Toner or dye after bleaching

By: | Last Updated: June 8, 2022

Are you planning to change your hair color but not sure where to start?

You are not alone. The different hair coloring processes that our strands have to go through can be confusing for most women.

There’s bleach. Hair dyes and toners are other products we need to get a hold of too.

So if you’re among those who’re wondering which of these products to use first, this article is for you.

Whether you DIY your hair color at home or have a professional do it, it’s always good to be informed and know what you’re letting your hair go through.

Let us get started below!

Do you tone or color after bleach?

Do you tone or color after bleach

Toning, bleaching, dyeing — which to use when trying to achieve a particular color? 

This is pretty confusing, especially for people who don’t do hair. 

But we can make it easy for you.

First, let’s learn what these hair-color-altering products do to your hair first. Read on!


First, there’s bleaching

This can damage your tresses but is necessary for most hair types. This is especially true for those with warm undertones.

Sometimes, a single bleaching session is not enough for people with darker hair. But bear in mind that bleaching agents can be really damaging to your tresses. So be gentle to your hair when bleaching.

Are you ready to bleach your hair? Here’s what you need:

  • Hair bleach of your choice
  • Applicator brush
  • Old T-shirt
  • Old towel
  • Hair clips
  • Shampoo

And of course, follow these steps when bleaching your hair:

  • Section your hair into four parts using the hair clips.
  • Apply the bleach of your choice in each section using the bleaching brush.
  • Start from the top about 1 inch away from your scalp and work your way down.
  • Once done, go back to the top and apply bleach to the roots.
  • Let the bleach sit for twenty to forty-five minutes.
  • Once done, shampoo accordingly.


Then, toning comes in.

Unless you’re naturally blonde, your hair has red and orange pigments in them. To lighten your hair, you have to use bleach. As mentioned, it will lift your hair’s natural color. It breaks open the hair to expose the base color, which is white.

This process can damage the hair and usually results in brassy undertones. This is where toning comes in.

Hair toning products correct your hair’s undertone. It will not change your hair color. What it actually does is help you alter the shade of your lightened locks. It neutralizes the unwanted brassy tones in your hair. It reveals the natural-looking shade that you’re going for.

So if you’re asking, “can I use toner right after bleaching?”, the answer is yes. It’s even recommended.

The more you use bleach on your delicate tresses, the more you’ll need a good toner to neutralize unwanted undertones. 

Unless you want bright yellow or brassy orange hair, using a toner can be a lifesaver. It can turn your damaged hair into the more natural-looking ashy or platinum blonde you’re going for. 


Toners and dyes both deposit color onto your strands. But they’re not the same. 

Hair dyes completely change your hair color. Toners, however, don’t. They just correct your hair’s undertone, enhancing the tone of your hair. 

Hair dyes last for weeks, while toners gradually fade after 2 to 6 weeks.

Here’s how you can dye your hair right after bleaching:

  • Follow the above instructions on bleaching your hair.
  • After rinsing the bleaching products out of your hair, divide it into sections again.
  • Apply the hair dye of your choice until it fully coats your hair.
  • Put on a shower cap. Let the dye sit for about 30 to 60 minutes or according to the instructions on the label.
  • Rinse your hair thoroughly. And enjoy your new hair color!

To make your new hair color last for longer, skip the shampoo.


Can you dye your hair after bleach and toner?

Can you dye your hair after bleach and toner

So, when’s the best time to use dye, bleach, or toner?

What’s really the correct application order for these three color-altering hair products? Keep on reading to know.

Bleaching doesn’t change hair color; it only lightens it. It reveals the base color of your strands, which is white for most of us. 

So if you’re a brunette or a redhead ever wanting to become blonde, your hair has to go through bleaching. It’s a must before you can achieve your desired hair shade.

That’s your answer. You need to bleach first.

But my hair turned brassy instead after bleaching, you might say. You aren’t alone. It’s a common occurrence for people with warm undertones. 

No worries, as no bleaching disaster that the right toner can’t fix. 

So does this mean that you can tone right after bleaching? Yes!

Toner has no opening and lifting ability. It won’t strip your hair of anything. All it’s doing is coating the hair. It’s meant to correct the color of a bad bleach job. It’s your hair’s lifesaver.

Should I wait a few days before toning? The answer is a yes and no.

Yes, if your hair looks healthy after the bleaching session. But if your hair becomes dry, pale, and prone to breaking, wait for 10 days before you tone it. 

Meanwhile, nourish your hair with treatments.

Now, let’s go back to the question. 

Can I dye my hair after using toner? The answer is yes. But before doing so, you need to wait. The wait won’t be that long, though. 


As mentioned, toners last for 2 to 6 weeks. That’s just how long you have to wait.

You can dye hair a few weeks after toning. 

But why wait, you might wonder. 

This is because the color of your strands will change once you apply toner.

Does it matter? Yes, it does!

The base color of your hair dramatically affects the hair-coloring outcomes. So if you don’t want to go through a bad dye job, wait!

Check the table below to know which hair dye to use for your toned hair!

If the toner made your hairlook for colors withwhich are labeled with
AshyAshy tones1
PlatinumPearl tones2
GoldenGold tones3
OrangeCopper tones4
RedMahogany tones5

After reaching this part of the article, here’s what we’ve learned so far.

  • You can use a toner after bleaching if you have healthy hair. Or wait for 10 days if your strands end up getting damaged.
  • You only need to wait a few weeks before you can dye your toned hair.

The question that remains unanswered is, “when should I dye after bleaching?”

Your hair might have experienced serious damage during the bleaching session. And hair coloring products wouldn’t be your damaged hair’s best friend. 

So, it’s wise to wait a couple of weeks before adding color to your delicate tresses. 

If your hair already feels strong, you might not have to wait this long. But as an extra precaution, just give your strands a break that it needs.

So, should I use toner or dye after bleaching?

should I use toner or dye after bleaching

Bleaching agents strip the hair of its natural color. Dye deposits color to the hair permanently. Toner corrects the tone of the hair.

With that, we can identify that toner should be the last step in the hair coloring process. But if you’d rather skip the toner, you can also dye right after bleaching.

And should you decide to change your hair color after already toning it, that will be fine as well. Just wait for a few weeks to wash away the toner from your hair.

CHECK OUT: How to remove toner from hair

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