Toner on Dry Hair

Actress Michelle Williams knows how to use toner to keep her blond hair brassy-free.

Photo: Frazer Harrison/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Any time you put your hair through a lightening process, bad things can happen. OK, well, fantastic things can happen if you do it right; but without the proper steps, you can end up with major brassy tones in your tresses instead of the pretty blond shade you're after. Applying toner on dry hair is no problem if know the right technique to use.


Toner is a product that works to neutralize brassy tones in hair. Brassy tones show through when there is an excess of yellow and orange pigments in hair, creating an unflattering hair color instead of the brilliant hue you want to see. Toner gets rid of the unwanted brassy tones and brings the rest of the color in your hair to life, bringing your hair color to the desired shade.


To apply the toner, you simply start rubbing it into your hair -- working from top to bottom is typically easiest to do -- until all of your hair is saturated in the stuff. There's no difference in the method of applying toner on dry hair compared with wet hair, although it does actually make it a bit easier on dry strands because you can more easily see if you've missed any spots.


The required processing time for toner can vary from one person to another. Read over the instructions on your toner product before using it to see the suggested wait time for that particular product. When the toner is on your hair, check a small section of your hair after about 10 minutes, then keep checking every five minutes or so after that. Factors such as your starting hair color and the desired end color play a role, so no specific given length of time is always right for everyone.


You need toner to fight brassy tones after bleaching your hair, but it doesn't come at a completely scot-free expense. It can be quite drying to your hair, so it's important to condition your hair after using toner and incorporate a deep conditioning product into your routine at least once every couple of weeks. A purple-tinted shampoo works as a toner -- just don't use it too often or your hair can start to look slightly purple in color -- whenever you start to notice brassy hues in your hair in the future.

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