Last Updated on December 29, 2022 by Gaga
When you are dying your dark hair blonde, the bleaching process cannot eliminate all underlying dark and red pigments in your hair. Your color may look bright and beautiful for a few weeks, but your hair may likely start revealing warm undertones and lose your desired hue over time. Other factors that may lead to discoloration and the appearance of brassy tones include hard water in your home, exposure to smoke, and the use of harsh hair care products.
One of the most efficient ways to eliminate these unappealing tones from bleached hair and maintain the desired color is to use a hair toner.
What Does a Toner Do to your Hair?
A bleaching process removes most of the natural pigments, resulting in yellow-blonde hair. A hair toner is designed to tone pre-lightened hair to achieve the finished look and to correct unwanted brassy, yellow, and orange tones.
Most of the toners need to be mixed with a developer to work. Hair toners only deposit color, and for that reason, they are ideal if you want to change your hair color but you are afraid of commitment.
If you use a toner to remove unwanted pigment, you need to use a shade opposite the color you’re trying to treat on the color wheel. Unlike purple shampoos which remove brassiness gradually over time, purple toners remove unwanted warm colors in just one application.
Toners can’t be used to lighten your existing color. They are meant to be applied to pre-lightened or blonde hair. If your current color is dark and you want a light ashy or platinum color, your hair has to be lifted to the right level before toning.
Other Uses of Hair Toners
- Hair toners can make your highlights look fresh and more natural. They help blend your highlights with the rest of your hair.
- They are also used to refresh and maintain your hair color between color appointments.
- Toners are sometimes used to even your shade and fix a bad dye job.
- A hair toner can also brighten dull hair and enhance its shine.
- This is a great product for making gray hair brighter and more beautiful.
- Hair toners are a gentler alternative to permanent hair color and can be applied biweekly without causing serious damage to your hair.
Why do Blondes Need a Toner?
Although toners can be used on all shades of color, they are most commonly used on blonde hair. If you’ve recently bleached your locks, or have gotten highlights, the toner will remove any remaining brass and give your shade a more finished look.
Hair toners for blondes are usually purple or blue-tinted and they add gold, ash, or neutral tones to blonde locks. A violet toner will eliminate yellow tones, while blue toner helps combat orange tones. If you have a blend of yellow and orange brassiness, you should combine both toners.
Purple toners can sometimes add a bit of a lavender hue, which will fade after a couple of washes.
The Best Purple Toners for Maintaining Blonde Hair
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If you decide to go platinum blonde, this toner will be your best friend. This easy-to-use blue/violet toner is the perfect alternative to an expensive salon visit.
This is the best toner for maintaining an ash blonde or silver shade. It kills brassy and orange undertones in just one application while enhancing a white-blonde color.
This toner will only work if your hair is level 8 or higher. Your hair has to be bleached to a pale yellow before toning to get a platinum/silver/white shade.
How to use: Towel dry your hair until it is slightly damp. Mix 1 part of the toner with 2 parts of the 20-volume developer and leave the mixture on your hair for up to 30 minutes. Start from your roots and work down to your ends. If your roots are dark you should avoid the root area because the toner can make your roots brassy. One bottle should be enough for medium-length hair.
Check frequently as your hair processes, because this toner develops very fast. If left too long it can turn your hair purple, especially if you have high-porosity hair. To prevent over-toning, mix it with a low-volume developer and apply a clear protein filler.
To get rid of excess T18 in your hair you just need a few hair washes. Use a clarifying shampoo if you have a lot of buildups.
Use a purple shampoo to counteract the brassiness and keep your blonde looking cool.
Kenra Brightening Treatment is formulated with violet pigments and conditioning ingredients to take the brassiness out and nourish over-processed hair. It has a creamy texture and a very nice smell.
This treatment helps to eliminate brassy tones and leaves your hair bright and soft. You can notice increased brightness after the first use and your hair will feel softer and healthier. It is less drying than purple shampoos and less damaging to hair than permanent dyes. This treatment also can brighten and soften gray hair.
Apply the product to freshly shampooed hair and leave it for 3-5 minutes. Use it once a week.
3. Redken Shades EQ 9V Platinum Ice
This demi-permanent toner can be used on bleached or natural blonde hair to remove yellow/brassy tones, enhance the color, and add a glossy shine.
The results are long-lasting. Unlike semi-permanent toners, this toner can last up to 24 shampoos.
To achieve the desired results, you must use the proper developer. Mix the toner in a 1:1 ratio with the Shades EQ Processing Solution. Apply the mixture all over your damp hair using an applicator bottle. You have to work fast, as the mixture can process very quickly. Leave it to develop for 5-20 minutes. You need to keep an eye on the color, as it will turn your hair purple/gray if left too long.
This purple toner can be used on bleached blonde or grey hair to remove brassiness and add softness and shine. It especially works great on grey/silver hair
This gentle, water-based product will not dry out your hair. It is short-lasting and washes out in just a few washes. However, this toner is very concentrated and effective, so you can get the desired results using only a few drops.
Suggested use: Instead of mixing with a developer, you need to dilute 10-25 drops into a liter of warm water. Then pour the solution over your freshly washed hair. It could be hard to get the product over your hair evenly. No need to wash out your hair. Just dry and style as normal!
If your hair is quite dry, or porous, use fewer drops, as the product may turn the driest and most damaged parts of your hair purple.
This ammonia-free toner for highlights and blonde hair works perfectly if you have a lot of brassiness. It adds incredible shine, evens porosity, and leaves your hair looking healthier.
This toner works fast and offers long-lasting natural tones in less than 5 minutes. Apply to previously highlighted hair at a level 8-10. If you leave it to process for longer, you will get a violet color that washes out in a week or two. It is formulated to be mixed with ChromaSilk Zero Lift Developer and it can be mixed with other shades in the Pravana ChromaSilk Express Tones line if you want to customize your beautiful blonde.
How to Use Hair Toners
Bleach your hair to one level lighter than your desired shade, then shampoo thoroughly to remove the lightener. Don’t condition your hair because a conditioner will close the cuticle, interfering with the pigment penetration. If your hair is overly porous, use a porosity equalizer such as a neutral protein filler before toning. This will help produce a more even color result and slow down the fading process.
Wear gloves to prevent staining your hands. Mix the toner with a developer according to directions (5-20V at the most) and apply the mixture to damp hair. If you have a sensitive scalp, use a 10-volume developer.
Apply the toning mixture to slightly damp hair using a tint brush and make sure to work it quickly and thoroughly. The toner needs to be applied to your lightened roots first, and then to the mid-lengths and ends. This gives extra time for the roots to process and prevents over-toning your dry and damaged ends.
Check the instructions on the bottle and leave the mixture in the hair for the recommended time. It takes 5-30 minutes to work, depending on the product. Check frequently as the toner processes to prevent over-developing.
After achieving the desired tone, rinse out the product, and apply a regular conditioner.
How to Keep Your Hair Brass-Free for Longer
Don’t wash your hair for 48 hours after toning because it will start to fade. The color washes out and becomes duller with every shampoo. To keep the brassiness at bay, use a purple shampoo once a week.
If you don’t use purple shampoo, it takes about 2-3 weeks before the brassiness reappears. Using a purple shampoo occasionally will prolong the effects of hair toner and keep your color more vivid and beautiful.
Use a sulfate-free shampoo that is meant for color-treated hair. Use lukewarm water to rinse your hair.
Gaga is a blogger and founder of the Softer Hair website. She often says that insomnia is to blame for her first blogging attempts. Being the night owl, she hated the morning alarm. She left her office job and returned to what she loved most - writing.