With a wide range of hair coloring products you can find on the market, it can be overwhelming to know which one you should go for, right? Hair toners are one of those popular hair coloring products designed to control “brassiness” and keep the hair looking healthy.
But, can you mix toner with hair dye?
While you could technically mix these two products, we wouldn’t recommend you to do so if you lack proper training and experience.
In this article, we covered everything you need to know about hair toners, so without further ado, let’s dive in!
What Is A Hair Toner?
You can think of hair toners as a” topcoat for your hair.” It generally comes in a gloss or gel-like formula and works to highlight or de-emphasize certain hair tones, as well as add shine to your hair.
Toners aren’t one specific product, though – you can’t go out and just purchase a “toner.”
Glosses, demi-permanent colors, tinted shampoos, and conditioners can all be considered hair toners.
That is because all of these products contain pigments that alter the tone of your hair. Usually, the tint delivered in hair toners isn’t permanent; it can last around three to four weeks.
Types Of Hair Toners
Demi-permanent colors, also known as glosses, add color without lightening the hair. “Glosses” usually last about seven weeks, and there’s no grow-out process – they’ll merely fade out of the hair.
Glosses work for clients who often switch their hair color or just want to try out something new without the commitment of permanent hair changes.
Blue and purple hair-toning products – such as the oh-so-popular purple shampoos – work to eliminate brassiness. Purple toning hair products are great for blondes since the violet color reduces yellow tones and neutralizes the warmth to keep blonde hair looking fresh.
On the other hand, blue toning hair products are generally preferred for brunettes since the blue color cancels out orange tones and improves your hair’s luster.
Why Do People Need Toner?
Ladies need toning products for many different reasons – but the most common ones would be adjusting cool and warm tones or maintaining the shades they prefer.
You can also use toners to increase shine, softness and reduce the appearance of split ends in hair. Also, toners can bring life back into the hair that looks dull or brassy and make the existing hair color more vibrant.
What Are The Benefits Of Using Toner?
Toners are fantastic multi-purpose hair products that have a wide range of benefits. While they, of course, enhance and refresh tone, they also add dimension to your hair’s color and eliminate any discoloration.
Additionally, toners strengthen hair by creating a barrier around the strands to protect hair and balance their porosity by filling in the shaft.
Lastly, toners add shine and volume to hair by plumping the cuticle to make it look fuller while sealing it down to create shine and reflection.
Related Read: Can I Dye My Hair After Using Toner?
How Is Toner Applied?
Generally, toner is applied as the finishing touch to the hair-coloring process. You can apply it to specific areas of the hair by using foils – but in most cases, it’s an all-over thing.
Toner usually takes five to twenty minutes to process, depending on the type and the application process utilized. Your hairstylist will determine if a hair toner is necessary, which type of toner to use, and how to apply it for best results.
If you have questions about toners, talk to your hairstylist about any concerns you might have – especially with bleaching services.
Understandably, you want to know what’s going on with your hair.
Hairstylists utilize the color wheel to determine what tone is required for your hair toner service. They’ll choose a hair toner on the opposite side of the color wheel from the one you want to get rid of here.
So, if your hair is too red, for example, a green toner is used; if your hair is too yellow, a purple toner will remove the unwanted yellow tone. You get the idea.
Typically, the hair toner will be purple – but it depends on what you’re trying to neutralize.
Related Read: How To Remove Purple Toner From Hair?
What Developer To Use With Toner?
To tone your hair, we recommend using a 2:1 developer-to-toner ratio – meaning two parts of the developer to one part of the toner.
With that being said, the color of the hair you’re working with will impact what type of developer you should use here.
For instance, if you want darker colors – such as deep gray or ash – use a 10 volume developer. On the other hand, 20 volume developer is generally recommended to tone lighter colors, such as pale blond or platinum.
You might be wondering why we recommend different developer volumes. The answer is pretty simple:
The 20 volume developer can lift the color of the hair, so it doesn’t work well when you’re trying to tone darker hair color.
