How To Use Permanent Hair Color As A Toner

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Bleaching hair promises beautiful golden tresses, but sometimes the color lands too far into brassy yellow-orange land. It’s a common result, especially if you started with dark hair.

However, all is not lost, because there are products that you can use to help correct your bleached hair nightmare. One such product is a hair toner, while the other is a permanent hair dye.

But which route should you choose? Most people choose toning shampoos or toners, but some people try to fix the issue with permanent hair dye.

In this article, I’m going to show you how to use permanent hair color as a toner.


How To Use Permanent Hair Color As A Toner

Bleaching or highlighting dark hair isn’t always an easy job. Natural hair holds multiple pigments, and different colors have different levels of pigment. These are removed by bleach, but some tones will remain. And those with dark hair have to deal with the most leftover pigments.

These tones usually show up as gold, yellow, and orange — not the platinum blonde or cool ashy blonde look that was probably on the box!

Still, I’ve got to admit that it’s kind of unusual to use permanent hair dye as a toner because it’s not exactly designed to do that!

This is why there are purple shampoos and toners that have come to market to correct the color or unwanted tones of blonde hair, and I would definitely recommend using them over additional hair dyes!

There are purple shampoos and toners that have come to market to correct the color or unwanted tones of blonde hair, and I would definitely recommend using them over additional hair dyes!

For example, hair toners and color toning shampoos are designed to help neutralize and cancel out any undertones or brassiness of your locks, as well as blend in gray hairs. Permanent hair dyes, on the other hand, completely change the overall color of your hair (and cover up grays.)

In general, a purple hair toner is used to eliminate orange and yellow tones left in the hair after the bleaching process, while a permanent hair color is used on any colored hair, whether it has been bleached or not, in order to alter it for a completely different look. 

A purple hair toner is used to eliminate orange and yellow tones left in the hair after the bleaching process, while a permanent hair color is used on any colored hair, whether it has been bleached or not, in order to alter it for a completely different look.

This is because there are differences in the formulas of these two products.

For instance, permanent hair color contains more hydrogen peroxide. This is what makes it a longer-term solution for changing your hair color because toners only last for up to about six weeks.

However, it is possible that you can use permanent hair color to tone your hair after bleaching to fix unwanted warmth. But it will only work if you don’t have lots of uneven and unwanted streaks of carrot orange or yellow that have been left as a result of this process. 

If this is the case, then you’ll definitely need to use a toner first.

Using a toner on your bleached hair is also less aggressive after the damage left over from bleaching.

For more information on this, please refer to our article, Which Should I Use, Toner or Dye After Bleaching?


Dying Bleached Hair

If the streaks left in your hair after bleaching are quite faint and not super noticeable, then it’s an option for you to use a permanent hair dye instead of a normal toner. 

Also, you will save yourself lots of time and money doing so, because it’s easy to use this method at home. And you’ll be able to use the same bottle of permanent hair dye for many more months of application, as opposed to using a new hair toner bottle every few weeks to neutralize your locks.

But as a warning: before you get rid of any yellow, gold, or orange tones in your bleached hair, you should consider leaving a few days between the bleaching and dyeing process.

This is because your hair will already be fragile after bleaching, and therefore more prone to breakage if you apply a permanent hair dye on top too soon. Leave at least five days after you bleach your hair before you use permanent hair color.

Leave at least five days after you bleach your hair before you use permanent hair color.

So, What Color of Hair Dye Should I Use?

Medium cool brown

The easiest and fastest way to use a permanent hair dye as a toner is to use a brown hair dye.

The reason why you’ll need to use brown permanent hair dye is that it will have purple or violet undertones, which will cancel your unwanted warm gold, yellow or orange streaks to leave a cooler and more icy blonde appearance. 

The secret method to making this work is to add the permanent dye to your hair, then rinse it out really quickly, so that your hair strands will only have time to take in the purple undertones.

The secret method to making this work is to add the permanent dye to your hair, then rinse it out really quickly, so that your hair strands will only have time to take in the purple undertones.

All you need to do is mix one teaspoon of the permanent brown hair dye with one teaspoon of the developer in the applicator bottle — most home dye kits will include a 20-volume developer in the box. 

If you need to use more for longer hair, then the amount is really up to you, as long as it’s in equal parts. Next, you simply fill the rest of the applicator bottle up with water.  

You should do a strand test first, and try this out on a small hidden section first to make sure that you’re getting the color that you want before attempting this on your entire head.

One my top suggestions is Clairol Nice 'N Easy Permanent Hair Dye in Medium Cool Brown , which has purple undertones that will work to counteract the orange and yellow streaks. It comes with a 20-volume developer in the box.

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Clairol Nice'n Easy Permanent Hair Dye, 5C Medium Cool Brown Hair Color, Pack of 1
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Another is L'Oréal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying and Shine Permanent Hair Color in 5A Medium Ash Brown , which is a translucent gel that will provide your blonde locks with a cooler tone.

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L'Oreal Paris Superior Preference Fade-Defying + Shine Permanent Hair Color, 5A Medium Ash Brown, Pack of 1, Hair Dye
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This permanent hair color also contains Care Supreme Conditioner and Shine Serum, which both work to give your hair added vibrancy and shine.

Finally, Schwarzkopf Simply Color Permanent Hair Color in 6.0 Cool Brown  provides a more gentle approach if your hair has suffered from dryness after bleaching.

Schwarzkopf Simply Color Permanent Hair Color, 6.0 Cool Brown
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This hair color has been formulated with botanicals such as oat milk, soy protein, and argan oil to nourish your hair as it colors. It is also free from harsh chemicals like ammonia, alcohol, and silicone, and is dermatologically tested.


Final Thoughts

If you’re trying to get rid of brassy tones after you’ve bleached your hair, your easiest path is to use a toning shampoo. But if you just like to experiment, or have dye you want to use, I’ve outlined the steps you can use to use permanent hair dye as a toner.

You can rock your bleached locks with confidence after making an easy rinse at home!

Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).