Why Does Toner Burn My Scalp?

It may be too strong if you are using a dye. You are burning from the dye’s chemicals because your scalp is sensitive.

Well, the toners are used on the hair after it has been lightened to change the overall color of the hair. Toners tend to change the tones of the hair that have been bleached. But there are some facts that people will scream about: the toners are burning their scalps. Before going with toners, the chances are high that you are bleaching your hair. And for that reason, the toners will suffer the side effects of bleaching.

And with bleaching, you can avoid the roots of the hair, which would eventually ignore the implications of the bleach on the scalp. As you’re not applying the bleach to the scalp, the chances of applying the toners to the scalp are also low. As a result, you can avoid scalp burning in this manner. With the scalp, the burning sensation would be mostly personal, as you’d feel it. In the case of hair, the terms and work are different because the hair burn is not very nerve damaging.

But burns on the scalp would make the situation worse. Why does toner burn my scalp? The toner can cause scalp burns for two reasons. First, you might be using a very harsh toner on the scalp. And this kind of toner has ammonia in it. Because you’ve already bleached your hair, it’s likely that your scalp is sensitive. And when you apply the toner on top, it might start tingling, and it will feel like a toner burn.

Another reason for toner burn is that when you use a toner for longer, it starts to react with the skin and cause severe damage. In most cases, the burn is felt mostly on the scalp through bleaching rather than the toner itself. And for that, it’s better to take precautions from the start, so the toner doesn’t burn the scalp.

What is toner?

What is toner

Hair toners are applied right after the application of the hair bleach. They lighten the bleach color of the hair. When you bleach very dark hair, the chances of the hair turning yellow or orange are high. When you have light hair, or it has been pre-lightened, your hair will turn golden. If you have black or brown hair and use bleach to completely lift the color, it will turn orange on the first try. You can do two to three bleaching sessions to lift all the colors, or you can just use a toner on your orange or yellowish hair to get the exact light color. But in all of these, a lot of calculation is involved for both toners and bleaching. The toners are also a good way to neutralize a very vibrant hue.

With the use of a toner, the hair would look more dimensional, natural, and clear. Toner does not change your hair color completely, but it will rather add to the existing hair color setting and change the tone of the hair. They will manipulate the hair shades and make them slightly darker or lighter based on the toner shade you use. Toners are the minimum version for the hair colors, and like regular colors, they do not change or alter the hair color.

Is toner damaging to the hair?

Is toner damaging to the hair

Toner burn is somewhat related to bleach burn. The majority of toners are used immediately after bleaching. And thus, when your hair is damaged by the bleach, adding toner on top of it will seriously hamper the scalp. And this is why it is important to make sure that the toner is applied only when it is safe. The whole bleaching and toning process is not a one-and-done area.

 But rather, it is related to gradual development. And this is what you get when you are changing your hair color. The changes in hair color are somewhat related to the bleaching that is done before the application of color. And when you want the hair to look blonde, it will be wise to concentrate on using toners instead of colors. Hair toning has a low risk of burning the scalp, even when done close to the scalp. As a result, the scalp may be damaged prior to the application of the toner.

Many articles have stated that toners do not damage the hair over the years. And this might be because the toners are the pigments that have the ability to manipulate the hair color, so the tint will change the hair. But the question that always comes up is, “Will a toner damage the hair?” Well, the answer is yes. Toners can be damaging to the hair. And here are the reasons, including.

Altering the hair structure:

The most important fact about hair toners is that they are able to manipulate the overall hair structure. As a result, they tend to settle on the hair’s pores. Any product that opens up the cuticle will eventually damage the hair. They can burn the scalp, make the cuticles vulnerable, frizz up the hair, and do overall damage to the hair. But this will only happen when you use a product that has spent too much time on the hair and is harsh on the scalp. Products that do not harm the hair scalp have a lower risk of burning the hair.

Caustic chemicals:

Well, this might not be for all the toners out there. But there are some products that contain very harsh chemicals. And these are:

This kind of product is the reason why you might be experiencing scalp burning or hair damage. Chemical burns and blistering have been observed when a product contains more than 10% hydrogen peroxide concentration. These sorts of products are harsh chemical oxidizers that will end up damaging human skin when used randomly. Such toners will end up damaging the skin and causing burning symptoms such as rashes, irritation, swelling, and itching.

What is toner damage or toner burn?

