Why Hair Toner Might Be The Right Choice For You

26 January 2021 | Tincture and Colour

Do you ever wish you could liven up your hair without going through a drastic colour change? Or maybe you’re sick of that dreadful brassiness that won’t seem to go away. Well, a toner or glazing service could be your solution!

What is Hair Toner?

A hair toner is a semi or demi-permanent hair colour often used by professionals to remove unwanted hues from coloured or bleached hair or to enhance and personalise highlights and balayage. It achieves very similar results to glazing and glossing.

Most hair naturally has tones of red, orange and yellow pigment. When you bleach or lighten your hair, these pigments are stretched so they become almost see-through and are removed to get the hair to your desired level. However, depending on how dark or previously coloured (aka, pigmented) your hair was prior to the bleaching process, you may still be left with some unwanted brassy tones. 

What are the Advantages of Using Toner?

Toner won’t drastically alter the colour of your hair, but instead allows you to manipulate your undertones to achieve a beautiful shade that suits you! Golden blondes with more yellow tones can accomplish an ashy or even platinum shade. But the beauty of toner is that it is not just for blondes. Brunettes who have coloured hair can also go from a warmer, chestnut colour to a gorgeous ash brown with toner.

It sounds remarkable so far, but does toner damage your hair? Most professional toners do not contain ammonia or aggressive amounts of peroxide, and are used alongside a low level developer, so there are no super harsh chemicals involved. 

The condition of your hair is precious to us, so rest assured we would never go ahead with a treatment if it could seriously compromise your healthy locks. 

So, if you’re looking for your perfect colour shade without drastically changing your look, a toner is definitely the way to go!

How do you use Hair Toner?

So, how do you use a toner to get rid of those dreaded orange and yellow tones? The toner should be lathered onto the targeted area and left to work its magic. As it sits on the hair, it will counteract the brassiness, and upon washing it out, you will be left with a shiny, more natural looking shade. 

Finding the right shade of a hair toner is a great balance between the artistic and alchemic. Remember the colour star? Violet across from yellow, blue across from orange and green across from red? This is how we make our choices when it comes to neutralising.

Colour Wheel for Identifying What Toner to Use

The cool colour across from the warm colour will cancel out the unwanted undertones.

Violets, for example, are your friends when wanting to remove yellow, depending on how intense and raw the yellow looks. That’s why people use violet or blue shampoos to keep their blondes cooler!

How Long Does Hair Toner Last?

Your hair type, condition, type of product or colour and your home hair care regime can affect how long your toner lasts. Another factor that can affect its longevity is how often you wash your hair. If you wash your hair every day, you may find your toner fades very quickly. It might be time to give your hair a break and wash it less frequently if you want your stunning colour to last longer! 

We usually say that a toner will last up to 10 shampoos but it’s so subjective and difficult to give a generalised timeline with so many factors that contribute to their longevity.

Which Wella Toner Should I Use?

If you’ve been watching any at-home YouTube tutorials, you may have heard of Wella T18. If not, it’s an extremely popular toner in the US that many people use to try and achieve a super ashy blonde. However, as Brad Mondo preaches, T18 will not work for everyone and here’s why. 

Identify the level of your hair

Wella toners are designed to work very individually. Firstly, you will need to identify the level of your hair. If you have blonde hair, this will usually be between a level 7-10. As we now know, toners simply deposit colour, so you need to pre lighten your hair to the level you want first.

A quick way to identify the undertone of your hair (the colour it’s been lifted to after lightning) is to think of a banana. The outside skin is a level 8 (yellow) the inside of the banana is a 9 (pale yellow) and when you cut into the centre of the flesh, that really creaming colour with hardly any yellow would be a 10 (very pale yellow).

Inside of Banana for Identifying Hair Level

Wella T18 is specifically meant for level 10 hair, so you would not see ideal results using it on level 8 hair, for example. 

Detect the undertones 

Finally, you need to spot whether your hair has more yellow or orange tones. Again, this is because Wella toners target specific undertones in your hair. For example, T18 is formulated for pale yellow hair.  

The devil is in the details. Especially, when your blonde is patchy or uneven. Some areas may be a 10, some may be a 9 and some may be an 8. If you put an all over silver toner for a level 10, the cleanest and lightest part will go silvery but it wont do anything to the remainder of the hair, so you’re left with bluey/silvery/yellow hair.

When lightening and lifting your hair, we ALWAYS recommend a professional look after you.

How do I Remove Hair Toner?

As mentioned, hair toner only lasts up to 10 shampoos. However, if you decide that your toner isn’t for you, you can get rid of it a lot faster. 

Clarifying shampoos are your best friend! These are special shampoos which are made to remove the hair of dirt and oil, but thankfully they are also great at removing colour. However, if you are going to use clarifying shampoo, be sure to have some hair care on hand, as this process can dehydrate the hair. 

Home hair care is so important for this reason. You never know if you’re inadvertently removing your colour faster with store bought shampoos and conditioners.

Here at Tierney Salons, we offer toner alongside our colour treatments, and it is also included in some of our amazing premium packages.Please do not hesitate to contact us if you have further questions. You can book a hair toner here with one of our stylists in Hertford.