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How To Use Hair Toner After Bleaching?

How To Use Hair Toner After Bleaching?

Hair toner is often used on blonde hair to enhance the tone of the blonde. It can remove yellow tints or brassiness. Or give your blonde a more ashy or golden look. It’s not a dye. However, slightly changes the underlying tone of your hair. I noticed that many people wonder how to use a hair toner after bleaching.

First and foremost, you have to select the right toner for your hair. If your hair is already blonde, you’re going to need an ammonia-based toner. However, if you’ve bleached your hair, it’s suggested to wait for a few days before you apply toner in order to prevent over-damaging. Also, you can use purple shampoo because it’s gentler than ammonia-based toner. However, it all depends on your personal preferences.

How To Use Hair Toner To Remove Brassiness?

Also known as gloss, a toner represents a semi-permanent colour.

Meaning, it contains a small amount of ammonia that has the power of changing the composition of the pigments in your hair shaft.

It’s usually used to alter orange, yellow, and copper tones that remain in the hair after bleaching. The small amount of ammonia will not change the internal structure of the hair as hair dye does. Only the external parts.

Once you bleach your hair and take away the natural pigments of it, some orange or yellow-toned parts will appear. That is where the toner kicks in. It converts the tone of those parts to a better, lighter colour.

After the bleach has started, wash your hair to remove the bleach leftovers.

Also check: Toner for Blonde Hair

Dry your hair with a towel and apply the toner. In the meantime, read the instructions that come with the product. Usually, people leave the toner on their hair for 30 minutes.

However, since every product is different, I can’t say the exact time for your product. My advice is to test it on a piece of hair before using it. Take a stand and put a small amount of toner.

Watch as it transforms the tone, minute by minute. This way, you will be able to see how your hair will react to the toner.

Also, keep in mind that different toners can deliver different results to different people. It depends on the type of hair how a toner will perform.

How Long Should I Wait To Tone My Hair After Bleaching?

Apply the toner and leave it for around 15 to 30 minutes. After, rinse out. A toner is used after bleaching your hair. However, I suggest that you use it once you get a very light colour of yellow for the best results.

Can I Dye My Hair After Using Toner?

A toner is usually applied after the bleaching process because it works best on pre-lightened hair.

Try to use it after applying the toner. However, keep in mind that the more chemicals you put on your hair, the more fragile it turns. Always plan your hair colour methodically, and carefully.

If you’re going to keep your hair blonde, it’s recommended to pre-lighten your regrowth only. Time it and observe it, so the colouration is even.  Once you notice that the regrowth has the same/similar colour to the rest of your hair, use a toner.

If you’re planning to change your colour completely, make sure that the whole hair shaft is the same tone before you apply your new hair colour. Start with the roots in the crown spot and work your way through.

Tone Down Hair

Can You Use a Toner Straight After Bleaching?

Yes, toning is recommended right after bleaching. The hydrogen peroxide in bleach opens your cuticle.

This allows the dye to go into the shaft. According to my research, bleach makes your hair more porous, so applying a toner straight after bleaching will help the dye to go into the open cuticle and last longer.

If you apply it later, the cuticle will shut down and the toner may not even your hair tone properly.

This is why professionals suggest that you do it right away after bleaching. However, if you feel like your hair has been through much and needs a break, wait a few days before applying a toner. Give it time to recover.

I suggest that you give it a day or two before applying a toner. If you apply a toner to weak hair, it will keep opening the cuticles and damage your hair beyond repair.

If you cannot stand the highlights, apply a dye and toner while the cuticles are still open. But if you don’t mind them, don’t do it too soon.

Do You Apply Toner To Wet or Dry Hair?

According to professionals, your hair is supposed to be wet before you apply a toner.

Toner is used on wet, towel-dried hair because this state will help the toner to distribute more evenly. Also, it provides better control over your colour.

If your hair is dry and you apply a toner, you might get stronger results in the end. Also, you’re going to need more product. Yes, you can try. However, I wouldn’t recommend it.

Applying toner to dry hair might result in uneven colour or too dark colour. If you prefer your hair half-dry before applying toner, you can mist it with a spray bottle of water and use a comb to spread it evenly.

How Long Do You Leave Toner On Your Hair?

This mostly depends on the toner that you have. Toner is used after the bleaching process on dry hair.

It’s recommended to leave it on your hair for around 30 minutes. However, as I already mentioned, this time varies depending on the product that you’re using and the original colour of your hair.

Important Things to Know About Toner

Toner is used for changing the undertone of your hair colour. However, it’s not used to lift the colour.

This is why a toner is meant to be applied to blonde or bleached hair. If you have dark hair and wonder what a toner can do for your hair, the answer is nothing.

Toner can help people with blonde or bleached hair to manipulate the tone of their light hair in order to make it dingier, cooler, ashier or even various colours like purple or pink.

You can apply toner on specific parts of your hair or all over your hair. For instance, you can tone down just the highlights or the roots in order to make them look better and more natural.

Also, it’s important to remember that the more you wash your hair, the more often you will have to use a toner.

If you’ve never used a toner before and you want to, I recommend visiting the salon. Once you see how it’s done and you’re sure that you want to apply a toner again, you can do your own touch-ups.

You can also use a purple dye, ammonia toners (I have mentioned them at the beginning of this article), or purple shampoo. However, I will go into detail about these products later in the article, so read on.

