Skip to Content
Home » Common Questions

Do I Shampoo After Bleaching Before Toning? What If I Don’t?

Bleaching at home is quite tempting because you will save some money. However, it is also risky because bleaching products can damage your hair if misused, or you could end up with unevenly bleached hair.

Understand each bleaching step to avoid damaging your hair and achieve the desired result.

Is It A Must to Shampoo Hair After Bleaching Before Toning?

Yes, you must shampoo hair after bleaching before toning to remove any bleach residue left on the hair. Although you can also use plain water, shampooing hair is necessary as it guarantees bleach is removed properly before toning. If bleach isn’t fully removed, the toner will be ineffective. So, apply toner when the bleached hair is washed and free of bleach.

Cautiously shampoo your hair after bleaching because it can cause the hair to fade. You should shampoo after bleaching before toning and wait at least 72 hours before your next wash to allow the color to settle in. 

Do You Shampoo Before Bleaching?

You should not wash your hair before bleaching, as you will wash away the natural oils needed to protect the scalp during the bleaching process.

The Bleaching Process

bleaching process

Bleaching is lightening the hair color using bleaching agents. The hair agents contain hydrogen peroxide that alters chromophores (the colorful part of the melanin molecule) by increasing the number of carbon-oxygen bonds.

During the bleaching process, the alkaline agents swell your hair and cuticles open to allow the treatment to get to the hair shaft.

The cuticles become weak, resulting in a dry and rough texture. While the shampoo ensures proper cleaning to remove the bleach, it also opens the cuticles.


bleached hair toning

Toning after bleaching removes the brassy tones and corrects the hair color, leaving it looking fabulous. For example, toning will take your bright yellow hair to platinum blonde.

Toning bleached hair is easy and gives the best result because the hair is already close to the shade you want. The toner will only lighten or darken the hair to your desired shade.

Shampoo before toning to remove all bleach because if you don’t, it will hinder toner absorption, meaning you will end up with uneven-toned hair.

Should I Use Shampoo and Condition Before Toning?

It can be tempting to condition your hair after bleaching and before toning because it can feel dry and brittle.

However, the cuticles should be open for the toner to penetrate your hair shaft and tone the bleached hair color. The conditioner will smooth and seal the cuticles meaning the toner will not be absorbed well.

Instead, it would be best to use bleach, shampoo, tone, and then condition to lock moisture and seal the color.

Can I Shampoo My Bleached Hair After Toning?

Yes. After toning, you should clean your hair with shampoo to remove any residue left. Check the label for the manufacturer’s instructions. For example, you should wash Wella toner with plain water.

Here’s our guide to washing hair after bleaching and toning.

How To Bleach and Tone Your Hair at Home

How To Bleach and Tone Your Hair at Home

Here is a brief guide on bleaching your hair at home.

Items Needed

  • Tinting brush
  • Sectioning clips
  • Gloves
  • Mixing bowl
  • Shower cap
  • Balancing shampoo
  • Developer
  • Bleach powder
  • Conditioner
  • Towel


  1. Wear clothes you don’t mind getting bleach spots, and put a towel around your shoulder to protect your neck. Also, put on your gloves.
  2. Section your hair into four sections. You can add more sections if you have thicker hair.
  3. Mix the developer and bleaching powder. Follow the manufacturer’s guide on mixing. Mix to get a consistent solution with no lumps.
  4. When choosing a bleach powder, choose a reputable brand to reduce brassiness. Also, choose a developer that suits your desired outcome.
  5. Apply the bleach. Start with the bottom section moving to the upper section. First, apply other parts of the hair avoiding the roots. After 20 minutes into the application, you can now apply on the roots.
  6. Cover the hair with a shower cap. The process should not exceed 40 minutes. But you should check every 5 minutes to see if the color has lifted to the one you want.
  7. Wash your hair. After you have achieved the color you want, rinse the bleach with water, then wash with a balancing shampoo to remove any remaining residue and balance your scalp’s PH level. Use cold or lukewarm water, as hot water will cause the hair to break.
  8. Dry the hair. Read the instructions on your toner. Some toners work better with dry hair, while others work on wet hair.
  9. Apply the toner. Some toners must be mixed with a developer, while others can be applied directly to the hair. Read instructions on the quantity and time it should stay in your hair.
  10. Rinse, shampoo and condition.

Wrap Up

To achieve the best result after bleaching, use quality products and follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. Shampoo after bleaching and before toning to wash out the excess bleach.