Skip to Content
HomeCommon Questions

Should You Cover Your Hair When Toning?

When it comes to toning your hair after dyeing, one of the most common questions people have is whether or not they should cover their hair after applying the toner. After all, you don’t want to end up with an uneven color or a patchy result.

Though covering your hair has no or minimum effect on the toning process, you should cover your hair when toning depending on the type of formula the toner. It’s confusing, right? Let us explain!

Do You Cover Hair When Toning It?

whether to cover hair or not while toning

Covering your hair is not a part of the hair toning process and it will not affect the toning result. However, you should cover your hair when toning for extra protection against any potential staining.

Toning shampoo and gloss toners are formulated to be gentle on your hair and the stains wash away from the skin easily with water. So it is up to you if want to cover it or not.

On the other hand, permanent toners contain ammonia which can irritate sensitive skin. If your toner is mixed with a developer covering the hair with a plastic cap can keep the mild heat from the scalp, which can accelerate the toning process too.

So, cover your hair when toning when you’re using a professional-grade toner.

Different Types of Hair Toners

hair toner types

There are two main types of hair toners: permanent and semi-permanent.

Permanent toners deposit pigment on hair. This results in a long-lasting, vibrant color that can cover grays and add subtle highlights.

Semi-permanent toners are less intense than permanent ones and contain no bleaching agents. They can cover gray hairs and add a soft wash of color, but the results will fade over time.

Last but not least, there are demi-permanent toners. These are similar to semi-permanent toners but last longer and tend to cover gray hairs better.

Demi-permanent toners are better for covering grays because they contain a small amount of peroxide, which helps open up the hair’s cuticle layer.

This allows the pigment molecules from the toner to enter the hair shaft and deposit color more evenly.

While choosing a toner, you should consider the results you want to achieve. Permanent toners are best for those looking for long-lasting changes, while semi-permanent toners are perfect for removing brassy tones.

How Long Should You Leave Toner in Your Hair?

how long to leave toner on hair?
Toner on hair

The amount of time that you should leave a toner in your hair will depend on the specific product and can vary from 15 minutes to an hour.

Leaving it in for too long could result in hair dryness and even hair breakage. If you opt for a permanent toner, most products require leaving it in your hair for between 20 to 50 minutes.

If you opt for a semi-permanent toner, the recommended time could be anywhere from 15-30 minutes.  Leaving semi-permanent toner in your hair for too long could cause the color to become darker than expected.


Covering your hair while using a toner depends on you. It does not affect the toning process. However, you should protect your clothing and surfaces from potential spills or drips, as toners can stain.

If you are concerned about toning results, the important factors are your toner type and the correct application method.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is the best time to use a hair toner?

The best time to use a hair toner is after you’ve shampooed and conditioned your hair. This will help ensure that the toner is properly absorbed into your hair shaft and provide the most even results possible.

When should I wash my hair after toning?

It’s best to wait at least 24 hours after toning your hair before washing it again. However, cover your hair if you plan to go out in the sun during this time.