What Does a Toner for Hair?

You can choose between two types of toning. The first is visiting your hairstylist after your hair has been bleached. Your hairstylist will use a toner to personalize the colour by making it cooler or warmer in tone.

Also, a toner will correct unwanted shades that usually appear after bleaching. It’s also possible to bright up your colour without lifting the shade. Using a toner is recommended straight after bleaching. Why? It’s simple.

A toner will make sure that you get an even colour.

I strongly suggest that you visit your hairstylist if this is your first time using a toner. The second way of toning your hair is by choosing your own toner and applying it at home.

This product will help you maintain your shade between touch-ups at the salon.

A toner is super useful if you want to add some natural glow to your hair and even out your colour. When combined with key components such as Incell and Ionene, it also provides high protection and softness for your hair.

Toner brightens up your hair without lightening it. In other words, it makes your colour even.

You can use it in some areas where you want to change the shade or all over your hair. I personally use it for my highlights. Important tip: don’t wash your hair straight after toning in order to prevent fading.

Is Toner Only for Blondes?

Absolutely, NOT. Yes, I’ve mentioned that toner can do nothing for darker hair. However, if you want to banish unwanted tones in your hair, you can use it. Redheads and brunettes can find tonner very useful.

Also, if you want to personalize your colour by turning it cooler, warmer or add more colour, you can use a toner. If this is your first time using a toner, I suggest that you visit your hairdresser for the best results.

How to Maintain Toned Hair?

After using a toner, it’s best if you don’t wash your hair for a few days.

This is because the shade that the toner placed in your hair could begin to fade. Toner represents a hair colouring product which means that it doesn’t last forever just like the rest of the hair colouring products.

If you want your colour to last longer, you will have to maintain it properly. This means washing your hair less and applying a toner between 2 and 8 weeks.

Another important thing to remember is using a conditioner or hair mask. This will recover the natural shine and softness of your hair, and help your hair heal after the bleaching or toning process.

How to Choose the Right Toner for Hair?

Choose ammonia-based toner if you’re a natural blonde.

This type of toner works best on bleached and blonde hair. It will change the pigment of your hair so it’s like a demi-permanent dye. However, this type of dye doesn’t penetrate your hair’s cuticles but only put colour onto the strand, so it will eventually fade.

  • You can use an ammonia-based toner after bleaching. However, make sure to wait a couple of days.
  • Using this toner straight after bleaching can make your hair fragile, so give it time to recover. In order to mix it properly, follow the instructions on the product.
  • Usually, you mix a specific ratio of 20 volume developer with one part toner. But each product has different instructions, so make sure to follow the given ones.
  • Have you heard of purple shampoo? It has the same effect as a toner and can be used after bleaching.
  • If you want, you can apply a purple shampoo instead of a toner. It’s more gentle, so it won’t damage your hair as much as a toner.
  • It’s perfect for removing brassiness and yellow or red tones. Just like a toner, this product will give your hair a cooler, ashier or lighter tone.
  • You will have to use it two or three times per week for best results. Leave the product on your hair for 10 minutes.
  • Depending on your natural colour, your hair can begin to turn grey instead of blonde.

If this happens, it’s best if you use the shampoo every two times you wash your hair. Also, the quality and strength depend on the brand you choose, so choose wisely.


Hopefully, I have answered all of your questions about using a toner after bleaching.

I have already said this, but I will say it again: visit your hairstylist for your first toner application. If it’s your first time using a toner, this is your best option. A professional can bleach your hair and choose the right toner for you.

However, if you’re already blond, your hairdresser can help you get your desired result much faster.

Feel free to ask questions in the comments below or share your experience with toners. Also, if you like this guide, don’t forget to share it with your loved ones and follow our website for the latest beauty tips

Dana Edleston

Sunday 16th of October 2022

So, I just bleached my moms hair last night and it’s got the brassy/yellow tones. Is it safe to use a toner today to get it to the desired color or should we wait another day? We’re also adding in some caramel low lights.. can we do that after rinsing out the toner?

Irina Tracy

Saturday 5th of November 2022

@Dana Edleston, Hello, thank you for reaching out! Yes, you can use the toner but i would wait another couple of days until adding the low lights so the hair has some time to replenish its natural oils.


Tuesday 9th of November 2021

Can I use a purple hair mask to “tone” my freshly bleached hair while waiting a week to apply an ammonia based toner?

Irina Tracy

Saturday 5th of November 2022

@Shawn, Also, even if it is a purple hair mask, it doesn't necessarily mean it will tone your hair as a toner would because depends on the toner concentration in it. But again, it will not harm your hair either.

Irina Tracy

Saturday 5th of November 2022

@Shawn, hi and thanks for your comment! It depends on the hair mask you want to use. Not all masks will tone your hair unless they contain toner. But using a moisturizing hair mask will not harm your hair either.

Oshay Scott

Wednesday 29th of September 2021

When toning hair does heat needs to be applied or do u sit with a cap or air dry for 45mins

Irina Tracy

Saturday 5th of November 2022

@Oshay Scott, Hello and thank you for reaching out. Most toners need between 30 minutes and 45 minutes to take effect. it is extremely important to check the instructions of the product you are using. I wouldn't recommend heat unless the instructions suggest it because it can damage your hair more than the toner itself. Plus, if you bleached your hair prior to toning it, heat is definitely not recommended. Hope this helps!