Hair - Hair Color - Toner

Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Toner: A Comprehensive Guide

Want to remove toner from your hair? Find out if a clarifying shampoo is your best choice!

Written by Ioana Moldovan
Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Toner

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Using a clarifying shampoo to remove toner is a topic often discussed in hair care circles. Toner can build up on your hair over time. This buildup can alter your color and texture. It’s important to find a solution that works. Clarifying shampoo is a solution for many people.

If you’ve been struggling with toner buildup, read on to find out how clarifying shampoo can help you get your natural hair back.

What Is Clarifying Shampoo?

What Is Clarifying Shampoo

A clarifying shampoo deeply cleanses your hair by removing dirt, oil, and product buildup.

Regular shampoos and conditioners focus on moisturizing and softening your hair. Clarifying shampoos target the accumulated residue from hair care products. By stripping away this build-up, your hair remains lighter, cleaner, and more vibrant.

Note that clarifying shampoos can be harsh on your hair, so don’t use them as your everyday shampoo.

Clarifying Shampoo and Hair Toner: The Connection

People often use clarifying shampoos to remove build-up from their hair. A great thing about these shampoos is they also impact your hair toner.

Does Clarifying Shampoo Get Rid Of Toner?

Yes, clarifying shampoos can remove toner from your hair. They work by cleaning your hair in depth, removing dirt, oil, and product buildup, including toner.

By using a clarifying shampoo, you can speed up the fading process of your toner and return your hair to its natural color.

How Fast Will Clarifying Shampoo Remove Color?

The speed at which clarifying shampoo removes toner depends on how often you use it. It also depends on the specific shampoo you choose.

You may notice the toner fading after one use. Still, it may have multiple uses to lift the toner out of your hair completely.

Pros and Cons of Using Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Toner

Using clarifying shampoo to remove toner has its pros and cons. While it is effective for removing toner and deep cleansing, it can cause damage to your hair if used too often.

Here is a list of the pros and cons of using a clarifying shampoo to remove toner


  1. Effective removal: Clarifying shampoo can remove toner from your hair. This helps cut unwanted brassiness or yellow tones.
  2. Deep cleansing: It removes not only toner but also dirt, oils, and product buildup, leaving your hair looking fresh and clean.
  3. Accessibility: You can find clarifying shampoos in most stores. This makes it easy to buy.


  1. Potential damage: Using a clarifying shampoo too often can strip your hair of its natural oils, which might lead to dry, brittle hair.
  2. Color fading: Clarifying shampoo can also remove color from dyed hair, so you’ll want to be careful if you have color-treated hair.
  3. Requires conditioning: After using a clarifying shampoo, you’ll need to apply a hydrating conditioner or hair mask. This restores moisture and prevents damage.

Choosing the Right Clarifying Shampoo

Choosing the Right Clarifying Shampoo

When selecting a clarifying shampoo to remove toner from your hair, choose one that’s safe for color-treated hair. Instead, focus on finding a shampoo that removes buildup and toner.


Some clarifying shampoos contain sulfates. Sulfates are effective at removing buildup but may be harsh on some hair types.

If you prefer a gentler option, opt for a sulfate-free clarifying shampoo. These shampoos often contain active cleansing agents or citric acid.


The pH level of the shampoo can influence its efficacy. A pH level of around 5.5 is ideal for maintaining the health of your hair while removing impurities.


Clarifying shampoos come in various formulations, such as:

  • Gel-based
  • Cream-based
  • Liquid-based

Gel-based options often provide a deep clean. Cream-based options might offer extra moisturizing properties.

How to Use Clarifying Shampoo to Remove Toner

Here are 7 steps to follow to remove toner using a clarifying shampoo:

Step 1: Choose The Right Clarifying Shampoo.

Your goal is to remove the toner from your hair, so you don’t need one safe for color-treated hair. Find clarifying shampoos at stores like Walmart, Target, Ulta, Sephora, and Amazon.

Step 2: Wet Your Hair With Lukewarm Water

This temperature helps open the cuticle, allowing the shampoo to penetrate and remove the toner more effectively.

