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Hair toner is a commonly found item in the closet of people who claim to be colored-hair enthusiasts. This is because a hair toner is an important tool to get the perfect hair color.
These toners are available in various types of formulations, but sprays are the most common. They are famous for their ability to put some shine to the hair while removing any undesirable brassiness, thus improving hair color.
This is done so by following the color theory, which involves neutralizing the unwanted color by applying the color opposite to that on the color wheel.
However, worries regarding the safety and use of hair toners have been put forward by many people, and some of them wish to know whether these products are bad for hair.
The truth is that, if used how they’re supposed to, hair toners do not cause any damage to the hair, but excessive and incorrect use of hair toners can be damaging.
This article will investigate the impact of toners on the hair and discern if they pose any risks. Keep reading to find out.
When or How Can Toners Be Bad for the Hair?
Permanent hair toners can be harmful
Whether or not hair toners can be harmful to your hair and how detrimental their effects can be depends on the type of toner you’re using and whether you are utilizing it accurately or not.
Here are the three different kinds of toners available today.
Temporary toners are mild and do not induce any critical damage to the hair as they simply sit on top of your strands. Since they are not soaked up by the hair, they wash off readily as well.
Semipermanent toners last for up to 12 washes as they infiltrate deeper into the hair.
Permanent toners are employed for significant color modifications and are long-lasting. Because of their mode of action where they open up hair cuticles, hair specialists suggest exercising caution as they can cause considerable damage to the hair if not used correctly such as making the hair dry and frizzy.
Therefore, the major problem of hair damage occurs with permanent toners, which should only be applied by trained professionals who can discern if your hair is healthy enough to endure the toning process.
Overuse of toner can cause hair damage
Overexposing your hair to toner after bleaching or coloring can put a strain on your strands, causing adverse effects such as dryness and brittleness. So, it is vital to utilize toners in restraint and to discourage their overuse.
Using toners after chemical hair treatment harms the hair
Research demonstrates that when hair is overly bleached and colored, the hair cuticles may become damaged, which further damages the hair fibers. (1)
Ways to Know Hair Damage Due to Toners
To know whether your hair damage is from a toner and not other reasons, you can look for these signs which are commonly observed with improper toner usage.
1. Hair is suddenly falling off from spots where toner was used
If you suddenly start losing a lot of hair from a region of your head where you applied the toner, then this hair loss can be attributed to the toner.
2. Hair color keeps requiring re-dyeing
If even after applying the toner adequately your hair color is still not able to stick and you have to redo it very frequently, you are overtoning your strands, which have become incapable of locking the color inside.
3. Hair feels very dehydrated and dull
If you feel like your hair is not properly moisturized and is not as shiny as it used to be, then this may be due to the ingredients that are present in a toner that can cause dullness of hair.
4. Split ends occur
Toning very frequently or overexposing your hair to the chemicals present in the toner can make you suffer from split ends or very dry strands. This dryness can also lead to messy hair that looks very unkempt and is extremely hard to manage.
Tips to Minimize the Damage From Using Hair Toners
The good news is that there are some things you can do when you are using toner to minimize or avoid hair damage.
Follow these tips shared by hair specialists and styling experts:
- The first and foremost step to a damage-free toning experience is the use of a toner that does not contain ammonia as an ingredient.
- If you have recently used toner on your hair, you should use a deep conditioner that can help keep your hair moisturized.
- Remember that your hair needs breaks from chemical processes such as hair coloring. So, if you have dyed your hair, wait at least 2 months before you decide to dye it again.
- Use very mild shampoo on your hair if you have used toner on your hair to avoid excessive dehydration.
- Oiling your hair is also a very good idea to keep them moisturized and hydrated and to minimize the damage that may occur from toners.
- Just because a toner is cheap or on sale, this doesn’t mean it’s good for your hair. So, if you are going to buy a toner, make sure to buy a good-quality product, even if it’s a little more expensive than others.
- It is best not to use a toner on your hair again within 2 months of the previous toning session.
- Try not to leave the toner for a very long time on your hair and follow the instructions for how long it should be left on the hair because overexposing your hair to toners can cause dryness.
- If you feel like you have overdone the toner and your hair is darker than you wanted it to be, you can use a clarifying shampoo to help dilute it.
How to Use Hair Toners Correctly
There are toners you can use by yourself, but for permanent toners, seek professional assistance.
To use toners by yourself:
- Wash your hair and let it dry out.
- Choose a toner that is good for your hair and is of the required color.
- Follow the steps on the toner packaging and combine it with the developer, if necessary.
- Let it sit on your hair for around 15 minutes.
- Wash the toner out of your hair with cold water.
How to Care for Colored Hair
Lots of hair treatments swear to make you look great but can actually harm your hair, making it dry and delicate. To keep your hair healthful, keep in mind these tips from dermatologists: (2)
- Choose a hair color that’s not more than 3 shades away from your real hair color.
- It’s always better to go darker than lighter so that you don’t have to undergo bleaching or other harmful processes.
- If you notice any symptoms that indicate you’re allergic to the dye, stop using the product at that instant.
- Protect your hair from the sun.
Most-Asked Questions About Hair Toners
How do hair toners work?
Hair toners work by counteracting the undesirable undertones in the hair color. These undertones are generally hues or shades of yellow and orange that are a result of dyeing the hair or exposing them to sunlight without protection.
Can hair toners damage my hair?
Hair toners may cause dryness and breakage if they are overused or used incorrectly.
Can hair toners be used on any hair type?
Yes, hair toners can be used on any hair type if you use the right type.
How often should I use hair toners?
The frequency of hair toner use depends on your hair type and hair color.
Can hair toners be used on colored hair?
Yes, hair toners can be used on colored hair.
Can hair toners be used on natural hair?
Yes, hair toners can be used on natural hair.
It is important to use hair toners in moderation and to avoid overusing them. It is also essential to choose a hair toner that is suitable for your hair color and type and to follow the instructions on the product.
If you have any concerns about using hair toners, consult a dermatologist or a hair care specialist for advice.