Every hair color is beautiful and eye-catching in its own way. Whether it’s a light and lively blonde, a dark and mysterious black, or even an electrifyingly neon blue shade, there’s something to love about any hair color. But there’s probably no other “natural” shade as intriguing as strawberry blonde hair.
This cross between red and blonde is extremely captivating because of its unique combination of light and medium tones. It makes you wonder how one becomes blessed with this color at birth, and how stylists have perfected recreating its dimension or natural tones in the salon.
But strawberry blonde hair is rarely perfect. In fact, both natural and bottle strawberry blondes face the same issues, whether it’s brassiness, discoloration, or color fading. Whichever of the three you might be facing, the solution is the same: toner.
In this post, we’ll delve into whether you can use toner for strawberry blonde hair and the things you should keep in mind about this blonde hue.
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What Is Strawberry Blonde Hair?
People often confuse strawberry blonde locks with red hair, but the two couldn’t be more different.
Red hair is a vibrant ginger or mahogany, while strawberry blonde is, well, blonde.
However, the latter has highlights and undertones of red, giving its pale blonde base a copper or bronze touch.
Strawberry blonde hair is one of the rarest hair colors people are born with.
If you have natural strawberry blonde locks, you’re basically a unicorn.
Take good care of your hair, and you’ll have people doing double-takes every time you’re outside.
Strawberry Blonde Hair Can Fade Or Get Brassy
Like all blonde hues, strawberry blonde hair can fade or get brassy.
But at the end of the day, no matter how “unique” it is, strawberry blonde is still blonde.
And every blonde knows that brassiness and color fading are huge issues.
Of course, this is only a problem for those who have dyed their hair this shade, so we’ll focus more on bottle strawberry blondes.
Now, when you color your hair strawberry blonde, it goes through the same chemical process as with any other hair color- especially if you had yours bleached beforehand.
So, the usual chemical damage you got from the coloring process will affect your strands, too.
Colored hair is extremely porous, making it dry and thirsty.
Because of this, your hair tends to absorb all the hard minerals in your shower water and swimming pool, or maybe pollution when you’re outdoors.
The result? Discolored, potentially overly warm hair.
You might also notice warmer tones in your hair in the weeks after you color your hair strawberry blonde.
This is because the more you shampoo your hair and expose it to sunlight when you go out, the more your toner starts to fade.
And when that happens, the underlying pigment of your hair will start to peek through.
This underlying pigment is usually yellow or orange in shade, especially after bleaching.
This gives your hair an overly, strikingly warm appearance – one you might not have signed up for when transitioning to strawberry blonde.
Toner For Strawberry Blonde Hair
Thankfully, all these discoloration issues are easily solved with toner.
Yes, you can use toner on your strawberry blonde hair.
It’s practically your only hope when you want your strawberry blonde locks to look super fresh and shiny.
And the terrific thing is that you can do it all on your own at home!
But the kind of toner you use will depend on what you’re trying to do with your strawberry blonde tresses.
It usually goes one of two ways – you use purple toner to neutralize brassiness, or you make your copper tone more vibrant with a hair gloss when the color starts to fade.
Either way, it can get tricky to tone strawberry blonde hair.
You don’t want to completely strip your hair color of its copper tones, but you also shouldn’t leave your hair with too much warmth, lest you end up with carrot-colored hair.
Tone Quickly Using Purple Shampoo And Conditioner
If you’re looking for a quick and convenient way to get rid of brassiness in your strawberry blonde locks, purple shampoos and conditioners will be your BFF.
Purple sits right across yellow on the color wheel.
That means purple pigments can help cancel out stark yellow tones that make your hair look brassy.
So, after just one use of purple shampoo, you can expect your hair to look a little less orange or yellow, and more of that sultry burnt sienna color you love.
If you only want to take out a tiny amount of the yellow undertones and keep a slight golden warmth in your strawberry blonde hair, here’s a trick you can do.
Instead of leaving your purple shampoo or conditioner in your locks for 10-15 minutes (as many will instruct), keep it in your hair for a shorter time.
