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A Guide To Hair Toner

Guide to Hair Toner – All You Need to Know

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The excitement of getting a new hair color is inevitable; it brings a fresh transformation. But the road to managing and maintaining the color vibrancy is the mammoth task that follows after coloring hair. Escaping unwanted brassiness requires the right products, whether you are a blonde loyalist or game for cool-toned shades. Here’s introducing a game-changer product that eliminates brassy tones and fades-proofs tresses for longer—hair Toner.

Hair toner tones the existing color, adding vibrancy and balance to the brassiness. As told by Samantha Cusick, founder of Samatha Cusick Salon, London, to Harpar Bazaar – “Hair toner is every colorist’s best friend. It works magic on colored and bleached hair and helps us correct the tone and personalize your color.” If you are still confused, don’t worry; we will break it down for you. Read the blog to learn about choosing the right product, using hair toner at home, and how it works.

What is a hair toner?

Hair toners, also considered color-correctors, help change or preserve color-correctors and alter or preserve the hair color tone. Colorists use variable terms – hair gloss or glaze- as they help temporarily deposit color pigments. As a result, the toning process eliminates unwanted brassiness while enhancing and brightening the shade. Marisa Garshick, MD, dermatologist and clinical assistant professional at Cornell University, told Byrdie - “Using a hair toner can help restore color, correct color, adjust a color, and enhance gloss.” Whether looking for the best toner for blonde hair or cool-toned hair shade, understanding hair color and underlying pigment helps you choose the right toner.

Types of hair toner – How to choose the right one?


It’s a common misconception that a single type of toner works on all types of hair. Toners are infused with colored pigments; depending on the pigment color, they neutralize unwanted undertones. As told to Elle by Zoe Irwin, Creative Director, John Frieda Salons –“A hair toner will deposit either a warm, ash, or cool hue, or it will neutralize specific tones in the hair.” Let’s simplify choosing the right type of toner according to the hair color:

  • Purple toner – Infused with purple pigments, the neutralizing toner helps eliminate unwanted yellow undertones. It works on neutralizing very pale to darker yellow tones, working as one of the best toner for blonde hair.
  • Blue toner – Formulated with blue or indigo pigments, it helps cancel out orange brassiness. Using the blue toner for orange hair eliminates orange to dark orange undertones, especially from medium or darker blonde hair.
  • Blue-Green toner – This toner is a mix of bluish-green pigments and helps neutralize reddish-orange undertones. Works like a charm of medium brown hair color to eliminate brassy tones.
  • Ash blonde toner – This type of hair toner works on removing unwanted brassy tones and helps achieve cooler, ashier tones. Use the ash blonde toner if you have cool-toned blonde or lightened hair to eliminate yellow and orange undertones.
  • Green toner – Infused with green pigments, the toner helps keep dark hair color like brown intact by neutralizing red undertones. The brown hair toner enhances the shine and vibrancy of medium to dark-brown tresses.

As a thumb rule, it is crucial to use a hair toner that’s meant for your hair color. Also, make sure to pick an ammonia-free toner to reduce damage. We recommend trying Moehair Color Infuse Blonde Toner for blonde hair. To keep the cool-toned color intact, you can try the Moehair Color Infuse Silver Toner.

Why is hair toner needed?

Hair toners are your saving grace to preserve freshly colored hair. The toners deposit color molecules into the hair shaft and, in the process, neutralize specific undertones. Here are some of the uses of a toner:

  • Fade-proof hair color - It acts as a top coat for your colored hair. Using a hair toner helps fade-proof colored hair between salon visits.
  • Neutralizes brassiness - The product enhances the natural tone of the hair color by eliminating unwanted brassy yellow or orange undertones.
  • Adjust tones - It cancels out contrasting tones or hues. While the toner for blonde hair is most common, the pigment-depositing product can also be used for brunettes, gray, and cool-toned colors.
  • Adds gloss and shine - Hair toners are often formulated with ingredients that improve overall hair texture shine, and add glossiness. Also, it enhances the natural tone of the lightened and bleached hair.
  • Strengthens hair – Toners create a protective barrier on strands and work on improving porosity. As it seals the cuticles, it gives hair a fuller appearance and adds volume.

