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Toning Bleached Hair: Simple Steps for Stunning Results

Toning bleached hair is now always handy, but the results pay off. Find out how to do it in our quick guide!

Written by Ioana Moldovan
Toning Bleached Hair

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Toning bleached hair is an essential step to achieve the desired shade and luster.

After you bleach your hair, the color often turns yellow or brassy. Toning helps neutralize these unwanted hues. This process involves using a toner, a product that adjusts the tone of your hair.

In this article, we will guide you through the process, types of toners, and best practices for toning bleached hair.

Toning Bleached Hair: What Is It?

Toning is a process that helps fix your bleached hair’s color. It corrects any unwanted tones or shades, giving your hair a more natural and healthy appearance.

When you bleach your hair, it can sometimes turn yellow or orange. Toning helps to neutralize these brassy tones by adding the right balance of color. The process usually involves using a toner.

Toner vs. Colored Shampoos

A toner is different from color-correcting shampoos like purple shampoo or green shampoo. You have to use toners like hair dye. They change the undertone of your hair.

Colored shampoos work by depositing a slight tint to your hair that washes out over time. You need to use them on a regular basis to maintain the desired effect. You can still use a toning shampoo right after bleaching.

What Color Toner Is Best For Bleached Hair?

What Color Toner Is Best For Bleached Hair

The best color toner for bleached hair depends on your desired shade and your hair’s current undertones. A purple toner is the most common choice for neutralizing yellow and orange tones in bleached hair. This helps achieve a cooler, ashier blonde.

The Impact of Hair Color Theory on Toning

Here’s a brief overview of how color theory applies to hair toning:

  • Complementary colors
  • Warm vs. cool undertones

Complementary Colors

Complementary colors, like purple and yellow or blue and orange, cancel each other out when combined. Using this principle, you can identify the appropriate toner to counteract unwanted tones in your hair.

Warm vs. Cool Tones

Warm tones include red, orange, and yellow, while cool tones are blue, green, and violet. Balancing these tones helps create your desired hair color.

Color to neutralizeBest toner color

Addressing Different Hair Undertones with Toner

To choose the most effective toner for your bleached hair, Identify and address your hair’s specific undertones:

  • Yellow undertones: If your hair has a strong yellow undertone, use a purple toner to neutralize it.
  • Orange undertones: When dealing with orange undertones, a blue toner works best to cancel out the brassiness.

Achieving the perfect blonde shade may need more than one toning session. It’s essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for the best results.

Prep Your Hair for Toning

Before toning your bleached hair, it’s essential to prepare it. This ensures the best results while minimizing damage. Follow these steps:

  • Wash your hair with a gentle shampoo to remove any residue. Apply a nourishing conditioner, focusing on the ends where damage may be more significant.
  • Rinse well, leaving your hair clean but not stripped of natural oils.
  • Towel dry your hair until it’s damp, which will help the toner absorb evenly.
  • Let your hair air-dry and avoid brushing or combing it while wet, which can lead to breakage.

Proper Mixing of Toner and Developer

Proper Mixing of Toner and Developer

To achieve the best results when toning your bleached hair, it’s important to mix the toner and developer correctly.

Follow these steps for proper mixing:

  1. Choose the right developer for your hair color. For most cases, a 20-volume developer is ideal.
  2. Use a 2:1 developer-to-toner ratio, meaning two parts of developer for one part of toner.
  3. Use a non-metallic bowl to mix the toner and developer, as metal can react with the chemicals.
  4. Stir the mixture until you achieve a smooth consistency with no lumps or clumps.
  5. Apply the mixture to your hair following the instructions on the toner packaging.
  6. Cover all the areas you want to tone.

To avoid mistakes, keep in mind these tips:

  • Don’t use a higher-volume developer than recommended. This might damage your hair or create unwanted results.
  • Follow the instructions on the toner packaging. Different brands may have specific mixing guidelines or developer recommendations.
  • Apply the toner mixture fast and evenly to ensure consistent results.

How To Tone Hair After Bleaching

Here are the steps to tone your hair after bleaching:

  1. Make sure you have rinsed out the bleach from your hair.
  2. Remove any excess water by patting your hair with a towel.
  3. Gather your hair products, such as the toner and developer.
  4. Read their instructions and mix according to the recommended ratio (often one part toner to two parts developer).
  5. Put on gloves and get an applicator brush ready for application.
  6. Using the brush, apply the toner to your hair. Be sure to work from the roots to the tip.
  7. If needed, separate your hair into sections for easier management.
  8. Allow the toner to sit in your hair for the recommended amount of time (around 20 to 45 minutes).
  9. Keep an eye on your hair’s color to ensure the desired tone.
  10. Rinse your hair with lukewarm water.
  11. MRemove all the toner.
  12. Apply a moisturizing conditioner to keep your hair hydrated.
  13. Rinse out the conditioner and pat your hair dry with a towel.

Post-Toning Hair Care

Post-Toning Hair Care

After toning your bleached hair, it’s essential to provide proper care to maintain its health and color.

Use a deep conditioner on a regular basis. This restores moisture and keeps your hair soft and manageable.

Balance the moisture with protein treatments. They help strengthen your hair and prevent breakage.

Incorporate a leave-in conditioner into your daily routine. This helps protect your hair from heat and environmental damage.

Nourish your hair with natural oils like coconut or argan oil, which can help seal in moisture and add extra shine.

Professional Toning vs. At-Home Options

Professional Toning vs. At-Home Options

When it comes to toning bleached hair, you have two main options: professional toning at a salon and at-home toning.

Salons offer the expertise of hair colorists. They can assess your hair and apply the appropriate toner to achieve the desired outcome.

Professionals have access to a variety of toners and can customize the formula to suit your hair’s needs.

At-home toning is more affordable but requires careful reading of instructions. It may not yield the same precise results.

Here is a comparison of the two options:

ExpertiseHair coloristDIY
ConvenienceAppointment neededDo it whenever

Frequently Asked Questions

How long should I leave toner on bleached hair?

You should leave toner on your bleached hair for 20-45 minutes. It’s important to follow the instructions on the specific toner you’re using. Leaving it on too long or just for a short period can give undesired results or damage your hair.

What is the effect of toner on highlights?

Toner can enhance your highlights by neutralizing brassy or yellow tones. It helps make your highlights look more natural and blended. Using the appropriate toner for your hair color can provide a balanced, even tone. It can also make your highlights stand out.

Can you tone just bleached hair?

Yes, you can tone freshly bleached hair. In fact, it is often recommended to use a toner right after bleaching. This helps to neutralize any unwanted brassiness or yellow tones. The toner helps to correct and refine the color of your hair.

What happens if I don’t use toner after bleaching?

If you don’t use a toner after bleaching, your hair may have unwanted brassy, yellow, or orange tones. Untoned hair might look uneven or unnatural. To achieve the desired color and tone, it’s essential to use a toner after the bleaching process.

How long should I wait to tone my hair after bleaching?

It’s best to tone your hair right after the bleaching process. This helps neutralize any unwanted tones on the spot and gives you the desired end result. If your hair is very damaged, wait a few days to ensure that your hair has enough moisture before applying the toner.