Every girl wanted to go blond or any other light color at least once in a lifetime. But it is very hard to go light when your natural hair color is dark. That is where bleach comes in help. But playing with bleach can be very dangerous since this chemical can harm your skin and hair greatly. Remember, bleach and hair toner is not the same!
Before using it on your own, make sure you know what hair toner is. Learn to recognize when you need to use a hair toner. And most importantly, learn how long to leave the toner on your hair and not cause any damage to your scalp and hair.
To find the right answers to these burning questions, read this article until the end.
How Does Hair Toner Work?
Your hair has red or orange pigment unless you have naturally blonde hair. In order to lighten your hair, the bleach has to work through each of those pigments and lift them away. Those brassy undertones depend on how long you leave the bleach in, and a hair toner is here to help you maintain the situation under control.
Hair toner changes your hair’s undertone; of course, it won’t completely alter your hair color, but it will help you neutralize the shade of your naturally blonde or bleached hair. Hair toner enables you to achieve a shinier, healthier, more natural-looking shade.
Hairstylists use bleach to lighten hair to a desired hair color level from a scale of 1 to 10. A level 1 hair color is the darkest black color, and level 10 is the lightest blonde color. The tone of the level is defined by how much warmth is in the hair color level. Tones can be warm or also called golden, cool also referred to as ashy or neutral.
When a hairstylist lightens hair to a level 8, they will need to use a toner to balance out the warm tones that are always present in darker hair. The toner will neutralize the tone as much as it can to a more desirable shade.
Usually, the toner will be applied at the shampoo bowl, and it can be applied to specific sections of the hair using foils or as an all-over. It takes five to forty-five minutes to process, depending on the application method as well as the brand. Using the toner is the only way to get the exact blonde you’re hoping for without risking to fry your hair completely.
Learn More: Does Toner Damage Hair?
When Should You Use Hair Toner?
The right answer is any time you apply bleach. You will need an excellent toner to neutralize unwanted undertones such as bright yellow, brassy orange, or golden hair after the bleach is used. You need a more natural-looking ashy, dusty, or platinum blonde. The hair toner is a lifesaver in manipulating those pesky undertones, so does not avoid using it. You can use toner on highlights or roots to change the shade.
The only tricky part is how to choose the right toner to achieve the shade you want. Use hair toner when you want to:
- Neutralizing brassy tones – If your priority is to get rid of brassy hair, you need a toner containing light ashy tones. Depending upon how well your hair absorbs cool hues, you might consider mixing in a small amount of a warmer toner to achieve that golden blond hair.
- Achieving lightest results – If you want to hit that pure white or light blonde hair, you need a toner with icy white tones. After using this toner, you need to apply purple shampoo to ramp up the ashy base and keep yellow undertones away.
- Going pastel – Having baby tones or having rainbow hair is very popular now, and it is not that easy to achieve that. You will need to make your hair palest blonde-white for a perfect pastel shade and use a color toner over it. Whether it’s gray or rose gold that you are trying to go for, use hair toner for no more than 20 minutes to make a perfect balance.
How To Use A Toner, And How Long To Leave It On?
- Once you find out the right type and color toner, toning your hair will be a piece of cake. Here are the tips on how to tone bleached hair and maintain the natural look:
- Always mix your toner with a hair color developer in a 1:2 ratio
- Use an applicator brush to apply the mixture onto your hair. Focus on the areas with unwanted undertones as much as you can
- Leave the toner in for up to 45 minutes (depending on the brand), then rinse thoroughly, and wash with a moisturizing shampoo and deep condition
- Color fades over time, and bleach blonde hair tends to develop brassy tones since the color oxidizes. This means you will need to refresh your color with a toner every six weeks to keep natural, healthy-looking hair.
Read Also: Can You Tone Your Hair Twice?
What Type Of Hair Toner Should You Use?
Like I said above, natural blondes and bleach-blondes that have a problem with bright yellow or golden undertones can often tone out warm shades with a purple shampoo. The purple neutralizes warm tones and makes your hair look more natural blonde.
But if your hair color change is more dramatic with residues of a brassy orange undertone, a purple shampoo won’t do a thing for you.
That is when you need to use stronger, ammonia-based toner.
How To Choose The Right Ammonia-based Toner?
- Ammonia-based toners are color-depositing dyes that change the pigment of your hair. They come in all different colors.
- Depending on what you want your end color to be, choose a toner that will work to neutralize unwanted pigments to get that blonde you wish to. For example, if you are trying to get rid of orange tones and achieve a dark, ashy blonde, or light brown, the best option for you is a blue toner. A platinum or silvery blonde requires a violet toner to remove yellow undertones.
- Be very careful since the wrong color toner can leave you with a green residue!
What Are The Benefits Of Using A Hair Toner?
- Toners have a variety of benefits. They refresh and enhance tone and add dimension to hair color. Also, they are great at eliminating discoloration.
- A good toner will also strengthen hair and create a protective barrier around the strands and fill in the shaft. Toner should add volume and shine to your hair by plumping the hair cuticle and make it fuller. It will also seal down the cuticle, which will help create reflection and shine. So as you can see, toner is a must if you want to have great healthy-looking hair.
Can You Use Hair Toner At Home Or Should You Have It Done By A Professional Hairstylist?
This depends on how much color work you need. If you want to go from black to platinum, it is ridiculous to even think about doing it yourself. You should always go to a pro since you can really mess up your hair and scalp by using the wrong product and overexpose your skin and hair to it.
However, you can definitely take care of toning at home, as long as you’re careful and you do smaller color changes like from light brown to blond. It is recommended to add some conditioner to the toner to emulsify it throughout the hair.
If you never used hair color or toner before, do a test on a smaller segment of your hair on the neck and see if you will have an allergic reaction to it.
According to hair professionals, toners should be left on the hair for approximately 15 to 20 minutes and maximum for 45 minutes if the brand requires it in the manual. Keep in mind that you must choose the appropriate color of the toner to achieve the end color you desired.
Always perform a strand test before applying the toner to see how you will react to it. Toners are not created equally; therefore, follow the directions on the package for the best results.
Toners are your best friends when it comes to hitting that natural looking hair color. They will work their magic and fine-tune the color and turn something basic into something magical.
Related Read: What Happens If You Leave Hair Dye In Too Long?