You’re probably a brunette if you tried to lighten your hair and ended up with a brassy orange tint. Your rich brown or ebony strands have various underlying colours that give them depth and complexity. The most prominent undertones in black or brown hair is red and orange hues. If not enough of those pigments are bleached out, the result is an unflattering brassy orange. Keratin protein and pigment make up everyone’s hair. Although every one of us has our own unique combination of pigments, there are a few universals: The more pigment in your hair, the darker it is. Cool pigments are smaller molecules, so they will be the first to fade, whereas warmer pigments (gold and orange) are larger molecules with many more of them, so they will always last the longest when lightening your hair. The process of breaking down those molecules is what bleaching your hair is all about. The smaller molecules will breakdown first, leaving fragmented parts of the bigger warm-toned molecules behind. That’s why your hair turns orange when you bleach it: the huge gold molecules are the most difficult to break down enough to remove without causing your hair to break down.
How to get the orange out of your hair?
Colour theory is what comes into play when it comes to cancelling out a colour. The colour that cancels out the other is the colour that’s opposite to it on the colour wheel. Professional hair stylists are required to study colour theories and hair tones. There are many underlying tones and different shades to hair and that’s why many people opt to going to a hairstylist instead of taking a chance with their hair. It’s most likely you are reading this because you are looking to fix your brassy/orange hair on your own.
In a nutshell the colour that’s opposite to orange on the colour wheel is blue, purple cancels out yellow and green cancels out red. Now that’s why there are purple, blue and other colours of shampoo. Also, toners come in those exact colours. They are both used to cancel out and remove orange and brassy hair colours.
What is a hair toner?
Hair toners are primarily a hair colour product, not to be confused with glazing or hair glossing. Toners are classified as demi-permanent or semi-permanent hair colour since they gradually alter the undertone of hair with little to no ammonia. Toners fade gradually after six to eight weeks, unlike permanent hair colour, which stays put until it grows out or you cut your hair.
Toners don’t penetrate deeply into the hair strand because they’re low in ammonia; instead, they lie lightly on the hair’s surface, similar to a topcoat. They’re also a healthy choice for your hair, even if it’s damaged, due to their low-ammonia content. Toning is similar to icing on cupcakes in terms of hair colour. It’s the final, fine-tuning touch that elevates the basic to something truly refined.
Why use a toner?
- Neutralising: Hair that is clean, clear, and free of undesired tones is the best. A wonderful, cool blonde hair colour, for example, will not show signs of yellow, whereas a lovely mocha dark hair colour will be tarnished by undesired orange or brassiness. Toners cancel out any unwelcomed tones. A violet purple toner can be used to cancel out unsightly yellow in blonde hair, or a blue toner can be used to neutralise brass.
- Double Process Hair Colour: Hair colours like rose gold and pastel pink are usually done in two steps. To create a clean canvas, lighten your hair first, then use a toner to deposit the desired end shade.
- Pre-toning: Pre-toning creates a neutral base, removing any undesired warm or ash tones that could interfere with the final hair colour. Before your colour appointment, a pre-tone is applied to aid keep your hair colour consistent as it fades.
- Colour Refreshing: If your current hair colour is starting to fade, using a toner rather than reapplying permanent colour is a healthier option. Many hair stylists prefer to use a toner on the rest of your hair to balance the existing shade and add shine while applying permanent hair colour to the new growth.
- Colour Correction: Toners can be used to quickly and gently correct colour issues such as tones or spots that may appear as a result of incorrect application.
- Grey Blending: Toning is an excellent approach to mix your greys with the pigmented hair colour you still have if you aren’t fully grey. Toners are more sheer than permanent hair colour, so instead of a solid hair colour look, you’ll get a reflecting, dimensional grey coverage.
- Shine Enhancement: Sometimes all your hair colour needs is a burst of shine. Toners are here to save the day
What hair colours are toners best for?
- Blonde Hair: Toners can be used to remove undesired warm tones, add sparkle and shine to a blonde tint, and finish it off with a colourful tone.
- Brunette Hair: With a toner, you may add richness, depth, and dimension to brunette hair while also neutralising colour that is excessively warm, brassy, or ashy.
- Red Hair: Red hair stands out tremendously, especially when it’s bright and vibrant. Toners can enhance red hair colour and restore the appearance of your red tint if it fades.
- Highlights: By blending and neutralizing your highlights, toner will provide a level of refinement. Toning balayage, foliage, or foil highlights makes them appear more subtle, natural and more expensive.
- Pastel Hair: Lightening, followed by a toner overlay, is typically required for pastel colours like pale mint green hair or pastel blue hair. Toners can also be mixed and matched to create a variety of different hair colours.
- Vivid Hair: The vibrant hair colour we admire is bold and bright. Toners keep vibrant hair colour on point, renewing it with healthy, low-ammonia formulas to keep it vibrant.
