How long does toner last? 5 Tips to help your toner last longer

hair toning

  • Toner lasts between three and five weeks, depending on if it was applied professionally or at home.
  • For example, professional toners like Igora contain more pigment, and because of that, it will most likely last longer.
  • On the other hand, a toner designed to be used by consumers, like Wella Color Charm, may not last as long, and you might have to tone your hair more frequently.
  • Of course, exactly how long the toner lasts depends on your shampoo and hair care routine. For example, a toner will fade differently in someone who washes their hair daily than someone who washes their hair every three days.


Like practically all hair color products, how long it lasts depends on the quality of the product and how committed you are to your hair care routine.

To illustrate that point, I’m going to tell the story of two of my closest friends, who always trust my advice when it comes to hair.

Wouldn’t you do the same if your best friend was a hairdresser?


Why would you let a stranger touch your hair when your BFF would take care of it as if it were her own?

Back to my friends: their names are Isabel and Tina.

The three of us have known each other since high school, so you can imagine all the experiences and adventures we’ve shared. It feels like time flies whenever we are together.


One day they both walked in my salon, with a naughty look on their faces that made them look like they were up to something.

At that moment I know they weren’t here for a social visit: the girls had something on their minds, that inevitably involved me.

And I wasn’t wrong. After all, I have known these women since we were thirteen.


All smiles, they casually told me that they wanted to dye their hair gray.

Like I would with any client, I explained that they would have to bleach their hair to reach that color, and stressed that this color required a lot of care afterward.

And I stressed, emphasized, and stressed that point again, looking right at Tina.

Can you think of why I singled out Tina?


I knew that Tina’s personality made it hard for her to consistently follow a beauty routine and pay close attention to instructions.

Isabell and I used to joke that she must have been a Viking warrior in a past life.

But she just rolled her eyes, and if to say “chill out!” and promised to follow all my instructions.


So, after bleaching their hair, I applied the same color of toner to both of them, a professional brand named Igora.

Once I was done, they were happy with their gray hair and were already planning for their next visit in a few weeks.

Because we’re all grown up now and have our own lives, we see each other less often.

So you can imagine my surprise when Tina walked into the salon just over a week later. Before she could get a word out, I already knew why she was there.


Her gray hair had taken on a buttery yellow hue, and just between you and me, it was awful.

Of course, I wasn’t so blunt with my Tina. That was the last thing she needed right then.

From one look at her hair, I already knew that she had not followed any of my instructions, because the toner had almost disappeared, as if by magic.


So if you’re thinking of using a toner, keep reading, because in this article we are going to discuss:

  • Why professional toners last longer
  • How you can make a toner last as long as possible


Of course, I didn't just tell Tina it was her fault and send her on her way. I would never do that to one of my friends.

I found a way to solve her problem, but you'll have to wait until the end of the article to find out what it was.


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Why Professional Toners Last Longer

Like I said at the outset, a toner applied in a salon will last up to eight weeks because it has a higher concentration of pigment than toners designed for home use.

Why do they have more pigment?


Well, toner is still a hair color product. And if someone doesn't understand some basic hair color principles the color can turn out too strong.

To prevent that,  home products have a lower concentration of pigment than professional products.


Now, that hair industry pays close attention to consumers.

When it became apparent that more and more people had colors that needed to be toned more often, they launched toners designed for home use.

There are a few advantages of these products.


One advantage is clients won't need to visit a hair salon as often, but they also have a disadvantage: they don't last as long.

 While professional toners can last up to seven weeks, a toner designed for home use lasts about three. 

If you use a home toner such as Wella Color Charm, it won't last as long as a professional toner and you'll have to tone your hair again sooner.


In reality, colors such as platinum blond, white, gray, as well as darker tones such as gunmetal gray, all need to be toned to keep them from taking on an ugly tone over time.


If I had to recommend a brand, I would suggest Wella Color Charm because it has various tones, a creamy consistency, and is easy to apply.

Not only that, but it's sold in a kit that comes with everything you need, including toner, developer, and gloves, and creates excellent results. All of my clients that have tried it have been very satisfied.


So, now you know that how long a toner will last depends on if it's designed for professional or home use, as well as your hair care routine.

That is unless you want to risk suffering the same fate as my friend Tina.

But, no matter if the toner was done at home or a salon, how can you make it last as long as possible? Keep reading to find out.


4 Secrets to Making Toner Last Longer

Let's go back in time for a moment, to the moment when I had applied toner to my friend's hair and they were happy with the result.

Before they left the salon, and after what felt like a thousand hugs, I gave them four tips to help the toner last as long as possible:

  • Do not wash your hair for 48 hours
  • Use a toning shampoo
  • Do not use hair masks more than once a week
  • Do not wash your hair every day


After they both understood, I let them leave the salon to share their new hairstyle on Facebook and Instagram.

When Tina was back at the salon just over a week later with her disaster of gray hair, I could already tell she didn't follow the instructions.


  • It’s important not to wash your hair for 48 hours after applying a toner, or you’ll simply rinse the toner down the drain.



 Becuase your hair needs about two days to completely absorbing the pigment. 

Needless to say, she had washed his hair the day after she came to the salon. And the result? Half the of the toner was gone, and with it, the grey hair color.


  • Remember, I also recommended using a toning shampoo.

She didn't hear that and kept using her normal shampoo. Sigh, Tina!


Using toning shampoo is essential after toning your hair. As the name suggests, It's like a toner in a shampoo. Each time you wash your hair with a toning shampoo, it deposits pigment in it, almost as if you were using a toner.

This means it also refreshes the color. There are variations of toning shampoos for all kinds of hair colors, including dark colors, brown, red, blond, grey and purple, which are for platinum or gray hair.


Every day! And with a sulfate-containing shampoo, which can also cause the toner to fade.

It's best to wash toned hair every two or three days with a toning shampoo.


It's the best way to make the toner last as long as possible. Keeping your hair color from fading isn't rocket science, but there are some guidelines you should follow.

But we still don't know what happened to Tina!



Obviously, I wasn't going to let her leave with her hair like that. I reapplied the toner, and she left the salon, once again happy with her hair color, and this time, she promised to follow my instructions.

I didn't see Isabel or Tina again for weeks, and I must say I'm very proud of them both. Both of them had fantastic gray hair that looked like they just left the salon.

And now that you know how to make a toner last as long as possible, what kind are you going to try?

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