Does toner cover gray hair? For example, what about Wella toner…

woman shows her gray hair to cover it with toner

  • No, toner doesn’t cover gray hair, not even Wella toner.
  • Because the only function of toner is to eliminate any harsh colors in the hair. In other words, it’s not strong enough to bring color to your gray hair and cover it completely.
  • Therefore, if you want to cover your gray hair completely, you should use a permanent or semi-permanent hair dye.
  • You can only use toner on your gray hair if you want to DISGUISE it with the rest of your blonde hair. And I’ll tell you why later on.


YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: My gray roots show 2 weeks after dyeing my hair. How can I fix them?


Were you thinking of toning your hair to cover up those gray hairs?

Now you know that  toner doesn’t cover gray hair. Neither WELLA toner nor PRAVANA toner nor ION brand toner. 


Even we colorists don’t use toner to cover gray hair. And the reason is straightforward.


Toner is a coloring tool that allows you to eliminate harsh colors in your hair.

Notice I mentioned harsh hair colors. In other words,  toner works on hair WITH COLOR. And gray hair is hair that doesn’t have any color. It has no melanin, which is responsible for fixing and giving color to the hair. 

woman's hand holds Wella toner that does not cover gray hair

That’s why toner doesn’t cover gray hair.

Your confusion probably originated from the fact that you may have heard many people apply toner to their gray hair. But that case is entirely different from yours.

Your gray hair is hair without color. And people apply toner on their gray hair because they want to neutralize the harsh colors in their dyed-gray hair. Not naturally gray hair.


These are two completely different things.


Because natural gray hair has no color. And because toner doesn’t contain pigments that are intense and strong enough to bind to gray hair.

In addition,  the pigments in toner are less durable than the pigments contained in dyes, which are the right coloring tools to cover gray hair. 


Now, there is a case where toner can help you with your gray hair problem. In what case?


Toner can help disguise gray hair on very light hair, but it will never completely cover it

gray hair in blonde hair can be covered with toner

I want to be clear. I repeat.

Toner can help disguise gray hair on very light hair, but it will never totally cover it.


That is, if you dye your hair a very light blonde or your highlights are super light, the toner will work by shading the gray hair so that it blends in with the rest of the hair. Therefore, your gray hair will be concealed.

Now, if you want to cover your gray hair completely, you only have one option.


YOU MAY ALSO ENJOY READING: 5 tips for making sure your gray hair holds color the next time you dye it


To cover gray hair completely, you’ll need to use a hair dye

And in this case,  you have two options: you can use a permanent dye or a semi-permanent dye. 

If your hair is extra dry and damaged, cover your gray hair with a semi-permanent dye

medium ash blond hair dye box for blond hair

But I have to be honest. This type of hair dye doesn’t contain ammonia and you don’t apply it with developer. Therefore,   lasts much less time than permanent hair color. 


In addition, the duration will also depend on your hair care routine.

Because semi-permanent dye gradually fades with washing. So what’s the advantage? If your hair is damaged, since the dye doesn’t contain ammonia and you don’t apply it with developer, it won’t remove any more moisture from your hair. And it will cover gray hair.

What you can do to make semi-permanent hair color last longer on your gray hair is to wash your hair a maximum of three times a week. And avoid heating tools as well as use sulfate-free hair products.


If you have a lot of gray hair, use a permanent hair dye to cover it

This is your best option. Because permanent dye contains ammonia, and you apply it with developer.

Therefore , it will open the hair cuticles of the gray hair, fixing the color in the innermost layer, covering the gray hair completely. 


YOU MAY ALSO LIKE TO READ: How long to leave hair dye in for grey hair?


In general, the intense color of permanent dyes lasts up to three weeks on gray hair.

Finally, if you want the intensity of the color to last longer, you should also use sulfate-free shampoos and conditioners. Sulfates are detergents that fade the color of the dye on gray hair.

And if you curl or straighten your hair frequently, remember to protect your gray hair with a heat protectant.



Toner doesn’t cover gray hair because it’s designed to be used on hair with color. And gray hair is hair with no color.

To cover gray hair completely, you should use hair dye.

Deja Tu Comentario