Home / Hair care / How to use a toner?

How to use a toner?

When you’re looking around for tips how to bleach your hair, I’m sure you’ve seen a toner being mentioned. But what is a toner and how to use it with bleaching? We’ve gathered information about toners to put it in a simple, straight forward way without getting too technical so you could bleach and tone your hair without frying your hair.

What is a toner?

A toner is much like a dye but instead of adding colour to your hair it fixes the gold, orange, red and brassy yellow colours. It gives your hair more of a „white“ blonde look, making it look more natural and beach blonde.

To make a toner “work” on your hair, you need to use the correct volume developer to mix it with.

What is a developer?

When you’re using a toner, you ought to mix it together with the right amount of a developer. A developer makes the dye/toner develop, and helps to penetrate the hair and get the pigment to the centre of the hair strand.

When you’re using a lighter volume developer, the shade you’re trying to achieve will be lighter. The higher you climb with the volumes of the developers, the stronger the pigment will stick to the hair.

Here’s a short list of what does the volume of the developer do:

10 Volume developer – It offers no lifting to the hair’s color level. Instead it opens the cuticle to allow the deposit of the desired color.

20 Volume developer – This will lift the hair level by one to two shades and it’s good for hair color that is one or two levels lighter than the natural color.

30 Volume developer – This will lift the hair level by two to three shades and allows you to change your hair color to a s much as three shades lighter.

40 Volume developer – This is used to lift color of the hair 3-4 different levels, usually with bleach.


When to use a toner?

The right time to use a toner is after you have dyed your hair with bleach. Your hair has to be dry and clean for the toner to take full effect. You can read more about how to bleach hair here on Hair-Bun.

How to use a toner

Most developers and toners have a mixing ratio of 1:2. This means that for one unit of toner, you have to mix it with two units of developer. As an example, one cup of toner means you have to add two cups of developer to get the correct ratio. To be sure what ratio is the best, you should read the label on your toner/developer and use the suggested ratios there.

Mix the solution until it has a creamy consistency, and then apply it to your hair just like you would apply hair dye. Once finished, you should leave it on approximately for 15 minutes, depending on how you want the end result to be. The longer you keep the toner on your hair, the darker the hair colour will become, therefore if you want to just lift the yellow tones you should limit the time to 15-20 minutes the most.

Wash your hair, make sure to condition them well and wrap them in a towel after washing. You should let your hair air dry, just to save them from any unnecessary damage.

Alternative tone lifting ways

If you don’t feel safe using a toner, then you can loop up some simpler ways to remove any brassy shades from your hair. One of these methods is using the silver shampoo. This shampoo removes yellowness from your hair and with frequent use it will give your hair a silver-grey shade.

If you have any questions about toners, developers or bleaching, then you can certainly leave us a comment down below, and we’ll get back to you on that. Thank you for reading!


  1. i am wanting to darken my blond hair. my roots have grown out to a dark brown shade. i am needing to know if a just a toner will work on my ends or if i still need to buy another hair color? also what shade of tonr should i get?

    • If you’re wanting to darken previously bleached hair, I know you need to ‘fill’ in the tones that you’ve already bleached out. Usually they recommend something with red. I’ve tried to dye my bleached blonde hair before and although it looked darker, it also had a khaki/green tone to it, basically because the red tone was missing. Remember as you bleach you strip all the tones out I.e form dark brown to red, orange, gold, yellow etc. I’m no expert but have played around with my hair enough times every which way so it comes from experience. I think a reddish brown toner would do the trick with 10vol. Box dye I’m not so sure. But be careful, as reds are very hard to bleach back out again if you change your mind at a later date! You would end up with very damaged hair if that’s the case. Hope this helps a little!

  2. Hi there….im.planning to have ash blonde highlights in my jet black hair….I want to ask that is there any difference between the developer you use with bleaching powder to bleach your hair and the developer you use with toner? The girl in salon says that she will lift my natural hair color with 30 volume and then she will tone my hair with loreal ash blonde permanent or semi permanent hair color….is this process fine?? Im sorry im too ignorant when it comes to highlights and changing hair color….I wish I was that much expert knowing all these things….I want your help…

  3. And will affect the color of my hair I want to achieve if I dilute my toner and developer with conditioner??? I dont have high products like wella etc….im in pakistan and here easily available products are Loreal, Kuene ,Schwarzkopf and revlon….

  4. Hello – Sorry I know I’m a bit late on this but…this weekend I bleached + toned my hair, I used a 30 developer when bleaching and 10 when toning. I think I made the mistake of leaving the toner in too long because my hair looks a much more “natural beige” with copper undertones color than the platinum I was hoping for. Will re-toning (maybe using my 30 developer instead of the 10) help to correct this and give me the platinum I was hoping for?

  5. Tammy Maybrier

    Is it ok to mix wella t18 and T35 together and apply to basically a level 9 1/2 – 10 id guess you would say my hair is now? And approximately what color might that turn

  6. Tammy Maybrier

    Is it ok to mix wella t18 and T35 together And approximately what color might that turn

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *