Some experts claim that toning shampoo is only to be used on wet hair. Others claim that it’s more potent on dry hair. So which one is it?
Generally, shampoo is to be used in wet hair. It’s made to work with the water. Also, water helps open open the hair, making it “accept” the treatment.
But that’s not to say it doesn’t work in dry hair.
Before you start using toning shampoo, make sure you know how it works.
How Toning Shampoo Works
Toning shampoo is a product that helps to neutralize unwanted tones in your hair, such as brassiness or yellowing. It works by depositing pigments onto your hair to counteract the unwanted tones.
When you apply toning shampoo to your hair, the pigments in the shampoo penetrate the hair shaft. They then attach themselves to the hair cuticles.
The cuticles are the outer layer of your hair, and they protect the inner layers from damage.
The pigments are what tones your hair.
Oxidation and Chemical Reaction
Once the pigments have attached to the cuticles, they oxidize and cause a chemical reaction. This neutralizes the unwanted tones in your hair.
This process can result in a color change in your hair, so it’s important to choose a toning shampoo that is appropriate for your hair color.
Not a Replacement for Hair Dye
It’s also important to note that toning shampoo is not a replacement for hair dye. The pigments in toning shampoo are not as strong as hair dye, and they will not permanently change the color of your hair.
Next, we’ll discuss whether you should apply toning shampoo to wet or dry hair.
Related: Does Toning Shampoo Really Work?
Should You Use Toning Shampoo On Dry or Wet Hair?
A common question is whether you should use it on dry or wet hair. The answer is that it works best on wet hair. The water helps allows for easy distribution, and helps open the cuticles. This makes it easier to achieve the best results.
Here’s why it’s recommended to use toning shampoos on wet hair:
- Hot water opens the cuticles and allows the pigments to “enter”.
- It’s easier to distribute shampoo in wet hair.
- You’ll achieve more even results.
- It’s easier to rinse out.
Warm water opens up the cuticles in your hair. This means, your hair will allow pigments to enter more easily.
This doesn’t mean that dry hair, or cold hair, won’t be affected by toning shampoo. But, the process should be easier with wet hair (as long as you’re using warm water).
It’s Easier to Distribute Shampoo Evenly in Wet Hair
When your hair is wet, it’s easier to distribute the toning shampoo evenly throughout your hair. This ensures that all of your hair receives the same amount of toner, which results in a more even and consistent color.
If you apply toning shampoo on dry hair, it can be difficult to distribute it evenly. And, you may end up with discolored sections.
You Won’t Have Discolored Sections
As mentioned earlier, applying toning shampoo on dry hair can result in discolored sections. This is because the toner may not be distributed evenly. Some sections of your hair may absorb more toner than others.
Using toning shampoo on wet hair helps to prevent this problem, as the toner is distributed more evenly.
It’s Easier to Rinse, So You Won’t Over-Tone Your Hair
When you apply toning shampoo on wet hair, it’s easier to rinse it out completely.
This is important because if you leave toning shampoo in your hair for too long, it can over-tone your hair.
By using toning shampoo on wet hair, you can ensure that you rinse it out thoroughly, preventing over-toning.
How to Use Toning Shampoo on Wet Hair
Before applying toning shampoo on your wet hair, it’s important to prep your hair properly.
Start by thoroughly wetting your hair and removing any excess water. This will help the shampoo lather evenly and absorb better into your hair.
If you have any product buildup on your hair, it’s recommended to use a gentle clarifying shampoo beforehand.
Once your hair is prepped, it’s time to apply the toning shampoo.
Apply the shampoo evenly, starting from the roots towards the ends. Make sure to massage the shampoo into your hair to ensure even absorption.
Leave the shampoo on your hair for a specific duration based on the desired results (1-5 minutes). This depends on the brand of shampoo you’re using, so make sure to read the instructions on the bottle.
After the desired duration, rinse out the shampoo thoroughly until the water runs clear. It’s important to rinse out all the shampoo to avoid any residue buildup.
To restore moisture and maintain tonal balance, it’s recommended to use a hydrating conditioner or a purple conditioner after rinsing. Choose a conditioner that’s appropriate for your hair type to get the best results.
How to Use Toning Shampoo on Dry Hair
While it is not recommended to use purple shampoo on dry hair, you can still do it. But make sure to do it right, and carefully.
Here are some tips on how to use toning shampoo on dry hair effectively.
Before applying toning shampoo on dry hair, brush or comb through your hair to remove any tangles. This will help ensure even absorption of the shampoo.
