How to Tone Your Hair at Home

You went to the salon and asked for a balayage or ombre look, which is quite popular, but you are left with streaky brassy highlights. Now you are confused about what to do, and you don’t know much about toning and where to begin, the search is over! Everything you’ll need to know about toning will be covered in this article.

What is a Toner?

Toned Hair
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A toner is a semi-permanent or demi-permanent hair color primarily used to neutralize, refresh and remove unfavorable tones. Toning operates based on the color interaction principle. The color you see when you look at your hair is the result of the interaction of several blends of colors, and the toner is used to make a noticeable change in appearance.

You will need a toner to get the desired outcome since, after a lightning procedure, all that is left is the underlying pigment, and when that is washed out, you are probably left with an unpleasant brassy color like red, or orange, gold, or yellow. Even brunettes can use toner to rejuvenate. It is not exclusively for pre-lightened hair.

As was previously stated, toning arises from color interaction; thus, to understand the toning process, you would need to review the fundamentals of color, according to which the combination of the starting color and the applied color determines the outcome. To get the exact result you want, you must be able to formulate and neutralize colors. 

What colors neutralize or cancel each other out? Recall the contrasting or complementary colors on your color wheel. Decide which undesired pigment you wish to erase, and then use the complementary colors to cancel it out. That would be blue for yellow and orange, green for red, and so on.

A Color Wheel

Toners can transform golden or bright yellow hair into more natural-looking platinum, dusty, or ash blonde and also eliminate brassy orange tones as well for brunette hair. If your bleach job went wrong and was a disaster, toners can be a lifesaver.

How Does Hair Toner Work?

How to Tone Hair
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Your hair has varying amounts of red and orange color unless it is naturally a light blonde. Each pigment must be penetrated by bleach to lift the color when you lighten your hair. Your hair may still have unattractive brassy overtones depending on how long you let the bleach sit in. In this situation, hair toner is beneficial.

Hair toner works by changing your hair undertone.

Although it won’t entirely alter the tone of your naturally blonde or lightened hair, it will enable you to do so. Simply put, hair toner neutralizes unwelcome warm or brassy tones and helps attain a glossier, healthier, and more natural-looking color.

Types of Toners

Toners come in different varieties, as do dyes, and they can be identified by how long the color lasts: 

Semi-permanent toners are temporary-based, as they do not permeate the hair thoroughly and can disappear after a few washes. These toners typically come in liquid, cream, or mousse.

Demi-permanent toners don’t penetrate the hair as profoundly and last twice as long as semi-permanent; they are typically blended with very little developer. Due to the ammonia content of these toners, which could somewhat harm the hair follicle, caution should be taken when using them.

Permanent toners are relatively similar to demi-permanent toners and create longer-lasting results; however, before using this toner, be sure it is the right color.

Because they contain substances that alter the color of your hair, tinted shampoos, conditioners, and glosses can all be categorized as hair toners.

Shampoos that have been tinted: Using blue and purple shampoos is as simple as switching out your ordinary shampoo for these toning varieties. These solutions are designed to eliminate undesired brassy tones and enhance the brightness and vibrancy of your color.

How to Tone Hair for Natural-Looking Results

How to Tone Hair for Natural Looking Result
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The most crucial thing to understand is that you must tone at or darker than your current level. Brassy colors can be removed by lightning to a higher level and then toned down.

Toners are categorized alphanumerically, R = red tones, A = ash tones, G = gold tones, N = neutral tones, and V = violet.

It’s essential to understand color lines because they could affect toning results. For example, some color tones like ash may be blue-based, and some color lines may be grey-based. Make sure you use a product with a blue base to tone hair with so much gold and orange; using grey will have an unpleasant effect.

Reference the chart that comes with your color line,

The numbers and letters on the chart with your color line can seem complicated, but if you study and memorize them, the process will be much simpler. Toning your hair is as simple as 1-2-3 once you know which type and color toner to use. Here’s how to tone bleached hair and maintain a natural appearance.

The Best Method for Toning Hair

Best Method for Toning Hair
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Make sure your hair is clean and moisturized before doing this. Beginning with dividing your hair into four sections, part it from eye to eye, then part down the middle from your forehead to the nape of your neck. Clip each section back with a sectioning clip.

Using a weighing scale for accurate measurement, combine your toner and developer in a 1:2 ratio. Then, apply the mixture to your hair with an applicator brush, particularly to the regions with unwelcome undertones. Never go in without hand gloves! And keep the toner off the roots until the last ten minutes; due to the heat from the head, the coloring agent develops faster at the root.

Leave the toner for up to 45 minutes, then rinse and wash with a moisturizing shampoo and deep conditioner. After exposing the hair to this kind of treatment, give it proper deep conditioning; this helps to keep the hair hydrated, repair hair damage, and prevent dry and brittle ends.

How long does a Toner last? This can range from 4 to 8 weeks, depending on your hair’s porosity, how often you wash it, and heat.

When to Tone your Hair

1. The appropriate Shade

Don’t tone your hair until it is at the right shade and not just whenever. If you want an ashy or cool color, you must ensure your hair is a light yellow before applying the toner to get your desired look.

2. After Bleaching

Toners help even out bleaching. You might need to bleach your hair more than once for some shades to bring that color to life! 

3. After Dyeing

Toner can also be used when you dye your hair and end up with a hair color you don’t want. Toner helps to neutralize the unwanted pigments, saving you from a bad hair day. 

4.  Use a toner to even out highlights

Toner can help you achieve a more even and balanced look to your hair color, which can help if you dye your hair or have highlights. The toner can fill out problem sections or hide color problems.

5. Enhance your hair’s color shade.

You can use toner to enhance your current shade instead of changing it. If your hair is dull or not quite the right tone, you can use toner to enhance the current shade of your hair.

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