What Is Toner, and How Does It Work?

By on April 27, 2017






If you’ve ever had your hair bleached or even thought about bleaching it, you have probably heard the word ‘toner’ floating around; but what exactly is a toner and how does it work on your hair?

Well, to be rather blunt, a toner is exactly what it claims to be: a a product used to tone hair. Have you ever seen a woman stepping out in hair color that is very vibrantly yellow? As in, she attempted to get a luscious bleach blonde tone for the summer season, but it just turned out yellow and brassy? It is not a very alluring or attractive shade- unless of course that is what you’re after. But the bulk of us don’t want our hair turning out some odd, unnatural hue. And that is wear the toner comes into play.

Toner does a lot more than you may think, and is absolutely necessary when bleaching your hair. When toner is applied to bleached blonde hair, you can turn it into a more ashy tone, a dusty hue, or even striking platinum. And at the end of the day your hair appears healthier and shinier- which is imperative when you’re doing a strenuous color procedure on your hair such as bleach, as hair can quickly dry out and look flat and brittle.

What kind of toners can be used on bleached hair?

There are three main types of toners that will be used on bleached hair: ammonia toners, purple shampoos, and even purple dye.

Ammonia toner: Ammonia toners should ONLY be used on hair that has NOT been recently bleached. You need to wait a couple days after bleaching your locks or you will end up with some seriously burnt out strands. To completely avoid over-damaging your delicate mane, wait a few days and try not to wash your hair in the meantime. Follow the instructions of this toner PERFECTLY or you may end up with a bad result. You will need to mix the ammonia toner with a 20-vol developer and leave on your hair for around 30 minutes before rinsing. This type of toner won’t lift the hair but everyone’s results will vary.

Purple shampoo: Purple shampoos are WAY less damaging on the hair, creating a gentle toner that can work wonders at removing any brassy tones from your blonde. It’s really simple to use- all you need to do is go out and buy a purple shampoo, take it home, and use it during your normal shower routine 2 to 3 times a week. Leave the shampoo in for at least 5 minutes (and up to 10 minutes) before rinsing. It is important to pay close attention to your purchase, however, because every purple shampoo on the market will have a different level of strength when it comes to toning.

Purple hair dye: Okay, so this is not technically a ‘toner’, but the purple hue will act in the same way as a regular toner. However, as this is a *dye* you need to take extra careful precaution as too much dye will alter the color of your hair. You just need a very small amount of purple hair dye mixed in with a large amount of white conditioner, leave on the hair for 30 minutes, rinse, and be left with beautiful blonde hair that is neutralized.

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Must-Know Facts About Toners

-Toners are specifically used on solely blonde locks. They work on the undertones of your bleached blonde hair, but do not lift the overall shade. They do not work on dark hair colors whatsoever.

-There are practically endless possibilities when using a toner on bleached blonde hair. You can create an ashier style, a more honey look, or even a pinch of pink shades.

-A toner is extremely versatile because you can use it however you would like. Use it on your entire mane to quickly and easily tone the shade of your locks, or piece out some highlights to change the hue.

-Because washing the hair will rinse out toners and make them less valuable to your mane, you need to reapply toners on a somewhat frequent basis. Once you notice your locks starting to fade or change into a color you don’t prefer, it’s time to head to the salon for a quick tone-up or you can try to tone the mane yourself at home with a product purchased in-store.

-Wait until your hair is not fried from the bleach before attempting to tone it, as this can cause some unnecessary damage you will not enjoy on your locks.

-Wait until your hair is the right shade of blonde before trying to tone your hair, otherwise you may end up wasting your time as the toner does not take to hair that is not lifted all the way.

-Do not wash your hair right after using a toner, as this will cause the color to come out rather quickly, if not instantly and completely.

-As a general rule, you shouldn’t wash your hair too often- especially if it is bleached. This can strip the natural oils even furthermore, making your locks even less healthy and fried than before. Another reason to skip everyday washes is that you will be more likely to lose your blonde color and end up with a faded mess you may have a hard time toning back to perfection.

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-Always make sure you are conditioning your hair on a regular basis, as bleach as well as toners can be rough on the strands. Use a conditioner every time you wash your hair, and you may even want to try to introduce a leave-in conditioner to your mane that you can wear every day, all day. You can also give your hair an at home hair mask to increase the moisture and health of your locks.

-You may need to try out some different toners and products before finding your perfect match to make your blonde dreams come true. And remember, there’s tons of different options, so if one treatment does not give you the result you want, try another product until your dreams become reality.

Quick Recap

So a toner is a definite must when you’re bleaching your hair in order to avoid those hideous bright and brassy yellows. Toners can be used in a salon or done at home, but if you’re using an ammonia toner you need to wait a few days. Purple shampoos are a great way to gently tone your bleach blonde hair. If you choose purple dye, be extra careful not to use too much or it may change your hair color. Don’t wash your hair too often and always condition it as much as you can to ensure your hair is always in great shape, even after all of the bleaching and toning.

We want to hear from you! Do you have bleached blonde hair? What are some of your favorite products? How do you tone your blonde locks? Share with us below!





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