[2022]Can You Apply Toner To Wet or Dry Hair Best Guide?

Can You apply toner to wet or dry hair? What happens If you apply toner to wet hair? What happens if you apply toner to dry hair? if these questions are running through your mind, this article is for you

If you’ve ever bleached your hair, you’d probably be familiar with the yellow strands immediately after bleaching. Hair tones come in handy here.  

A hair toner is commonly referred to as a “topcoat for your hair.” It is a demi-permanent dye that is “deposit only.” In other words, it cannot change the color of your hair. It is generally used to neutralize unwanted tones, emphasize certain tones in your hair, and add shine to your hair.

Can You Apply Toner To Wet or Dry Hair Guide?
Can You Apply Toner To Wet or Dry Hair Guide?

If you are always confused about whether you should wet your hair or leave your hair dry before toning, then you’ve just hit the jackpot. This article provides a guide on everything you need to know about toning your hair. Read on for more information.

Do you apply toner to wet or dry hair?

You should not apply toner to completely wet hair or dry hair. You should only apply toner to damp hair or towel-dried hair. Simply put, your hair has to be seventy percent dried before you can apply toner to it. 

Applying a toner to damp hair or towel-dried hair would be more effective with better results. It is opposed to applying toner to hair that is completely dry or dripping wet. Although some toners work well on completely dry hair, dampening the hair’s porosity and absorbs the toner even more. 

What happens if you apply toner to wet hair?

In situations where the toner is applied to wet hair, the toner is diluted, affecting the effectiveness and color of the toner. It would so prevent the toner from penetrating your hair strands. Therefore, making the toner slide off. 

Also, when your hair is wet, it is not the same color as when it is dry. Therefore, by applying toner on wet hair, you run at the risk of leaving the product much longer than is needed.

What happens if you apply toner to dry hair?

Even though you can apply toner to dry hair, it is not ideal. The lack of moisture in dry hair allows for an uneven deposit of the toner. Hence, it leaves the hair looking dull or dark. 

If you want just the perfect tone for your hair, then it’s best to apply your toner to your hair when it’s 70% dry. 

What are the types of Toners?

Toners can broadly be categorized into Home Toning Products and Professional Hair Toners.

Home Toning Products:

The Home Toning Products are toners contained in products used at home. Usually, they come in pre-formulated colors and include the likes of purple and silver shampoos. They work on bleached hair without changing the color. After hair treatments at the saloon, these categories of toners help maintain hair color at home.

Professional Hair Toners:

the Professional Hair Toners are toners that are purely pigmented to represent the color wheel. The color wheel represents colors that cancel out unwanted tones. Because they are more pigmented than home Toning products, they have a more lasting effect.

How do I know what color of toner to use on my hair?

If you want to achieve a particular hair color, you cannot just pick the color you want and apply it to your hair to get that result. It doesn’t work that way. 

Generally, hairstylists use the color wheel to determine what color neutralizes the other. They do this by choosing a toner on the opposite side of the color you’re trying to neutralize. 

For example, if your hair is red, you’d need a green toner to neutralize it, and if your hair is yellow, you will use a purple toner to neutralize the unwanted yellow strands.

How long do I leave the toner on my hair?

How long you leave a toner on your hair has a drastic implication on the resulting colour. Therefore, a few minutes over or less can adversely affect the resulting color. The exact duration varies depending on the toner type, brand, or color you want to achieve. 

Usually, toners come with descriptions for use, including the duration for the toner to rest on the hair before rinsing. Therefore, it is advised you follow the instructions for use that come with each toner.

Generally speaking, toner should rest on the hair for about 20 to 30 minutes, depending on whether it is a homemade toner or a professional toner. A short application period would give off a lighter color, and a longer application will make the hair darker. 

How long does hair toner last?

How long a hair toner lasts is dependent on several factors such as the person’s hair porosity, how frequency they wash their hair, the quality of hair, and frequency of heat application, to mention a few. Typically, toners last between four to eight weeks, depending on how well you care for your hair color. You can also reapply it at a salon if desired.

Can You Apply Toner To Wet or Dry Hair Guide?
Can You Apply Toner To Wet or Dry Hair Guide?

How to apply toner?

To properly apply toner to your hair, follow the steps below;

Step 1-

Read instructions on the toner carefully and mix according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 2-

Wash hair properly with shampoo and towel dry to make your hair damp. 

