Toners are great for personalizing your hair color, tweaking it to a more desirable shade.
Your dye job might desperately need a toner, but you should not overdo it. Whether you want to enhance the color of your hair or deal with unwanted brassy tones, keep on reading for our guide.
How Often Can You Tone Your Hair? Toning is a chemical process that affects your hair, so you should tone at a minimum of four weeks for your strands to fully recover. If your hair is dry and brittle, it’s best to wait for 7 to 8 weeks before toning it again.
You should never tone your hair twice in a row or in the same week just to fix an unwanted color result.
Why Toning Is Essential in the Hair Coloring Process?
Basically, a toner is “topcoat for your hair” and the final color comes from the toning process.
Regardless of your hair color, it will balance the tones and tweak it to a more ideal shade. For instance, it can make a warmer color more coppery, and a cooler color more silvery.
Unfortunately, the hair color changes and oxidizes over time.
If you’ve got a platinum blonde that appears cooler in shade, it could turn yellow after a few weeks. On the other hand, warm highlights can turn ashy, which can be very frustrating for redheads and brunettes.
If you want to maintain a healthy-looking color, a toner will control the brassiness and ensure your hair stays shiny between salon appointments. More than that, it can make the existing color more vibrant, soften your hair, and lessen the appearance of split ends.
Also Read: Easy Homemade Toner for Brassy Hair
How Long Should You Wait to Tone Your Hair Again?
If you’re wondering if you can tone your hair twice on the same day, no you can’t—and you should not even in a week. You should understand that your hair already suffered damages from the effects of bleaching, and using another mix of chemicals won’t do any good.
If you already used toner and didn’t get the exact shade that you want, wait for at least four weeks or one month before toning again. However, unhealthy and vulnerable hair needs more time to recover, so it’s ideal to wait around 7 to 8 weeks.
How Often Can You Tone Your Brassy Hair?
When your hair color turns into shades of orange, yellow, and red, it just means the brassy tones are setting in.
Depending on how well you take care of your color, it can last around 4 to 8 weeks, so you could tone your hair after a month. Toning might be the best fix on neutralizing brassiness, but you should not overdo it.
Do not tone your brassy hair in a month or less if it looks weak and damaged. If you usually switch up your hair color, think of glosses or demi-permanent colors that can last around 6 weeks or longer.
You may also incorporate purple and blue toning shampoos or conditioners into your at-home routine. These products work as toners on eliminating brassiness and refreshing your color. However, you should use it at a maximum of two times a week—not every day.
Things You Should Know Before Toning Your Hair at Home
One-size-fits-all toners often don’t work on everyone
Do you know most drugstore toners are specifically designed for blonde hair? If you have lighter hair, it can work for you, but if you’ve got darker hair, better consult your colorist for the best toning products to use.
You can actually ruin your overall color when you go out of your “hair color family.”
More than that, these toners are less pigmented and powerful than products used at a salon, so they can’t be enough if you need an extensive color correction. If you don’t have experience using toners or aren’t even familiar with the color wheel or color theory, better go to a pro.
Toners aren’t just for color but shine too
Toners usually come in a gloss or gel-like formula and add shine to your hair. In fact, acid-based toners won’t affect your hair color, but only give it some glossy effect. Just think of toners being like lip gloss for your color-treated hair.
Toners cannot lighten your hair color
Toners are not bleach, which takes off the pigment from your hair so you can deposit the dye. It means you cannot rely on toners and glosses when your hair color is already fading.
There’s a big difference between coloring your hair and tweaking the tone into a cooler or warmer shade. In order for the toner to work, your hair must be previously lightened or colored first.
Most drugstore toning formulas can be overly drying
When toners are applied at the salon, they are often customized to fit your needs.
However, relying on drugstore formulas can lead to dry and brittle hair, especially if you use the wrong product for your hair. Also, it is easier to overuse toning drops that are often mixed with hair products.
Toning shampoos are different from toners but work the same way
If you want to neutralize brassiness at home, better opt for purple or blue shampoos that are effective yet less damaging than toners used at salons.
In fact, you can’t just go to a drugstore and buy a “toner.” Tinted shampoos and conditioners can be considered as toners since they can adjust the tone in your hair, and the effect can last for a month.
Also Read: How to Use Hair Toner After Bleaching?
How to Use Hair Toner At Home
Wash your hair, and do a strand test
Do you know the color result will depend on the porosity of your hair?
You must be careful using a toner if you’ve got very fine hair or experience hair fall, as the chemical can be too harsh for your strands. It might be worth consulting a colorist to know which specific toning product is right for you.
Apply the toner to dry or damp hair
Most of the time, the dampness can ease the application of toner, but your hair should not be soaking wet.
Depending on the color correction needed, apply the toner on areas that require toning, or apply it in the middle section of your hair, working down to the tips and up to the roots.
Leave the toner for 5 to 20 minutes
If you want to check if you’ve got your desired shade, only wash a small part of your hair. You can leave the toner not longer than 20 minutes.
In case you didn’t get the shade that you want, do not repeat the process on the same day or week, but wait for a month until your strands are strong enough to handle the process.
When to Have Hair Toning Done by a Professional?
If you’re a beginner and need an extensive color correction, better seek help from a professional. Your colorists know best and they rely on the color wheel to get the exact shade that you want.
At-home toners might have improved, but if you don’t know how to use them well, you cannot achieve your desired color. You’ll still likely go to a salon to keep your hair color in check, so why not add toning services into your dye job?
Also Read: How Long to Wait to Wash Hair After Dyeing?
How to make the effects of hair toners last?
If you’ve toned your hair at the salon, it’s ideal to maintain a toning hair care system at home. Opt for shampoos, conditioners, and treatments that neutralize brassy tones while adding shine to your hair.
Also, hot temperatures fade your color faster so wash in cold or lukewarm water. As much as you can, limit your sun exposure or wear a hair scarf or hat when going outdoors.
Does frequent washing contribute to brassiness?
Yes. The more you shampoo your hair, the faster the color will fade. In fact, brassiness is one of the unwanted results of frequent washing. If you can, use a dry shampoo in between washes, or use a conditioner that’s gentler on your strands.