HAIR TONER 101: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW

Hair toners correct your hair color and enhance the tonality of bleached or dyed hair.

blow drying hair

blow drying hair

blow drying hair

Want to go blonde? Make sure you pick up the right toner. You probably already know that in order to lighten your hair, you have to use bleach. To achieve a natural-looking blonde rather than a garish yellow or brassy orange, you need to apply a hair toner to your bleached mane. How does it work, you ask? Here are the details.

 
How Does Hair Toner Work?

Unless your hair is naturally a very light blonde, it has shades of red and orange pigment in it. When you lighten your hair, the bleach has to work through each of those pigments to lift the color away. Depending on how long you leave the bleach in, your hair may still have unflattering brassy undertones. That’s where hair toner comes in.

Hair toner works to change your hair’s undertone. It won’t completely alter the color of your hair, but it will help you manipulate the shade of your naturally blonde or lightened locks. In a nutshell, hair toner products neutralize unwanted warm or brassy tones to help you achieve a shinier, healthier, more natural-looking shade.

 
When Should I Use Hair Toner?

Any time you apply bleach to your delicate strands, you’ll need an excellent toner to neutralize unwanted undertones. Toners can take bright yellow or golden hair to a more natural-looking dusty, ashy, or platinum blonde. And they can be a lifesaver if your bleach job has gone horribly wrong and you’re now walking around with a brassy orange mane.

You can even apply hair toner to targeted areas, such as highlights or roots, to change the shade. The trick is choosing the right toner to achieve the shade you want.

 
How Do I Use Toner?

Once you know which type and color toner to use, toning your hair is as easy as 1-2-3. Here’s how to tone bleached hair and keep it looking natural.

  1. Mix your toner with a developer in a 1:2 ratio.
  2. Use an applicator brush to work the mixture into your hair, focusing on the areas with unwanted undertones.
  3. Leave the toner in for up to 45 minutes, then rinse, wash with a moisturizing shampoo and deep condition.
Color-treated hair fades over time, and bleach blonde hair develops brassy tones as it oxidizes. Refresh your color with a toner every 6-8 weeks to keep that natural, healthy-looking blonde.

 
What Type of Toner Should I Use?

Natural blondes and bleach-blondes with bright yellow or golden undertones can often tone out unwanted warm shades with a simple purple shampoo. The purple neutralizes warm, brassy tones for a cooler, more natural-looking blonde.

But if you’re going through a more dramatic color change, purple shampoos alone may not cut it. You may need a stronger, ammonia-based toner, especially if your bleach job has resulted in brassy orange locks. The trick is choosing the right color toner to achieve the gorgeous blonde shade you desire.

 
How Do I Choose the Right Ammonia-Based Toner?

Ammonia-based toners are color-depositing dyes that actually change the pigment of your hair shaft. They come in all different colors, so a basic knowledge of color theory comes in handy.

Decide what you want your end color to be, and choose a toner that will work to neutralize unwanted pigments to get the cool, natural-looking blonde you want. If you’re trying to cancel out orange tones to achieve a dark, ashy blonde or light brown, a blue toner is your best bet. Going for a platinum or silvery blonde? Use a violet-based toner to remove yellow undertones.

Choose wisely. The wrong color toner can leave you with an unsightly mane of green. But if you’re hit with a color disaster, don’t fret. Here’s how to color-correct and achieve blonde beauty.

Now go rock that gorgeous, perfectly toned blonde. Loving it? Check out more John Frieda hair color tips here.

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