Let's get in to it.
If you are a colour client, then you are in the right place! We recommend you grab a cuppa or a glass of a little something something, and get comfy before you begin, we aren't skimming over this one.
If you have that hair type that is more guilty of producing warmth, you may already be familiar with hearing your regular Quirker saying the following to you:
“A toner will cool this down for you"
"We will need to apply a toner to get that colour after we have lightened the hair".
"We will need to book a toner service in 'x weeks' or with your next cut to keep on top of your colour for you”.
But what exactly is this toner we speak of?
A toner, is a service that enables your colourist to:
~Neutralise any unwanted tone.
~Restore loss of pigment.
~Personalise your colour.
~Inject vivid tone.
Its job is to add natural, more visible or even vivid tones as a part of your colour service.
Toners are most commonly used when working on blonde hair and for vivid colour services, but they can also be beneficial to our brunette & red headed crowd too.
Toner's aren’t just one type of product either. They can come in the form of semi-permanent mixtures, glosses and also pigmented shampoos and conditioners. These are all considered a toner, as they add colour pigments to the hair to alter its ‘tone’ without affecting its depth*.
What Does A Toner Do?
A toner is the most important stage of the colouring process as it’s pretty much where the colour is added in!
Toner's can take hair anywhere! The list is endless.
The most common type of toner service is used over pre lightened hair. This allows us Quirker's to achieve or personalise your colour result by changing either your warm or cool hair colour, and tailoring it to your needs. The toner’s main job here is to produce an even colour result from root to tip.
A Toner service can also be great for when you want to add a natural looking shine to your hair. This type of toner can brighten and add lustre to those tresses. The perks of illusion!
Did you know that a toner can add shine by sealing down the cuticle to create reflection off the smooth surface? It doesn't always have to carry pigment, just think of this one as the top coat for a nail varnish, but this one's for hair!
This also has its benefits in that by sealing down the hairs cuticles. This further protects the hair from external environmental factors tampering as much. Bonus feature of all salon toner's!
There are honestly so many ways of toning the hair, so we will try and help you by delving in to our world slightly, without getting too sciencey on you, to help try to give you all some insight.
We like to try and educate you too, as being transparent with everything we do, will help you understand the 'why'.
Toner Service After Highlights:
Okay, cut to that moment after we have finished taking out your foils and are rinsing out your hair colour at the backwash. You will usually hear your Quirker tell you "I'll be right back, I'm going to get your toner mixed up for you".
This will often already be expected by you if you are at the House, as we don't do surprises of that kind, but at times, we can be surprised too, as colour isn't always a plan that goes exactly how it should. Nevertheless this can still give you, the client, a feeling of panic, and the questions start rolling in your mind, such as....
"What's a toner?"
"What does it do?"
"Did something go wrong?"
We have, as Quirker's, also sometimes been met with, "I don't want a toner because I don't want my hair to look grey!".
So, we thought we would talk to you about why a toner is actually needed when all you want to be is blonde.
Toners that we use over pre-lightened hair (hair that has been safely bleached) to get you blonde, are mainly used for the purpose of cancelling out yellow tones, orange tones, and brassiness.
They are also used to add a particular look to your blonde. For example:
If you come to us with an ashy hair colour, and this time you want more of a creamy or slightly warmer look, or maybe even add a minky pink sheen to your blond, this is what we mix up and apply to your hair after we take out the foils.
What this means is that toner is not just purple or blue based colour to cancel out yellow hair. The possibilities can go so much further than that.
We have an humongous colour pallet that we can use to completely personalise your hair tone.
Plus, we can also mix cocktails together to get a shade that is completely individualised for you. You have seen our colour area, you know what we're talking about!
It doesn't have to be wacky either, for example we can mix soft golds in amongst a creamy colour to get a slightly warm result if you don't want your hair to look too flat, but also don't want anything really warm!
Why You Need A Toner After Hilights & Global Bleach Application.
Once hair has been prelightened, it comes out a "raw" colour. Sure, the lightness might be there, but nobody wants their hair to be super brassy, garish or uneven.
