I dye my hair, it always ends up fading to that ugly orange-red color, like a copper penny. No thanks Abe Lincoln, not what I want.

Luckily, there is an easy fix!


What you’ll need:

• White mixing bowl/container
• White-colored conditioner
• Tint brush
• Ultra Violet Manic Panic


A little info about the Manic Panic:

ultra violet manic panic toner

There are some things I’d like to point out before showing the video and explaining the directions. Manic Panic is semi-permanent hair color that is also vegan. It is also not tested on animals. Ultra Violet Manic Panic is the perfect toner because it is a ‘royal shade of deep indigo’, as Sally Beauty says. When it comes to toning, your hair needs the opposite color of whatever the brassiness is you’re trying to get rid of. Ultra Violet works to cancel out brassy blonde (yellow hair) because of the purple in it and it works for brassy brunettes (orange/red hair) because of the blue in it. I fall into the brassy brunette category and I can say this worked out great for me.


Here is a photo of my results:

tone your hair at home

The left side is my brassy brown hair with so many multi-color orange tones in it. The Manic Panic toner cancelled out the orange and made my hair into a darker/chocolate brown. I love it!



 How To Tone Your Hair at Home:

This video shows a yellowy blonde turning into a perfect ash blonde. But as you can see with my results in the photo above, it works to tone brunette hair too! The difference is that when you tone brown hair, it makes it darker, but still removes most of the brassy color.


Written Instructions:

Once you have your Ultra Violet Manic Panic, your white-colored conditioner, a white mixing bowl and a tint brush, you’re ready to begin.

1 ) Wash and dry your hair (don’t put any product in after the shower). Toning will work best on clean hair.

2 ) Put conditioner in the bowl and slowly mix in small amounts of Manic Panic at a time.

3 ) Apply the toner mixture to your hair with the tint brush. You can help blend it in with your hands (so you don’t miss any spots).

4 ) Leave in for about 30-40 minutes then rinse with water.


I hope this helped you out! You don’t have to be a hair professional to learn how to tone your hair at home. Feel free to leave any questions or comments below.


56 thoughts on “Tone Your Hair at Home | Get Rid of Brassy Yellow or Orange

  1. I’ve had my hair nearly every colour under the sun. My hair is pretty wrecked from bleaching it. I am just blonde at the moment, until I decide on my next colour (the pink is gone now!). I’m thinking of going silver and dark blue ombre.
    Kind of sick of my blonde looking yellow so I’m gonna try this trick!

    I’m a big fan of manic panic too. So I know this will be a good product.

    Thanks so much for sharing these tips.

    • Hannah,

      Silver and dark blue ombre sounds really pretty.

      I’m surprised you haven’t toned your hair since you have experiences with many colors before. I’m sure it’ll work out great for you. If you have Instagram, make a before and after picture, tagging #guidetogorgeoushair so I can feature you on my page!

  2. Awesome review Gina! I know a lot of people who have problems with this. Overall great review. Keep up the good work! Would love to see more in the future 🙂
    It’s awesome to have people like you give us information on things we don’t know enough about.
    I’ll bookmark your site and show to some friends 😉

    • Daniel Hauge,

      Thanks for the compliments and for bookmarking!

      This diy hair toning recipe is such a simple solution that many do not know so I wanted to get it out there.

  3. Hey great review Gina! I’ll share your page immediately to my girlfriend as she is so interested in trying to tone her hair on her own! Hair Salons might not be the only options for her now. As for me, I probably would try it with her since i’m the one who shared your page with her.

    Thank you for the great recommendation!

    • Mike,

      Awesome. It’s great when guys share my website with their girlfriends.

      By the way, do you mean you are going to try toning your hair along with your girlfriend or you’re going to help show her how? LOL

  4. Hey Gina, I have never heard of manic panic before but your review makes me want to try it. My hair is medium brown but about 2 years ago I decided to colour ir postbox red. It was lovely for about a week and then it just started to wash out. However whats left is the brassy you talk about even though I have coloured it a few times since. My hair looks dead and lifeless.
    Does manic panic strip the natural oils from your hair?

    • Paula,

      This would be perfect for you in your situation. It will tone out the brassiness and darken your hair a couple shades, taking it back to looking its healthy brown.

      Manic panic used by itself can dry out your hair but this mixture uses so much conditioner that your hair will come out looking shinier than before. However, using Manic Panic too often can cause some dryness in hair. It’s nothing you need to worry about if you moisturize your hair with conditioner though. It comes no where near the harm caused by box dyes.