What is toner damage or toner burn

There are many signs that the toners you use on your hair are not right for you. Well, in most cases, the toners leave a hint of damaged hair. These symptoms indicate that the toner you use is not well suited, and you might want to get your hair fixed by choosing an alternative. Here we are including some of the symptoms of toner damage:

  • Loss of hair strength
  • Dull hair
  • Frizzy hair
  • Dry and brittle hair
  • Split ends
  • Damaged hair
  • Bad color output

Well, these are just some of the regular terms used for toner damage. And, as you can see, almost no mention of the toner’s burning scalp. The scalp burning caused by hair toners is not to be ignored completely. So here we are, including the symptoms of scalp burn from chemicals:

  • Scalp redness
  • Scalp swelling
  • Pain in the burned area
  • Blisters
  • Wetness in the affected area

Bleach burn or toner burn?

Bleach burn or toner burn

Well, this point might be overlooked by most of the people who are turning their hair a lighter shade. And those who scream, “Why does my toner burn my scalp?” are mostly tossing and turning because they have used the toners at the end of the whole bleaching session. The bleaching session is harsh on the hair, as the hydrogen peroxide used in the bleach will lift off the original hair color, which might also open up the hair’s cuticles. Bleach is common on the hair, and in cases like this, the bleach must’ve hurt your scalp first. And when you apply the toner on top of it, the hurtful part starts, which might be why the toners are the culprit of the scalp burn.

With the scalp burn, the entire head of hair went through a scalp bleaching session. When you are applying bleach to color your hair close to the roots or even when you are touching up your roots, the chances of burning the scalp are high. On-scalp bleaching is tougher as it involves the hair scalp directly. On-scalp bleaching, when done badly or with a high rate of the developer, has a high chance of ruining the integrity of the hair.

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How can I prevent toner burn on my scalp?

How can I prevent toner burn on my scalp

Now that we have discussed all the burns on the scalp, there are a few more things that we have to add. We might say that toner burns are not common, but the facts cannot be avoided completely. So, here are some ways you might be able to completely avoid toner burn on the scalp:

Using the correct developer

When you are bleaching the hair, several kinds of developers are used. The highest rate for a developer is 40. Well, these kinds are mostly avoided as they are very damaging to the hair. The 30 developers commonly used hair to remove color. And when you are about to bleach the hair, the best way to go is with a small percentage of the developer. And for that, we recommend the level 10 developer. This will lift the color without damaging it too much. And for that reason, the toner you are applying on top will not feel too harsh on the skin. Even the 20-volume developer on the roots is damaging to the hair. They tend to change the entire being of the hair and can make the roots very light, and when kept for a little too long, they will certainly burn the scalp of the hair.

Avoid over-processing the hair

When bleaching virgin hair for the first time or when your hair is darker, the chances of the colors being completely lifted are slim. So the chances of the hair ending up looking yellow or orange is high. So, if you bleach your hair repeatedly with little intervals, you run the risk of frying it and damaging the scalp. So when you use the toners on top of it, the hair might actually give up and burn the scalp.

Not using cheap toners

Well, when you are applying something directly to your scalp, the best thing would be to avoid the product being harsh and cheap. The cheap toners available on the market may contain harsh chemicals like ammonia, and they will also harm the scalp and the hair. The lightening process of the hair is extremely damaging, but applying the toner on top of it will only hamper the hair.


1. Is toner supposed to burn your head?

Toners are not supposed to burn your head, and it might be the bleaching process used before it or the harsh chemicals in the toner.

2. Why does my scalp burn after toner?

When the toners are harsh, or there is an existing burn from bleaching, the toners will burn the scalp.

3. Is your scalp supposed to burn when bleaching?

The scalp is not supposed to burn when you are bleaching the hair. But when you use a high level of developer, the chances of burning the scalp after bleaching is high.

Final Thoughts

Toners will not damage your hair or scalp. The main thing about toners is that they will only tone the hair. You can use different kinds of toners to get different results. You should use bleach before toner because the scalp damage is more visible at that point. But why are there so many complaints about the toner burning the scalp? Well, when your scalp is burned with bleach, the sensation might not seem severe. But when you apply the toner on top of it, the harshness of the toner will impact the roots of the hair, and it will make it look like the scalp burn is due to the toners. Using cheap toners may cause irritation in addition to scalp burn.

Key Points

  1. There are two reasons why toner might cause scalp burns. To begin, you may be using a really harsh toner on your scalp. And this type of toner contains ammonia. Because you’ve previously bleached your hair, your scalp is probably sensitive. When you use a toner for an extended period of time, it begins to react with the skin and causes serious damage. Most of the time, the burn is felt on the scalp as a result of bleaching rather than the toner itself.
  2. When a product includes more than 10% hydrogen peroxide concentration, chemical burns and blisters have been recorded. These are severe chemical oxidizers that will end up hurting human skin if applied carelessly.
  3. When bleaching the hair, a modest amount of the developer is the best way to proceed. And we propose the level 10 developer for this. This will lift the color without causing too much damage. As a result, the toner you put on top will not be too harsh on the skin.

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