Prelightener does not carry any pigment, so therefore it needs us to deposit the pigment afterwards, once it's done it's job at lifting the hair to the necessary level of lightness. By lifting the hair, the underlying tones of your natural/artificial hair colour is exposed, which is what you will see before a toner is applied. Hence the descriptive name we used above, 'raw'.
A toner in this instance can help to soften off the colour if you like that bold and bright look, or will depost the desired pigment of your choice, even out the colour, and will also smooth down those cuticles and give you a root to tip shine.
So now you know.
The next time you are getting your highlights done or your full head bleach retouched and you here talk about using a toner, don't panic! It is just the final stage of getting you to that wonderful colour you have chosen. Just lie back, and relax.
How Long Does A Toner Last?
Toner's are not an easy thing to measure on endurance.
There are many factors involved, which is why we can't give a solid answer.
~How often you shampoo your hair.
~Hair care products.
~Use of hot tools.
~Choice of colour.
All of the above will have a big say in how long your toner will last, but we can give you a rough idea if you follow our advice.
A huge thing to consider here is the frequency of how often you wash your hair. If you are an every day type, expect your toner to fade out super fast.
To help prevent colour fade between salon appointments, it is vital to use a professional, sulphate free, paraben free colour safe shampoo. (If you use a shampoo with sulphates and parabens - it's basically like washing your hair with washing up liquid).
We know it gets more than confusing in those shampoo Isles, we have been! We also hate that there are sadly so many products out there that although are labelled colour safe, contain ingredients that do the opposite, which only makes things harder when trying to decide on what is best to use.
If you would like any advice on what shampoo would work best for your hair, just ask your Quirker! They will help you by giving you all the info you need to get the best out of your hair colour, then you can make the all important decision for yourself. Do remember though, we can only recommend what we use due to not knowing outside products.
To prevent colour fade, it's not only about your hair washing routine. Be sure you protect your hair from air pollution, hard water, sun exposure, heat styling, and don't forget chlorine and salt water. We are here to help guide you, so let us know if you would like any advice.
Forms Of Toner For Use At Home:
Purple and blue toning shampoo. These are the most common types of products that you will see and are designed to neutralise warmth and brassiness.
Purple is great for eliminating yellow tones in blonde hair, but did you also know that blue is great for killing more copper tones from brunettes?
Another great but mostly unknown tip, if you have pastel coloured hair, purple shampoo can be a great help in keeping the fade out from getting too warm.
Yeh, that's right, these types of product are not just all about the blonde life!
If you are a blondie, a great way to maintain your tone at home is with the use of a good purple/silver shampoo or conditioner.
Purple shampoo helps to remove yellow tones within hair colour, as purple is its opposite (or its arch nemesis!) on the colour wheel.
If you are a natural silver surfer, a silver toned blonde, or if you are a cool toned brunette, silver shampoo helps to maintain or enhance that tone you so deeply desire. This shampoo is more of a blue in its appearance and can look like you are about to become a member of the smurfett's, but fear not, it won't happen, - as long as you don't over use of course!
We strongly recommend using salon approved purple & silver shampoos/conditioners due to the ingredients and porosity threats which non professional products carry. We love the Loreal series expert pro toning range and can advise you on which would work best for you if you would like us to.
We can do a whole other blog on this if you are interested as there's a lot to know... We are hair geeks remember.
For our warm blonde, red and brunette crowd:
If you are a glossy brunette or a foxy red head, look for shampoos or conditioners that contain colour pigments to keep your hair colour vibrant and shiny looking. We have a great alchemic range by Davines that we stock, these will help you iject life back in those locks if you are feeling a bit drab. .
For our vivid/pastel fans:
We have two ranges at HQ to keep you topped up between visits, so do not fear! Depending on your colour needs, your Quirker will either recommend our Manic Panic range or our alchemic range from Davines.
If you need any further help with maintaining your current colour or would like to add a slight tweak to it at home, then do book in and speak to us in the House for a consultation. Whilst we are in lockdown though, just reach out via message or email!
You would be surprised how easy it is to completely mess up your hair by using the wrong toner! However, with the right advice from your dedicated Quirker, you can definitely tone at home between House visits.
Well, we could definitely keep writing about toner, but we don't want to ramble too much. Please let us know whether you found our educational blog helpful, and if you have any specific questions on toning, just ask away.