Around 3-5 minutes will be perfect.
That way, you can get rid of overly warm tones without getting rid of that golden glow that makes strawberry blonde hair look sunkissed.
If you leave it on for too long, your red tones may be mixed with overly gray or ashy tones – a look that is not for everyone.
I’d advise you to use purple shampoo that is all-natural and sulfate-free.
These types of shampoos are gentle and non-stripping on the hair, which is exactly what you need for chemically-processed locks.
Look for a product that has detoxifying ingredients like vitamin C and apple cider vinegar, which can help remove discoloration in your hair from hard minerals and chlorine.
Conditioner Or Mask
After shampooing, follow up with a purple conditioner or hair mask.
I love using the Verb Tone + Brighten + Hydrate Purple Mask for this step.
Its purple color is designed to minimize the appearance of brassiness in your blonde streaks.
Aside from neutralizing brassiness, this mask works to strengthen and hydrate your hair, as any good conditioner should.
It contains pro-vitamin B5 to smooth your hair down, as well as sunflower seed extracts that help nourish and detangle your probably dehydrated locks.
The Trick Is To Go Purple Everytime
When neutralizing brassiness, the trick is to go purple every time.
Worried about purple shampoo fading the red in your hair?
Don’t worry, it’s unlikely to do that.
Let’s go back to the color wheel.
While purple sits right across from yellow, red sits across from green.
That means green is the only kind of colored pigment that can cancel out or neutralize your red tones.
As long as you don’t go near the stuff, you’ll be alright and your gorgeous mahogany tones will still be visible.
The only reason anyone should be using green shampoo or toner on strawberry blonde hair is if you want to transition to an ashier, cooler blonde tone.
If that’s your goal, then, by all means, get a high-quality green shampoo from a renowned hair brand and watch it work its magic.
Tone More Evenly Using Hair Gloss
If you want to use something a little more professional (and are worried about patchiness if you use a simple purple shampoo), you can also opt for a demi-permanent toner.
This type of toner is what stylists at the salon use to finish off your hair coloring process.
It gives you the perfect tone that makes or breaks your new shade, while adding a pretty shine and gloss to your mane.
Demi-permanent toners don’t break down your hair cuticles to penetrate your strands the way bleach and dye do.
Instead, they’re deposited on the outside of your hair only.
So, it’s super easy to use at home.
From my experience, the best type of demi-permanent toner to use is hair gloss.
Hair gloss is formulated to extend the lifespan of your current color by boosting its vividness and radiance.
It also leaves your hair looking shinier than most other types of at-home toning solutions.
This gloss was designed to be used in the shower to make it easier for those who aren’t so used to working with toner yet.
It comes in a copper-gold tone that’s great for elevating the vividness of your strawberry blonde hair.
That way, you bring out the best of your uniquely colored hair and give it a boost in luster and shine as well.
It’s even formulated with an antioxidant complex that softens your hair and protects it from the elements later on.
It’s super easy to use too.
Just mix the contents of bottles 1 and 2 together and apply directly to your wet hair.
Leave the solution in for about 10-20 minutes, and then rinse thoroughly.
Make sure to watch out for how the color processes on your hair.
You can rinse it out earlier than the 10-minute mark if you’ve already achieved the tone you want.
Related Post: How To Apply Hair Glaze
Toner is usually a simple step in any hair coloring routine.
Most people just pick between warm and cool, and then get on with toning their bleached locks.
But for strawberry blondes, it’s quite different.
A lot of color theory is involved, which can be quite confusing and time-consuming.
But if you fully understand what toner can do for your strawberry blonde locks, your hair will thank you for it.
You can use toner for strawberry blonde hair for multiple reasons.
Purple toner will be great for neutralizing brassiness, green toner can tone down the red in your hair if you went overboard, and copper toner can bring out that gorgeous, eye-catching bronze shade you love so much.
If you know what your hair goals are, choosing a toner shouldn’t be so hard.
Remember which toner is for which color result, and you’ll be well on your way to gorgeous blonde hair in the exact tone you prefer – strawberry or not.