Step 3: Mix with Baking Soda

Add half a teaspoon of baking soda to a single application of clarifying shampoo. This will boost the shampoo’s effect on removing the toner.

Step 4: Apply The Mixture

Apply the shampoo and baking soda mixture to your hair and massage it in well. Make sure to cover all areas where the toner is present.

Step 5: Wait

Put on a plastic cap and let the mixture sit in your hair for 5-10 minutes. This will allow the clarifying shampoo and baking soda to work together to remove the toner.

Step 6: Rinse

Rinse your hair with lukewarm water to wash out the shampoo and the toner.

Step 7: Repeat

If necessary, repeat the process a few times to remove any remaining toner.

Remember, you can also use dandruff shampoo as a gentler alternative to clarifying shampoo. Follow the same steps but without adding baking soda.

How To Care for Your Scalp and Hair when Using Clarifying Shampoo

How To Care for Your Scalp and Hair when Using Clarifying Shampoo

Using a clarifying shampoo can be a game-changer for removing toner from your hair. But it’s essential to care for your scalp and hair during the process. Here is what you need to do:

  • Apply the clarifying shampoo to your roots.
  • Massage it into your scalp for two to five minutes.
  • Rinse multiple times.

After washing with clarifying shampoo, your hair might feel a bit dry. Restore moisture to your hair and scalp.

Follow up with a deep conditioner to nourish and replenish lost moisture.

Special Considerations for Different Hair Types

When using clarifying shampoo to remove toner, consider your hair type for optimal results:

  • Color-treated hair: Clarifying shampoos can strip away even the desired color. Opt for a color-safe clarifying shampoo and follow the usage instructions.
  • Natural hair: These shampoos work well with natural hair. Remember not to overuse them, as they can cause dryness. Limit usage to once or twice a month.
  • Curly hair: Like natural hair, be mindful of the frequency of use to prevent dryness in curly hair. Stick to once or twice a month.
Hair TypeFrequency of UseTips
Color-treatedCautionUse color-safe clarifying shampoos
Natural1-2 times/monthAvoid overuse to prevent dryness
Curly1-2 times/monthLimit use for maintaining moisture

Alternative Ways to Remove Hair Toner

Alternative Ways to Remove Hair Toner

If you’re looking for alternative ways to remove toner from your hair, there are a few natural options you can try:

  • Dish soap: Massage dish soap into your wet hair and leave it for a few minutes before rinsing it out. It’s important to use only a small amount, as it can be drying.
  • Lemon juice: Mix lemon juice and water equally, then apply the mixture to your hair. Let it sit for a few minutes, and rinse it out.
  • Baking soda: Create a paste with baking soda and water. Massage it into your damp hair, let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse it out.
  • Vinegar: Mix equal parts apple cider vinegar and water. Apply the mixture to your hair, leave it for a few minutes, then rinse it out.
  • Hair mask: Use a store-bought or homemade hair mask to help remove toner. Be sure to follow the instructions on the product or recipe.
  • Heat: Applying heat to your hair can help fade toner. Use a hairdryer on low heat or sit in the sun for a short period of time.

Remember to be gentle and patient when trying these methods, as removing toner may take a few attempts.

Frequently Asked Questions

When should you not use clarifying shampoo?

You should avoid using clarifying shampoo if your hair is dry, damaged, or over-processed. Don’t use it more than once a week, as it can strip your hair of natural oils, making it more prone to damage.

Does clarifying shampoo lift color?

Yes, clarifying shampoo can lift or fade color from color-treated hair. Its deep-cleansing properties remove product buildup and excess pigments. This can result in lighter or less vibrant hair color.

Can Nioxin Clarifying shampoo help eliminate toner?

Yes, Nioxin Clarifying shampoo can help take out toner from your hair. Its deep-cleaning action removes toner, dirt, and buildup. This returns your hair to its natural color and improves its health.

Will brassiness be eliminated with clarifying shampoo?

Clarifying shampoo can help reduce brassiness by removing the buildup that causes it. It may not completely reduce brassiness, especially if it’s a result of an underlying hair color problem. For optimal results, use a purple or blue shampoo designed to counteract brassy tones.