hair education

Why does my colourist need to tone my hair?

What is a toner?

Toners correct or neutralize unwanted tones in hair. Typically they are used to cancel out yellow or brassy tones after a lightening process but they can also be used to refresh dull hair, add shine and improve the hair’s condition.

Types of toners.

There are many toner formulations. Depending on the hair’s current colour and the desired result blue-based, violet-based, ash or neutral toners can be used to cancel out the unwanted underlying pigments.

Fashion shades like pink, purple, blue and green can also be used to tone the hair but usually require hair to be at an almost white tone. (level 10)

How is a toner chosen?

Before you begin your colour process it is always best to have a consultation with your colourist to understand what can be done. Toners should be chosen after the hair has been lightened since toner options depend on the level of lift achieved. We chose blondes as an example for this video, but don’t let that limit you. Toners are used in a multitude of colours, from coppers to rich chesntuts.

What if my toner is to dark/light?

Adjusting a toner is pretty simple and nothing to get worked up over. If your toner is a little too dark, have some patience as it will lighten up with regular washing. Think of it as a “time release colour.”

If your toner was too light and you are still seeing some unwanted underlying pigments, re-toning is a simple process. A lower level toner can be applied to cover yellow/brassy tones.

Maintaining your tone.

Standard toners typically last 3 - 6 weeks with proper maintenance, however a direct dye can last 2- 4 weeks.

You can book toner appointments to keep unwanted brassiness out of the hair between regular colour services. Blue or purple shampoos can be used at home to maintain your look at home.