Hair Toner vs Purple Shampoo: Which Should You Use?

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So, you’ve bleached your hair, but the end result isn’t quite right. Instead of the bright and sassy blonde locks that you visualized, you’re left with a brassy yellow or orange tinge to your hair, which unsurprisingly, is a look that you’re not happy with.

You may have heard that you can use hair toner or purple shampoo to help correct this mess, because they both work to neutralize yellow and orangey tones that are left in the hair after bleaching.

But when it comes to hair toner vs purple shampoo, which one should you use?

Without a doubt, if you’re not a professional, you should be using purple shampoo (or blue, or green, or red…). Toner should be reserved for the professionals.

In this article, we’ll go over both toner and color-depositing shampoo and explain both, so that you can make the right choice to get your blonde tresses looking the way you want them to.


Hair Toner vs Purple Shampoo

Before you bleached your hair, you probably had dreams of rocking bright and shiny blonde locks that would make heads turn.

But instead, you woke up to a nightmare of brassy streaks that look more like a carrot orange that you don’t like.

Before you bleached your hair, you probably had dreams of rocking bright and shiny blonde locks that would make heads turn.

This happens because the warmer-colored pigments in your natural hair didn’t lift well during the bleaching process.

It’s super common.

It occurred either because the incorrect developer was used, or because your hair is resistant to bleach — yes, that can be the case.

Luckily, though, there are two things that you can use to help neutralize the orange color, which are hair toner and purple color depositing shampoo.

Both products are used for the exact same purpose — to help neutralize unwanted tones in the hair.

However, that’s the only thing that makes them similar, because they are actually two very different products indeed!

Why do we say this?

Well, because toner, which works like a hair dye, will give you immediate results, whereas purple shampoo will take a more gradual approach to neutralizing the residual orange tones left over in your hair after a bleaching disaster.

Therefore, making your decision will depend on whether you want fast results, and if you have experience using hair color treatments.

Dyes are more complicated than shampoos. Similarly, toners are more complicated than color-depositing shampoos.

There’s one thing you need to be aware of with color-depositing shampoos, and that is how the different colors of these shampoos work to neutralize different color tones in the hair.

Dyes are more complicated than shampoos. Similarly, toners are more complicated than color-depositing shampoos.

So, let’s take a closer look at each product to help you make a more informed decision about which approach you want to take. Get the blonde hair you want and keep it the healthiest it can be!


Tone Locks

Hair Toner

Hair toner works just like a hair dye, which means that it needs to be mixed with a developer in order to work.

Generally, this will be by a 20-volume developer, which is what opens the hair shaft to allow the neutralizing pigments of the toner to permeate it and absorb the purple color.

Depending on the porosity of your hair, this process will take about five to 15 minutes, but it will immediately work to neutralize the orangey tones that you want to get rid of.

If you’ve never used hair toner to neutralize your bleached hair before, then we strongly suggest that you visit a salon and have the procedure done by a professional. This is because although toner does work like hair dye, the toning process is delicate.

If you’ve never used hair toner to neutralize your bleached hair before, then we strongly suggest that you visit a salon and have the procedure done by a professional. This is because although toner does work like hair dye, the toning process is delicate.

And if you don’t do it correctly, then you might end up with blue or purple locks instead of beautiful sassy blonde hair.

Hair toner can definitely go wrong! And you can’t immediately tone your hair again after you’ve just toned it.

This is why we strongly encourage those who don’t know what they’re doing to stick to purple (or other color) shampoos. If you’re reading this article, you probably don’t know what you’re donig.

However, if you have used toner before, or if you are consulting with a professional stylist, then we can recommend L'Oreal Paris Feria Long-Lasting Anti Brass Power Hair Toner .

This is an ammonia-free demi-permanent toner that will eliminate orange brassiness and add cool, bright tones to your hair.

This toner’s formulation contains built-in conditioning polymers that reinforce and nourish your hair strands for a softer and shinier blonde, in just one easy application.

The kit contains both the toner and developer you’ll need for the process, and using these will reduce any orange or yellow tinges for up to three weeks.

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Purple Mane

Purple Shampoo

If your undesired brassiness is something you can deal with getting rid of gradually, then purple shampoo is the way to go. Purple shampoos contain pigments that are deposited into your hair, which in turn neutralize any orange or brassy yellow tinges.

Using purple shampoo will take about five washes for you to get the same result that you would if you used a toner. It is a gradual process, but this means that when you get to the color you like, you can go into maintenance mode.

It’s much easier to tweak if the color goes in unexpected ways.

Using purple shampoo will take about five washes for you to get the same result that you would if you used a toner.

Obviously, using a purple shampoo to neutralize your brassy locks will also be the much easier option than having to go through the hair toner process. Toner will definitely put your hair under extra stress because of the chemical developer. It’s harsh like bleach.

All you need to do is use the purple shampoo as directed in the instructions. And you want to make sure that it’s sulfate-free too, otherwise, it could strip your hair of not only the color, but also its moisture.

Acure’s Ionic Blonde Color Wellness Purple Shampoo  is a vegan and sulfate-free purple shampoo that will have your blonde, silver or platinum locks looking sassy, not brassy.  

Also free of parabens, formaldehyde, paraffin, and mineral oil, this nourishing purple shampoo contains purple carrot, pomegranate and sunflower seed extracts, as well as argan oil, which all work to help prevent your bright blonde color from fading.

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ACURE Ionic Blonde Color Wellness Purple Shampoo | 100% Vegan | Performance Driven Hair Care | Purple Carrot & Sunflower Seed Extract - For Blonde, Platinum, Ombre Color Treated Hair | 8 Fl Oz
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What About All Those Other Color Shampoos?

Purple is not the only color-depositing “toning” shampoo available. There are many colors available.

We said that toning shampoo is much easier for non-cosmetology school people to use, but there’s on thing you need to understand: the color wheel!

Color-depositing shampoos each have a color. The color of the shampoo removes the opposite color tone on the color wheel.

Let’s do an example:

If you have too much red tone in your hair, then you’ll wait to use the opposite color shampoo to remove it. If you have too much orange in your hair, you’re going to want blue shampoo, not purple!

Purple shampoo hits those brassy yellows, not oranges.

If you’ve got ugly green tones in your hair, choose a red shampoo.

If you’ve got a problem color tone in between yellow and orange, you can mix blue and purple shampoos.


Toner or Toning Shampoos, Which Would You Choose?

In the battle of hair toner vs purple (or other color) shampoos, we hope that you’re now informed enough to be able to choose the best product for your situation.

Make sure that you take into account your hair coloring skills before making a final decision.

And if time isn’t of the essence, and your hair dye experience isn’t substantial, then choose the color-depositing shampoo. However, if you can’t wait, then using a hair toner will be the way to go.

But it can go wrong, and you’ll be frantically searching for a hat.

Written by Kayla Young

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