Do You Use Toner Before Or After Conditioner

Do You Use Toner Before Or After Conditioner?

It’s a question that has confused many beauty experts for years: do you use toner before or after conditioner? Let us find out the answer

Toners or color correctors help neutralize orange or yellow-tinted bleached hair and change the color to platinum or ash. Their main role is to leave you with a more finished and polished look to your hair, revitalizing faded and dull hair and finally transforming your hair into something very elegant. 

As a hairstylist it has saved my life many times when a bleach job had gone horribly wrong and kept me (and clients) safe from walking around with a brassy orange mane.

So the million dollar question do you use toner before or after conditioner:

The answer is, you need to use toner on dry, freshly cleansed hair. So this means you have to tone your hair AFTER you condition. However, there are several toning conditioners as well that condition hair and have blue/purple pigments that brighten blondes or reduce brassy hair on brunette dyed-hair. You can use those as well.

Why You Should Trust Haireveryday?

The author of this article, Amy Angelos has a degree in Cosmetology from The Salon Professional Academy in San Jose, California with 10 years of experience in dealing with hair care, scalp care, and hairstyling. As she is adept at styling hair of various textures from straight, wavy to curly and African American, Amy knows what kind of products and procedures suit each hair type and person. Our Editor Leah Marie Priest has also tested these hair products and processes and fact checked this article to give you an unbiased review about every product. Each of our articles are also reviewed by a team of medical professionals so that you get the most accurate and expert-reviewed information.

What Is A Hair Toner?

For those of you who do not know, a hair toner can be any product that changes the tone of your hair, let it be brightening or enhancing any pigments or toning hair color after it is dyed. 

See also  What Happens If You Start Dyeing Hair Without Developer ?

So, in simple terms, it is the process of removing any brassy tones and correcting your hair color to help you achieve the actual color you desire.

Toners can be in different colors such as golden to bright yellow to a more natural looking ashy or dusty or platinum blonde such as purple shampoo.

do i shampoo and condition after toning
Source: Instagram @honeylillyhair

Do You Use Toner Before Or After Conditioner

Can I Use Purple Conditioner After Toner?

There is a famous saying, ‘One thing at a time and a time for everything’ so I guess in a way this answers your question of whether you can use purple shampoo after applying your hair toner.

If you have used hair toner to remove unwanted yellowish tones, then I would suggest waiting so that the product can actually work on your hair because the coloring process will not happen in the blink of an eye. 

The effects will take time because your hair will only finish off absorbing the pigments of the hair toner only after twenty-four to forty-eight hours.

If you wash your hair with purple shampoo right after applying toner, you might run the risk of washing out the toner pigments. So, the yellowish colors will still be there.

I remember my friend Carla who visited me after her visit at the salon to fix her uneven color.  She had applied hair toner at home and immediately washed her hair with purple shampoo and the results were disastrous. 

The toner was lost through the drain and the yellowish tones were still there regardless of the purple shampoo. 

It’s basic biology,  you see the toner penetrates the hair fiber and deposits violet pigments that neutralize the yellowish ones, which makes the effects of the toner long-lasting.

The purple shampoo simply deposits a film of pigments on the outside of the hair that fades with washes.

Do You Use Toner Before Or After Conditioner
Source: Instagram @trevor_creed_hair

Is Purple Shampoo /Conditioner The Same As Toner?

Any product that dispenses pigment to adjust or rectify the hair tone can be used as a toner which includes purple shampoo simply because its pigments work to neutralize brass.

However, even though they are similar, they are both very different. 

To make it easier for you to understand, purple shampoo and toner are used for the same purpose because they have the same goal.

Both reduce unwanted yellow and orange tones but while a toner gives you immediate results, the purple shampoo will work gradually.

Not only that but the products are applied differently because when you apply your toner, it is like any other hair dye and a purple shampoo is used like an ordinary shampoo.

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I would still recommend using the purple shampoo and conditioner three to five days after applying the toner for the best results.

When deciding which product to use, let me help you- Decide if you would like immediate results or if you want to wait and your level of experience in coloring hair.

 If you have no experience with hair dye, then using a purple shampoo would be the better option.