Step 3-

Put on disposable gloves and use a dye brush to apply toner to affected areas. Apply it from the roots up to the tip. 

Step 4-

Leave on for the recommended time. Usually, between 20-30 minutes, depending on the color you want to achieve. 

Step 5-

After the exposure period, rinse thoroughly with Luke warm water to stop the toning process and apply a regular conditioner to moisturize the hair. 

Tips for a long-lasting toning effect. 

It would not be very pleasant for you to start noticing yellow strands on your hair in just two weeks after toning your hair. The yellow strands can result from the mode of application, maintenance, and several other factors. The listed tips can help you achieve a long-lasting toning effect. 

  • You should always apply toner when your hair is 70% dry.
  • After the exposure period, rinse your hair with Luke warm water. Avoid using hot water to rinse your hair to prevent damage to toner pigment. 
  • Avoid using shampoo to wash your hair immediately after toning. It can strip your hair of toner pigment. 
  • To extend the toning effect, you can subsequently apply purple shampoo or conditioner to your hair. 
  • Protect your hair from heat as much as you can.

Can I apply shampoo immediately after toning my hair?

You can apply shampoo to your hair after toning, as it is essential to prolong the toning effect. However, it would help if you did not do this immediately after toning. Otherwise, the color of the toner would fade even before it penetrates the hair strands. However, after 48 hours, you can apply a sulfate-free shampoo to wash your hair.  

Can I tone my hair twice a day?

The answer is a No. You should not tone your hair twice a day, not even in a week. If perhaps you are not satisfied with the toner effect on your hair, it is advised that you wait for at least 6-8 weeks. 

During the toning process, chemicals are applied to the hair to achieve desired toning results. Thus, leaving the hair weak, unhealthy, and vulnerable, needing time to recover. It is advised that you give your hair some time to recover before toning it again.

How can I remove toner from my hair?

Perhaps you have applied toner to your hair in the wrong way, and you’re displeased with the appalling results. Below are tested and trusted methods to help remove toners from your hair.  

Clarifying Shampoo- 

Clarifying shampoo best helps to remove unwanted toner from your hair gently. It has surfactants, an active cleanser formulated to remove dirt, unwanted products, and other substances from your hair. 

You should note that clarifying shampoo does not immediately get rid of toners. It takes consistent usage to get rid of the toner eventually. 

It is applied the same way as regular shampoo. As simple as applying it to your hair according to the description and rinsing it out. 

It would be best if you take caution on how often you use a clarifying shampoo. Overuse can lead to hair dryness as it eliminates dirt and excess oils in the hair. It is recommended to use it at most two times a week.

Baking Soda and Vinegar

The combined effect of these two ingredients helps break down oil from the hair and get rid of the unwanted toner. However, it is advised not to use this mixture too often because it can be quite abrasive and would most likely dry your hair out. 

Dandruff Shampoo

Dandruff shampoo can break down oil in the hair and slowly remove unwanted toner from your hair. It can also make your hair dry and should be used less frequently with good conditioning afterward.

Dish Soap

Just like how dish soap rids off oil from your plates, it can break down oil in your hair. However, it can leave your hair dry. It is advised to use this treatment 2-3 times a week, followed by deep conditioning. 


Due to their acidic properties, you can use lemons to remove unwanted toner from your hair. It should, however, not be used too often to avoid dryness. 

Although all the methods listed above reveal efficacy, they require patience and less frequent usage to remove unwanted toner without leaving your hair dry. 



Can I Use Toner in place of dyes?

No, you cannot use toners in place of a dye because they both serve different purposes. 

If you’re looking to achieve a more permanent hair color, then you should use a dye. Toners, on the other hand, are deposit-only demi-permanent dyes. They do not change the color of your hair. Toners are generally used to neutralize unwanted hair tines and refresh your hair color. 

Therefore, depending on what you want to achieve, you can decide which would be best for your desired result. 

Can I tone my hair at home?

Yes! You can tone your hair at home. 

However, this is only advisable if you properly understand the color wheel and what color you need to apply to your hair. If you have no idea about the color wheel, it’s advised that you go to the salon to have the toner applied. It would be better to have your toner applied to your hair by a professional than further worsen the situation.

There you have it! Did I clear your doubts? Hair toning shouldn’t be so difficult if you have carefully read through the details above. Do you intend to tone your hair anytime soon, or rather, remove toner from your hair? Give it a shot! You have all the information you need.

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