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How to Fix Hair That Turned Purple After Toning

Using a toner is one of the best ways to correct yellow or brassy tones that can appear after bleaching/dyeing your hair. However, toning products can turn your hair purple. But why does that happen, and how can you fix toned hair that has turned purple?

Toning products contain purple pigments that correct brassy tones. Using too much toning shampoo can cause your hair to turn purple.

The good news is that fixing purple hair after toning is easy and you can fix this problem with color-correction techniques.

Your Toned Hair Turned Purple: Why Did This Happen?

why does toned hair turn purple

A hair toner is a product that you apply after bleaching or dyeing your hair. The purpose of a toner is to introduce color-correcting pigments to get rid of unwanted tones.

If you’re familiar with the color wheel theory, you know that opposite colors cancel each other out:

  • Purple is the opposite of yellow on the color wheel. A purple toning shampoo will cancel out the yellow and brassy tones you often get after bleaching.
  • A blue toner is your best option if you want to get rid of orange tones that often appear when bleaching dark hair.
  • A green toner would work well if you ended up with darker orange tones or red after bleaching or dyeing.

Unfortunately, a toner can cause a drastic color change and make your hair look purple if you use too much product or leave the toner in your hair for too long. Porous hair can also absorb more pigments and turn purple.

How to Get Rid of Toned Hair That Turned Purple

Toning products can last anywhere from two to six weeks. The toning pigments will fade if you wait, but there are different methods you can use to correct your hair color without waiting.

#1. Wash Out the Pigment

How to Get Rid of Toned Hair That Turned Purple - Use Shampoo

If your hair has turned purple after toning, it’s important to act fast. You might be able to wash out most of the pigment before it sets into your hair.

You’ll get better results if you use a clarifying shampoo. Clarifying shampoos use more surfactants compared to regular shampoos. These surfactants can remove oil build-ups and residues, including pigments.

If you don’t have a clarifying shampoo, your best option is to wash your hair with some dish soap. Dish soap can be harsh on hair, but it does a great job of breaking down buildups and residues. It should remove most of the toning pigments that coat your hair.

You might have to wash your hair several times before the toner completely disappears. Rinse with plenty of hot water since it can help wash out the pigment.

#2. Use Baking Soda

How to Get Rid of Toned Hair That Turned Purple - Baking Soda

Baking soda is an all-purpose cleaner that leaves kitchen counters and bathroom tiles spotless thanks to its abrasive properties. It’s also a common ingredient in teeth-whitening toothpaste.

These abrasive properties mean baking soda can help strip pigment from your hair. It can make your hair feel dry and porous, but it’s a quick and easy remedy if your toner has turned it purple.

Mix two tablespoons of baking soda with a few drops of water to obtain a paste. Scrub your hair with this mixture before rinsing. Repeat this process if needed.

Baking soda might not remove all the purple pigments from your hair, but it should help tone the color down.

#3. Apply Hydrogen Peroxide

How to Get Rid of Toned Hair That Turned Purple - Use Hydrogen Peroxide

If gentle methods like washing your hair or using baking soda don’t work, you can use hydrogen peroxide to remove the toner from your hair.

Mix a solution with one part hydrogen peroxide and one part shampoo. Apply this mixture to your hair and let it sit for five to ten minutes before rinsing thoroughly.

The hydrogen peroxide should strip the toner from your hair. However, it will likely leave your hair feeling dry and brittle, especially if you bleached your hair before applying the toner. Apply a hydrating conditioner or hair mask to repair your hair.

If you’re not getting good results with hydrogen peroxide, add bleach powder to your developer to create a stronger formula.

Using hydrogen peroxide and bleach will remove hair dye and the unwanted tones from your toning product.

#4. Tone Your Hair Again

How to Get Rid of Toned Hair That Turned Purple - Tone Again

You can cancel out the purple tones by applying a yellow toner to your hair.

Mix one-part toner for two-part developers, and apply this mixture to your hair with a brush. The developer will help lift your cuticles so the color-correcting pigments can bind to the hair shaft. Let the toner sit for up to 30 minutes before rinsing.

If possible, wait at least a week before applying toner again to avoid damaging your hair.

Final Thoughts

Correcting purple tones is easier if you act fast and wash the toner from your hair with a clarifying shampoo. If you let the toner set into your hair, your best option is to remove the pigments with some hydrogen peroxide or use a yellow toner to neutralize the unwanted purple tones.


How long should I leave toner in?

You can leave toner in for up to 45 minutes. Read the instructions before using the product, and consider reducing the application time to avoid overcorrecting.

Can toner damage hair?

Toner shouldn’t damage your hair if you use the product correctly. However, it can make your hair dry and brittle if you leave it in for too long.

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