What is toner?

My stylist used a toner on my hair. What is that?

Have you ever been laying in the shampoo bowl, your stylist rinses your highlights, and the says “ok I’m going to tone it”? Meanwhile you’re silently panicking because you can’t see what your hair looks like and now it sounds like something went wrong. Maybe she puts something on your hair for 30 seconds and rinses it out. You leave loving your hair but after the first shampoo the color looks yellow.

Let me break it down. “Toner” is color. It is used to enhance or refine hair color. Lightener or “bleach” just removes pigment. It usually leaves behind a shade of yellow (or orange if not lifted enough. That’s another post for another day) To customize a clients highlights I’ll use a toner. It’s a special mix of color. I tend to mix multiple shades of toners: one for the roots, one for the ends, and sometimes a shade in-between.

In my chair it is rare for me to use just one shade so you can expect me to apply the toner while you’re sitting up. This is just easier for me to see placement.

There are some situations where I only need one shade or sometimes I don’t need to tone at all!

You’ll also need to sit with the toner on your hair for 10-20 minutes. With most brands of haircolor this is the recommended time needed to ensure longevity of your color.

Always be sure to use a recommended color protecting shampoo to help your color last as long as possible.

That being said. Toner fades. The ashier (think grays and silvers) the faster the fade. You can always book a toner only appointment for in between highlight services.

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