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 that new 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 toner is important for brunettes, blondes, and redheads alike. If you’re 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.
WHAT IS TONER FOR HAIR?
A hair toner is a product that’s used on color-treated, bleached hair to neutralize any unwanted undertones. Toners for hair can come in professional and at-home forms, such as toning shampoos.
WHAT DOES HAIR TONER DO?
We started talking about this a little, but a hair toner works to correct hair that’s 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 help neutralize unwanted tones to 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 hair toning options, including toner mixed with bleach or a toning hair gloss, like our L’Oréal Paris Le Colour Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss.
Editor’s note: If you’re interested in giving this at-home hair gloss a try, be sure to check out our article, L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss Review and Tutorial, for the details.
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 hair 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 application or add a wash of bright color to your mane without lifting (a.k.a 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.
IS TONER BAD FOR YOUR HAIR?
No! Toner is meant to help your hair and simply helps to neutralize its tone. That being said, as with any coloring process, over-using toner on your hair can cause strain on your strands.
HOW LONG DOES TONER LAST IN HAIR?
The lifespan of your hair toner is all dependent on your individual hair and its tendency to turn brassy. It also varies based on the type of toner used on your strands. For example, the effects of an in-salon gloss will typically last longer than those of a toning shampoo.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU TONE YOUR HAIR?
How often you tone your hair depends on the type of hair toner you’re using and the tendency your hair has to get brassy. Like we touched on above, toning shampoos are typically meant to be used a few times a week. Professional, in-salon toners should be used less frequently, typically around every six weeks.
HOW TO MAKE THE EFFECTS OF HAIR TONER LAST
While the effects of your hair toner won’t last forever, and eventually, it’ll be time to re-up, there are steps you can take to extend how long you can go before toning again. 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 your time in the sun 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, at some point, 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 seven hair-care products. (FYI, the first three should be used together as a system, the next two are a separate system, and the last two are also meant to be used as a pair!)
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: If you’re 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: This hair toning 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.
L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Purple Shampoo for Color Treated Hair: This color-correcting shampoo is enriched with purple pigments to neutralize brass and help keep color vibrant in between colorings. Once a week, when hair starts to look brassy, massage onto hair and leave on for one to three minutes.
L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Purple Conditioner for Color Treated Hair: This purple conditioner can be paired with the L’Oréal Paris Elvive Color Vibrancy Purple Shampoo for Color Treated Hair to neutralize and nourish brassy hair in one use.
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 strands 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.
Next up: 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?