What Is Hair Toner And Why Do We Use It?

It seems like there are a lot of steps when it comes to going blonde. It’s hard to know what is important and worth your time and money. We’re here to breakdown toner; what is is, what it does and why it is important.


What is toner?

Toner is a product that is applied after your hair is bleached. Bleach is not a colour, it is simply lifting the colour (pigment) out of your hair. The colour is then applied after bleaching with a toner.

Toner alters the undertones and colour of your hair. So, if you’re blonde, it’s the difference between looking like Lisa Simpson or Margot Robbie. Whatever shade of blonde you’re after, there’s a toner for it. Consider what blonde you are aiming for, whether it’s ashy, silvery, or more natural and golden because they all require different toners.

How does it work?

Every blonde out there knows that the real enemy is brassiness. Toner neutralises brassiness and yellow tones in blonde hair to create the perfect shade. It’s particularly a key step for any platinum blondes.

Is it permanent?

Toner is not permanent. The more you wash your hair, the quicker it will fade. Depending on your hair type a toner can last from 3-6 weeks. Virgin hair (that has never been dyed before) will hold toner for a lot longer than regularly dyed hair.

Is toner damaging to hair?

After bleaching your hair, toning is the easy part. Toner is semi/demi permanent so it isn’t likely to cause any drastic damage. Of course any type of hair dye/toner isn’t good for your hair, especially if not looked after and done repeatedly. Visiting a salon to tone your hair will ensure minimum damage.

You can always use restoring hair treatments like Olaplex and leave in conditioners to restore your lock’s health if you’re starting to feel the damage.

Can I tone at home?

We will always recommend coming to a professional to tone your hair. It is important to use the correct toner so as not to overtone or undertone.

If your Stylist recommends the correct toner shade, there are some at home toners you can buy if your finances can’t always stretch to the salon. If you have never had a toner before, ensure you do a strand test before going all over your hair. You should apply toner on damp hair and leave for 5-20 minutes, until you are at your ideal blonde.

There are some at home follow on treatments after having a toner. Purple shampoo is no secret these days and is a great way to keep your blonde looking fresh. It is a form of toner that neutralises brassiness with its purple tone wash by wash.

Is it only for blondes?

Toners aren’t just for blondes, they can be used for pastel colours as well as copper and redheads.

There are also clear toners which leave no colour on your hair but can be used to add some extra shine. At the Hair Boutique, we offer a Glow Dry service where we use a clear toner to make your hair look glossy.

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