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Does Toner Damage Hair?

Does Toner Damage Hair?

A lot of you dye your hair regularly, so you are familiar with using a handful of hair products. It’s fair to say that many of you even apply them on your own, at home.

Anyways, have you ever wondered what you really put on your hair and how harmful it is for your scalp?

Let’s take hair toner, for example. You’re probably familiar with this product – but did you get the chance to ask yourself: Does hair toner damage hair?

It’s a yes and no answer. Although hair toner is presented as a product that helps your hair, it can have adverse effects if you don’t know how to use it properly.

If you’d like to learn more about hair toners, their benefits, and drawbacks, stick with us till the end of this article!

Ammonia-Based Hair Toners – Be Careful With This One!

As we mentioned, there are hair toners that are bad for your hair – the ammonia-based hair toners, to be precise.

Ammonia-based toners are color-depositing toners that change the pigment of your strands. These toners come in all colors, so you should learn how to choose the right one.

Natural blondes and bleach-blondes mostly use purple shampoo to achieve the desired tone – but sometimes, they might need something more potent, like hair toners, for example.

Choosing the right toner for your hair could go horribly wrong if you don’t know what to look for, though.

What Are The Side Effects?

Although hair toners are one of the less powerful chemicals you use on your hair, things can still go wrong.

The best-case scenario would be for the hair toner not to work at all. If your toner doesn’t take any effect, maybe it’s for the better. 

You probably didn’t know how to apply it properly, anyway.

Sometimes, people will apply too much hair toner because they’re afraid it won’t make the difference they were hoping for if you used less product. What most people don’t realize is that too much toner can change the complete look and color of your hair.

For instance, you could end up with an unpleasant green color that pierces the eyes.

So, to avoid making a fatal mistake and ruining your hair, here is a little help.

Choosing Hair Toner For Highlighted Hair

ShadesDescriptionUndertone of existing shadeUndertone of exposed when lightingNeutralizing shadeEnhancing base
Level 10Very light blondePale yellowPale yellowVioletGold
Level 9Light blondeYellowYellowVioletGold
Level 8Medium blondeYellow-orangeYellow-orangeBlue-violetGold-copper
Level 7Dark blondeOrangeOrangeBlueCopper
Level 6Light brownOrange-redOrange-redBlue-greenCopper-red
Level 5Medium brownRed-orangeRed-orangeBlue-greenCopper-red
Level 4Dark brownRedRedGreenRed
Level 3Black/brownRed-violetMedium redGreenRed
Level 2Dark black/BrownVioletDark redGreenRed
Level 1BlackBlue-VioletNone-exposedNoneNone

Choosing hair toners requires knowledge of the color vector. Here’s a reminder:

  • Blonde Hair: If you wish to remove the yellow undertone from your hair, you should go for a shade that’s the opposite of your current hair color. Start looking for a purple-ish shade. 
  • Auburn Hair: If your hair is somewhere between red and brown, you need a green-tinged toner if you want the neutralization to go smoothly.
  • Dark Hair: If you’re naturally dark-haired or you’ve dyed your hair a darker shade recently, go for blonde or beige blonde.
  • Bold Hair Colors – Pink, Green, Purple: Blue toner is most often used for bold hair colors. And since they’re much riskier, you should get a professional evaluation first before it’s too late.

Learn More: Hair Toner Too Dark How To Lighten?

The 3 Types Of Toners 

Essentially, there are three types of toners for your hair, and they’re used for entirely different purposes. We’ll explain it all below.

Permanent Toners

If you want to leave your previous hair color for good, then this is your go-to toner.

Permanent hair toners are used to cover the past color completely. Also, they are helpful in imparting a new shade without leaving any traces of your previous pigment.

In practice, these toners are used for long-term effects, so be careful when applying them to your hair – and consider letting your hairdresser do it.

Semi-Permanent Toners

If you’re looking for a color that’ll stay on your head for a short period, then you should go for semi-permanent hair toners.

How long are we talking about here?

If you apply semi-permanent toner, you can expect the shade to stay on your hair for 10-12 weeks max. After that, it will start fading slowly.

Demi-Permanent Toners

Demi-permanent toners are a bit stronger than semi-permanent toners. These toners are meant to last twice as long – approximately 20 weeks.

A little heads-up:

All demi-permanent toners are ammonia-based, so you ought to be careful with these. They could alter your hair shaft completely.

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Applying Hair Toner Correctly

When it comes to hair toners, there are three steps to using them – identifying when to use this product, achieving different results, and finally applying it to your hair.

When Should You Apply Hair Toner?

Hair toners are not the same as your regular shampoos, so you should know the right time when to apply them.

Firstly, you should wait until your hair reaches a specific tone. If you rush it, you could end up with a completely different result. 

For instance, if you want to achieve an ashy gray, wait for your hair to become bright yellow.

Also, hair toners are almost an inevitable product for bleached hair; toners help even out the color after bleaching. So, yes, bleach and toner work well together – but only if you apply the correct ratio. 

You can also use hair toners after you’ve dyed your hair a specific color. 

For example, if you’re not satisfied with the pigment you got, you can use hair toners to get the red or brassiness out of your hair.

What Can You Achieve With Hair Toners?

You use hair toners to achieve different results.

For instance, you can use hair toners to remove brassiness from your blonde hair. Here, hair toners help you get rid of your yellow or brassy shades, helping you get rid of the undertone.

If you’re a natural blonde or have recently dyed your hair blonde, you can also use a toner to change your shade. Usually, blondes use hair toner to make their shade ashier.

Before you actually buy hair toner to change your shade, inquire about the type – permanent, semi-permanent, or demi-permanent.

Hair toners are not only used for changing the shade, though. 

You can use this product to even out your highlights, too. You can improve them, make them appear smoother and more even if you’re unsatisfied with the results you got at the salon.

The Process Of Applying Hair Toner

There are a couple of steps to applying hair toner to your hair. Let’s quickly go through them:

  • Mix your hair toner with a developer. The correct ratio would be 1: 2.
  • Grab your application brush, and go through the section of your hair that needs hair toner – the visible undertones.
  • Leave the toner to sit on your hair for approximately 45 minutes.
  • Rinse with shampoo and add conditioner.

But that’s not all there is to know about applying hair toner.

You generally won’t be required to apply hair toner to your entire scalp, but only a portion. If you want to even out your highlights, then you’ll need to use hair toner mostly in the area of ​​your roots or parts of your hair.

If you’re blonde, go for ammonia-based hair toners, but be careful using them – and please wait a few days after bleaching to apply hair toner.

Check Out Also: Can You Tone Your Hair Twice? How Many Times Can You Use Toner?

Is Purple Shampoo A Toner?

Absolutely! You can apply purple shampoo after bleaching your hair. 

This product is much more gentle compared to ammonia-based toners. People with fragile hair should go for this option first – and go from there.

And remember:

Always apply hair toner to damp hair, so it distributes evenly!

Related Read: How To Remove Purple Toner From Hair?

Final Thoughts

That would be it on hair toner for today.

Although this product is not necessarily considered dangerous, it could still provoke side effects if you don’t apply it correctly. More specifically, ammonia-based hair toners are not recommended for people with sensitive scalp.

You should first inquire about the shade you’re hoping to achieve. Once you’re set on the shade, you have three choices – permanent, semi-permanent, and demi-permanent.

Hair toners are particularly easy to use, and they can help you even out highlights and get rid of brassiness. But again, be careful when using them!

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