Toner vs. Purple shampoo. Which one is best for your hair? Which one works faster?

What’s the difference between toner and purple shampoo? Do they do the same thing?


  • Purple shampoo and purple toner are used for the same purpose. Both reduce unwanted yellow and orange tones in your hair. But that’s about the only thing they have in common. Other than that, they’re very different products.
  • While toner creates immediate results, the purple shampoo works gradually.
  • Not only that, but the products are applied differently. Toner is applied like a hair dye, while a purple shampoo is used like any other shampoo.


That’s the main difference between toner and purple shampoo.

Not let’s help you choose which product is best for your hair.


When deciding which product to use, there are two factors to keep in mind:

Are you experienced in coloring hair?

Do you want immediate results, or are you willing to wait?


  • If you have no experience with hair dye, I would recommend using purple shampoo.
  • On the other hand, if you’re experienced at coloring hair, either product could work for you.
  • If you want immediate results, toner is your only option.


Let’s discuss an example. A few months ago, a client asked me if she should use purple shampoo or toner.

She explained that her blond hair had turned orange, which, unsurprisingly, she didn’t like.

But the problem was she wanted to get rid of the orange before her graduation party, which was only two days away. Of course, she didn’t want carrot-orange hair in the pictures.

What do you think I recommended that she do?


For this client, I recommended she get a toner applied at a salon. It was the only way for her to remove the orange tones quickly.



For two reasons.

  • First of all, because she needed immediate results.
  • And second, she had no experience coloring hair, so applying the toner herself wasn’t an option. If she did, she ran the risk of ruining her hair.


 When choosing a product, take into account the needs of your hair, your hair coloring skills, and how quickly you need to see results. 


To help you choose the best product for you, let’s talk a bit more about the differences between purple shampoo and toner.


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How does purple shampoo work? How does toner work?

how to use it in red hair

Like I said earlier, toner and purple shampoo are used for the same purpose.

Both products neutralize yellow or orange tones in your hair.

For example, let’s say you have hair that’s dyed medium blond. When you left the salon, you were in love with the color. All your family, friends, and coworkers loved the new look.

But it didn’t last.


In just a few days, your beautiful blond turned so orange you wanted to lock yourself in your room so no one could see your hair.

 Thankfully, the hair industry was generous this time. There’s not just one, but two hair products that can solve your problem. 
  • Purple shampoo
  • and toner


But that’s not all these products are used for.

Let’s say, for example, that you bleached your hair. Depending on your natural color, your hair can turn anywhere from yellow to orange after bleaching. Purple shampoo or toner neutralizes those tones.

Now, as I said, those two products do the same thing. The difference is how they do it.


  • Purple shampoo is a shampoo that contains pigment.

So, when you wash your hair with purple shampoo, it deposits pigment in your hair that neutralizes the undesired yellow tones.


  • Toner, on the other hand, works like a hair dye.

It’s applied to damp hair with a 20 volume developer and needs five to fifteen minutes to process.

The developer allows the pigments to permeate the hair strands.

The developer opens the hair’s cuticle to allow the hair fiber to absorb the toner’s purple color.

This instantly neutralizes yellow and orange tones.


Which one works faster? Toner or purple shampoo?

Toner creates immediate results, while purple shampoo changes yellow or orange tones gradually.


  • Toner is applied like a hair dye, and you'll see results as soon as you're done. Your hair will immediately be less orange or yellow.

In other words, you'll see immediate results.


  • Purple shampoo, on the other hand, tones hair gradually every time you wash it. With this product, you'll slowly see less orange or yellow tones every time you wash your hair.

It takes four or five washes to see the same result as using toner.


Therefore, as I said at the outset, if you want the orange tones gone today, you should use a toner.

 If you want your hair to look perfect for an event, party, wedding, or romantic date, you should use a toner. 


But if you're not in a hurry, you can choose either product.


Now let's talk a bit more about something more basic.

How to apply both products.


Which product is easier to apply?

Basically, purple shampoo is much easier to apply than toner.


  • Simply use it like any other shampoo. Just make sure to leave it in the correct amount of time to read the instructions beforehand.
  • Toner, on the other hand, is applied like hair dye. Apply it the wrong way, and you could end up with purple or blue hair.


Many women watch a couple of YouTube videos and think they're ready to use a toner.

They may not know that many of those YouTubers are professional hairstylists or experienced hair colorists, which is why they get great results.


 But please, don't be fooled into thinking toner is super easy to apply. To be frank, it's not. 

If you don't know how to apply hair dye and want to immediately tone your hair, I highly recommend finding a professional.

And remember, nothing good ever happened in a hurry. Maybe you've heard the saying, "haste makes waste."


Well, it applies to hair too. Sometimes you have to take a minute to sit down and think before deciding which product to use in your hair.

And if you have experience with hair dye?


If that's the case, you should have no problem applying a toner yourself.


How to use purple shampoo and toner together

Most things in life aren't black and white.

It's not like if you use a toner, you can't use a purple shampoo. Or if you use a purple shampoo, you can't use toner anymore. If you use them correctly, the two products can complement each other.


If you decide to use a toner, you can even start using a purple shampoo afterward to maintain the color.

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