Skip to Content
HomeCommon Questions

How Long Should I Leave Toner on My Brassy Hair?

Brassiness refers to unwanted warm color tones on blonde or platinum-dyed hair. It happens when the lifting process during dying or the bleaching process does not eliminate unwanted color pigments.

It mostly happens when dark hair is dyed blonde or platinum. The brassy undertones are red, orange, or yellow. Therefore, toners are used to remove the brassiness and achieve the desired hair color.

How Long to Leave Toner on Brassy Hair?

A toner can be left on brassy hair for 5-45 minutes. The exact time depends on the extent of undertone colors, type of toner used, hair texture, and development time stipulated on the toner packaging by the manufacturer.

Processing Time for Different Types of Toners

How Long to Leave Different Types of Toners on Brassy Hair

What is the processing time for different types of toners on brassy hair? Let’s find out.

Semi-Permanent Toners

Semi-permanent toners are best used on blonde-dyed hair with light undertones. They are easy to use without professional supervision and cause minimal damage to the hair. However, they last 4-8 weeks.

Use blue shampoo or conditioner if your hair has orange or yellow undertones. If your hair has dominant undertones, use the toning shampoo, then follow up with a toning conditioner.

You may need to apply them multiple times to remove the undertones completely. However, do not use them daily. The recommended frequency of use is 2-3 times per week and 2-3 times per month to refresh the hair color once you have removed the undertones.

Toning shampoo should be left on the hair for 2-15 minutes. You can leave it for longer if the hair is extremely brassy, but not for more than 15 minutes. For slight undertones, leave the toning shampoo for 1-3 minutes, 3-5 minutes for moderate tones, and up to 15 minutes for extreme tones.

On the other hand, the toning conditioner should be left on the hair for 2-10 minutes. Aside from correcting the hair color, it hydrates and adds shine.

Demi-Permanent Toner

A demi-permanent toner has a more lasting effect on brassy hair than semi-permanent toners. It can last up to 18 washes. It is ammonia-based and is best used on blonde hair a few days after bleaching.

It takes 5-20 minutes for the hair to process. Leave it for -10 minutes if your hair has mild undertones and up to 20 minutes for deeper undertones.

Permanent Toner

A permanent toner permanently removes the undertones from the hair. It is the most effective toner for brassy hair but causes the most damage. These types of toners should be used by professionals as they understand the strength of each brand to avoid over-toning.

Stylists also observe precautionary measures to avoid damaging your hair. Permanent toners take 30-45 minutes to develop hair color.

How to Use a Hair Toner to Remove Brassiness

How Long to Leave Toner on Hair  to Remove Brassiness

Start by assessing the extent of the brassiness and your hair’s health to determine the type of toner to use. If your hair has moderate to deep undertones and you want the results to last up to three months, use a demi-permanent toner.

However, allow 3-7 days after bleaching before applying the bleach. If you want to permanently remove the undertones, go for hydrogen-peroxide-based. On the other hand, for mild undertones, opt for semi-permanent toners.

Whichever toner you choose should be applied on wet hair to ensure even distribution. If you are applying after bleaching, wash the hair with a sulfate-free shampoo, rinse it, and then pat it with a soft towel to get rid of excess water. Then, separate the hair into parts and apply the toner one section at a time.

Apply a generous amount, ensuring each strand is fully covered. Leave the toner to process and then rinse thoroughly with cool water. Follow up with a conditioning shampoo and style as desired. Do not expose the hair to extreme heat.

Note that demi-permanent and permanent toners will need to be mixed with the appropriate developer by a ratio stipulated by the manufacturer.


The amount of time you should leave the toner on brassy hair depends on the level of brassiness and type of toner used. Toning shampoos should be left for 2-15 minutes, while semi-permanent toners should be left for 2-10 minutes.

Demi-permanent toners should be left for 5-20 minutes, while permanent toners should be left for 30-45 minutes. Always refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for appropriate processing time. Keep checking the hair to see if it has achieved the desired color.