      Tip: A great hair moisturizer for after the shower is Milkshake Incredible Milk.

  5. Hi!

    Im also left with a brassy ombre look. But one the color panel -> blue gets rid of orange.
    Violet of yellow

    my color is as orange als yours.. So now im not sure anymore .. Should i get the blue of purple one?

    • Kim,

      Very good! You are correct with the color wheel BUT some problems come with using a solid blue toner. A blue toner can give you a green/blue tone in your hair in the sunlight which is something I don’t like. This shade of purple Manic Panic is a mixture of purple and blue so it makes the perfect toner for either yellow or orange brassiness. I recommend using the Manic Panic I talk about in the article!

    Its Vee Vogue, the Youtuber who’s video you linked on your post! Thank you for featuring me and giving me credit for my toner method! So glad I was able to help you out !☺️

  7. Hi Gina
    🙂 I was wondering how much of the manic panic do you put into the conditioner and how much of conditioner do you use also? Thanks so much 🙂

    • Nicole,

      This is tricky to answer because it depends on several things. I would do your best to follow the amounts shown in the video. If your hair is about her length then use that amount of conditioner but if it’s longer then just use more. When adding the Manic Panic, add tiny bits at a time. It’s something you’ll have to play around with and see what the results come out as. If it’s not as toned as you hoped for, use more Manic Panic next time.

      If you have Instagram you should take a before and after photo. Hashtag #guidetogorgeoushair and tag @guidetogorgeoushair so I can feature you on this blog post!

  8. Gotcha! I’ll try it this weekend. One more thing. Could I just mix the manic panic into my conditioner and apply it to wet hair and just wash it out or can it o Ly work on dry hair? Sorry for bugging you! Thankyou so much Gina! 🙂

    • Nicole,

      Thanks for joining and following! You can bug me as much as you want 😉

      About your question, it would be best to apply it to dry hair the traditional way. Then if you want to do some weekly touch ups you can make a shower conditioner with the Manic Panic like you said. I just wouldn’t use it daily since it can dry out your hair if used too often.

      • Hi again Gina 🙂 I know. I hate being a pain! I keep forgetting to ask other questions. Is the manic panic damaging to hair even when mixed with conditioner? I just want to keep my hair healthy as I got hifh light highlights in my dark brown hair two weeks ago. But I didn’t like them so covered it over with ash brown which gave me split ends that I did from off so don’t want to get more. Sorry for the questions I keep forgetting to ask! 🙁

  9. Hello , I’m french / Sorry if my english is bad.
    I dye my hair for years , and I always have brassy highlights in my hair I don’t like.
    I did ash brown dye but still brassy highlight, especially under the sun.

    I have heard about manic panic few days ago , and it seems to be the perfect thing I need !
    I would like to know how much time it last? How many shampoo until we need to tone again? I wash my hair 2 times a week. 3 times maximum sometimes.

    I don’t want to have dry hair, so what do you recommand to keeping healthy hair by using manic panic ?
    I read that you have written that we souldn’t use it too often, but can you tell me how many time per month?

    I think I repeat my question differently lol

    I’m waiting for your anwer , and thank you for this article !

    • Jennifer,

      Everybody’s hair holds color differently so there isn’t one exact answer to your question. It should last a few washes, depending on how harsh of a shampoo you use and how hot the water is (hotter water drains color faster).

      I would begin by using the dye, following the video instructions. After you do the initial toning, you can create a conditioner/manic panic mix to keep in the shower to use as conditioner once a week. See how that goes! You can always come back and tell me how it goes or ask other questions later on.

  10. This is a great idea, thanks for sharing! One question for you. Did you find that this made your hair purplish or reddish at all? My (un-dyed) hair is medium brown and for some reason has turned really gold as of late (sun maybe?). I don’t want to change the color or anything, just make it go back to what it looked like before. It’s sort of like your “before” picture, so I think the results would probably be similar, but I just want to make sure it doesn’t end up looking red or purple!

    • Matt,

      This toning method did not make my hair purplish or reddish at all. It toned out the brassy orangey/gold colors and changed it back to brown/dark brown. Let me know how it goes for you!

  11. Hey,
    I’ve just used Color Oops and from blue black I now have chestnut roots (my natural color) but the rest of my hair is a light auburn. I’d like to try your tip about conditioner+manic panic in blue. Here are my questions:
    -Will I go to my natural chestnut color or lighter?
    -After one use of conditioner+manic panic, is the change permanent?
    -Do I have to repeat the process?
    -If I have to repeat, would you recomment a permanent green toner instead of manic panic?

