A Guide To Hair Toners | Hair.com UK

What Does A Toner Do For Your Hair? A Guide To Hair Toners

12 December 2018
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In pursuit of becoming the flaxen haired goddess of your dreams, you might be wondering what a toner does to your hair. We’ve taken the mystery out of the box by delving into the world of toners, discussing everything you need to know about how they work, and the multiple ways they elevate your strands into shiny, silky locks. Time to tone up, we think!

What Does A Toner Do To Your Hair? 

In the haircare universe, toner is the secret weapon that lets you control colour. Designed to enhance the tonality of your hair after a colour treatment, you get to wholly and truly embody the colour you’ve been yearning for. Think of the hair dye as a steak, and toner as the salt and pepper - you need to tweak and refine it slightly to get the exact result you want! According to Gareth Williams, Creative Ambassador at Headmasters Salons,
“there is still a misconception that toners are used when things go wrong to correct the colour. Fear not – this is really not the reason anymore. Toners are used to tone, neutralise and enhance the shade once the hair has been highlighted. It can add subtlety to a colour that gives depth and sophistication to the finished look, making each colour completely bespoke to the wearer”. 

Nicole Vince Hair journalist

Toner is mostly used on blonde locks, but it can be used for other shades too.

The Logistics Of Toner

While you’re sitting in the salon chair, waiting for your magical transformation to unfold, there are a lot of things going on behind the scenes. First you have the hair bleaching process [LINK TO: https://uk.hair.com/hair-colour/bleaching-why-you-should-always-seek-professional-advice], also referred to as pre-lightener, which takes the colour out of your hair. Your colourist begins by applying bleach, which will remove the pigment, leaving it a raw shade. Next up is toner, arguably the most important part of the shade-altering treatment, providing hair with a number of benefits like: 

Softening the raw colour, to get you to your desired shade.

Acting as a filler to even out the hair’s porosity, helping the colour spread just like butter on warm toast. Mmm.

Improving the condition of your hair, to make it look more natural and healthier - we’d never say no to that.

Your colourist can use toner all over your locks or in specific areas where you want to change the shade. For example, if your regrowth or highlights need a colour camouflage touch up, or if your ombre or balayage is looking a little on the lacklustre side, toner can help to restore your hair to its former crowning glory. 



Taking The Magic Home

We know what you’re thinking… no fair? Want to use this brilliant blonde booster from your fall walls? We gotcha, sista. You can also use a toner used in between treatments at the salon, to keep your colour perfectly primed all-year-round. Simply swap out your normal shampoo for a toning one, and it’ll cancel out and correct unwanted tones of brassiness - copper may be a gorg trend, but safe to say brass never will be… 

The Science Behind Purple Shampoo

One of the most well-known toning shampoos is purple shampoo. Boasting a confusing name (you probably didn’t sign up for purple hair), this violet-tinted cleanser actually works to brighten your blonde strands. Mind blown? The laws of colour mean that the shade opposite to yours on the colour wheel will neutralise the shade you don’t want. As purple is opposite yellow, purple shampoo works by cancelling out the dreaded yellow or brassiness, leaving your blonde so natural, no one would guess it’s not real. Time to break up with brass with Redken Color Extend Blondage Purple Shampoo, the easiest way to get you back to the brilliant blonde you deserve.

Can Toner Be Used On Other Hair Colours? 

You bet - this colour goodness isn’t just received for the blonde babes out there. Toner is key in rocking the faux-grey or slippery silver style, especially Redken Color Extend Graydiant Shampoo and Conditioner, which is an anti-yellow, silver brightening range that is designed for grey and silver hair. It not only nourishes and strengthens, but it also progressively brightens the hair. Grey hair isn’t just for granny! 

There are also colour correcting creams that are ideal for those on the darker spectrum. If you're looking to enhance your beautiful brunette shade, let us introduce L'Oréal Professionnel Serie Expert Vitamino Colour A OX CC Cream for Brunettes. Its anti-redness system helps to neutralise red tones, leaving you with the brightest and most natural brunette shade.

When To Use Toner

As is so often the case with our manes, there’s no one-size-fits-all approach. Sorry, no cutting corners here. The answer to this questions lies in your haircare routine and the type of hair you have, as well as the level of damage. You might find yourself reaching for the toner anywhere between 2-8 weeks after visiting your salon. Previously coloured hair is more porous, which means that it’ll hold onto colour for less time than natural or virgin hair - sorry, colour chameleons. But bear in mind that the less regularly you wash your strands, the longer you get to hold onto your colour (if grease isn’t your thing, dry shampoo will be your BFF).

How To Care For Toned Hair

The colouring process can dry out and damage your hair, so it’s a good idea to regularly treat your mop to moisturising treatments. Packed with yummy coconut and avocado oil, weekly use of a mask such as Pureology Hydrate Superfood Mask can help you get in all the nourishment your coloured hair needs, making your shade pop with a capital P. Regular trips to the salon to get a trim (yep, we’re talking every 6 weeks!) can keep the damage in check. 

Your colour deserves to stay true to itself - time to get some toner in your life.
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