Dyeing your hair at home can give you a fun new look at less than the cost of a salon visit, although there are many ways that a do-it-yourself hair coloring treatment can go wrong.
Even a simple application of toner can yield undesired results if you’re not careful. Sometimes, you’ll add toner to cover up orange spots from bleach or tint your hair a different shade.
However, toner application does not always go as planned. Hair toners can tint patches of your hair in outrageous colors, such as purple, yellow, or orange tones, and give your hair a patchwork look.
If you tried to apply toner at home and the results are not what you expected, all is not lost. There are a few ways that you can remove the toner and speed up the process of returning your hair to normal.
In this article, we’ll discuss how to wash out toner using either recommended hair products and common household items.
Table of Contents
- How to Wash Toner Out of Hair
- The Best Way To Remove Toner From Hair
How to Wash Toner Out of Hair
If you’re unhappy with the results of your hair coloring treatment, there are ways to get rid of toner immediately without having to wait.
If you want to strip toner from your hair right away, you also need to wash your hair right away. For best results, try one of these solutions within 24 hours.
Wash Your Hair with a Clarifying Shampoo
The best way to wash toner out of your hair quickly is by using a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos are powerful cleansers that people usually use to wash out product build-up, dirt, and other substances that get in your hair.
These shampoos can also remove toners. You can find them at most stores that sell hair products.
Clarifying shampoos work because they have surfactants, which are active ingredients that strip hair of all impurities, including artificial color. While it can damage your hair, it won’t cause as much damage as peroxide or bleach. Just be sure to use a conditioning treatment afterward.
You apply a clarifying shampoo the same as any shampoo. Then, leave the shampoo in your hair according to the directions on the bottle and wash it out like you would regular shampoo.
If the first round of clarifying shampoo doesn’t work, you can try washing a few more times to get the last remnants of toner out.
Although usually, it is not recommended to use it more than a few times a week, it will not seriously damage your hair if you use it a few times in the same day to remove toner.
After using a clarifying shampoo, be sure to rehydrate your hair with a deep conditioner or hair mask since it does strip it of some of its nutrients.
Use Dandruff Shampoo to Remove Toner from Hair
Dandruff shampoo is another way to wash out toner. Like clarifying shampoo, it has sulfates, which are chemicals that strip hair of all impurities.
Dandruff shampoo is usually gentler than clarifying shampoo, so you can use it more often and it will not damage your hair as much. However, that also means that it will take more washes to get the toner out of your hair than you would if you were using a clarifying shampoo.
Some hairdressers recommend making your own mixture to wash out toner using dandruff shampoo as a base, but more on that later.
You can find dandruff shampoo in most drugstores, beauty supply stores, and even supermarkets.
If you don’t want to completely remove the toner, but less the appearance of orange and yellow tones, considering trying a purple shampoo. Using purple shampoo often works well for those with blonde hair.
Use Home Remedies to Reduce Over Toned Hair Strands
If you can’t run out to the store (or are embarrassed to show the state of your hair color in public), then you could whip up a solution to remove your hair toner from common household ingredients.
Lemon Juice and Dish Detergent
You can use lemon juice and Dawn dish soap to create a mixture that will remove toner from your hair by chelating your hair. Chelating is a process that cleanses the hair of all dirt and buildup. It can also get rid of unwanted hair color and undertones.
You can buy a chelating shampoo at the store, but you can also mimic the process at home. First, wash your hair with gentle dish soap instead of shampoo. Then, rinse the dish soap out and squeeze a lemon onto your hair.
Let the lemon juice sit on your hair for a few minutes, and then rinse it out. This should clear out the toner buildup.
Be sure to hydrate your hair with a conditioner and a hair mask after this process, as chelating also strips the hair of desired nutrients in addition to undesired impurities. Actually, many women are now using dawn dish soap for hair growth, so there may be other benefits of using this treatment also.
Lemon Juice and Conditioner
Lemon juice can be very helpful in removing toner from your hair. You can use the chelating method described above or mix it with a conditioning product.
For best results, use a 3:1 ratio of lemon juice and conditioner. The amount will vary depending on the length of your hair.
Then, apply the mixture to your hair. Be sure to coat your hair thoroughly, paying special attention to the parts that are discolored due to toner.
