Is it posible to bleach hair with toner? No, unless you have time and money to spare

woman with toned hair and question gesture

  • Toner doesn’t bleach the hair. Instead, it neutralizes the unwanted undertones that appear in the hair after bleaching or dyeing. Therefore, toner doesn’t lighten or darken the hair.
  • If you want to bleach your toned hair, I recommend an anti-dandruff shampoo.
  • Your hair has already gone through several chemical processes, and if you bleach your toned hair, you can irreversibly ruin it. I’ll tell you why.


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  When I was asked, “Can you bleach your hair with toner?” I was surprised.  


The question came to me via Whatsapp from a client.

Just like that, plain and simple, “Ale, can I bleach my hair with toner?” and it had emoticons and emojis that I’m still trying to decipher.


Before answering, I took my time. I had to meditate and understand what this client wanted to ask me.

I came up with several options.

  •   Did she want to know if she could bleach her hair using a toner?   Obviously, the answer is no. Toner corrects the color after bleaching or dyeing.
  •   Would she like to know if she could bleach her toned hair?   Although she could, my professional advice is that using other products is bests. I’ll tell you which ones later.
  •   Would she want to lighten her hair using a toner?   The answer is also negative. Toner doesn’t lighten or darken hair. Instead, it removes unwanted colors like red, orange, or yellow.


bleaching powder and toner bottle

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So, just to be clear, toner is a permanent coloring that only adds pigments to neutralize unwanted undertones in the hair after bleaching.

Therefore,   it doesn’t lighten, darken, or change the level of your hair color. It simply leaves a more harmonious color.  

So, actually, toner isn’t used during bleaching but after bleaching.

This brings me to the next question.


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Bleaching is not the best option for removing toner from your hair

woman holds container with bleaching product

At least, that’s what I recommend as a colorist.


Let’s start with the fact that toner is a type of permanent coloring that fades with washes. Therefore, you should reapply it every three to four weeks.

So,   if the toner fades every four weeks, why would you want to expose your hair to such an aggressive process as bleaching?  


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You just have to wait a maximum of four weeks until it disappears with washes.

What’s more, if your hair is toned, you probably bleached it before, or at the very least, dyed it. Those are also chemical processes that dry out and weaken the hair.

If you add a bleaching session to hair that has previously undergone chemical processes, you’re probably dooming your hair to disaster.


Now,   if you don’t want to wait four weeks for the toner to fade, you can use an anti-dandruff shampoo.  


How to use an anti-dandruff shampoo to remove a toner?

Head and Shoulders anti-dandruff shampoo for toned hair

Anti-dandruff shampoos contain many sulfates and other ingredients that fight dandruff and scalp oiliness.Forf colored or bleached hair, anti-dandruff shampoo removes the artificial color. Therefore, it isn’t recommended for color-treated hair.

However, if you want to remove toner from your hair, it will be a great ally.   Simply wash your toned hair with the anti-dandruff shampoo, massage it, and leave it on for five minutes.   Then, rinse with plenty of warm water.


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Also, apply conditioner and leave it on for five minutes because anti-dandruff shampoo dries out the hair.

  •   If you recently toned your hair,   use anti-dandruff shampoo twice a week.
  •   If you toned your hair three weeks ago,   I recommend you use it once and evaluate the results. You don’t need to use the toner again if it has faded.


How to take care of your hair after using an anti-dandruff shampoo to remove toner

woman applies coconut oil after using anti-dandruff shampoo

Now that you’ve removed the toner from your hair, it’s time to repair it. After using anti-dandruff shampoo on your toned hair, it feels drier, coarser, and duller.

Remember that all the processes you expose your hair to cause damage by accumulation. You probably remember that you’ve, at least, applied a dye and toner or bleach and toner.

You used a 20 or 30-volume developer and ammonia in both processes. Those chemicals damage your hair.

Then, you use an anti-dandruff shampoo. Although removing the toner from your hair is the best option, it also dries it out.


But don’t panic. You won’t need hundreds of dollars to repair your hair.

Let’s start simple.

  •   Wash your hair every three days   so that it absorbs the natural scalp moisture.
  • Don’t overuse a flat iron or blow dryer.
  • Wash your hair with a moisturizing shampoo. Don’t forget to apply conditioner.
  •   Once a week, apply a hair mask.   It can be a keratin mask or a natural oil such as coconut oil.You probably have olive oil in your kitchen cupboard if you don’t have a keratin mask or coconut oil. You can apply it to your hair once a week as a mask and leave it on for 30 minutes.



You can’t use toner to bleach your hair because it cancels out the unwanted colors left by bleaching. If you want to remove the toner from your hair, you can use an anti-dandruff shampoo. Remember that bleaching is too aggressive a chemical process to be applied to toned hair.

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