On the other hand, if you do have experience with coloring hair, you can use any product.

If you want immediate results, then the clear winner is the toner.

Remember ladies, most things in life aren’t black and white. It is not like if you use a toner, you can’t use a purple shampoo or vice versa.

In fact, if you use them correctly, the two products can complement each other really well so if you decide on using a toner, I would advise using a purple shampoo afterward to maintain the color. 

what to do after toning hair
Source: Instagram @styledby.madeline

Should I Wash My Hair Before A Toner Appointment?

You SHOULDN’T, I repeat you should not wash your hair with shampoo or a  conditioner before applying toner.

Toner is applied using a 20-volume developer which is nothing but hydrogen peroxide (an irritating chemical that can cause burns and injuries on your skin).

If you apply toner to freshly shampooed hair, then the  20-volume developer can irritate your scalp and possibly even ruin it.

 It will also remove that layer of oil exposing the skin of your scalp and so once you apply the toner, its developer can irritate you. 

Plus, the moisturizing ingredients in the conditioner can interfere with settling the toner color.

That is why it is very important to avoid shampooing conditioning before toning. If your hair keeps its natural oils, it will be more protected.

If you need to wash your hair before applying toner, you can always use a  pH-balanced shampoo instead which is neither too acidic nor too alkaline. 

It will not alter the hair cuticles, nor cause any irritation, and will not strip the scalp of its natural sebum. 

Then again, use only a small amount and wash your hair before applying your hair toner.

Do You Put Toner All Over Your Hair?

While it is usually recommended to always seek professional help when making any major change to your hair, hair toning has short-term results lasting between four to six weeks.

Of course,  it does not make sense to receive salon treatment every time, so here is a simple guide to how to use hair toner in the comfort of your own home.

Firstly, wash hair thoroughly ( without shampoo or with ph balanced shampoo)  and then apply the hair toner to completely dry hair.

Apply the toner first to where it requires the most color correction. If you have never toned your hair before, do one strand test to check and see. 

See also  How To Get Rid Of Brassy Hair Without Toner: Expert Colorist Reveals

Leave the toner in for five to fifteen minutes depending only on your hair porosity and finally rinse a small section to see when the color has fixed to your liking.

Keep in mind that these toners help to alter the undertone of hair color and are meant to be applied to bleached or blonde hair so do not expect them to work on darker hair.

To answer this question, toners can be used all over your hair or just in specific parts where you want the shade to be changed.

can i use purple conditioner after toner
Source: Instagram @franksmalta

The more you wash your hair, the more often you would have to tone it. 

What Conditioner Should I Use With Toner?

A few hair toner conditioner toners  I would recommend will leave you thinking-’Where have you been all my life?’

A hair toner conditioner from  Redken is the best for brown lights and darker colors so kiss those unwanted orange tones goodbye with this amazing product.

Boucleme is another great brand of hair toning drops for curly hair that you can mix with your shampoo and conditioner to help you quickly get back your salon-fresh look.

A deep conditioning treatment from Hue is also one of my favorites that can protect your color from fading and will protect your hair from turning straw-like the best part of all is that you do not even have to take any trouble mixing multiple treatments together.

can you apply toner to clean hair
Source: Instagram @angelemma_hair

You can use Davine’s alchemic conditioners which are one of the best products to enhance color-treated hair.

It is literally called a miracle for redheads as it intensifies the hair’s natural red tones. After rinsing it off, you can show off your newly toned locks.

Lastly, I would say getting a blue toning conditioner for balayage and dark hair with coconut oil, shea butter, and avocado oil is great for removing any orange tones and is a must-have!


Coloring your hair at home may be fun and cost-effective but it may not look exactly the way you want it. 

This could spell disaster for your colored hair so don’t forget to use the tips from this article for your hair or else without a toner your hair color can take on brassy orange or yellow hues. 

Keep in mind that choosing the wrong toner for your hair might make things worse. 

Luckily, with this guide, now you know exactly how to choose the right toner for highlighting your hair.

Keep your hair looking fresh, awesome, and fabulous without letting it fade away quickly.

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