Does Toner Damage Hair – Truth You May Not Know

How to Get Orange Out of Hair and Fix Bad Bleaching - Hair Adviser
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After using a permanent dye or bleach, toner can be used to correct your hair’s color. While using a toner is an excellent way to remove undesirable undertones, you might find that your hair becomes dry and brittle as a result of the procedure.

Yes, toner harms hair. Any chemical you use on your hair has the potential to be harmful, especially if it alters the structure of the hair.

Examine these products’ functioning in more detail.

Do Toners Damage Your Hair?

How Long Does Hair Toner Last? Best Ways to Preserve It

Without a doubt, toner harms hair. Any chemical that you use on your hair has the potential to harm it, particularly if it alters the hair’s structural integrity.

It’s important to keep in mind though that not all toners change the internal structure of your hair. So, hair toner is not as damaging as bleach or permanent hair dye.

Using hair toner has advantages and disadvantages. So, despite growing in popularity, this is still a very complicated product. In order to prevent worsening your hair damage, you must learn a lot about it before using it.

What is Toner?

You typically use a hair toner after bleaching or coloring your hair. Its objective is to modify your hair’s undertones in order to produce a particular shade. Toner can enhance cool tones or remove unwanted yellow or brassy tones you usually get after bleaching.

Signs of Toner Damage

Everyone should be aware of the various symptoms of toner damage. Check out the following list to learn about all of them:

  • Your hair is shedding.
  • Your hair won’t retain color.
  • Your hair is lifeless or dull.
  • Your hair is dry and brittle or frizzy.
  • You have split ends.
  • Your curls are not resilient.
  • Your hair feels like straw.

Note: Bleach or any other hair lightening technique you used prior to toning can also be blamed for all of these damage indicators.

How Does Toner Work?

Toner can be compared to a light hair dye. Pigment concentration can differ from one product to another, with professional toners having a higher concentration.

If you are knowledgeable about color theory, you are aware that colors that are opposite one another on the color wheel balance one another out. When correcting your hair color, toner allows you to introduce a hue that will neutralize unwanted tones.

For instance, a purple toner is a popular option because it neutralizes the yellow tones you often get after bleaching. These unwelcome tones can make someone with darker hair look orange or brassy. These tones can be balanced using a blue toner.

Why Toner Won’t Usually Damage Hair

In most cases, you’ll use a toner after bleaching or dyeing your hair. Let’s take a closer look at the structure of human hair to understand how this process can damage your hair.

65 to 95% of the structure of hair is made up of fibrous proteins. As the hair shaft emerges from the shaft, the follicle develops around it. The cuticle, cortex, and medulla are among the three layers that make up the follicle.

The outer layer that guards the hair and directs its growth is called the cuticle. The middle layer, the cortex, is where you’ll find hair pigment cells as well as keratin cells.

Keratin cells play a crucial role in making your hair look smooth and glossy. Ammonia opens up the cuticle when you bleach your hair or use a dye that contains ammonia. To deplete hair of its natural color, it penetrates the cortex and dissolves melanin.

Permanent hair dyes work by allowing pigments to enter the cortex and form a bond with the hair cells. Applying a conditioner after this procedure will help to close the cuticle.

But regardless, using products with ammonia will always cause some damage to your hair. Toner, in contrast, does less harm because it has less ammonia in it.

But using a toner after bleaching or dying your hair can make the harm done by these products worse. Additionally, applying toner repeatedly to gradually change the color of your hair can exacerbate the damage and leave your hair looking brittle and dry.

How to Avoid Damage When Using a Toner

There are steps you can take to minimize damage when using a toner.

1. Choose An Ammonia-Free Toner

Ammonia is not a component of all toners. Your hair will sustain the least amount of harm from an ammonia-free toner. The downside is that it might not work as well as a product that contains ammonia.

Try using an ammonia-free toner first if you need to change the color of your hair and you can see signs of damage from bleaching and dyeing.

2. Use Conditioner

After changing your hair’s color, conditioner is the best product to use to repair any damage. You need to hydrate your hair to repair the cuticle after applying ammonia to your hair.

Your hair should look better if you use a deep conditioner that forms a shield around it. A hair mask can also be used to hydrate your hair. A keratin treatment can also make a difference if you’re dealing with frizzy and brittle hair.

3. Avoid Dyeing Your Hair Too Often

The best course of action after coloring your hair is frequently to wait and let the damage heal. If you bleach or dye your hair too often, your cuticles won’t have enough time to return to normal.

4. Shampoo Less Often

Shampooing can deplete hair of its natural oils and make it more dry and brittle. To avoid removing natural oils, try washing your hair less frequently or using a dry shampoo.

The Pros and Cons of Hair Toners

Does Toner Damage Hair? How To Effectively Use Toner For Hair? - Shampoos  Hub

You should be aware of all of the toner’s benefits and drawbacks. There are many. The benefits and drawbacks of toners are listed below for your reference.


  • They can be used to revive hair that has already been colored. Toner can assist in restoring your previous hair color and giving you that salon-fresh appearance you had initially when it starts to fade or when a little brassiness starts to peek through.
  • One-note color jobs are given depth by professional toners. Therefore, a toner can be useful if you want to give your hair some natural tonal variation. Keep in mind that toners target specific scenarios. Consequently, a person with blonde hair wouldn’t typically use the same toner as a person with dark brown hair.
  • It’s simple to use toners. In most cases, you’ll get a great result if you follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Toning shampoos and conditioners correct hair tone issues without any risk of significant hair damage. Anyone who prefers to avoid the occasionally dubious ingredients found in chemical toners will benefit greatly from these products.


  • Whether you use toners with 20 volume developer or 10, they lose their effectiveness with each wash. As a result, you shouldn’t anticipate that toning will be a one-time process. Furthermore, there is a possibility that toning will break your hair or make it dry.
  • Particularly if you haven’t used toners before, they can be unpredictable. Furthermore, if you pick the incorrect color or leave it on for too long, you won’t get the outcomes you want.


So, does toner damage your hair? The short answer is yes, a toner can harm your hair. Nevertheless, the majority of the harm you’ll probably notice stems from the items you used before using toner, such as bleach and permanent hair dye.

If you want to change your hair color, remember to use a conditioner or a hair mask to hydrate your hair and repair some of the damage. Happy coloring!

Does Toner Damage Hair? | How to Avoid Damaging It

Frequently Asked Questions

Toner usage and avoiding hair damage are covered in the following paragraphs.

Can You Use Homemade Toners?

If you look for DIY toner ideas online, you’ll find articles and videos that recommend mixing conditioner with food dyes or diluting hair dye with conditioner. Food dyes only have a fleeting impact, so you should be aware of that.

Although finding the right ratios for conditioner and permanent hair dye can be difficult, it will work. You might end up altering your hair color instead of correcting the undertones.

How Should I Put Toner in My Hair?

Apply the toner to damp hair for the best results. The best way to apply the product to your hair is with an applicator brush. Toner can be applied to your entire head of hair, or you can concentrate on the roots or other areas where you want to change the color of your hair.

What is the Best Toner for Damaged Hair?

Look for a product with hydrating ingredients or try using an ammonia-free toner. Use a deep conditioner or a hair mask to hydrate your hair if it appears damaged and brittle before using toner.

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