That’s pretty important because the goal here is to use developer and toner to adjust the color of the hair and tone it lightly.
Why would you tone your hair, anyway?
There are several reasons why you might need to tone hair. Perhaps the sun faded the color of your hair – or maybe your hair lost its shine due to using the wrong shampoo or after a few laps in a swimming pool.
That’s where toner enters the scene – this hair product can remove any unwanted tones in your hair.
Of course, there are also 30 and 40 volume developers available on the market. However, these developers aren’t used to tone hair – nor would we recommend using them at home.
You want to stick to 10 to 20 volume developers here. The volume you use is based on the hair color you’re trying to tone, of course – but the upper limit remains.
Can You Mix Toner With Hair Dye?
One might think that mixing toner with hair dye would be as easy as mixing flour and water. It’s probably easy, but the question is, will it be okay?
Hair dyes and toners were created for different goals. As we already mentioned, toners remove unwanted tones that appear on bleached hair and enhance hair dye.
For instance, if you want to go for a light golden blonde 9.3, you’d mix it with yellow toner to get golden-looking locks. However, you need to know how to work with proportions properly – that’s the only way to ensure the desired results.
If you, for example, mix too much yellow toner, you could end up looking like you have a doll’s plastic hair.
Why does this happen?
Because hair toners are a professional hair product that contains intense pigments and can alter the color of your hair quite drastically.
If you mix toner with a hair dye that contains undertones like gold, ash, or copper, you’ll saturate the color.
So, if you’re not a professional hair colorist, keep scrolling. We’ll discuss why you shouldn’t mix hair dye with toner and how to get undertones without combining the two.
Why Shouldn’t Toners Be Mixed With Hair Dye?
Stylists usually use a mix of hair dye and toner to enhance an undertone or attain a secondary tone after coloring the hair.
However, you should always respect the exact ratios; each color calls for a particular proportion. For instance, ash brown isn’t the same as, let’s say, mahogany brown.
We can pretty much guarantee you that it will be challenging to mix toner with hair dye without oversaturating the color. There are so many things to consider when combining these two hair products.
For example, you’ll have to mix red toner with hair dye if you’re looking for a mahogany brown blonde. However, to prevent the color from looking too bright, you’ll also have to add a touch of green.
As you can see, mixing hair dye and toner isn’t as simple as one would think. It’s never going to turn out well if you lack the necessary training and experience.
There’s a way to attain an undertone without mixing toner and hair dye, though – be sure to read on to find out more!
How To Get Undertones Without Mixing Hair Dye And Toner
The good news is that many hair coloring companies came up with an alternative to allow you to get the desired results without paying colorists or mixing toner and hair dye at home.
Do you know what we’re talking about here?
That’s right – hair dye with added toner in their formula.
How can one identify them?
Well, all hair dyes are identified by numbers. For instance, black is number 1. And hair dyes that include a period in their numbers are those that contain toner.
Here are some guidelines:
- If you want an ash undertone, go for hair dyes ending in “1” because they include blue toner.
- If you want an iridescent undertone, go for hair dyes ending in “2” because they include purple toner.
- If you want a golden undertone, go for hair dyes ending in “3” because they include yellow toner.
- If you want a copper undertone, go for hair dyes ending in “4” because they include an orange tone.
- If you want a mahogany undertone, go for hair dyes ending in “5” because they include red toner.
Also, remember that the lighter your hair is, the more effective the undertones will be. Here are a few examples:
- If you apply a 9.5 light blonde mahogany, your hair is going to look pale red.
- If you apply a 7.3 golden blue, your hair is going to look caramel.
- If you apply a 5.2 iridescent brown, your hair will appear platinum because of the purple toner.
So, the question is, what undertone are you looking to achieve?
So, can you mix toner with hair dye?
We would advise you never to mix toner and hair dye unless you have the proper training and experience to combine these products in exact proportions.
If you want to attain a different color intensity, you can select hair dyes that include toner in their formula – they’re going to brighten your hair and give you the desired results.
Just be sure you know how to identify them – and apply them with care!