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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 hair toner?

A hair toner is a product that helps you correct or personalise your colour. It is used to add natural or more visible tones after a professional colour treatment. As a result, it enhances the tonality of your hair. How? By creating a professional finished look. It is most commonly used for shades of blonde hair. But it can be beneficial for brunettes and redheads too. In order for toner to work, hair has to be bleached or dyed first. It is important to consult a professional before using bleach or toner. The process can be complex. So if done incorrectly, it can lead to undesirable results.

What is bleaching?

A professional term for bleach is pre-lightener. This refers to how bleaching is a method used to lighten hair. When bleached, 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. It will depend on the history of your hair.

It is important that the hair reaches the desired level of blonde before further colouring. This is then followed by toner. The stylist will apply a toner to your hair, which softens the colour left by the bleach. This will give your blonde a personalised, unique and professional-looking finish. It is also important to not wash your hair directly after toning at the salon. This will cause the colour to fade. For best results, don’t forget to always use Smartbond with every bleach and colour service. This will guarantee stronger, protected hair.

What does a toner do for hair?

There are two types of tone. Firstly, toner used by your hairdresser in salon after hair has been bleached. A toner allows the hairdresser to personalise your colour. How? By making it warmer or cooler in tone, and correcting unwanted shades. It is also possible to add a bright pop of fashion colour, without actually lifting the shade. In addition, it enables the hairstylist to make sure you get an even hair colour result from root to tip. Firstly in salon. Secondly, you can find toner in some haircare products that will help you maintain your colour between treatments at the salon.

A toner is useful for when you want to add some natural shine to your hair. When combined to key ingredients such as Ionène G™ and Incell, it also offers softness and high protection for your hair fiber. It brightens up and adds luster to your hair without lightening it further. In other words, it spreads the colour from the roots to the tips. It can be used all over your hair or in certain areas where you want to change the shade.

It’s important not to wash your hair directly after in-salon toning, as the colour will start to fade. 

What colour results can you expect from toner?

There is no one shade-suits-all toner. In fact, a toner is a way to make your hair tone your own. Therefore your stylist can mix colours together to create the right shade for you. You can choose from a range of colours. Warmer tones include a coppery or honey hue. Cooler tones, on the other hand, are light ash or even silver for blonde hair. Toners can also be used to create a pastel hair, with shades of pink and lilac.

Is a toner only for blondes?

No. Toners can also be used on brunettes and redheads who want to banish unwanted brassy tones. It’s also possible to use a toner if they want to personalise their hair colour by making it warmer, cooler or adding a colour.

The length of time your in-salon 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 does this and 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 can give similar colour finish, but with a result that sometimes lasts for less time.

What is purple shampoo and what does it do for hair?

Purple shampoo or Silver Shampoo is a way to tone your coloured hair at home in between salon visits. Toning your hair to remove shades of yellow or brassiness is all about the laws of colour. The first step is to use a toner that is an opposite shade on the colour wheel. Why? Because it balances out the unwanted colour. As purple cancels out yellow, finding the right balance between the two will leave you with a natural, more neutral tone.

L’Oreal Professionnel Silver Shampoo can be used to help maintain the shade of blonde you want. Firstly, it is gentle on the hair and scalp. This means that it can be used safely after hair has been bleached. It spreads purple pigment throughout hair to revive it. When washing with purple shampoo, the hair cuticles take in a small amount of purple pigment. As a result, it helps to cancel out the yellow undertones

Colour wheel

How often should you tone your hair in salon?

This depends on how often you wash your hair. The less frequently you wash your locks, the longer your colour stays in. But you can increase the longevity of your colour. How? By using professional shampoo and conditioner.

How long does a toner last after your salon visit?

It depends on your hair type, but toner can last between 2-to-6 weeks. Hair that has been coloured before holds colour for less time than virgin hair. So it may need more regular toning. Natural or virgin hair can hold colour for up to six weeks.

To prevent your toner from fading between colour treatments, a professional haircare range like L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color can help. Containing antioxidants and UV filters, this range helps to prevent fading. It gives you radiant-looking colour and makes hair feel silky soft.

What causes colour to fade?

There are many factors that can change blonde, grey, ombre or highlights to 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 few ways you can make your toner last:

Use professional haircare

Using products like L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamin Colour Soft Colour Shampoo can help make your toner last.

Protect your hair from the sun

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

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

●             Wearing a hat

●             Limiting your time spent in direct sunlight

Protect your hair when heat styling

Besides the sun, frequent use of heating tools can also contribute for your colour to fade.  Don’t forget to use a heat-protectant like Mythic Oil Original whenever you use heat. Formulated with a rich blend of precious oils including argan oil, it nourishes and and illuminates colour-treated hair. It also offers heat protection of up to 230°C/446°F. 

All these methods can help make your hair stay toned for longer. 

Aftercare for blonde hair

If you bleach your hair, it is a good idea to use moisturising treatments. It is important to remember to double up on conditioner too. You can use leave-in products such as L’Oreal Professionnel DD Balm Nutrifier to nourish dry ends regularly. L’Oreal Professionnel Pro Fiber Restore Leave-In provides heat protection and leaves hair smoother. In addition, you can also apply hair masks regularly like L’Oreal Professionnel Blondifier Masque for deep hydration and colour protection. This will refresh your hair while helping it to prolong the colour. Protein masks can be effective every so often. However, using them too frequently can make your hair hard and brittle, creating more damage. Another way to look after your hair is to go for regular trims to get rid of damaged ends.

Professional haircare recommendations from your stylist can help you achieve long-lasting results. If you are looking to refresh your hair colour, your stylist can help advise you on the right shade for you, for beautiful, lustrous results.