What does toner do to your hair?
- Toners change the colour’s undertone but don’t change the shade. This is why they should only be used on bleached or blonde hair, as they will not work on darker hair.
- Toner can be used to change the colour of your blonde hair, making it appear cooler, dingier, ashier, or even new colours like pink or purple.
- It can be used all over your hair or simply in areas where you wish to modify the colour. It can, for example, tone down simply the highlights or the roots of your hair to make them look more natural.
- You’ll have to tone your hair more frequently if you wash it frequently. You can tone it yourself or visit a salon for touch-ups.
- You can use three different types of products to tone: purple shampoo, regular toners, or dye.
What kind of toner should you use?
Toner is used when your hair is already light enough. You do have to wait a few days after bleaching to use this type of toner so you do not over damage your hair. Follow instructions on the product. Usually you’ll need to mix with a 20-vol developer. For purple shampoo, however, if you want to tone your hair right after bleaching then purple shampoo is your best agent. You’ll have to wash hair with it 2 to 3 times a week and leave in for 5 to 10 minutes each time. You can also use purple hair dye after bleaching your hair. To use purple dye, mix a small amount of it with your conditioner after shampooing your hair and leave the conditioner and dye mix on your hair for 15 to 30 minutes then rinse thoroughly.
How to tone your hair
- Dry your hair with a towel and apply the toner. In the meantime, read the instructions that come with the product. Usually, people leave the toner on their hair for 30 minutes. Before using it, I recommend testing it on a strand of hair. Apply a small bit of toner to a hair strand. Watch as the tone and colour change minute by minute. You’ll be able to examine how your hair reacts to the toner this way. Also, keep in mind that different toners can have varying outcomes depending on the person. The results of a toner depends on the type of hair.
- Toner can be used on any part of your hair. Apply the toner to the portion of hair you wish to use it on. It is not necessary to use toner equally on all of the hair, although it can be done. Don’t worry if you get it on the darker strands of your hair by accident; the toner won’t alter them.
- After you’ve bleached your hair, use purple shampoo. Purple shampoo can be used as a toner immediately after bleaching your hair. Purple shampoo is a lot gentler than regular shampoo, so it won’t harm newly bleached hair. Purple shampoo can remove yellow tones and brassiness from your blonde hair and give it an ashier, cooler tone. To achieve the finest results, wash your hair with purple shampoo two or three times every week. Allow five to ten minutes for the shampoo to soak into your hair. Your hair may start to become grey instead of blonde, depending on your original shade of blonde. If this happens, wash your hair every other or two days with purple shampoo.
- If your hair is already a shade of blonde, ammonia-based toner is recommended. Because this toner alters the pigment of your hair, it is classified as a semi-permanent dye. Demi-permanent dyes, on the other hand, do not penetrate the hair’s cuticle and instead deposit colour onto the hair strand. This indicates that the colour will fade over time.
- Reapply your toner if necessary. If you wash your hair frequently, the toner will begin to fade. You’ll need to touch up your hair more often if you wash it frequently. Your toner will last longer if you wait longer between washes. You can either go to the salon or use an at-home toner to refresh your toner.
Can you use a toner straight after bleaching?
Yes, toning is advised right after bleaching. Bleach contains hydrogen peroxide, which opens your cuticle. This makes it possible for the dye to penetrate the shaft. Because bleach makes your hair more porous, adding a toner right after bleaching can help the dye penetrate the open cuticle and remain longer. The cuticle will close if you apply it later, and the toner may not level out your hair tone correctly. This is why experts advise that you do it as soon as possible after bleaching. If your hair has gone through a lot and you think it needs a rest, wait a few days before using a toner. Allow time for it to recover.
Important things to know about toner
Toner is a product that is used to alter the undertone of your hair colour. It is not, however, used to lighten the colour. This is why blonde or bleached hair requires the use of a toner. If you have dark hair and are wondering what a toner can do for it, the answer is that it can’t do anything. People with blonde or bleached hair can use toner to change the tone of their light hair to make it look dingier, cooler, ashier, or even different colours like purple or pink. Toner can be used on individual hair strands or all over the head. You can, for example, gently tone down the highlights or the roots to make them look better and more natural.
How to maintain toned hair?
It’s recommended not to wash your hair for a few days after using a toner.
This is because the colour of the toner you used in your hair may fade over time. Toner is a hair colouring product, which means it, like the rest of the hair colouring products, does not last forever. You must maintain your colour properly if you want it to last longer. This means washing your hair less frequently and using a toner every 2 to 8 weeks. Another thing to keep in mind is to use a conditioner or hair mask. This will restore your hair’s natural shine and smoothness, as well as aid in the healing of your hair following the bleaching or toning process.