It is best to avoid using dry shampoo or any other hair products that can leave excess oil on your scalp and hair.
- Start by sectioning your hair into manageable parts.
- Apply the shampoo to the areas that need toning, such as the ends and roots.
- Use a brush or gloved hands to distribute the shampoo evenly.
- Wait for 1-5 minutes before rinsing it out.
- Use a conditioner if your hair is dry afterwards.
Be cautious with the amount of shampoo you apply to avoid over-saturation.
Special Considerations for Colored and Bleached Hair
If you have colored or bleached hair, it’s important to be extra careful when using toning shampoo. Here are a few things to keep in mind:
Bleached Hair Is More Porous
Bleaching opens up the hair cuticle, making it more absorbent. This means that toning shampoo can penetrate more deeply into bleached hair.
This is a good thing if you’re trying to neutralize brassy tones. But, it also means that you should be careful not to leave the shampoo on for too long.
It can cause your hair to turn purple or gray.
Color-Treated Hair Can Be Fragile
If you have color-treated hair, it’s important to use a toning shampoo that is gentle and won’t strip your color.
Look for shampoos that are specifically designed for color-treated hair, and avoid using harsh clarifying shampoos that leave your hair dry and brittle.
Highlights Can Be Tricky
If you have highlights, you may need to use a different toning shampoo on different parts of your hair.
Discoloration Can Be Corrected
If your hair is discolored, toning shampoo can help correct it. However, it’s important to choose the right toning shampoo for your hair color. And remember to follow the instructions carefully.
Leaving toning shampoo on for too long can cause your hair to turn purple or gray.
Processed hair needs extra care
If your hair has been chemically processed, it may be more fragile and prone to breakage.
Be gentle when shampooing and conditioning your hair, and avoid using hot tools that can cause further damage.
Other Common Toning Shampoo Mistakes
When using toning shampoo, there are some common mistakes that people make.
Here are some of the most common mistakes and how to avoid them:
- Not following the directions
- Not holding the shampoo on your hair long enough
- Staining your hands or shower
- Uneven results
- Using too much shampoo
Not following the directions
It’s important to read the directions on the bottle of toning shampoo before using it. Some toning shampoos need to be left on for a certain amount of time, while others should be rinsed out immediately.
Make sure you follow the directions carefully to get the best results.
Not holding the shampoo on your hair long enough
If you’re using a toning shampoo to get rid of brassiness or yellowish undertones, you need to leave the shampoo on your hair for a few minutes.
If you rinse it out too quickly, you won’t get the desired effect.
Staining your hands or shower
Toning shampoos can sometimes stain your hands or shower. To avoid this, make sure you rinse your hands and shower thoroughly after using the shampoo.
If you don’t distribute the toning shampoo evenly throughout your hair, you may end up with uneven results.
Make sure you work the shampoo through your hair thoroughly to avoid this.
Using too much shampoo
Toning shampoos are usually more concentrated than regular shampoos, so you don’t need to use as much. Using too much shampoo can lead to buildup and make your hair look greasy.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should you leave toning shampoo in your hair?
The duration for leaving toning shampoo in your hair depends on the product you are using. Always follow the instructions on the bottle. Generally, it’s recommended to leave the shampoo in your hair for 3-5 minutes. Leaving it in for longer may cause your hair to develop a purple or blue tint.
Do you use purple toning shampoo on wet or dry hair?
It’s recommended to use purple toning shampoo on wet hair. Wet hair is more porous and can absorb the product better. Apply the shampoo to your hair, massage it in, and leave it on for 3-5 minutes before rinsing it out.
What will happen if I put purple shampoo on dry hair?
Applying purple shampoo on dry hair may cause your hair to turn purple or blue. This happens because dry hair is more susceptible to absorbing the pigment in the shampoo. It’s always recommended to use toning shampoo on wet hair.
How long to leave purple shampoo on wet hair?
It’s recommended to leave purple shampoo on wet hair for 3-5 minutes. Leaving it on for longer may cause your hair to develop a purple or blue tint.
How to use purple shampoo on dry hair?
If you want to use purple shampoo on dry hair, dampen your hair slightly with water first. Then, apply the shampoo to your hair, massage it in, and leave it on for 3-5 minutes before rinsing it out.
Can I leave purple shampoo on dry hair overnight?
No, you should not leave purple shampoo on dry hair overnight. Doing so may cause your hair to develop a purple or blue tint. Always follow the instructions on the bottle and leave the shampoo in your hair for the recommended time only.