Toner? What is it?

Toner? What exactly is a toner?

A toner is a semi permanent colour that corrects unwanted tones and personalises your colour.

A toner can go on any level of hair however its most commonly used on light to dark blondes.

When we do foil work, we use something called a ‘lightener/bleach’ in the hair and all this does is lift the hair and brings out the natural underlying shade.
For example:

Red, Red/orange, orange, orange/yellow, yellow & pale yellow.

The underlying shade that comes through depends on a few underlying factors such as:

Is it natural hair?
How light was it to begin with?
Has it got colour or product build up?
Condition of the hair?
& more.


So if you’re quite dark you’re going to throw off a lot more red/orange then say if you were a light brown, you would throw off a lot more gold.
So the lighter you are naturally the more likely you are able to get to that clean light blonde.

If you have colour build up, your hair will most likely throw off a lot more red/orange due to how much colour pigments reside in the hair shaft.


After lightener we must choose a toner depending on what the clients desired result is & what underlying shade it is throwing off.


For example:

If the client wants ashy tone but the hair that is lightened is throwing off a yellow/brassy, we must apply a toner that will counteract these unwanted tones plus add a bit more ash to achieve the desired result. Make sense?


A toner is designed to fade slowly after every wash. On the average person they can last 4-5 weeks, however - depending on how often you wash your hair, or your hair type/condition or the tone your after, toners can fade quicker.


For example: 

If you wash your hair everyday or use heat everyday, expect it to fade faster.

If you have porus hair(aka dry or damaged) your toner may also fade quite quickly as the cuticles in the hair are unable to close back down fully to keep the toner in, compared to healthy hair that cuticles close down straight after conditioner.

If you are after a super over tone ashy colour or perhaps a fashion shade - because there is such a over counteraction happening sometimes the hair lets it go quicker, needing it to be touched up more frequently. This is to do with the colour molecules in that particular tone.


Every client after a lightening service at HBE has some form of toner applied as it truely finishes off your service and gives you more longevity out of your colour.




Leave a comment