How To Remove Toner From Hair. 8 Easy DIY Methods.

Are you looking to find out how to remove toner from hair? Oh dear.

Toner is an easy way to correct color without bleaching or re-dyeing, but it can be difficult to get out of hair if you don’t know how.

Luckily, we have some great tips on how to remove toner from hair that will help you save time and money.

You can use products already found in the cupboard like vinegar, bleach or honey. Or try these simple tricks for removing toner naturally with common household items like baking soda and lemon juice.

If that doesn’t do the job, color removers and bleach are other options we’ll tell you more about. Read on to find out how you can restore your hair color back to beautiful safely!

8 Methods To Remove Toner From Your Hair

Here are 8 easy, DIY ways to remove hair toner at home using ingredients you already have in your kitchen or bathroom cupboards.

While you might find success with one method, don’t hesitate to experiment with a few to discover what works best for your locks, keeping in mind that hair color removers and bleach should be your last resort due to their harshness.

Method #1: The Citrus Solution – Lemon Juice

How To Remove Toner From Hair method 1 lemon juice

Squeeze the juice of fresh lemons and apply it evenly throughout your hair. The natural acidity of lemon juice can help fade toner.

What to do:

  • Squeeze fresh lemon juice and apply evenly.
  • Cover with a shower cap and leave overnight.
  • Rinse in the morning and condition well.

Method #2: Sweet Relief – Honey and Cinnamon Mask

How To Remove Toner From Hair method 2 honey and cinnamon

Honey is a natural lightener, and cinnamon can enhance its effects.

What to do:

  • Combine 3 tablespoons of honey with 3 teaspoons of cinnamon and blend them with your regular conditioner.
  • Apply as a mask and leave for an hour.
  • Rinse and enjoy lightened tones.

Method #3: The Baking Soda Miracle

How To Remove Toner From Hair method 3 baking soda paste

This combination can effectively strip toner but be aware that it can also be drying, so follow up with a deep conditioner.

What to do:

  • Create a paste with baking soda and warm water.
  • Leave on hair for 30-40 minutes.
  • Rinse and follow up with conditioner.

Method #4: White Vinegar Rinse

How To Remove Toner From Hair method 4 white vinegar

The acidity of vinegar can help to dissolve the toner. Vinegar can also add shine and smoothness to your hair as a bonus.

What to do:

  • Dilute white vinegar with water (1:1 ratio).
  • Saturate hair for 30 minutes.
  • Rinse thoroughly and enjoy added shine.

Method #5: Kitchen Concoction – Dish Soap and Shampoo Mix

dish soap

Mixing dish soap with shampoo creates a powerful cleansing combination that can strip toner from your hair.

What to do:

  • Combine dish soap with shampoo.
  • Use as regular shampoo, then deep condition.

Method #6: Vitamin C’s Clarifying Power

vitamin C tablets

Vitamin C’s acidity can help break down the toner.

What to do:

  • Crush Vitamin C tablets and mix with water.
  • Apply to hair for 20 minutes, then rinse.
  • Condition to counteract dryness.

Method #7: Specialist’s Choice – Color Removers

remove blue hair dye with hair color remover

Color removers are specifically designed to strip unwanted dye and toner from your hair.

What to do:

  • Use according to product instructions!
  • Rinse well and follow with a deep conditioner.

Method #8: The Last Resort – Bleach


Bleaching is the most drastic method and should be used as a last resort. It can strip all color from your hair, including toner, but it’s also the most damaging.

What to do:

  • Best done professionally to minimize damage.
  • OR buy and follow instructions in a home hair bleach kit.
  • Intensive care required post-bleaching.

What the experts say:

“Use a clarifying shampoo that is meant to remove build up, & only recommended for once a week. Simply use it for all your shampooing, but be sure to use a good conditioner after each use & preferably a heavier mask treatment as Clarifying shampoos will dry out your hair.”

Gregory Scepi, Works at Paul Mitchell

“If it has been less than 24 hours you may be able to remove it with a clarifying shampoo. If it has been more than 24 hours it has oxidized into the hair. You may want to see a salon for a color correction.”

