Does hair toner wash out of hair?
March 12, 2017 5:14 PM   Subscribe

After getting a toner my hair is now too dark. Will this wash out of a full head of highlights? If so how long will it take?

I go to my regular guy to maintain a dark blonde hair color with a full head of highlights. I ONLY go to him for hair color, but I'll go anywhere that has time to fit me in for little things like blow-outs and conditioning treatments. So today I went some place new for a blow-out and conditioning. While I was there the girl who was going to blow it out mentioned that my hair was brassy. Yes it was indeed. I already knew that. My guy usually didn't go that brassy. This was the first time, so it was something I was confident he'd fix when I went back for a touch up.

But today at the new place where I was getting the blow-out; after my stylist commented on how brassy my hair was (and after I agreed with her on that) She suggested that she just put a little toner in my hair. She said it would only take 5 minutes so I said, ok. The way she said it made it seem to me like it was just a 5 minute wash thing that would wash out and not effect my color.

Well, now my hair is darker than I would like! It's not brassy anymore, but I went from dark blonde to brown. I wonder if my regular colorist is going to freak out or scold me when I see him next. Will this stuff wash out? Has my regular color been permanently affected? I don't get upset when my hair is too light because that tends to be easy to fix... but too dark can be a problem. Is this also the case with toner?
posted by bearam to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
Yes, toner washes out. If your hair is already bleached out under that color (which it must be with highlights and brassiness), then the toner will fade. It always looks especially dark before the first wash - many stylists do that so you don't immediately lose the level of color you were going for.
posted by chestnut-haired-sunfish at 5:36 PM on March 12, 2017 [1 favorite]

Toner is the color that you put on over bleached hair to stain it to the actual desired color you want. Without the presence of pretty freshly-bleached (damaged, porous) hair, it's about as "sticky" as water-based marker on fabric - you'll never wash every molecule away, there is a certain amount of depositing that is there for good, but it fades every wash. This is basically what you get when you use "semipermanent" or 23-wash haircolor, except those do use a weak stripping process to rough up the hair shaft a little bit so it sticks a little bit more.

I always take my color a smidge too dark on purpose, just so I can get a little extra mileage out of the color before it washes out to faded-looking or orangey. You'll probably notice a difference even after one wash.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:57 PM on March 12, 2017 [2 favorites]

This ^. I always get my toner a little darker to extend my color. It fades.
posted by Marinara at 9:22 PM on March 12, 2017

To an extent, it does fade, but it sounds like your hair wasn't the way you like it prior to the toning debacle. Until you get more highlights (and emphasize that they were too brassy last time) you're going to look at your hair and be displeased with it. I've had plenty of bad highlight jobs so I feel your pain. Once they're screwed up it can start a snowball of keratin displeasure. Color is tricky and even a master can have an off day or not be paying close enough attention to detail and can mess up highlights. I've had maybe one stylist who did a consistently amazing job on mine in 10 years of highlighting. They're damn expensive too. Frankly sometimes I think it would be healthier for my hair and my purse to have it matched to my natural color and quit bleaching my poor hair.
posted by Avosunspin at 12:38 AM on March 13, 2017

As others have said, yes, it will fade. For the next time, in order to prevent your hair from getting brassy, I would recommend a toning (purple) conditioner or shampoo. You can get them at the drugstore but I get mine at the salon or a salon supply store. I prefer the conditioner because I can leave it on my hair for 5-10 minutes while I shave or just soak. I have naturally blonde hair that is currently platinum and I use the conditioner about once a week to keep my color looking fresh.
posted by Brittanie at 11:09 AM on March 14, 2017

If you are desperate to wash it out of your hair, clarifying shampoo will do the trick. Neutrogena clarifying shampoo always removed most of my toner so I had to discontinue using it. Now I just use a Joico purple shampoo for blonde hair to fight brassiness between hair appointments. I mix the purple shampoo with my regular shampoo in my palm before I rub on my hair so I don't end up all purple or dark grey.
posted by Karotz at 7:03 PM on March 18, 2017 [1 favorite]

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