How Long To Leave Toner In Hair

How Long To Leave Toner In Hair

I’ve transformed my hair in a variety of hair colors in the comfort of my own home. I did it more frequently during the pandemic because we were stuck at home and there were zero salons open at the time. Many women resorted to at-home hair coloring jobs or decided to ditch the color altogether.

I went brown, blonde, and pink all in the comfort of my own home. I loved everything about it – except for not being sure how long I should leave formulas on my hair to get the best results while also hoping for very minimal damage. It was amateur hour.

If you’ve recently gone blonde from darker hair color, you know that brassiness is your number one enemy. It’s easy to counter that with a toner. The only question is how long to leave it on your hair.

Not sure exactly how long to leave toner in your hair? Read more below and step up your home coloring game.

What is Hair Toner and How Does It Work?

A hair toner is a color-correcting hair product. It’s used to correct and personalize your hair color. After getting bleached or colored hair, a hair toner is usually an optional last step to enhance the tones of your hair. Toner is most commonly used for blonde and bleached hair but also presents benefits for brunettes and redheads.

What does toner do to hair?

So, what exactly does toner do to hair?

For one, a toner removes the yellow, orange, or brassy tones on hair after a coloring job. It adds natural tones to hair to brighten and enhance the color.

Naturally, dark hair has natural pigments of red and orange. Going from dark hair to bleached or dyed hair means these undertones and pigments can cause brassy hair instead. A hair toner helps in brightening, removing, and neutralize these warm undertones. This allows users to achieve a shiny, healthy, and natural-looking hair color.

Using hair toner won’t completely change your hair’s undertones. What it does is help manipulate and adjust your shade of blonde and bleached hair so you get a more personalized and natural look.

A hair toner is a very beneficial hair product for anyone who loves experimenting with hair coloring with hair dye. It can help maintain your desired hair color while also eliminating unwanted warmness or coolness on color-treated hair.

Many people also like incorporating toner as it gives hair a healthy boost of shine.

How Long to Leave Toner in Hair

Now – for the reason why you’re here. How long should you leave toner in your hair for it to work?

It’s important to keep in mind that toners come in a variety of different formulas. This means the time you need to leave it on hair would vary depending on the type, formula, and brand you’re using. Development time varies per brand.

But as a general rule of thumb. Most toners start showing results at around the 10-minute mark. You should also never leave the toner on your hair for more than 45 minutes! Doing so will over-expose your hair to the product and damage it instead of helping you with brassy hair.

The time to leave it on hair also depends on the current state of your hair and the results you’re after. Make sure to check on your hair as the toner works and develops.

When Should You Use Toner

If you have lightened or bleached hair, it definitely is a good time to use toner. You can also apply hair toner right after bleaching your hair as it allows you to achieve your desired hair color and tone.

A hair toner is good to use if there is unwanted warmth, yellow, orange, or brassy tones on colored hair. It also leaves hair looking natural.

Generally, the benefits of toner on hair last anywhere between 3 to 6 weeks. If you want to maintain your hair’s tone while also removing any warm undertones, you will need to tone and refresh your hair every 3 to 6 weeks as well. In the case of color-correcting shampoos like purple or blue shampoos, one can use it every 1 to 2 weeks for the best toning results.

Doing so ensures that your hair looks healthy, shiny, and with the right tone to it.

What Color of Toner Should You Use?

What Color of Toner Should You Use

When it comes to what color of toner you should use, rely on the color wheel and the basics of color theory.

Looking at the color wheel, go for a toner that is the opposite of the tone you’re trying to get rid of. If you want to neutralize yellow tones, go for a purple toner. Green toners will get rid of red tones and get blue toner for getting rid of orange tones.

How to Remove Toner from Hair

After the hair toner has done its job, one would wash it off simply with water. You’d want to go in with your favorite shampoo and conditioner as well. You can also go in with a deep conditioner to give your hair shaft an extra boost of moisture and hydration.

Does Toner Damage Hair?

Generally, the chances of damaging your hair by toning are very low. Toners are only meant to neutralize hair color and tone. Some even use toner to impart a healthy shine and volume to hair.

That being said, toner can be damaging to hair once there is over-using and over-processing of the product. So to avoid hair damage, make sure to only use it when your hair needs it, at the appropriate time, and at the right time to leave it on hair.

Don’t leave the toner too long on your hair and don’t tone your hair too often. Do it only every few weeks. And don’t forget to condition or even better, deep condition hair after toning.


Hair toning is essential in going blonde, or any hair dye color for that matter. A toner is a color-correcting hair product used to personalize and color-correct after a hair coloring job. Though mostly used for blonde hair, brunettes and redheads can benefit from a good hair toner too.

When you’re going from a dark hair color to a shade of blonde, you might encounter yellow, orange, and brassy tones. Hair toners remove and neutralize these warm pigments.

One of the more common people ask about hair toners is how long one should leave it on hair. The time to leave toner on hair depends on the current color and situation of your hair and the color you’re trying to achieve.

But generally, a toner should work anywhere between 10 to 45 minutes. Remember, don’t leave the toner for more than 45 minutes as this leaves your hair prone to damage and dryness.

Toner effects can last for 3 to 6 weeks so you might want to refresh and tone your hair within that timeframe as well to maintain your hair’s tone.

And that was our guide on everything hair toner and how long you should leave it on your hair!