How long to leave the toner on bleached hair? Between 20 and 30 minutes

time to leave toner on bleached hair

  • If your bleached hair is orange or red, the toner should be on for 30 minutes.
  • Alternatively, if it’s yellowish, the toner should act for 20 minutes.
  • But before using the toner on your bleached hair, you should perform the strand test.
  • The test will show you how long to leave the toner on your bleached hair. Times could differ from the product’s instructions. I’ll explain how to do it correctly.


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To know  how long to leave toner on your bleached hair,  you need to check two issues.

One of them will be very visible and the other may be unnoticed.

What are they?


  •  First, you need to identify the resulting color after bleaching.   Obviously, this will be the visible factor because you can easily see if it’s yellow, orange, or reddish.
  •  Secondly, test your hair’s health after bleaching.   I recommend that you pay special attention because this could go unnoticed. If your hair is seriously damaged after bleaching, it’ll absorb the toner pigments quickly.


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So,  you should perform a test before applying toner on your bleached hair. 

It’s called the strand test.

Why should you perform the strand test?


If you leave the toner on longer than your bleached hair needs, you can end up with a completely purple or green mane.

So, as one of my best friends would say, “first things first”.


Do the strand test to check how long you should leave the toner on your bleached hair

before bleaching

This is very important and I’ll explain it with an example.

Suppose Anita bleached her hair in a salon using OLAPLEX. She decided to spend a little more money and buy OLAPLEX because she wanted to preserve her hair health.

Her hair was yellow after bleaching because she had reached a dark blonde 7 shade.

So, she left the toner on for 25 minutes.


On the other hand, Marisa bleached her hair on her own and also reached a dark blonde 7 bleaching level.

But in her case, she left the toner on for 15 minutes.


Now, my question is:

If both had reached the same bleaching level, which was dark blonde 7,   why did one of them let the toner on longer?  


The answer is simple.

Marisa’s bleached hair was more damaged than Anita’s. Therefore,  it absorbed the toner much faster.   That brings us to porosity.

Do you know what porosity is?


Porosity is your hair’s permeability. In other words, it’s how your hair can absorb products.

When you bleach your hair, your cuticles break and the hair core is exposed. Therefore, your hair gets porous.

How can you tell?


Look at your bleached hair:

  • Is your hair curly and frizzy?
  • Is it dull?
  • Does it tangle easily when dry and wet?

strand test before toning bleached hair


If you answered yes to any of these questions, your bleached hair is highly porous.

Like Marisa,   you should leave the toner on your bleached hair for less time.  

The toner will reach the core and change the color of your bleached hair faster.

Therefore, before you apply the toner, I recommend the strand test. It’ll show you how long to leave the toner in your hair.


How to do the strand test on bleached hair before applying toner

  • Comb your hair and separate a two-centimeter strand.
  • Prepara una pequeña cantidad del tóner que hayas elegido.
  • Prepare a small amount of toner.  eApply it to your damp strand and    time it with a stopwatch.  
  • Once your bleached hair reaches the color you’re looking for, stop the timer and rinse.


Now you know how long to leave the toner on your bleached hair. This is a foolproof test. It’ll show you how long it’ll take for your hair to absorb the toner.

You’ll also prevent toner from ruining your hair. Otherwise, you’d have to use a clarifying shampoo to remove excess toner.

If you like to take shortcuts, you can also go by the color of your hair after bleaching.

My professional advice is to do the strand test before applying the toner.


How long to leave the toner on according to the bleaching level you achieved

toner after bleaching
After bleaching, your hair color may look totally different from what you were expecting.

  •  If you bleached black hair,   it’ll be reddish.
  •  If you bleached brown hair,   it’ll be orange.
  •  If you bleached dark blonde hair,   it’ll be yellow.


In all these cases, the color of bleached hair will be dull.

That’s why you should apply toner.

How long should you leave it on?

  •  If your bleached hair is orange or red,   leave it on for 30 minutes.
  •  If your bleached hair is yellow,   leave it on for 20 to 30 minutes.


My advice as a professional colorist is that if you choose not to do the strand test, you check your hair color during the coloring process.

Now you know that hair can react differently during the process, especially bleached hair.

Generally, bleached hair is damaged hair. Therefore, it absorbs more quickly any hair product you apply to it.



Toner should be on bleached hair for 20 to 30 minutes according to your hair color and condition.

Before I say goodbye, I’d like to recommend you don’t apply toner to your hair yourself.

Your best option is to go to the salon. Many women come to my salon in tears with blue or purple hair because they left the toner on their hair for too long and don’t know how to solve it.

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