Does toner work on natural hair? Does affect uncolored or unbleached hair?

  • The short answer is YES. Toner works on natural hair.
  • If your hair is neither colored nor bleached, the toner will neutralize unwanted tones. For example, they may appear due to the effects of sun or chlorine exposure.
  • However, there’s a better option than toner for natural hair: toning shampoo. I’ll tell you how to use it.



hairdresser applying color with gloves

What a day I had today at the salon!

In Summer, techniques like balayage or highlights require continuous touch-ups.



Today I was surprised by Anastasia, one of my clients, who has never colored or bleached her hair.


In fact, I wasn’t so surprised. Anastasia loves her light brown hair color. She only goes to the salon when she wants a trim or a new haircut.


However, this time, her request was completely different.

She told me, very confidently:  “I want to apply a toner to tone down the orange shades in my hair!” .


After looking at her, I understood what she meant.


Anastasia was lucky enough to enjoy almost a month’s vacation at the beach. Of course, the sun’s rays and the seawater had faded her hair.

What had happened?


 Some rather unpleasant and unnatural orange tones had appeared, and Anastasia didn’t like them. .

When I asked her if she knew how toner was applied, she replied that a friend had recommended using a toner to her. In short, Anastasia knew nothing.



Neither she knew that toner is applied with a 20-volume developer. It has a low lightening effect on the hair.

When I explained it to her, she almost had a heart attack. The last thing she wanted was to lighten her hair.

Are you in the same situation as Anastasia?


Then, read on, because I’m going to tell you:

  • How to use toner on natural hair the right way to avoid unpleasant surprises.
  • How to use toner shampoo to neutralize unwanted tones on virgin hair



How to use toner on natural hair correctly to avoid unpleasant surprises

toning orange hair

Toner is used to neutralize unwanted tones. It’s usually applied on bleached or colored hair. The rule for neutralization is simple: apply the opposite color to the one you want to remove.



So far so good, but  there’s a detail: for the toner to work, it must be applied with a 20-volume developer.  It means two things.

  • If you apply a 20-volume developer toner to your natural hair, your base color will lighten. The developer can lighten up to one shade.
  • Also, the 20-volume developer is a chemical that dries out the hair. Therefore, your hair will lose moisture


Can you imagine what will happen to your hair once the toner is gone?

Your color will be different. Also, your hair will most likely be dry and frizzy.

What’s worse,  you’ll have to reapply the toner every 3 to 5 weeks if you don’t want the color you neutralized to reappear. 



You have two options:

  • Apply a toning shampoo. Though it’ll take a little longer to neutralize unwanted tones, it’s the safest option.
  •  Apply toner with a 10-volume developer.  It’s the least healthy but the fastest option because the toner acts immediately. It won’t change your base color, but the health of your hair will be compromised. After all, the 10-volume developer is still a chemical.


Are you in a hurry to get rid of unwanted tones?

Then, choose the toner, but remember: you’ll need to apply it with a 10-volume developer to avoid altering your natural color.


What do you need?

before applying to hair

  • Toner
  • 10-volume developer
  • Plastic container
  • Gloves
  • Hair dye brush



Step by step:

  • Comb your hair and separate it into 4 sections, from front to nape and from ear to ear. Hold each section with hair clips.
  • In the plastic container, place the toner and the 10-volume developer and mix to integrate.
  • Put on gloves and apply the mixture to each section from root to tip with a hair dye brush.
  •  You have to control the exposure time. The manufacturers usually recommend a maximum of twenty minutes. Still, you should check the color every five minutes .
  • As soon as you notice that the unwanted tones are gone, rinse with plenty of warm water and apply shampoo and conditioner.


Now that you took the toner route, there’s no turning back. You’ll have to repeat this procedure every 3 to 5 weeks because the toner fades with washing.

Have you thought it through and don’t want to expose your natural hair to the effect of the toner? I have the solution for you! Its name?

Toning Shampoo.


How to use the toning shampoo to neutralize unwanted tones in natural hair


Haven’t you ever heard of a toning shampoo before?


It creates a film of color that is deposited on your hair and gradually neutralizes your natural color.

It means that  every time you wash your hair, you’ll notice how the unwanted tones gradually disappear.  Yes, it’ll take longer than if you use toner.


However, as toning shampoo doesn’t contain corrosive chemicals, your hair won’t be dried out by the peroxide effect. Also, it doesn’t alter your natural color.


You shouldn’t discontinue its use if you want to keep your hair colored.

to cancel out yellow and orange

There’re several toning shampoos on the market. In my opinion, some of the best ones are:

  • MATRIX TOTAL RESULTS: you can choose between purple and blue according to the tones you want to remove. It is for frequent use and provides top-quality pigments.
  • FANOLA NO YELLOW or NO ORANGE: This shampoo is used a maximum of 3 times a week and should be left on your hair for 5 to 8 minutes. You’ll notice the change in a few washes.
  • REDKEN: you can also choose between purple or blue shampoo, depending on the color you need to neutralize. It’s for frequent use, and it’s easy to find online.



As a professional, I recommend using a toning shampoo to neutralize unwanted tones in your virgin hair. The process will be more gradual than using toner, but you won’t compromise your hair health.

If you want to get rid of the unwanted tones in your hair immediately, you can use toner. Remember to use a 10-volume developer and control the exposure time every five minutes.

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