    Thanks so much

    • Nicole,

      The toner doesn’t lighten hair, it just changes the tone of it.

      Manic Panic is only temporary, not permanent, so you will have to repeat the process when you notice the toning starting to fade after however many washes. After the first toning, you can mix some more Manic Panic in with conditioner to keep in the shower to make it last longer. I am not all that familiar with the permanent toners so I can’t say which you should choose.

  12. I have light – medium brown hair that pulls so much red/orange when coloring. It is a coppery red brown now. Will the aquamarine manic panic work on this?
    I bought that color since its both green and blue. I am also not sure how long to leave it on. The violet color’s toning looks like it turns out dark.

    Thank you,

    • Rose,

      The color that the ultraviolet tones your hair to depends on the color you begin with. As you see in the video, it turns the yellow-orange hair to an ashy color. And it turned my medium orange coppery brown hair to a dark brown.

      I’m not sure how aquamarine would do. I’ve only heard of that color being used to dye hair blue; not for toning.

      I either recommend doing a small test strip of hair if you really want to try out the aquamarine or to return it and get the ultraviolet, just not leaving it in as long.

  13. Hi Gina, my hair is probably about 1 level up from jet black, and I’ve coloured it with a dark ash blonde hair dye. But previous to that i used a box dye that made it look super dark orange/reddish. I feel like the dark orange tone comes out stronger than the actual hair dye and i don’t really like the tone of it right now as i wanted a more ashy dark brown colour. Do you reckon if i used something like the blue steel or grey manic panic it would work better than the ultraviolet as I don’t really want my hair to look purplish either. Cheers!

    • Mira,

      It’s very hard for the Ultraviolet to make hair actually turn purple unless it were to be used on very light blonde hair using JUST the manic panic product. When it’s mixed in with the conditioner it works really well as a toner instead of dying hair the actual purple color, especially for darker hair (or any hair that isn’t super light blonde).

      I can’t make out the exact colors in your hair from your description, without a picture, but I would stick with the Ultraviolet still.

  14. Hi… I’m a dark blonde and the last couple toners at the salon left my hair a brassy/auburn look Will the toner strip out my highlights or just darker them. I have blonde highlights on top of the brassy underneath. Thanks for your help!

    • Julie,

      You could always try using other kinds of violet hair dye, but this specific shade of ultra violet is a blue toned purple so it cancels out both yellow and orange tones. It’s worth getting this one!

  15. Hey Gina,
    So I have reddish/ orangey hair right now with brown undertones. This is the first tutorial I’ve seen for Ultra Violet being used on brown hair. Do you think I should use this one as opposed to any other color manic panic sells? I don’t really want to darken my hair. I just want to tone out the orange.

    • Kimberly Burns,

      That’s really hard to say. I didn’t want to use a blue color for my orangey tones because I definitely did not want any type of blue tint to show in the sunlight (which could happen). So I used the Ultraviolet. It did darken my hair a bit but it toned out a lot of those orange red colors.

      I’m thinking maybe you should try the ultraviolet but just not use a whole lot of color – and see how that goes. Either way, it’s not permanent toning, so if you don’t like it, it will wash out after a while.

    • Rebecca,

      Ahh I’m sorry Rebecca. I don’t have an exact ratio. Just use mostly conditioner and add little by little of manic panic like she does in the video until it’s a medium purple color!

  16. Hi, I’ve got nearly a years worth of natural light brown hair growth plus a lot of orangy brown hair from old dye jobs. I’ve never used manic panic before, will using manic panic do anything to my natural hair colour even though its mixed with conditioner? it’s not long enough to easily cover the dyed bits only. Thanks 🙂

    • Ali,

      Hi! It might darken the natural color a little bit, while toning the brass colors out of the orangy brown hair. It’s all only temporary though so if you don’t like it it’ll wash out after a while, and if you do like it, you can redo it!

  17. Gina,
    My hair is practically black. I recently had it sort of highlighted with silver/gray. Which I love. And as u stated dark hair tends to turn that ugly brassy color. The color we used was by Pravana which requires no developer. My hair is actually is great condition considering all I’ve done to it. My question is, to get rid of the brassiness, what can I do?

  18. Hi Gina if I use on my brownish Hair like I have orange/red in my ends this method will darken my ends?? Or only toning them to a medium brown??

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