All You Need to Know About Hair Toner

Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on L’Oréal Professionnel. Minor edits have been done by Tousled Online Magazine editors.

Lightening and coloring can cause hair color to turn brassy over time, meaning it can be left with undesired warm undertones making it look unnatural. A hair toner is used to eliminate these unwanted undertones and help to maintain the desired color.

Color guide

What Is A Hair Toner?

A hair toner is a product that helps you correct or personalize your color. It is used to add natural or more visible tones after a professional color treatment. As a result, it enhances the tonality of your hair. How? By creating a professional finished look. In order for toner to work, hair has to be pre-lightened or colored first. It is most commonly used for shades of blonde hair, but it can be beneficial for brunettes and redheads too.

A professional in-salon toner is more pigmented than a silver shampoo or purple shampoo that is used at home. However, these products are excellent products to maintain a bright or cool color between salon appointments.

What Does Pre-Lightening Mean?

A professional term for bleach is pre-lightener. This refers to how bleaching is a method used to lighten hair. When bleached, natural or colored hair is lifted to the lightness you require. Depending on your hairs natural color and your history with past colors and chemical services, the level of lightness that is achievable will vary. This process can leave you with a creamy sun-kissed or pale white result.

In order to achieve clean blonde results it is important to lift your hair to a very pale yellow undercoat. Toners will help to neutralise unwanted warmth that has been exposed by the pre-lightening service. This will give your hair color a personalized, unique, and professional-looking finish.

What Are The Types Of Hair Toner?

1. In-Salon Hair Toners

A salon toning service allows the hairdresser to personalize your color. How? By making it warmer or cooler in tone, and correcting unwanted shades. It is also possible to add a bright pop of fashion color, without actually lifting the shade. In addition, it enables the hairstylist to make sure you get an even hair color result from root to tip. 

2. At Home Toning Products 

Secondly, you can find toner in some hair care products like a purple shampoo, that will help you maintain your color between treatments at the salon. A salon toner is more pigmented and the results will last longer than an at-home toning product like a purple shampoo.

What Is Purple Shampoo And What Does It Do For Hair?

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

For white, grey, or light blonde hair, L’Oreal Professionnel Silver Shampoo has a deep purple pigment to counteract unwanted brassy tones and keep your shade cool. 

Is A Toner Only For Blondes?

No. Hair toners can also be used on brunettes and redheads who want to banish unwanted brassy tones.  

How Long Does A Toner Last After Your Salon Visit?

This depends on how often you wash your hair. The less frequently you wash your locks, the longer your color stays in, but you can increase the longevity of your color by using professional hair care. Depending on your hair type and hair condition, toner can last between 2-to-6 weeks. Hair that has been colored previously can sometimes hold toners for less time than hair that has only been colored once, so may need more regular toning. 

Hair with toner

How To Make Your Hair Toner Last Longer?

There are many factors that can change blonde, grey, balayage, or highlights to a brassy or yellow color. These include:

  • Air pollution
  • Hard water
  • Sun exposure
  • Chlorine and other pool chemicals
  • The normal process of color-treatment fading

How Can You Make Your Hair Toner Last?

There are a few ways you can make your toner last:

1. Use professional hair care for color-treated hair 

To prevent your toner from fading between color treatments, a professional haircare range like L’Oreal Professionnel Vitamino Color can help protect color-treated hair. 

2. Protect your hair from the sun

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

  • Wearing a hat
  • Limiting your time spent in direct sunlight

3. Protect your hair when heat styling 

Besides the sun, frequent use of heating tools can also contribute to your color fading.  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 illuminates color-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.

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