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A Guide To Hair Toner

A Guide To Hair Toner

Table of contents

What is a hair toner?

Hair toners need to be clarified! To break it even, toners work on pre-colored hair to neutralize the brassy and warm undertones or add pigments to enhance the colored hues. Hair toners accentuate your hairstyle and prepare you to flaunt your gorgeous tresses.
Toners can also be described as the top coat for your hair - magnifying or undertoning the existing colored pigments. Personalize the hair color by picking the proper toner. Purple hair toners on blonde hair cancel the brassiness, while warmer toner shades give a coppery overtone. Toners can also be used as highlighters.

How do they work?

Hair Toners deposit color on the locks by counteracting warm tones or adding subtle color to create a specific shade. They are available in different forms; some hair toners are creamy in texture, whereas others might be liquid or gel. Hair toners work on pre lighted or colored hairs. The color corrector chart helps choose the suitable toners depending on the existing color of your hair. An ash toner is the best choice to cancel out brassy orange tones. For lighter highlights, a purple toner is more appropriate. They are mixed with a hair developer or activator before application.

DISCLAIMER- Hair toners are not recommended at home, as you might end up over toning or damaging your hair.


How to Choose the Perfect Toner for Your Hair

According to hairstylist Krysta Biacone, finding the right toner for your hair depends on the kind of hair color you are looking for. As a rule of thumb, choosing a toner opposite the color wheel of your current hair color shade is recommended. Here’s how to choose hair toner for colored or highlighted hair:

  • For blonde hair - Ash blonde or purple toner consists of blue or green pigments. It is recommended for blonde hair as it helps cancel orange or yellow brassy tones.
  • For dark hair – If you have dark-colored hair, it is best to go for ash to beige blonde toner to neutralize unwanted hues.
  • For auburn hair – If you have a reddish-brown hair color, it is best to pick a green tinged toner to cancel out unwanted brassiness.
  • For gray or silver-hued hair – The toners consist of purple pigments designed to neutralize brassy tones. These are ideal for those who wish to eliminate unwanted undertones of orange and yellow.

How to use a hair toner?

While using it, the process involves applying the product evenly to damp hair, allowing it to be set for a specific time. Here are the steps to be followed for the process:

  • Mix your toner with a developer in a 1:2 ratio.
  • Use an applicator brush to work the mixture into your hair, focusing on the areas with unwanted undertones.
  • Leave the toner for 45 minutes, rinse, and wash with a moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner.

How long does it last?

A hair toner usually lasts 4 to 6 weeks, with few exceptions lasting longer. If you are curious, ask your hairstylist to get better acquainted with the product, its usage, how long it lasts, and aftercare.
If you have bleached your hair, follow it up with a hair toner. Bleached hair tends to dry up sooner, so a toner makes it look healthy and fuller, locks cuticles, and reduces frizz.

Types of hair toners?


There are three types of hair toners:

  • Permanent toners- The previous hair shade can be hidden by utilizing hair solutions like permanent toners. They alter the hair's tone without leaving traces of the last tint. Permanent toners are frequently used due to their lasting effects.
  • Semi-permanent- Semi-permanent toners can be used for the color to last briefly while maintaining hair strength. If you use a semi-permanent toner, the color may not deteriorate for an average of 8 to 10 washes.
  • Demi-permanent- Toners last almost twice as long as semi-permanent substitutes. Ammonia-based hair toners are typically demi-permanent. Since a demi-permanent toner may alter the internal structure of the hair shaft, preventing hair damage, use it with caution.
(The three common toner types are ammonia toners, purple shampoo, and dye) Is toner permanent?
Generally, toners are unlike hair colors, lasting only 3-4 weeks. Going for a semi-permanent hair color or a demi-permanent hair color can be an option if you like experimenting with the current hair tone. It lasts for a couple of washes before gradually fading off.

Also Read - semi vs demi permanent hair colors

Does Frequent Toning Cause Hair Damage?

Toner does not damage your hair unless it’s inappropriately used or left on for a longer time. This is why reading the instructions on how to use the toner is crucial. Overusing toner or leaving it for too long gives unwanted color outcomes and might damage the strands. However, opt for a reputed brand and use the appropriate amount of toner to prevent unwanted effects. It simply deposits on the hair strand and does not penetrate the cuticles, ensuring it is usually safe for neutralizing brassy hair.

Can You Use Hair Toner at Home?

At-home hair toner is becoming increasingly popular as it helps maintain hair color vibrancy between salon visits. With a plethora of DIY hair toner at-home kits, it helps keep the salon-fresh color intact for longer. Whether you opt for a toning hair mask, shampoo, conditioner, or toner, it leaves hair glossy without spending much on salon visits. While using a toner at home, always read the instructions to prevent any mishap with your hair.




How we reviewed this article:

Our experts continually monitor the fashion and beauty space, and we update our articles when new information becomes available.

    • Current Version

  • Jan 10, 2024

Written By

Sudi Parvaresh

Edited By

Saima Ahmed

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