How to Use Hair Toner After Bleaching- A Detailed Guide for Use

Share this:

If you are a colored hair lover or beginner, you should learn a thing or two about hair toners. After bleaching your hair, what is the next thing to do? Should hair toner come right after bleaching your hair or when?

Before you get into toning your bleached hair, be sure you have bleached hair and not a blonde.

Hair bleaching involves the process of stripping your hair of its natural color and taking it to a much lighter shade. Blonde, on the other hand, lifts brown hair a few shades lighter.  

After bleaching your hair, you should apply toner for better results. Read on to see the correct way to use hair toner after bleaching hair.

How Should You Apply Hair Toner After Bleaching?

There is a way to tone your hair after you have applied bleach. How correctly you do it determines the result you’ll get and how long it’ll last.

If you understand the color wheel and how to use toners, you can apply toner to your hair by yourself at home. Otherwise, allow your colorist to do their job.

Follow these steps to apply hair toner after bleaching:

  • After the bleach has fully developed, rinse the chemical out of your hair
  • Ensure you have rinsed all out the bleach agents before you apply toner
  • Use a clean towel to blot out the excess water from your hair until it is damp
  • Follow the instructions on your toner and mix it with the developer that comes in the pack
  • Apply toner all over your hair or the bleached areas and leave it in your hair for up to 30 minutes
  • Rinse a few strands to see how well the toner is doing
  • If you’re satisfied with what you see, you can rinse out the toner
  • Rinse out all the color and wash your hair with a color-safe, sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
  • Leave your hair to air dry

Is It Necessary to Use Hair Toner After Bleaching?

Yes, it is. Hair colorists recommend that you apply hair toner after bleaching your hair. Toning your hair after bleaching gives you better results and makes the color last longer.

Bleaching is a naturally harmful process, whether done correctly or not. After bleaching your hair, your hair cuticles open and the strands become lighter and more porous. The molecules in a toner will coat the strand of your hair and protect it from further damage.

More so, when your cuticles are open, pigments deposit faster and better and you have a resulting long-lasting colored hair. However, it’s not without the previously mentioned damages.

What Does Toner Do to Bleached hair?

Toners make colored hair last longer. After the hydrogen peroxide in bleach open your hair cuticles, the color deposits faster but can also leave faster if left that way.

Applying a toner after bleaching your hair will fill in the cuticles, close them and make the color last longer.

Additionally, toners help to balance porosity and eliminate funny and unwanted undertones that may show up in your hair. As earlier mentioned, bleaching your hair is quite harmful and puts your strands in a very delicate place.

When you tone your hair, you salvage much of the damage that would occur if you do not tone your hair.

Also, toning bleached hair brings all the expected drama to your hair. It softens the color of your hair and can make it look platinum or ashy.

When Should You Use Hair Toner After Bleaching?

You can use hair toner right after or a few days after bleaching your hair. When you use hair toner for your bleached hair depends on the condition of your hair after bleaching.

If you achieved your desired result after bleaching your hair, you do not need to apply toner to your hair until a few days after.

On the flip side, if after bleaching your hair and it looks rather yellowy or any shade of funny, you should apply toner to fine-tune the color.

In addition, bleaching your hair can make your strands lighter and more prone to damage. If your hair looks healthy after bleaching, you may tone it immediately. Otherwise, leave toning your hair for a few days after.

Generally, applying toner immediately after bleaching gives the best results and makes you enjoy your hair much longer before the brassiness appears.

Nonetheless, you should tone bleached hair with a colorist’s guide and take into consideration the state and health of your hair.

What Hair Toner Should You Use After Bleaching?

Your choice of toner after you have bleached your hair depends on the result you have. Ammonia-based toners are used after bleaching hair. The color of the toner depends on the overall look of your hair.

To pick a color, you need the guidance of a color wheel. Colors opposite each other on the color wheel will cancel out each other. For instance, if after bleaching your hair, it appears yellow, you should use a purple toner to fine-tune your hair tone.

If it appears orangey, a blue toner will best give you better-looking hair. And, if your bleached hair comes out looking red, a green toner is what you need.

Another factor to look out for is your desired permanency. You can either use a semi- or demi-permanent toner depending on how long you expect it to last. Demi-permanent toners last longer than semi-permanent toners.

A demi-permanent toner can last up to 22 washes because it contains more ammonia and is more pigmented than semi-permanent toner which will only last 10-12 washes.

How Often Should You Use Hair Toner After Bleaching?

While you want to preserve your hair color and be upbeat with your colored hair, you should know the rules. Bleached hair is already fragile, so, you do not want to always burden it with chemicals.

