What does hair toner do to highlights? Toner-like products to use at home

  • Hair toner is a professional tool to tone highlights, enhance their color, or make the color last longer.
  • Being a professional tool, you should use it if you’re proficient at coloring. If you don’t apply it correctly, you can ruin the highlights technique.
  • If you are not experienced, you can replace the toner with a toning shampoo to keep your highlights free of unwanted colors.


neutralize unwanted tones


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Have you decided to go for highlights to refresh your look?

It’s a great choice. Highlights are one of the most requested techniques in salons around the world. The reason is simple: they adapt to any age, style, and type of hair.



It doesn’t matter if you have very curly, short, or long, thick, or thin hair. su_highlight background=”#ffb5e8″]There is a type of highlights that suit you and your hair[/su_highlight].

To get the highlights just right, we stylists have an ace up our sleeves. Can you imagine what it is?


Toner! I think it’s the best invention of the last times.

When it comes to highlighted hair, I would say that toner is a must. While you’re doing your highlights, after your highlights, or to extend their color.




  • You see, highlights are made by bleaching small strands. Then, unpleasant undertones such as orange or yellow can emerge. At that moment, and as a final touch, a colorist applies toner to neutralize those unwanted tones.
  • Also, the toner adds pigments to the highlights if it’s too pale after bleaching. In this case, the toner won’t neutralize unwanted tones but enhance the color of the highlights.
  • After you visit the salon to achieve the highlights, and after a few days, several washes, and exposure to the sun, you’ll need to apply toner again to neutralize the unwanted tones.


Do you still have doubts about when to apply toner to your hair? Do you want to know if you can tone your highlights at home or at a salon?


Then, read on because I’ll tell you:

  • Why it’s necessary to use a toner in highlights.
  • Toner-like products to apply on highlights at home.
  • How long toner lasts on highlights


Why is it necessary to use a toner in highlights?

Toner is key in highlights: it neutralizes unwanted colors after bleaching.

Whether you’ve had highlights, balayage, or simple highlights, you’ll need toner because you’ve used oxidizing chemicals. So, you get some really awful tones in your hair.


Toner will help you neutralize them because it cancels unwanted tones applying the opposite color. Thus, your highlights look harmonious and elegant.


What toner color to apply to your highlights?


Just look at the color wheel. There you’ll see that:

  • Blue toner cancels oranges.
  • Violet toner cancels yellow tones.
  • Green toner cancels red colors


Now that you know what toner color to apply on your highlights, you’re faced with the million-dollar question. Can you apply it yourself, or should a stylist do it?

gray hair

To be honest, my advice is to go to a professional to apply the toner on the highlights.

Toner requires coloring experience. For example, if you apply a blue toner to your orange highlights, but you exceed the exposure time, they’ll turn blue.



On top of that, you can ruin your highlights. Many toners are applied with a developer. So, the developer’s chemicals can oxidize and dehydrate your hair.

Also, you refresh your highlights in full. You can’t separate the bleached hair and bleach it again because this technique is done with small strands.


That is why it’s so important to have experience in coloring. Otherwise, if you make mistakes during the toner application, you’ll have to bleach your hair, starting from scratch again.

So, my advice is to go to the salon to have toner applied to your highlighted hair. What if you don’t have the time or money to visit your stylist?



In that case, there are products for home use that are not as risky and are readily available.


Toner-like products to use for at-home highlights

for toning the unwanted tones

If you cannot afford to go to a salon, or if you don’t have coloring experience, there’s a similar product for you.

Can you imagine what it is?



 Toning shampoos! 


It’s a shampoo that includes pigments o the color you need to neutralize. Yes, you can find violet, blue, or green toning shampoo. It’ll deposit pigments on your hair to modify the color of your highlights.

I know what you’re wondering.

What will happen to the areas of my hair where I don’t have highlights?


 Nothing will happen as long as you respect the exposure times recommended by each manufacturer.  Do you know why?


The pigments will simply work on the unwanted shades. So, the rest of the hair will be completely safe.

You can use any of the following brands to tone your highlights.


Fanola No Yellow or No Orange, for orange or yellowish highlights.



These two shampoos are ideal for highlights. They’re for daily use and work in 3 to 5 minutes.

To fight yellowish colors, you should choose violet shampoo (No Yellow).

To fight orange highlights, choose blue shampoo (No Orange).

Are you worried about your sensitive scalp?


Any of these two products will neutralize the unwanted tones of your highlights without irritating the skin on your scalp and without the risk of ending with blue hair.


An extra tip? Use a serum once you’re done neutralizing the unwanted tones in your highlights to avoid hair dehydration.


Bold Uniq purple shampoo to maintain platinum blonde highlights longer.

use on highlights

Ash-toned highlights are beautiful but, over time and washes, they can turn yellowish.

If you want to restore the ashy color, this is an ideal option. It contains nourishing agents to hydrate your hair.



L’Oreal Silver to effectively tone highlights.

blonde and silver hair

Another excellent brand for neutralizing unwanted tones. You can even use it once a week until your highlights are free of unwanted tones.

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