Guide and Tips | How Long Do You Leave the Toner on Wet or Dry Hair?

With so many hair coloring techniques readily available in the market, it is nearly impossible to know what you need for your hair. Dying your hair involves the process of lightening the color of hair, simply called bleaching. However, you also need to know that when you dye your hair or highlight it, the color changes and oxidizes over time. Here comes the magical product toner that is meant to keep the unwanted tones of your hair at bay and gives a smooth, shiny, and perfect color to your hair. 

In this blog, we’ll give everything you need to know about toner, some guides and tips for applying it, and how long you can leave the toner on your hair. So stay tuned.

What is a hair toner?

A hair toner is a product that helps you correct or personalizes your color after a professional color treatment. It can be any product that changes the tone of your hair. Different kinds of tinted shampoos and conditioners, demi-permanent colors, and glosses can also fall under the category of hair toners because they contain certain ingredients that adjust the color of your hair. 

Hair toner products can be used to add pigment to hair color that has faded over time. They can also be used to neutralize unwanted warm or brassy tones to help you achieve a healthier, smoother, shinier, more natural-looking shade. The effect of a toner usually lasts around three to four weeks, and then a refresh is needed.

What are the types of hair toner?

Toners can be categorized into three types mainly.

Permanent toner – they leave long-lasting results. In some cases, permanent toners are used to erase the previous color completely, and a blank canvas is provided to re-apply the new color. That’s why a professional hair colorist should do it at the salon to avoid damaging your hair. 

Demi-permanent toner – they are ammonia-based and last around 20-24 washes. Every time you wash your hair, the color fades away. 

Semi-permanent toner is a temporary solution to retain your color and can be used at home. These toners deposit color, don’t go into the hair shaft and usually last up to 12 washes.

What are the benefits of hair toner?

Toners have a variety of benefits which are discussed below for your convenience. 

  • Refreshes and enhances the tone
  • Adds dimension to hair color
  • Eliminates discoloration
  • Strengthens hair by creating a protective barrier around the strand
  • Balances the hair porosity by filling in the shaft
  • Adds volume and shine
  • Plumps the hair cuticle to make it fuller
  • Seals down the cuticle to create reflection and shine

How to apply hair toner?

Toning your hair is quite an easy process once you know which toner to use and for how long it should stay on your hair. It’s a three-step process. 

  1. Mix your toner with a developer in a 1:2 ratio.
  2. Apply the mixture to your hair with an applicator brush.
  3. Leave the toner in for up to 45 minutes.

While applying you can just focus on the areas with unwanted undertones or can apply from roots to end for a more glossy look. After leaving the toner for 45 minutes, rinse your hair, shampoo, and then condition with sulfate-free products.

How long do you leave the toner in your hair?

Generally speaking, a toner should not stay in your hair for more than 30 minutes. Applying toner for 8-10 minutes will create a lighter color; if you apply it for an extended time, it will make your hair a little darker. The time depends on the color of your hair.

Should you apply toner to wet or dry hair?

There is no hard and fast rule about this; you can apply toner to dry hair as well. However, various professional colorists agree that toner gives much better results if applied on damp hair, not wet. This is because when your hair is damp, they are more porous, allowing the toner to go on more evenly and work more effectively. 

As a general rule of thumb, your hair should be 70% dry. Applying toner to wet hair like dripping water may dilute the toner and affect its longevity and color. This is because when your hair is wet, it gives a different color as compared to the dry ones.

How to maintain toned hair?

Once you have toned your hair, you must know how to maintain it and how you can make the effect long-lasting. There are a few simple tips to follow.

  • Always use those products that are free from harsh chemicals, especially sulfates, phthalate, and parabens to avoid damage to your hair integrity as well as stripping the color too quickly. 
  • Don’t stay under the sun for too long as it also damages your mane health and color.
  • Don’t stay in chlorinated water for too long. Always cover your hair. 
  • Limit the use of heat-styling tools and if necessary then always apply heat-protecting sprays to avoid damage to your tresses and their color.

Final thoughts

A toner can turn your brassy hair into beautiful ones but for this, you need to know how to use this and for how long. You can apply semi-permanent toners at home when your hair is 70% dry. Try to avoid applying it on wet hair as it will not give you the desired results. Now if you’re armed with this knowledge, we’re sure you can transform your hair exquisitely that smiles at you every time you look in the mirror.

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