how to use hair toner after bleaching

How To Use Hair Toner After Bleaching | A Simple Guide To Toning Brassy Hair

Learn how to use hair toner after bleaching including tips on whether to tone hair or dye after bleaching and how long to leave hair toner in hair.

Are you someone who likes experimenting with hair colors and color your hair often? 

Well, to color your hair blonde or different shades of blonde like silver, platinum, ash blonde etc., you’d require to bleach your hair first. 

But after your hair has been bleached you may spot a few brassy tones of yellow or orange in your hair.

Well, worry not, because using a hair toner will do the needful and help you get rid of all the remnants of the natural pigments left in your hair.

While those who are already blonde and have brassy tones in their hair can get away with using a purple shampoo, those who have bleached their hair from a darker shade will have to use an ammonia-based toner.

So, in this article, I will tell you all about using a toner, why you should use it, how to choose the right one, along with answers to frequently asked questions about hair toning.

Related: Best Hair Toner

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Related: How To Use Blue Shampoos

What is hair toner?

how long to leave toner on brassy hair

There are times when yellow or orange tones show up in bleached hair making it look brassy. That’s when a hair toner comes into play.

Using a hair toner will help get rid of the brassy tones on the hair and add fresh tones to the hair making it look more personalized and vibrant. 

It doesn’t work like dye, to permanently alter the hair, but it adds a tone or shade over the existing hair color.

Toners come in different colors, so it is important to pick the right toner for your hair.

If you are looking to completely change the color of your hair by altering its natural pigments, or looking to cover up the pesky gray hair on your head, then you would have to dye your hair and not tone it. 

This is because hair toners can only add a tone and modify your hair color, giving it a refreshed look, while a dye can completely change your hair color.

How to Use Hair Toner After Bleaching 2022

Step 1: Mixing toner with a developer

Usually, the toner is mixed with a developer in the ratio 1:2, wherein one part is the toner along with two parts of the developer. 

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But it is important to follow the instructions given on the box of the brand of toner you are using, in case the instructions of use have other mixing proportions to be followed.

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While choosing a developer, you can either use a 10 volume or 20 volume developer. A 10 volume developer will deposit in the hair less color as compared to a 20 volume developer. Most often, people use a 20 volume developer for a standard hair lift.

If you do not add enough developer in the toner, then you will not be able to mix the toner in properly and it will then give you an end result of patchy colored hair. 

Also, see that the toner-developer mixture is well mixed before applying it on your hair.

how to apply toner to hair at home

Step 2: Application on the hair

Make sure that you have dampened your hair first before starting the application process. You can skip this stage if you have just rinsed and pat dried your hair with a towel after bleaching it. 

Let not your hair be soaking wet, just damp. You can apply this mixture over your hair using an applicator brush. 

First apply the mixture over the hair that is brassier as compared to the rest. Then, complete the process of application over the rest of your hair.

Then, after complete application, leave the toner on the hair for around 45 minutes or as per the instructions given on the box of the brand of toner you are using (it may vary).

Step 3: Rinsing out the toner

After the time is up, if you leave the toner in your hair, then you can rinse it off with just plain water, at first, followed by shampooing and conditioning with your regular shampoo and conditioner. 

Using a moisturizing shampoo, free from harsh chemicals like sulfates and parabens is recommended.

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 Is toner the same as hair dye

Well, these two products are very often confused by people and these are words used interchangeably. But it is important to note that toners and dyes are not the same.

Toners are used to help get rid of brassy tones and also add a little color to hair that has been bleached to enhance the existing color of the hair. 

It will give the hair a tone or a shade, but will not alter the pigments of the hair permanently.

On the other hand, hair dyes are hair colors that can drastically change the color of the hair or even cover up gray hair on the head, by modifying the hair color and altering it right from the pigments of the hair. It is a chemical treatment which is done on the hair.

Why do you require hair toner after bleaching

If you want to neutralize the brassy tones in your bleached hair, then you would require a toner. Also, using a toner will give you a more toned and vibrant hair color, enhancing the look of your hair. 

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You may wonder how and why these brassy tones appear in your hair after it is bleached? 

Well, there are times when you haven’t left the bleach on your hair to lighten it to the correct shade of yellow.

This removes the superficial hair pigment but leaves the warm undertones behind causing your hair to develop an orange shade. 

what does toner do to hair

How do you select the right toner for your hair

Well, selecting the right color of toner may be a little tricky, but the color wheel will help you determine which color toner you should get. 

Toners are available in purple, blue and green colors. So, when you pick a toner color, you will have to use a toner that contrasts (is opposite to) the color you want to neutralize, as per the color wheel (as seen in the image).

So, if you want to neutralize a yellowish tone in your hair, then you’d have to pick a purple toner. 

To neutralize an orange tone in your hair, then choosing a blue toner would be appropriate, while a green toner can help neutralize red tones in hair.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about hair toning after bleaching

Should toner be applied on hair that is wet or dry?

While toner can be used on both wet and dry hair, using toner when the hair is damp and not soaking wet is recommended. 
When the hair is damp, the hair is higher in its porosity and this will help the toner penetrate deep into the hair strand, making it work better on the hair.
If you apply the toner on your soaking wet hair, the toner will get diluted and reduce in its effectiveness.

Should the toner be used right after bleaching?

Yes, using a toner just after the hair has been bleached will make it work better and more effectively on the hair.
This is because of how porous the hair is once it has been bleached, it will let the toner penetrate deep into the hair strand because the cuticles open up and in turn last a longer time as well.
Remember to deep condition and moisturize your hair once you have washed off the toner because with both bleaching and thereafter, toning, your hair would have experienced a lot of damage.

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Can I tone my hair two times after I have bleached it?

The answer is definitely a no. Toners should never be used more than once in a week. This is because most toners contain a small amount of ammonia. This means that if the toner is used very often, it can damage the hair strands and hair follicles permanently. 
The hair strands and hair follicles require to heal and settle down once it has been toned, because coupled with the bleach, the hair will go through a lot of damage because of the harsh chemicals used.
Also, if you apply any toner back-to-back, over your hair, the shade of your hair will darken.
Each toning session will last around one month at a time. So, you could wait a month before you tone your hair again.

Is a purple toner the same as a purple shampoo?

Similar to how hair dye is often confused with toners, purple toners are also often confused with purple shampoos. Well, they aren’t the same, but are similar.
You can consider a purple shampoo to be like a toner, because they help keep brassy tones in hair at bay, but the results will take longer to appear as compared to a toner that shows immediate results. 
Toners also help brighten and enhance the tone of the hair and make it look more vibrant, while a shampoo can only help keep brassiness away from the hair.

The final takeaway

Dealing with brassiness shouldn’t be a hassle if you use the right toner. 

Make sure to select the toner by referring to the color wheel or maybe get professional help from a hair stylist if you are vary about what color toner to use.

In my opinion a minimum gap of at least two weeks to a month should be kept between two hair toning sessions. 

Also remember to deep condition your hair once you have bleached and thereafter toned it in order to maintain proper and utmost hair health.

Also Read:

How To Remove Brassy Tones From Blonde Hair

Can You Use Purple Shampoo For Bleach Baths