After you change your hair color, your mind is likely focused on the best hairstyle to showcase your new ‘do, rather than how you should be updating your hair care routine to preserve your color. And while you may very well have a hair care regimen for color-treated hair in place, there’s one thing your plan may be missing—a hair color toner. Using a hair color toner is important for brunettes, blondes, and redheads alike. Wondering what a hair toner is, how they can be used for brassiness, and how to get the most out of using one? Keep reading to find the answers to all of the above.
WHAT DOES HAIR TONER DO?
A hair toner works to correct hair that’s just been bleached or colored—whether that’s a shade of brown, blonde, or red. Knowing how to tone hair and use a hair toner can be valuable knowledge, as hair color toners can be used to help neutralize unwanted tones and enhance your new hair color.
HOW TO USE HAIR TONER AFTER BLEACHING OR DYEING HAIR
There are two different types of hair toner: in-salon hair toners and at-home toners. When your hair is bleached at the salon, your stylist will often use a hair toner on your locks as well. There are different ways your stylists can apply a toner, including toner mixed with bleach or a toning hair gloss. Toners are often used to help neutralize any unwanted brassy or warm tones, with hair toners for brassiness being particularly popular. This is why blondes may be more familiar with toning as their color tends to get brassy very easily. However, anti-brass toners for orange, brown, silver, and gray hair are also used to keep the colors cool-toned.
Of course, toners aren’t reserved for fighting brassiness. If you really want to bring out the warmth in your hair or add more dimension and give your color a natural look, there are toners for that, too. A toner can also help a stylist achieve a more even hair color application or add a wash of bright color to your mane without lifting (aka bleaching) your hair.
The second type of hair toner we mentioned earlier, at-home toner, is included in various hair care products, including toning shampoo and conditioner. You’ve probably heard of silver, purple, and blue shampoo, which are three popular types of at-home hair toning products. These can be used for toning hair at home to maintain a brass-free color and brighten your mane. How you use these types of products will depend on the product itself. Most toning shampoos are used just like regular shampoo, but you might let them sit on your strands for a few extra minutes. One of the big differences between a toning shampoo and an in-salon toner—besides where they’re used—is that the shampoo variety of toner is typically meant to be used a few times a week.
HOW TO MAKE THE EFFECTS OF HAIR TONER LAST
Now that you know a little bit about what hair color toners are, it’s time to learn how you can help make the effects of in-salon hair toner last so you can maintain your color. Follow the three tips below to help make your hair toner last.
TIP #1: LIMIT SUN EXPOSURE
Your skin isn’t the only thing that can be affected by the sun’s rays! According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information, sun exposure can fade colored hair. Try to limit your sun exposure to make your hair toner last, and throw on a hat or trendy head wrap when you’re going to be in the sun for long periods of time.
TIP #2: USE A TONING HAIR CARE SYSTEM
This is where that second type of hair toner comes in. Even if you’ve had your hair toned at the salon, eventfully you’ll want to turn to a toning hair care system to keep your color looking its best. If you’ve bleached your hair or gone blonde, consider the following five hair care products. (FYI, you’ll want to use the first three together as a system and the last two together as a separate system!)
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo: This blonde shampoo, which is formulated with iris botanicals, helps balance blonde hair and neutralize brassiness in just one use, acting as a toner for blonde hair. The blonde shampoo deeply hydrates over-processed hair for pure shine and a soft, luxurious touch. The anti-fade formula is especially gentle on color and is free of harsh sulfates, salts, and surfactants that can strip dull and damaged hair. Apply it to wet hair and massage gently into a thick lather, rinse thoroughly, and follow with conditioner.
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Conditioner: The matching conditioner to the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shampoo, this blonde conditioner also deeply hydrates over-processed hair for pure shine and a soft, luxurious touch while being especially gentle on color. The rich, creamy formula, which has a fresh aromatic fragrance, will help neutralize your locks and keep your color from fading. After shampooing, apply the conditioner to wet hair and gently massage. Leave it on for one to two minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Shade Reviving Treatment: The third product in the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde line, this hair treatment is also formulated with iris botanicals. The treatment instantly neutralizes unwanted brassiness while intensely nourishing over-processed hair. With its sulfate-free formula, the treatment can also help to boost your blonde for a fresh and pure lustrous color. Once a week after using the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde shampoo, apply the mask to towel-dried hair in place of the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Blonde Conditioner. Leave on for three to five minutes before rinsing thoroughly.
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo: Looking for a shampoo that’ll double as a toner? You’re in luck! This purple shampoo hydrates and neutralizes brassy yellow and orange tones in blonde, bleached, highlighted, and silver hair. Apply it to wet hair, massage, then rinse thoroughly. Use this toning shampoo two to three times per week when you notice your strands getting brassy.
L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Conditioner: The matching conditioner to the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo, this purple conditioner also hydrates and neutralizes brassy yellow and orange tones in blonde, bleached, highlighted, and silver hair. Apply it after shampooing, leave it on for three to five minutes, then rinse.
TIP #3: WASH IN LUKEWARM WATER
If you really want to care for your color, you’ll spare your strands from super-hot showers. That scorching H2O may feel good in the moment, but it’s doing your hair a disservice. And not only your hair, but your hair color. Turning down the temperature when you wash can help keep your color from fading.
Okay, you’re officially well-versed in all things hair color toner. Now, it’s time to answer another pressing hair care question: What is a Keratin Treatment?