Skip to Content
HomeCommon 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?

You can wash your hair with fresh water only before toning after bleaching but according to hairstyle experts, shampooing hair is better as it guarantees bleach is removed properly. If bleach isn’t fully removed, the toner will be ineffective.

So, you should shampoo the hair thoroughly before toning to ensure all bleach residue is removed from the hair.

Do You Shampoo Before Bleaching?

You should not wash your hair immediately before bleaching, as you will wash away the natural oils needed to protect the scalp during 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 allowing the cuticle to open which allows the treatment to get to the hair cortex.

The bonds inside the cortex are broken during this process, so it is important to follow with a conditioner after toning to ensure the cuticle is closed and hydrated.

Should I Use Shampoo and Condition Before Toning?

Toning bleached hair gives the best result because the hair is already close to the shade you want. It removes the brassy tones and corrects the hair color, leaving it looking fabulous. For example, toning will remove unwanted yellow tones on bleached blonde hair.

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.

So, 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. Some semi-permanent toners advise not to shampoo after.

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. If you are just covering your roots you should just apply to the root area. If you are doing a full head application, you need to start with the mid-lengths and ends, leave for 20 minutes, and then apply to the root.
  6. Cover the hair with a shower cap. The process should not exceed 40 minutes. But you should check every 10 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 cool or lukewarm water, as hot water will cause the hair to break.
  8. 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.

So, if you want to achieve the best result after bleaching, you should shampoo between bleaching and toning to wash out the excess bleach.