Toner is a popular hair care product used to alter the shade of hair color, reduce brassiness, or add shine. A common question many people have is whether toner washes out of hair over time.
The short answer is – yes, toner does wash out eventually. However, how long it takes depends on several factors.
What is Toner?
- What is Toner?
- Does toner wash out of hair?
- How Long Does it Take for Toner to Wash Out of Hair?
- Does Toner Wash Out of Blonde Hair and Bleached Hair?
- Does Brown Toner Wash Out of Blonde Hair?
- How Long Does it Take for Toner to Wash Out of Naturally Dark Hair?
- What Factors Affect How Long Toner Lasts on Hair?
- Conclusion – Can You Wash Toner Out of Hair With Shampoo?
Before diving into whether toner washes out of hair, it’s important to understand what exactly hair toner is. Toner is a demi-permanent hair coloring product that deposits pigment onto the hair. It comes in various shades like ash blonde, beige blonde, icy white, blue, purple, red, etc.
Unlike permanent hair dye, toner does not use ammonia or bleach. It simply deposits color onto the cuticle layer of your hair. As the hair grows out, the toner molecules get washed away.
Toners are often used:
- After bleaching to neutralize brassiness and even out color
- To refresh color-treated hair between salon visits
- To subtly darken or lighten natural hair color
- To add a fashion shade like blue, purple, pink etc
Now that we know what toner is, let’s understand whether it washes off hair and how long the results last.
Does toner wash out of hair?
Yes, toner does eventually wash out and fade off the hair over several washes. But it does not wash out right after one or two shampoos.
Toners are semi-permanent hair dyes that coat the outside of your hair strands. Each time you shampoo, some of the toner color gets lifted away. So repeated washing and exposure to the sun causes the toner to fade progressively.
Most toners last anywhere between 4-8 weeks depending on your hair type and washing frequency. Repeated washing can cause the toner to fade faster. Warm water also accelerates fading compared to lukewarm or cold water.
How Long Does it Take for Toner to Wash Out of Hair?
There is no one-size-fits all answer to this. Every individual’s hair type and lifestyle cause toner results to last differently. Here are the general timelines:
Bleached or Color-Treated Hair: Lasts 4-6 weeks Natural Virgin Hair: Lasts 5-8 weeks
Apart from your base hair type, here are other factors that affect toner longevity:
- Washing Frequency: Frequent washing causes faster fading
- Shampoo Type: Clarifying or deep-cleaning shampoos lift toner faster than moisturizing shampoos
- Water Temperature: Hot water removes toner quicker than lukewarm water
- Hair Texture: Smoother hair types hold onto toner longer than curly or coiled textures
- Toner Shade: Warm shades like gold and copper fade quicker than cool shades like ash and beige
To make your toner last as long as possible:
- Wash hair only 2-3 times a week if possible
- Use lukewarm or cool water instead of very hot
- Alternate between a clarifying and moisturizing shampoo
- Apply a glossing treatment 1-2 weeks after toning for refreshed results
With the right hair care regimen, even color-treated hair and bleached locks can hold onto toner for a month or longer.
Does Toner Wash Out of Blonde Hair and Bleached Hair?
Toner is very commonly used on pre-lightened blonde and bleached hair. It helps neutralize brassiness and yellow undertones after bleaching. Cool-toned toner also brightens up blonde hair and gives it an icy, ashy finish.
On blonde and bleached hair, toner results can last anywhere between 4-6 weeks depending on the factors mentioned earlier. To make toners last longer on porous and damaged bleached hair:
- Use a good conditioning mask once a week: Intense hydration helps seal the cuticle and lock in toner molecules for longer.
- Alternate between moisturizing and clarifying shampoos: Using only clarifying products will strip toner rapidly.
- Rinse with cool water and limit washing to twice a week: This helps prevent early fading.
- Get a refreshing gloss treatment after 3–4 weeks: This deposits a sheer layer of color to maintain toner results for longer.
So in summary – yes, toner does begin washing out of pre-lightened and color-treated hair quite soon. But with proper aftercare, results can last up to 6 weeks or longer.
Does Brown Toner Wash Out of Blonde Hair?
This is a common concern for people wanting to tone down brassiness in blonde hair without losing too much brightness. In general, brown toner does fade from blonde hair eventually with repeated washing. But the results last longer compared to vibrant toner shades.
Neutral brown toners with beige, taupe or ash undertones darkens blonde hair very subtly. Most brown hair toners do not contain bleach or ammonia. They simply stain the outside of bleached hair for an ashy, dusty appearance.
So brown toner washes away much more gradually from blonde hair than say a bold blue or purple toner. You can expect an ash brown toner to last 5-6 weeks on bleached blonde hair. It fades back to a lighter neutral blonde instead of reverting to a brassy yellow because it does not penetrate the underlying pigment.
Using a good hydrating shampoo and minimizing wash frequency helps brown toner stay even longer on blonde hair.
How Long Does it Take for Toner to Wash Out of Naturally Dark Hair?
People with naturally darker hair—whether black, brown, or red—also sometimes use toner for subtle highlighting effects. This includes toners in lighter shades of blonde, silver, blue, purple, and red.
On virgin dark hair, vibrant toner colors tend to have very low lasting power. They easily wash out with just 1-2 shampoos. This is because darker hair already has underlying pigment levels that the toner does not penetrate. It only coats the outside temporarily.
Even with darker blondish toner shades, the results begin fading within the first 1-2 weeks with frequent washing. That said, alternating shampoos and using hydrating masks helps deposit some tone for 3-4 weeks.
So if your base hair is naturally dark without any bleach or highlights, don’t expect dramatic or long-lasting toner results. It eventually reverts back to your natural shade. However, refresher toning every 3-4 weeks can help maintain subtle highlights.
What Factors Affect How Long Toner Lasts on Hair?
Let’s do a quick recap of what causes toner to fade out faster or slower from your hair:
- Hair Porosity: Bleached and color-treated hair has a more porous cuticle allowing deeper toner penetration and longer staying power.
- Washing Frequency: Frequent shampooing lifts toner from the hair quicker.
- Shampoo Type: Clarifying shampoos cause faster fading than moisturizing, creamy shampoos.
- Water Temperature: Hot water accelerates toner fading.
- Sun Exposure: UV rays cause oxidative damage and fading.
- Lifestyle Factors: Sweat and pollution also remove toner molecules faster.
Now that you know all about how wash-out and long-lasting toner is for different hair situations, let’s sum it all up:
Conclusion – Can You Wash Toner Out of Hair With Shampoo?
- Yes, hair toner does gradually wash out and fade with repeated shampoos over 4-8 weeks
- On bleached, highlighted or color-treated hair, toner lasts anywhere from 4-6 weeks
- Brown and neutral blonde toners have better staying power than bold fashion shades
- Daily washing, hot showers, sun exposure all accelerate fading
- Alternating shampoos, conditioning masks and cool water help extend toner life
The bottom line is that toner is not permanent but it does not wash off hair instantly. You can expect the results to last about a month or more before needing a toner refresh, making it great for experimenting with fun colors!
Founded by Sophia Rodriguez, IGXO Cosmetics is a PETA-certified, cruelty-free, and vegan makeup brand.