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All You Need to Know About Hair Toner

Bleaching and colouring can cause hair colour to turn brassy over time, meaning it can be left with undesired warm undertones making it look unnatural. To eliminate these unwanted undertones and help to maintain the desired colour, your hairdresser can use a hair toner.

Pink tube of hair cream with silver lid

What is a toner?

A toner is the secret weapon that helps you correct or personalise your colour. This product is used to add natural or more visible tones after a professional colour treatment and, as a result, enhance the tonality of your hair, creating a professional finished look. It’s most commonly for, but not limited to, blondes. In order for toner to work correctly and effectively, it’s important to first get your hair to the suitable colour through the process of dye or bleach.

How does bleaching work?

Aprofessional term for bleach is pre-lightener, referring to how bleach is not a colour, but rather a method by which the natural or coloured hair is lifted to the lightness you require. This process can leave you with a creamy sun-kissed or pale white result, depending on the history of your hair. It’s important that the hair is at the desired level of blonde before you tone..

Your stylist will apply a toner, in order to soften the colour left by the bleach, giving your blonde a personalised, unique and professional-looking finish. It’s important to not shampoo your hair directly after toning at the salon, as this will cause the colour to fade. For best results, make sure you always use Smartbond with every lightening and colour service for strong and protected hair.

What does toner do for hair?

Toner allows the hairdresser to personalise your colour by making it warmer or cooler in tone, correct unwanted tones or to add a bright pop of fashion colour, without actually lifting the shade. It also enables the hairstylist to make sure you get an even hair colour result from root to tip. All this can help you achieve the finished look that you’re after. You can also use a haircare product that contains a toner between treatments at the salon, in order to help you maintain your colour.

Toner helps to even out the colour of your locks, blending the new colour seamlessly with the old one, adding luster to your hair. And, not only does a toner have an effect on the colour of your hair, it also has an impact on its condition too. It makes hair look more natural, as well as healthier, softer and shinier. This is because key ingredients such as Ionène G™ and Incell™ can act as a filler to even out the hair’s porosity (referring to its ability to absorb and retain moisture). So a toner can ensure that the colour spreads, giving you flawless locks from root to tip with and, at the same time, keep them strong and protected.

A toner can be used all over your hair or to target specific areas where you want to change the shade

What colour results can you expect from a toner?

There is no one shade-suits-all toner. In fact, a toner is a way to make your hair colour your own. Colours can be mixed together by your stylist to get the right shade for you. Toners offer a range of colours, from warmer tones like copper or honey, to cooler tones of light ash or even silver. It’s also the ideal choice for those looking to achieve the perfect pastel hair with shades of pink and lilac. As well as toners your stylist uses in salon, you can also find haircare products that contain a toner for use at home in between appointments.

Is a toner only for blondes?

No. Toners can also be used on brunettes and redheads who want to banish unwanted brassy tones or want to personalise their hair colour making it warmer, cooler or adding a fashion colour.

The length of time your professional toner lasts will depend on your at home hair care routine. Your toner will last longer if you use a professional brand hair care, for instance. A colour conditioner like L’Oreal Professionnel CC Cream Conditioner can be used in the shower for a quick fix that lasts one wash. .

What are the benefits of ammonia-free products?

With ammonia-free products, the hair’s natural structure and pigment is less disrupted when compared to products that contain ammonia. ammonia-free products will usually give similar colour finish, but sometimes the results will last for less time.

What is purple shampoo and how can it be used?

Purple shampoo contains a toner that covers unwanted pigment. It’s all about the laws of colour. By toning your hair with a shade opposite to yours on the colour wheel, any unwanted undertones are neutralised. As purple cancels out yellow, finding the right balance between the two will leave you with a natural, more neutral tone when used weekly. This is where purple shampoo comes in. 

L’Oreal Professionnel Silver Shampoo can be used to help maintain the shade of blonde you want. It’s gentle on the hair and scalp, and can be used after hair has been bleached. When washing with purple shampoo, the hair cuticles trap a small amount of purple pigment, which cancels out the yellow or brassy undertones. 

Colour wheel

How often should you tone your hair?

This is largely dependent on your hair washing habits. The less frequently you wash your locks, the longer your colour stays in, but you can increase the longevity of your colour by using professional shampoo and conditioner.

How long does a toner last?

Depending on your hair type and how often you have coloured before, the intervals between toning can last between 2-6 weeks. Generally speaking, previously coloured hair is more porous and will therefore hold colour for less time than natural or virgin hair.

For regular upkeep and to prevent your toner from fading between colour treatments, consider using a professional haircare range such as L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color AOx. Enriched with an anti-oxidant complex and UV filters, this range helps to prevent fading and provides you with radiant-looking colour and hair that feels silky soft.

What causes colour to fade?

There are many factors that can turn your blonde, grey, ombre or highlights a brassy or yellow colour. These include:

●             Air pollution

●             Hard water

●             Sun exposure

●             Chlorine and other pool chemicals

●             The normal process of colour-treatment fading

How can you make your hair toner last?

There are a number of ways you can increase the longevity of your toner: 

Use professional haircare

Using shampoos and conditioners like L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamin Colour Soft Colour Shampoo can help make your toner last longer.

Protect your hair from the sun

During the summer months, be careful of the effects of sun on your hair. With sun exposure your colour can fade faster. You can protect your hair from sun exposure by:

●             Using L’Oreal Professionnel Solar Sublime Spray to provide your hair with instant conditioning protection and shield it from drying effects

●             Wearing a hat where necessary

●             Limiting your time spent in direct sunlight

Protect your hair when heat styling

Besides the sun, frequent use of heat tools, like blow dryers, flat and curling irons, can also contribute for your colour to fade. So don’t forget to use a heat-protectant like Mythic Oil Colour Glow Oil whenever you feel like trying a new hairstyle. Formulated with a rich blend of precious oils, including argan oil and cranberry oil, it nourishes and and illuminates colour-treated hair, while offering heat protection of up to 230°C/446°F.

Aftercare for blonde hair

If you bleach your hair, it’s a good idea to use nourishing treatments and double up on conditioner afterwards. This means using leave-in products such as L’Oreal Professionnel DD Balm Nutrifier to nourish ends regularly or L’Oreal Professionnel Pro Fiber Restore Leave-In for smoother hair and heat protection. In addition, you can also apply hair masks routinely like L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color A OX Jelly Masque for deep hydration and colour protection. This will refresh your hair while helping it prolong the colour. Another way to look after your hair is to go for regular trims to get rid of any damaged ends.

Professional haircare recommendations from your stylist will help you achieve optimum, long-lasting results. If you’re looking to refresh your hair colour, your professional stylist can help advise you on the right shade for you from the L’Oreal Professionnel Range, for beautiful, lustrous results.