What Happened When I Toned My Highlights At Home

by Alexa Tucker

In the world of blonde hair, brassiness is considered especially heinous. In Denver, Colorado, this dedicated beauty writer, determined to rid herself of these orange-yellow tones, decided to embark on a journey to tone blonde highlights at home. This is her story. Dun dun.

OK, so maybe I've been watching a little too much Law And Order: SVU. But seriously, brassiness is a problem that anyone with blonde hair or highlights is all too familiar with. Even though I have sort of a light brown-to-blonde ombre going on (a strategic move furthered at every hair appointment with the goal of getting me back to my natural light ash brown color), the blonde in it loves to get all copper-y on me, and not in a good way.

Don't get me wrong — I love having a little cool brightness in my "bronde" locks. But the brassiness that plagues every little bit of blonde? Not so much. Armed with an alarmingly purple-blue concoction and a fiery hatred of this #blondegirlproblem, it was time to take matters into my own hands.

Because I didn't need a cut or highlight touch-up, I wasn't going to head to a salon only to have my hair toned when there are products out there that can give me an at-home color cooling. I ended up going with L'Oreal Professionnel's Color Corrector for Blondes.

L'Oreal Professionnel Color Corrector for Blondes, $29, Amazon

The Before

Here's a look at my hair before I embarked on my journey (please excuse the sweaty post-workout side bun):

See those orange and yellow-looking highlights? It's hard to display in a photo, but I promise you that they are there, and they are no bueno.

The Process

Into the shower I went to get my hair nice and clean before using the product (and to perform a rousing rendition of "Cry Me A River" by Justin Timberlake, my fave shower song. Sorry, no photos of that).

After towel drying and combing through my damp hair, it was time to bring on the toner. Seriously, it's a pretty shocking dark purple/blue color — almost black:

Do you like my teal towel scarf? Couldn't risk getting this blue concoction all over my favorite robe. Anyway, I proceeded to thoroughly coat my strands in the stuff. I used more product than I expected, but I figured if I was going to do this, I was going to do it right.

Oh hey, smurf hair! As you can see, I ditched the annoying towel scarf. The instructions said to leave it on for five to 10 minutes, but I left it on for 20. (My hairstylist recommended I keep it on for half an hour.)

I wish I could tell you I spent that 20 minutes doing something productive, like reading a book or cleaning my bathroom, but I'd be lying. After Snapchatting my friends to tell them I was dying my hair blue, I proceeded to take, like, 243 photos of myself to get one that I deemed suitable for the Internet. You're welcome.

Once the 20 minutes were up, I hopped into the shower again and, following the instructions on the bottle, "rinsed abundantly." Not "rinse well," not "rinse thoroughly," "rinse abundantly." The blue color made me feel like Jennifer Lawrence in X-Men without the superpowers.

I was eager to see the results, so I blow-dried and styled my hair practically with one foot still in the shower. And here's how it turned out — ready? Drumroll please...

The Results

While I knew I'd have to go back to the salon to get my hair on Annie Guest's level (Jamie Lee Curtis' daughter on the left)...

Jason Merritt/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

...The brassiness was definitely toned down with this at-home treatment. For that, L'Oreal, I thank you.

Here's a side-by-side look of the before and after:

Overall, I'd say it was worth it. I'm interested to see how much of the brassiness more toning will get rid of (you can use this stuff every other day), but only time will tell.

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Image: Courtesy of brand; Alexa Tucker