Finally, let it sit for at least three hours or overnight, and tie your hair up in a shower cap to let the lemon juice soak into your hair strands.
You can also mix lemon juice and water in a spray bottle, using a 2:1 ratio, and treat specific areas of your hair. This process works using a “bleaching effect”, so the final color can be somewhat unpredictable.
Some women suggest it’s similar to spinning the color wheel, so we suggest that you use shampoo (or the first two methods) when possible.
Also, if you’re worried about messing up your hair, the good news is that your hair colorist can fix your hair at your next visit to the hair salon.
These hair care issues are common occurrences for salon appointments, so your hairstylists (or colorist) should be able to offer advice, provide answers to common questions, and ensure that you don’t damage your hair while removing the toner.
Baking soda is a versatile household ingredient used for baking, cleaning your house, and even cleaning your hair. Add a little bit of baking soda, about 10 mL, to your regular shampoo and use it to wash your hair with lukewarm water.
You can repeat this process a few times if the toner is not going away, but it should be very effective.
Disclaimer: We don’t recommend using this approach, since the other options are much better solutions. However, this is a popular choice, and we’ll address it below.
Finally, if you have a serious problem with toner discoloring your hair, it’s time to bring out serious solutions. A mixture of hydrogen peroxide and dandruff shampoo is very effective at stripping toner from your hair.
First, mix 100 mL of hydrogen peroxide and dandruff shampoo together. Then, gently spritz your hair with water—you don’t want to wet your hair as you would for regular shampoo as the drying process could damage your hair.
Apply the mixture to the discolored parts of your hair and let it sit for about five minutes before rinsing it off.
Hydrogen peroxide is a very strong ingredient, so if you are choosing this method, be sure to take precautions to protect yourself.
Use disposable gloves when mixing and applying the solution to avoid burning your skin. Check every minute to see if the toner is gone yet because you do not want to leave this mixture on your head for too long.
After applying hydrogen peroxide, you need to be diligent about conditioning and hydrating your hair. This will prevent further damage.
The Best Way To Remove Toner From Hair
The best method to remove unwanted tones from your hair is to use either a clarifying shampoo, anti-dandruff shampoo, Dawn dish soap, or visit your colorist.
If you removing the toner on your own at home, start with some type of shampoo, and once the toner has been removed follow up with a deep conditioning treatment. This is the basic approach we recommend regardless of hair type or the color of your hair.
It’s important to remember that toner is a type of hair dye used to touch up color between salon visits or add a subtle change to your look. Examples include ash toner, purple toner, blue toner, and more.
While toner cannot completely change your hair color, it can alter it subtly. For example, adding a purple hue, ashy tones, or yellow undertones.
It can come in many different forms, from toning glosses lasting for several weeks to weaker toning shampoos.
Toner is not as strong as bleach or regular hair dye like you would get in a box. Most toning products last for a few weeks at most and wash out naturally.
While this is bad news if you were hoping to make a permanent change to your appearance, toner’s temporary nature is a relief if you just made a mistake using it.
Since toner is weaker than bleach or box dye, it is a much more forgiving product. However, it is still possible to wind up with a hair nightmare on your hands if you chose the wrong toner. Some toner could even tint your hair green!
Timing Is an Important Factor
The best and worst part about toner is that it is temporary (also called a demi-permanent dye), and unlike permanent and semi-permanent dyes. This is annoying if you were hoping to touch up your hair with lasting results, but a blessing if you are unhappy with the results of your toning experiment.
Some toner products wash out after only a few washes. If you are mildly unhappy with the way your hair looks but can still afford to wait a few days, you can speed up the process by washing your hair more often than you usually would.
Washing your hair every day may be bad for your hair, but it will wash toner out more quickly.
Get Rid of Toner
If you made a mistake with toner while dyeing your hair at home, all is not lost. Toner is a temporary dying product and comes out easily compared to bleach or box dye.
There are several methods for washing toner out of your hair if you do not want to wait for it to come out naturally.
You can use store-bought products such as clarifying and dandruff shampoos that will cleanse your hair. Or, you can make your own treatment using your regular hair products and ingredients you may have at home, such as lemon juice and baking soda.
Whichever way you choose to wash toner out of your hair, be sure to nourish your hair afterward. All of these treatments strip your hair of color but also of vital nutrients and moisture. Rehydrate your hair with a deep conditioner or hair mask.