color treated hair

What Is Hair Toner?

This underrated product can give a major boost to your hair color.
December 02, 2022
What Is Hair Toner


After you change your hair color, your mind is likely focused on the best hairstyle to showcase your new ‘do, but you should also be thinking about how to update your hair care routine to preserve that new color. And while you may very well have a hair care regimen for color-treated hair already in place, there’s one thing your plan may be missing — a hair color toner.

If you’re wondering what a hair toner is, how it can be used for brassiness, and how to get the most out of using one, keep reading as we break down what you need to know.

What Is Hair Toner?

A hair toner is a product that’s used on color-treated hair to neutralize any unwanted undertones and boost your new hair color. Toners for hair can come in professional and at-home forms, such as toning shampoos.

What Does Hair Toner Do?

Toners are often used to help neutralize unwanted brassy or warm tones. This is why blondes may be more familiar with toning, as their color tends to get brassy very easily.

Of course, toners aren’t just 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 or bleaching your hair.

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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 hair toners. When your hair is colored at the salon, your stylist will often use a hair toner on your strands after coloring. 

The second type of hair toner we mentioned earlier, at-home toner, is included in various hair care lines, including toning shampoo and conditioner. You’ve probably heard of silver, blue, and purple shampoo, like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Shampoo, which are 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,  To get the best results from your toning  shampoo pair it with a corresponding conditioner like the  L’Oréal Paris EverPure Brass Toning Purple Sulfate Free Conditioner.

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 is that the shampoo variety of toner is typically meant to be used a few times a week, versus the toner you might get at the salon once a month.

There are also different hair toning options, including toner mixed with bleach or toning hair gloss, like the L’Oréal Paris Le Color Gloss One Step In-Shower Toning Gloss. The gloss enhances hair color and deeply conditions in one step, and it can be used on your natural hair color for a boost, or when your color-treated hair starts to fade. Pick from one of the the 15 shades and use once a week following your shampoo and conditioner.


How Often Should You Tone Your Hair?

How often you tone your hair depends on the type of hair toner you’re using and how often your hair tends to get brassy. Like we touched on above, toning shampoos are typically meant to be used a few times a week, and 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 for a  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.

1. Limit Sun Exposure

Your skin isn’t the only thing that can be affected by the sun’s rays. Sun exposure can also fade colored hair, so try to limit 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.

2. Use a Color-Safe Hair Care System

Even if you’ve had your hair toned at the salon, you’ll also want to turn to an at-home hair care system to keep your color looking its best. Dyeing your hair can alter its ideal pH range, so a sulfate-free, pH balanced shampoo like the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Shampoo, pH Balanced will protect and prevent your color from fading. 

Pair it with the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing Conditioner, pH Balanced to leave your hair silky and smooth. For an extra smoothening boost, add the L’Oréal Paris EverPure Sulfate-Free Glossing In Shower Acidic Glaze to seal the hair cuticle and restore your hair.

3. Wash Your Hair In Lukewarm Water

That scorching H2O may feel good at the moment, but it’s doing your strands a disservice. Turning down the temperature and sparing your strands from super-hot water when you wash can help keep your color from fading.

Next: How to Dye Your Hair at Home in 7 Easy Steps

Edited by: Témi Adebowale, Photographer: Chaunte Vaughn, Art Director: Hannah Packer, Associate Creative Producer: Becca Solovay, Production Assistant: Jason Parigian, Digital Tech: Sam Kang, Photo Assistant: Hannah Lewis-Lopes, Makeup Artist: Jonet Williamson, Hair Stylist: Akihisa Yamaguchi, Wardrobe Stylist: Melina Kemph, Wardrobe Assistant: Kayla Martinez, Prop Stylist: Katrina Rozeville, Prop Assistant: Zach Molina, Model: Alexandra Cunningham

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