Jo Welch, Director and Educator for licensed cosm

“Since toners don’t have a lot of underlying pigment, I would perhaps try a bleach wash for a few minutes in the shower to fade it out.”

Lynn, Hairstylist

What Is Hair Toner?

Hair toners aka glosses or glazes, are used to reduce the intensity of the color in your hair. They can take out a few shades or a couple of tones to make it lighter or darker, depending on what you need.

They’re particularly good at dulling down brightness in blonde hair and removing unwanted green and orange tones too.

Toners are applied directly to dry hair. Usually you just need to use a tint brush and apply them at roots before working them through the hair.

Leave the toner on for up to 45 minutes before rinsing your hair thoroughly with water.

You can also use them as a shampoo replacement if you’re looking for slight color corrections.

Blue shampoos are made to tone brunette hair and purple shampoos are made for blondes. These will take any brassiness or unwanted orange or yellow tones in your hair.

Hair toner before and after.

how to remove hair toner - hair toner before and after

How Does Hair Toner Work?

Here’s a great video that explains all about hair color correction, the science of hair toning and how toners actually work to help you get gorgeous hair color.

Are Toners Permanent?

Hair toners aren’t permanent – they usually last about 6 to 10 shampoos.

If you have previously dyed your hair, then they are considered semi-permanent.

They will fade more quickly than permanent colors. They don’t contain ammonia or oxidants, which is why they’re not as strong and won’t lift the color of your hair.

They’re more temporary because they’re just pigments, not chemicals that alter your hair’s structure. So the color will fade with every wash. For this reason, it’s necessary to touch up your roots regularly.

Does Hair Toner Fade Quickly?

The intensity of the toner fades with every shampoo, however it will not completely go away.

Some toners may leave a trace even after many shampoos.

If you want to get rid of an unwanted hair color, the process might be a bit more complicated.

Hair dressers usually advise their customers not to wash their hair for at least 48 hours after application, which means that if you decide to change your mind later on – it’s going to take some time and effort before you look good again.

How Do You Get Ashy Toner Out Of Hair?

Using clarifying shampoo should be enough to remove pigment build-up from ash toners in your hair.

If you have used a toner with too strong of a shade, or if you want to remove one that has been there for some time, there are other options.

If simply getting rid of excess color, then an effective method would be to use dishwashing liquid mixed with water then massaged into your hair from root to tip.

Leave it for around half an hour then rinse out thoroughly before washing again with your normal shampoo.

How do you get toner out of blonde hair?

Blonde hair can be particularly stubborn at holding onto color. If you want to strip all the color out completely, then the only other option is to bleach it.

This will get rid of all previous dye, including toners.

However, it’s incredibly harsh on your hair so should be used with caution and done by a professional.     

Does Toner Damage Hair?

Hair toners have come a long way over time and nowadays, they’re not only quicker but gentler to use too!

As far as damage to our manes goes, toners are no more destructive than dye or bleach – just remember to always read instructions and take sensible precautions.

When used correctly and following some caring routine maintenance, you can enjoy your new hair color without any worries.

What can I do to lighten my hair if the toner is too dark?

If you can strip all the previous dye from your hair you should be able to bleach it again and lighten it enough that the toner becomes a lighter shade.

For this, you can try color remover or a bleach wash that will be kinder to your hair than bleach.

However, keep in mind that this will most likely cause dry hair and breakage. If you are unsure of what to do, it’s advisable to see a professional stylist before attempting anything yourself!

Will purple shampoo lighten toner?

No, not by itself. Purple shampoo is a pigment that counteracts green and yellow tones in blonde hair and neutralizes any brassy tones caused by warmth and orange hues.

Basically, it’s a toner itself so it’s not the best at removing toner already in your hair!

Parting words

Hair toner over-correction can happen very quickly if you don’t know what you’re doing.

The best way to avoid this is to use pigments that are one shade lighter than the desired result. If unsure always opt for a lighter rather than darker tone especially when applying at home.

Hopefully our tips and tricks will make sure there are no more mistakes! Good luck!

This article was written and reviewed by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
    Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.