Apply toner to your bleached hair every 6-8 weeks or when you notice brassy undertones. You should give your strands breaks to keep them looking healthy.

Moreover, how frequently you wash your hair or expose it to sunlight is one factor that determines how frequently you’ll have to reapply toner. Therefore, to reduce the frequency, ensure to wear a color protector or hair sunscreen to preserve your hair color.  

Can You Use Purple Shampoo on Bleached Hair?

Purple shampoo is a milder toner that can fill in for banishing and replacing unwanted undertones. However, you should not use purple shampoo immediately after bleaching your hair. The pigments in the shampoo do not last long.

The toning effect will fade quickly and there will be brassiness. Additionally, after bleaching your hair, you should not wash your hair immediately. Otherwise, you may just have wasted product and time.

How Long Should You Wait to Wash Your Hair After Bleaching?

After bleaching your hair, you should not wash your hair until three days after. This will allow the color to set in and make it last longer. This wash is different from the shampooing you do after toning to get the product out of your hair.

Keeping shampoo away for the first three days allows your hair and the color to harmonize.

While you are waiting to wash your hair, you should wear a hat or headscarf over your hair if you’ll be in the sun. Also, you should keep off styling and putting your hair under pressure.

How Should You Wash Your Hair After Bleaching?

After bleaching your hair, keep off shampooing for the first 72 hours. When you wash, use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioners to avoid stripping your hair of its natural oils.

Then, rinse your hair with cool water. More so, you can alternate poo days with dry shampoo.

In addition, you should use purple shampoo and conditioner to revive and maintain your hair color. On non-wash days, you should condition your hair because bleached hair requires sufficient moisture to avoid damage.

Is Bleach Bad for Your Hair?

Bleaching your hair strips hair of the natural pigments that give it its natural color. Whether it is done correctly or not, the bleach agents in the chemicals make your hair dry, brittle, and limp.

Hydrogen peroxide and ammonia are the chemicals present in hair bleach and they permanently alter the color of your hair. This permanent effect causes more damage the more you bleach your hair.

This is one of the reasons why colorists recommend that you apply toner to bleached hair. The molecules in the toner will fill in the open hair cuticle and prevent the uncontrolled going in and out of moisture that can make your hair porous.

How Can You Prevent Hair Damage After Bleaching?

To prevent hair damage after bleaching, you need to keep your hair hydrated. While you may think washing your hair will help hydrate your hair, it won’t.

Keep your already fragile bleached hair from frequent shampooing. Space out your wash days and alternate with dry shampoo.

Too frequent washing will strip your hair of its natural oil and make it drier. When you wash, use a sulfate-free shampoo that is safe for colored hair. Wash your hair with cold or lukewarm water to preserve the color and keep your cuticles closed.

Furthermore, condition your hair regularly. The bleach agents make your hair very dry, and a great way to replenish moisture is to generously condition your hair. You can use a regular or deep conditioner to do this.

Other ways to protect your hair include keeping it away from sunlight by wearing a hat or hair sunscreen. Also, keep your hair out of the pool and salt water. After washing your hair, dry it with a soft towel and avoid too frequent use of heat tools.

Additionally, hydrate your hair by oiling it regularly. Apply oil to your hair before shampooing to prevent the chemicals in the shampoo from stripping your hair of oil. After shampooing, apply oil to replenish and lock in moisture.


Should you apply toner immediately after bleaching your hair?

You can apply toner immediately after toning your hair. It is recommended to do so because, after bleaching, your hair cuticles are open to receive pigment.

However, if your strands look or feel too limp after bleaching, you should wait a few days before you tone your hair.

Should you apply toner to dry or wet hair?

Apply toner to damp hair after shampooing. The molecules are better distributed with some amount of moisture in your hair. Moreover, it is a good way to manage the toner.

Dry hair will require more toner and the toner will not evenly tone your hair.  

Can you use purple shampoo as a toner for bleached hair?

Yes, you can. Purple shampoo can suffice as a toner for bleached hair. However, you should not use it immediately after toning. Weeks after bleaching your hair, it is safe to wash your hair with purple shampoo to eliminate yellow undertones.


If you wear colored hair or you’re about to bleach your hair, how to use a toner after bleaching your hair is one of the many things about colored hair you should know.

When you apply toner and the toner you use depends on the condition and look of your hair after bleaching.

The bleach agents can damage your hair, therefore, it is recommended that you apply toner after bleaching. Your colored hair only looks better when you know and follow the rules.

Thanks for reading.

Serum101 provides you with articles that detail the necessary information you need to keep up with your colored hair game.