Toner VS Hair Dye: What’s the Difference?

Toner. Gloss. Glaze. Dye.

You’ve probably heard these terms casually tossed around at the salon. Maybe you’ve asked about them, maybe you haven’t. Either way, you deserve to know what these treatments do for your hair, so we’re clearing up any confusion – starting with toner VS hair dye.

As two of the most common methods used to alter hair color, it’s important to understand how they compare to one another.

Let’s jump into it.

Toner VS Hair Dye

Because toner and hair dye both change the appearance of hair color, they are often confused with one another. However, toner acts as a gentler, less permanent treatment, while dye produces longer-lasting results.

Before you decide which is better for you hair, it’s important to note the key differences below.

How Does Hair Toner Work?

As the name would suggest, toner is a liquid formula applied to color-treated or lightened hair to adjust the color and neutralize brassy and yellow/orange undertones.

And trust us –  this is much-needed step in the brunette-to-blonde process.

When color is lifted from darker hair, it often leaves behind an orange (albeit, lighter) color. As you can imagine, this is not a popular look, and stylists use toners to soften the contrast and even out the color. Depending on your desired results, toner can be used in a couple different ways, softening or enhancing as needed.

But the best part? It’s gentle on the hair. Less hydrogen peroxide means that it’s a healthier alternative to dye. For this reason, many stylists will opt for toner. Unfortunately this formulation also means that the results are semipermanent, rather than permanent.

Every 3-4 weeks, hair toner will need to be refreshed to maintain the same shine and color.

What Does Hair Dye Do?  

In the toner VS hair dye debate, some might argue that both treatments do the same thing.

Those people would be wrong! While toner is used to adjust the color of your hair, hair dye actually alters the pigment of your hair entirely by depositing color directly into the outer layer of the hair cuticle.

The biggest difference between toner and hair dye is the formula. Hair dye contains more hydrogen peroxide, so it creates permanent results that toner cannot achieve. With dye, you’ll actually see the color of your hair change – whether you go lighter, darker, or just cover gray hairs!

How to Maintain Hair Color: Toner VS Hair Dye

Upkeep for Toned Hair

If you’re concerned that your blonde hair will go brassy, you can always incorporate a purple or blue-based product to neutralize your hair tones between appointments.

Here at Facetté Fort Collins hair salon, we LOVE the Oribe Bright Blonde line for blonde hair maintenance and would be happy to recommend a toning shampoo or conditioner to match your hair type and color.

PS: washing your hair less will help the color last even longer! With the right dry shampoo, no one will even notice it’s been 5 days since you last washed your hair ?

Upkeep for Colored Hair

Depending on the actual color you’ve dyed your hair, you might also benefit from a color-depositing shampoo or conditioner to keep it looking fresh and bright for longer periods of time.

Otherwise, there are tons of great products to nourish and repair colored hair! Between the Oribe Beautiful Color line and Kerastase products for colored hair, you (and your hair) will be in good shape.

Which Is Better: Toner VS Hair Dye

When it comes to toner VS hair dye, it’s best to consult with your stylist, because they’ll be most familiar with your hair health and color goals.

But if you have a specific preference, you can always bring it up, too! We want you to be happy with your hair, and we’ll do whatever we can to make that happen.

Interested in scheduling a toner or coloring session? Get in touch today!

More from Facetté...

Cocktails & Collagen – Friday, Sept. 29

Join us for a night of cocktails, giveaways, & promotions along with education about the various collagen treatments we offer!

Vote & Win!

Vote for Facetté in the Best Of NOCO Contest and win! Each month, we’re giving away a $200 gift card + a  product bag each week. Voting ends 9/15/23.