Toner made my hair too dark, how do I lighten it?

  • If toner made your hair too dark, all you need to do is wash your hair with a dandruff shampoo, which will make the toner disappear each time you wash your hair with it.
  • You can also use a clarifying shampoo until you get rid of the dark color. This shampoo will leave your hair the same color as it was before you used the toner.
  • These two options won’t damage your hair, and they will make the dark color disappear in less than a week, although it’s always a good idea to nurture your hair with hydrating masks once the toner fades.
  • What you definitely should not do is bleach your hair to get rid of the toner since that would cause unnecessary damage to your hair.

after toner

YOU MAY ALSO BE INTERESTED IN: 4 Best Clarifying Shampoos to Remove Toner from Hair


If there is any invention in the hair care world that stylists are most thankful for, without a doubt, it’s toner.

Because it’s a tool that allows us to correct tones, what do I mean by that?


When you bleach your hair, what the bleach mix does is get rid of the underlying pigments in your hair fiber.

As the bleach mix works on the innermost part of your hair, your base color breaks down, making your hair go from darker to lighter.


If you start with dark brown hair, you’ll see that the bleach mix leaves your hair first orange, then yellow.

 But of course, the colors that you get after your bleach your hair aren’t the ones you’ll ultimately end up with since you probably won’t want to have that “carrot” orange or “chicken” yellow in your hair forever. 

What can you do about them, then?


You can use a toner on your hair to cancel out those unwanted tones. But, like every tool, it’s important to know how to use it correctly.

Many women use toner without knowing how exactly they’re supposed to use it on their hair. And so, something happens that they didn’t want to happen:  the toner makes their hair too dark. 

Did that happen to you? Does your hair seem too dark after using the toner?

Why does that happen?


It can happen for one or more of these three reasons:

  • You left the toner in your hair for longer than 10 or 15 minutes
  • You used the toner as if it were a dye
  • You used a developer that wasn’t 20 volumes


Even though you probably are looking at the world as a dark, dark place where all light color has disappeared, I have some good news for you.

Toner will always fade! I have an even better piece of news for you: You can speed up the toner’s fading!

Did your world light back up again?


So, stick with me and put a smile on your face because I’m going to tell you:

  • How to use dandruff shampoo to lighten the color of the toner left in your hair
  • How to get rid of a dark color from toner with clarifying shampoo

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How to use dandruff shampoo to lighten the color toner left in your hair

with nasturtium

Have you ever heard of sulfates in shampoos?


Okay, well, sulfates are chemical products used as cleaning agents. There are two main kinds of sulfates that you can find in shampoo: sodium laureth sulfate and sodium lauryl sulfate.

These sulfates’ purpose is to create a foaming effect to get rid of oil and dirt in your hair. If your shampoo foams easily, it probably has sulfates in it.


It’s well-known that sulfates have deep cleaning effects because they are part of a group of the strongest cleaners called anionic surfactants.

But, for that reason, sulfates make color fade and make dye or toner disappear quickly. And, there is one shampoo out there that contains more sulfates than the rest. Can you guess what kind of shampoo that is?



Dandruff shampoo, because most of the sulfates in that kind of shampoo are detergents.

Yes, detergents that aren’t so different from the kind that you use to wash your dishes. As such, dandruff shampoo contains more sulfates to get rid of dirt on your scalp and dandruff.

How can dandruff shampoo help you get rid of the toner that makes your hair dark?


Because although you use a toner like a dye, it doesn’t stay in your hair as long as a dye, meaning that you’ll be able to easily get it out of your hair with just a few washes.

 For that reason, dandruff shampoo is very effective. That dark color from the toner will fade quicker because of the large number of sulfates. 


You use it just like any other shampoo:

  • Just wet your hair and put the dandruff shampoo onto it.
  • Massage the shampoo into your hair until you have lots of foam and leave it in 3-5 minutes.
  • Rinse, just like you would rinse your normal shampoo and then use your normal conditioner.


You should use the dandruff shampoo until the toner has completely faded, leaving your hair lighter.

It should never take more than a week, but it will all depend on how often you wash your hair.


How to get rid of the dark color from toner with a clarifying shampoo

remove toner from hair

Clarifying shampoo is a great choice for getting rid of dyes, so if you want to get rid of the toner that darkened your hair so you can get back to that lovely blonde you had before, it’s also a great option.

Clarifying shampoo works by getting rid of all of the artificial pigmentation in your hair, leaving just your base color.


 So, if you bleached your hair and then use toner on it, but your hair turned out too dark, by using clarifying shampoo, your hair will go back to the color it was after you bleached it (but before you used the toner). 

Also, since this kind of shampoo doesn’t contain either peroxide or ammonia, it won’t hurt your hair.


It is also easy to use, but I’d recommend using it at a time when you’re just washing your hair, not in the shower:

  • Wet your hair and put the clarifying shampoo on it.
  • Massage it into your hair until it foams and leave it in 10-20 minutes.
  • Rinse without putting any other product in your hair. Yes, I mean do not use a conditioner of any kind. Then, dry your hair.
  •  If the color left by the toner hasn’t completely disappeared, you can use the clarifying shampoo again, as many times you need to. 


Once the dark color has disappeared, you can use a lighter dye or toner.

And lastly, both dandruff shampoo and clarifying shampoo can dry out your hair because of their ingredients. For that reason, I recommend that you use a nutritive treatment on your hair after using whichever shampoo you decide on and get rid of the toner.



To get rid of a dark color left from toner, you can use a dandruff shampoo or a clarifying shampoo.

Because although toner will fade with time, those products will speed up the process.


You need to avoid bleaching your hair again to get rid of the toner’s color because that would cause severe damage to your hair unnecessarily.

And now you tell me: Which of the shampoos will you use to get rid of that dark color left by the toner?

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