How long does toner take to wash out? What to do when it’s washed out?

after bleaching

  • The time it takes for the toner to wash out will depend on the toner you use, your hair, and your washing and beauty habits.
  • If you had professional Igora toner applied at the salon, for example, it’ll take five weeks to wash out. Alternatively, if you used a homemade toner like Wella Color Charm, it’ll take three weeks to wash out.
  • The more you wash your hair per week, and the more you expose it to heat tools, the faster it’ll wash out.
  • Once it’s completely gone, you can touch it up or apply a hair dye.


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I’ve tried to be as descriptive as possible, but things may not be black and white.

It’s impossible to have a concise answer that works for everyone.


The reason is simple: I am not Big Brother.

So, I cannot see what every person does with their hair in the privacy of their home.

Therefore, I can’t know what you and so many like you do with your hair after applying toner.


 What I do know is that manufacturers measure the duration of toner in terms of weeks. 

According to the manufacturers, a homemade toner will fade after three weeks. Alternatively, a professional toner will wash out after five weeks.

Still, that duration is approximate. Why?


Because manufacturers aren’t Big Brother either.

They don’t know the hair type of the user, how often they wash their hair, and how they care for it.


  • Applying a toner to very porous hair is not the same as applying a toner to low porosity hair.
  • At the same time, it isn’t the same to apply toner on a very light base as on a very dark base.
  • And finally, if you wash your hair every day, the toner will fade faster than if you wash it two or three times a week, which would be the logical thing to do.


So, if you want a toner to take longer to wash out, you have a lot of work on your hands.

And that’s what I’ll talk to you about next.

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Foolproof routine to make toner take longer to wash out

toner is temporary can be removed

I’m not going to kid you.

No matter how careful you are, eventually, toner will fade.


I guess your idea is for it to take longer to wash out.

If you pay special attention to your hair care,  I can assure you that the toner, for example, Wella Charm Color, will take three weeks to fade. 

You can start jumping for joy.


The routine I’m proposing doesn’t involve sacrifices or investing a fortune in hair products.

For example, let’s start with washing. How many times a week do you wash your hair?


If your answer is every day, please don’t say it out loud because it hurts my ears.


You should wash your hair every two to three days

eliminar la grasitud del pelo con keratina

 That’s more than enough to keep it clean and protect the toner.

“But Alejandra, if I don’t wash my hair every day it feels very greasy.”


Use a dry shampoo once in a while.  Dry shampoo is a wonderful invention. It keeps your hair away from water, and you can use it to space out washes. 

It’s easy to use. Spray it six inches from your roots, massage it into your scalp, and brush out the residue. You’ll notice that your hair is shiny and without traces of greasiness.

What shampoo do you use to wash your hair?


And I don’t mean brands. I’m talking about the shampoo type.


To make the toner take longer to wash out, you should use sulfate-free shampoos

shampoo to wash hair with highlights

Many products contain chemicals that accelerate toner fading. If you don’t avoid the use of sulfate, the duration of the toner will be much shorter than what the manufacturers indicate.


Sulfates are powerful detergents that fade color. So, use sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner.

 Also, major manufacturers such as Pantene and L’Oreal offer several sulfate-free lines. 

And now, a tricky subject: abuse of heat tools.


Avoid indiscriminate use of flat-irons, hair dryers, and curling irons

heat activates keratin

Every time you use them, your hair loses moisture, and the color molecules evaporate.

If you need to flat iron your hair, use a heat protectant to protect both the color and the health of your hair.

These aren’t very complex things, are they?


They’re all at your fingertips to extend the duration of your toner color.

As I told you before, at some point, the toner will wash out. Then, you’ll look in the mirror and say:


What can I do now that the toner is washed out?

You’ll have reached the point of color touch up, and you’ll have two paths in front of you:

  • Touch up the toner
  • Apply a hair dye in the color of your choice

Let’s look at the two alternatives in more detail.


Touch up the toner

mix with developer

If you want your color to remain free of yellows, oranges, or reds for a longer time, you may want to renew the toner application.

If you applied the toner at home, choose the same toner and follow the instructions. Remember that you should follow the exposure times very closely.


Apply a hair dye in the color of your choice

hairdresser applied a dye too dark

Well, saying “the color you want” is not accurate either. You should always respect the two-number rule. What does this mean?


The coloring chart includes ten colors from black 1 to blonde 10.

So,  taking into account your hair color, you can only choose up to two numbers above or two numbers below your color. 


For example:

  • If your hair is brown 4, you can apply a dark blonde 6 or light brown 5 to lighten it. If you want to darken it, you can apply a dark brown 3.
  • If your hair is a blonde 7, you can apply a very light blonde 9, or light blonde 8 to lighten it. Moreover, if you want to darken it, you can opt for a dark blonde 6.


Why never more than two colors apart?

  • Because a permanent hair dye doesn’t lighten hair by more than two colors. If you want to go further in blondes, you’ll have to bleach your hair. In that case, I recommend you go to a salon.
  • Alternatively, if you want to darken your hair, I advise you to do it a little bit at a time. Otherwise, if you darken it too much, and you don't like the color, you’ll have to bleach your hair.


If you want to apply fantasy colors, you should bleach your hair.

 Most semi-permanent hair colors need a base color that is almost white. So, you’ll need to go to the salon. 


If you don't want to touch up the toner or apply a hair dye, you can leave your hair as it is after the toner washes out. It all depends on how your hair looks.

For example, if your hair looks like a carrot, chances are you'll want to put out the fire.



Toner washes out after three to five weeks, depending on whether it's professional or homemade toner.

If you want to extend the life of the toner, wash your hair less often, use sulfate-free shampoo, and don't abuse heat tools.

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