Hair toners may be a bit confusing to some, and for others, a natural part of their hair coloring and bleaching process. To simplify things, toners are hair treatments that level up your hair color to a professional level.
While toners don’t exactly alter the color of your hair, they do change the undertones of your strands – more specifically, toners neutralize the yellow, orange, or brass undertones in blonde hair. Toners can also be used on other light hair colors as well as brunette hair.
One common question when it comes to toning hair is whether you should shampoo your hair after applying toner. Read on to find out the answer to this question, as well as a couple other related tips and tricks.
- Should you shampoo after using a toner?
- How to wash and shampoo hair after toning
- Other hair toner FAQs
- Final tips
Should you shampoo after using a toner?
The short answer is yes, you should shampoo your hair after toning. Some would say to wait for a full day before shampooing your newly-toned hair in order to allow for the toner to fully set in rather than fade away, leaving you with those brassy undertones that you were trying to get rid of. Don’t believe this bad advice.
It’s actually important to completely wash off the toner in your hair immediately after the toning process in order to ensure that you eliminate all the unwanted undertones in your hair, get rid of any toner residue, and prevent hair damage.
Should you use purple shampoo after toning?
There’s no rule saying you can’t use a purple shampoo after you apply toner on your hair. In fact, it may even be a good idea to help maintain your light hair color and keep those nasty undertones neutralized, or to help target any brassiness that your toner left behind. But is it required? Not really.
The reason is that purple shampoo is, in essence, a mild toner. Meaning, it works the same way and delivers the same results as would a typical hair toner, which is to neutralize yellow undertones. The same goes for silver shampoo, which is intended more towards brassy and orange undertones.
Ultimately, unless you feel that your hair isn’t light or white enough and you don’t want to risk any more damage by applying the second dose of toner, you’re better off with shampoos for color or chemically treated hair as they do a better job restoring your hair’s health.
Should you shampoo before toning your hair?
Your hair care routine before using a toner is not as crucial as to what you do with your hair after toning, although of course, the healthier your hair is prior to toning (or any other hair treatment), the better.
That said, it’s actually not recommended to shampoo (or even wash) your hair before toning, since washing and shampooing will strip your hair of its natural oils, which are not only essential in keeping your hair healthy, but also integral to the toning process. This is because these oils allow the product to penetrate your hair cuticles easier, leading to better color results.
For best results, leave your hair alone for at least a day before applying toner. This will allow your hair to produce those much needed natural oils, and also let your hair cuticles open up fully, thus enhancing the potency and effect of the toner.
How to wash and shampoo hair after toning
First, rinse your hair with lukewarm running water – not too hot so as not to burn your follicles and undo all the work that the toner did, and not too cold so as not to damage your scalp, lead to dandruff, and prevent your hair color from looking great.
Afterwards, use shampoo and conditioner made specifically for color treated hair. These products will not only protect the vibrancy and color results of your toner and hair dye, but will also add that much needed nourishment, moisturization, and protection against damage from roots to tips.
Make sure to thoroughly lather your strands and scalp, and pay extra attention to the spots where you applied more toner.
Afterwards, you can also opt to use leave-in conditioners for an added layer of protection. Moreover, it’s highly recommended to use a hair mask about once a week in order to replenish nutrients to your strands and keep your hair looking shiny and smooth.
Other hair toner FAQs
What type of toner should you use?
This largely depends on the current state of your hair and what you’re hoping to achieve. Ammonia-based toners change the pigment of your strands, so it’s important to get the right toner. Blue toners are best for turning orange undertones to ashy blondes and browns, while violet toners are more suited towards removing yellow undertones for a more platinum look.
When should you use a toner, and when should you use purple shampoo?
Purple shampoo is great for natural blondes looking to change the shade of their hair color. It’s also gentle on recently bleached hair and will get rid of any brassiness without damaging your chemically fried strands. However, if you’re in for a dramatic color change, purple shampoo likely won’t cut it and you’ll need a stronger ammonia-based toner.
Should you just stick to purple shampoo instead of using a toner?
Again, toners and purple shampoos do the same thing. With toners, the result is much faster and more long-lasting, but purple shampoos are safer to use. If you opt to use purple shampoo, remember to only use it 2 to 3 times a week, leave for 5 to 10 minutes every time before rinsing, and be patient with the results.
Is there an alternative to ammonia-based toner?
Another way to tone your hair and get rid of any brassiness right after bleaching is by applying a few drops of purple hair dye to your hair. Mix the dye with some white conditioner and let sit for about 30 minutes before rinsing.
What can you do if you don’t like how your toned hair looks?
The good news is toner fades over time, and you can speed up the process by either rinsing your hair with hot water immediately after toning, or using a clarifying shampoo.
Hair toners are a great product that can really make a difference in how your hair looks. Whether you’ve got naturally blonde hair and are looking to alter its shade, you want to highlight your new hair color and give it that extra oomph, or you’ve got bleached hair and want to eliminate those ugly brass tones, a toner is the way to go.
One thing to keep in mind, however, is that it’s important to use the right kind of toner for what your hair needs, and of course, you have to apply the toner correctly. For instance, there are toners that strip off the yellow and orange tones in your strands, and toners that act more like dyes and deposit pigment which eventually fades away.
This is why it’s recommended to go to a professional hairstylist if you’re toning your hair for the first time.