Overall, the product offers a one-in-all solution for color restoration and adjustment. It adjusts the color without manipulating or changing the natural shade.

How should we use hair toner?


After identifying the type of hair toner that will work for your existing hair color, toning at home is not really a grilling process. However, depending on the formulation and brand, a toner can be used in numerous ways. Depending on the toner, sometimes it requires mixing with a low-volume developer to achieve the best results. Apply the hair toner along the length of the hair and leave for an adequate time (mentioned in the “how to use” instruction). Rinse well with lukewarm water, shampoo, and conditioner if required.

How to take care of toned hair?


After using the toner for blonde hair or for cool-toned hues, its longevity depends on its overall maintenance. Here are some tried and tested tips to make the hair toner last longer:

  • Protect from heat and sun - Exposure to heat opens up hair cuticles, resulting in faster fading of the color. Research has found that UV rays from sunlight break down melanin (hair pigment) and can lighten hair. Using a heat protectant spray before using hot styling tools is recommended. Accessorize hair with a head wrap or hat to limit exposure to sunlight.

Also Read - How Heat protectant Spray Protects Your Hair

  • Use color-safe products — Whether you are using toner for orange hair or to neutralize yellow undertones, aftercare is crucial. Opt for a good at-home haircare and maintenance routine by using color-protecting shampoo and conditioner. Make sure the products are sulfate—and paraben-free. Try including a glossing shampoo that helps maintain pH balance and protects color from fading.
  • Use a purple toning shampoo — Add a purple shampoo to your biweekly haircare routine. The shampoo is infused with purple pigments and cleanses hair while preserving the color. These types of shampoos are specially formulated to eliminate brassy tones and preserve the hues of colored, lightened, and toned hair.
  • Use cold or lukewarm water to wash — Using hot water to wash hair is a major haircare sin. Not only does it open the cuticles and fade color, but it also ends up drying and damaging strands. Always use cold to lukewarm water to wash and maintain toned hair.

Difference between purple shampoo and toner

Purple shampoo vs. hair toner – often, the terms are used interchangeably, but there is a significant difference in the products and their usage. Yes, both are infused with color-correcting pigments, but have their specific purpose. In short, purple shampoo is formulated to cleanse the hair primarily like a regular shampoo but with added color-correcting pigments. On cleansing hair using a purple shampoo, it deposits the pigments and eliminates the brassy tones. However, a toner is simply a color-correcting treatment that tones the color by depositing pigments, tones the existing shade and adds a gloss. Also, toners are available in different colors with each working on neutralizing a specific hue of undertone.

In-salon vs. at-home hair toners

You might have heard your next-door salon professional or hairdresser emphasize on toning as the final step of the hair coloring process. The in-salon hair toners are often used to bring certain hues and adjust the final color shade. Hair colorists use in-salon toners as the last step of the coloring process to neutralize unwanted tones and color-correct, if necessary. However, at-home toners are becoming increasingly popular as they help ton hair and eliminate brassiness between salon visits. Also, it is easy and convenient to use following the instructions. Usually, the in-salon toners contain more pigments as compared to at-home hair toners.

Don’t forget to add a pigmented hair mask and purple shampoo to at-home toning haircare. You can try Moehair Luxx Violet Deep Conditioner Hair Mask to neutralize brassiness while hydrating and moisturizing hair.

Keep your colored hair free of brassy undertones by using hair toner at home in between salon visits. However, choose the toner wisely, as wrong color toner might give an altered result and dissatisfactory color correction. Opt for a toner for blonde hair or for brunettes or brown, and rock that perfectly toned tresses with vibrant hues.


https://www.harpersbazaar.com/uk/beauty/hair/a43378/what-is-a-hair-toner/ https://www.elle.com/uk/beauty/hair/a30513145/hair-toner/

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

  • May 14, 2024

Written By -

Upasana Kakati is a lifestyle writer with 7+ years of experience in writing in the beauty and haircare industry.

Edited By -

Saima Ahmed with 8+ yrs of experience, specializes in crafting engaging content focused on Hair care, lifestyle, and beauty.

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