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How Long Should I Leave Toner on Bleached Hair for Best Results?

Did you bleach your hair only to find it turned brassy? Toner can fix that up in a flash, but if you’re not a pro, you probably want to know how long to leave toner on bleached hair.

From what color to choose to what results you can expect, we’ve got everything you need to know to get your bleached hair in shape.

How Long Should You Let Toner Stay on Bleached Hair?

how long to leave toner on fresh bleached hair

Toner should remain on bleached hair for at least 10 minutes but no more than 30 minutes. The length of time necessary depends on the hair type, shade, and product you use.

Applying toner to your bleached hair is a delicate process because leaving it on for too long can dry out your hair, causing it to break. Keep in mind that toner takes less time on porous hair, so stick with 10 to 20 minutes.

Choose the right toner for your hair color to limit the amount of time you need it in your hair. Working with violet on a platinum blonde is quite different from blue on a dark blonde. 

Using a professional toner takes less time, so be sure to rinse it out in 10 to 20 minutes. Homemade toners take longer to penetrate the strands, so they can stay on for 30 minutes. 

What Color Can You Expect When Toning?

The color of toner you choose dictates the outcome with your hair. Since toners neutralize unwanted tones, you can lighten and correct the color after bleaching, like reducing brassiness in a platinum color. 

For example, if you want to achieve a light ash blonde shade, choose a toner with an ashy or cool undertones. To pull some pastel highlights into an icy blonde, choose a toner that reflects your desired pastel, like purple for lavender.

What Happens if You Leave Toner On for Too Long?

effects of leaving toner on bleached hair too long

Leaving toner on your hair for too long can lead to over-toning, resulting in unwanted hair color changes and damage. Toner works by neutralizing and toning down the orange or yellow tones in bleached hair, but when left on for too long, it can also neutralize the desired cooler tones, resulting in a dull, ashy, or grayish appearance.

Over-toning can also cause dryness, breakage, and brittleness in your hair, making it more prone to damage and breakage. The damage caused by over-toning can take a while to repair, and in severe cases, you may have to cut your hair to remove the damaged portions.

Frequently Asked Questions

You may have some questions if you’re new to toning your bleached hair or looking to refresh your knowledge on the subject. In this FAQ section, we’ve compiled some common questions and answers to help you understand the toning process and achieve the best results.

Can I tone my bleached hair at home, or should I go to a salon?

You can tone your bleached hair at home, but choosing the right product and following the instructions carefully is essential.

It’s recommended to start with a lower developer volume, such as 10 or 20, and do a strand test before applying the toner to your entire head.

Can toner damage my hair?

Toner, when used correctly, should not damage your hair. However, leaving toner on for too long or using a toner with a high developer volume can cause damage to your hair, so it’s best to follow the instructions.

How often should I tone my bleached hair?

The frequency of toning your bleached hair depends on your hair’s condition and the desired result. If you notice your hair becoming brassy or yellow, you can tone it once every four to six weeks to maintain the desired tone.

So, How Do You Know How Long To Leave Toner on Bleached Hair?

Knowing how long to leave toner on bleached hair can be challenging, as it varies depending on the toner’s color, your hair’s condition, and the desired result. 

It’s always best to start with a shorter processing time and gradually increase it if needed. Remember that every hair type and color is unique, and the processing time may vary.

With practice and patience, you’ll find the right processing time to achieve the desired result while keeping your hair healthy and vibrant.

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W. Anthony

Meet Watson Anthony, a skilled and experienced barber based in Alaska. As the go-to stylist at Northern Lights Barber Shop, Watson has built a loyal following among the local community, thanks to his unique and creative approach to haircuts.