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Can You Put Toner On Wet Hair or Dry Hair: How to Apply Toner on Hair

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Can You Put Toner On Wet Hair or Dry Hair

Once you color your hair you know that there is a risk that the color of your hair will turn brassy and fade over time and that is when you do the smart thing and start using a hair toner. A hair toner is wonderful as it allows you to completely eliminate the yellow or orange hues that show up on colored hair.  However, once you start using the toner the question comes Can You Put Toner On Wet Hair, Dry hair, or damp hair read on to know the answer.

Can You Put Toner On Wet Hair or Dry Hair?

You Should put toner on damp hair and not on completely soaking wet or completely dry hair instead use a towel to dry your hair a little and then apply toner. In fact, it is recommended that Toner should be applied to hair that is 70% dry i.e damp hair. Putting Toner on Damp hair will be more effective than using it on wet hair because damp hair is more porous and it will allow the toner to work better by getting it distributed throughout the hair. Also when you apply toner on wet hair you change the lifespan of the toner as it has a semi-permanent color base so your results will get affected.

Why Should you not Put Toner On Wet Hair?

You should not put toner on wet hair as it may dilute the effect of toner which means that you will get unpredictable results or even no change in color. Another issue with putting toner on wet hair is that it will lead to the toning effects not lasting as long as before i.e if toner normally lasts for 8 weeks it may last only for 2 weeks if you apply toner on wet hair. If you apply toner to 100% wet i.e dripping hair it will lead to the toner completely sliding down the hair and not working at all.

Why Should you not Put Toner On Dry Hair?

While you can apply toner on dry hair it is not recommended to do so because dry hair will not absorb the toner completely this will again lead to the problem of the toner effect of color lasting for a lesser time than usual. However, if the choice is between applying toner on dry or wet hair dry hair is preferable, and towel-dried damp hair is the best.

Toning Damp Hair?

Ask any hair colorist and they will tell you that hair that is 70% dry is best suited for hair toners as it can easily absorb the toner and toner will completely penetrate the hair shafts and give you the best results. Slight dampness helps in making hair more receptive to toner than making hair 100% dry.

How to Apply Toner On Damp Hair Step by Step?

Here is a step-by-step approach to applying toner to your hair

  1. Ensure your hair and your toner are a match: If you are applying a toner that is for blondes ensure that your hair is lightened at level 8 or 9 if it is not so either lighten your hair or use a toner meant for darker hair
  2. Ensure your hair is damp or dried on a towel: When you rinse your hair after bleaching ensure that you dry it on a microfiber towel and just enough to remove excess moisture so that when you touch it feels slightly damp
  3. Following packaging instructions to Mix developer and Toner: usually,  for a permanent result you are instructed to mix toner with a developer solution of 20 volume in the ratio of 1:2, and for a semi-permanent result you should use a developer solution of 10 volume in the same
  4. Part your hair into sections: Ensure that you part your hair into 4 sections to make it easier to work with
  5. Apply Toner on your hair: Use a Tinting Brush and apply toner on all sections evenly and make sure that toner saturates your hair completely
  6. Wait for 45 Minutes: Allow toner to stay on your head for 45 minutes so that you get your desired color. After 45 minutes wipe the toner from a part of your head and check and see if you have got your color if not apply the toner again and wait for more time
  7. Rinse Your Hair: rinse your hair completely to remove all the chemicals from your head take your time use lukewarm or cold water and do not use hot water so that the effects on toner stay. After rinsing ensure you condition your hair so that the harmful effects of chemicals on your head can be reduced.
  8. Shampoo Your Hair: Wait for 24 hours so that toner can set on your hair and then shampoo your hair. You can use a gentle purple shampoo
  9. Condition Your Hair Again: After shampooing condition your hair again so that you add some moisture to your hair

Toning Shampoo on Wet Hair

The only time toning wet hair is fine is when you are using a toning shampoo instead of a hair toner. When using a toning shampoo you should apply it to wet hair and let it sit for some time before washing

How Long Does the Effect of a Hair Toner Last?

The effects of a hair toner depend upon your hair condition and hair type but usually lasts for a period of two to six weeks. If your hair is in its natural condition hair toner effect should be able to last much longer than if you apply the hair toner after you bleach your hair.

How to Make Hair Toner Effect Last Longer?

Follow these tips to make your toner effect last longer.

Hair Washing frequency

How long your hair toner last depends on how many times you wash your hair the ideal washing routine is to wash your hair once a week after using the hair toner. The way hair toner works are that the less frequently you wash your hair the longer the effect of the toner remains.


It is recommended that you should not shampoo your hair immediately after applying toner as it may prevent toner from penetrating the shafts of your hair and reduce its effectiveness. The ideal approach is to wait for a period of 48 to 72 hours before applying shampoo to your hair. Also, it is recommended that you choose a purple shampoo that is professional to keep the effect of your hair toner for a long time.

Hot Water vs Cold water

Don’t use hot water immediately after applying toner to your hair as it may end up removing the toner pigments and rinse your hair only with lukewarm or cold water for better results

Don’t expose hair to direct sunlight

Avoid exposure to direct sunlight after toning your hair as it can cause damage to your hair and preferably use a hat or scarf when going outside especially in summer for better results. Also, try to avoid swimming pools for the same reasons

Avoid Heat Tools

if you use heat tools to style your hair then be aware that heat can damage your colored hair so avoid any hairstyles that require heat.


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