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halo / December 16, 2019

Toners 101

If you’re a colour client at Halo you are probably very familiar with the word toner, but you’re probably a little unsure of what one actually is, why you have one, and what it does exactly for your hair.

A toner is almost like the top coat for your hair in the hair world, it is more often than not the most crucial part of lightening hair as the toner alone is what decides on the primary tone of your hair and how light or dark it will appear when dried. A toner can be used in a number of different ways, to achieve a number of different looks and effects on the hair. It can be used to give a more natural and toned down appearance to lightened hair, it can be used to give a lighter brighter and ashier appearance by banishing brass, it can be used in some cases to add warmth and dimension to red/copper/brunette hair and it can even be used to add more colourful pops of colour such as unnatural colours like pink, purple, blue etc to the hair semi permanently.

Toners are never permanent, they’re more like a sheer covering and how long they last depends on the condition of your hair, the upkeep of your maintenance and your at home hair care routine. Much like a face prepping for a professional makeup application, if it is kept clean and moisturized and cared for with effective products then the makeup will apply a lot easier, look a lot nicer and last longer. This is the same with toning hair, if you’re washing your hair in the correct products and ensuring it’s kept hydrated and protected from environmental damage and heat then your toner is going to take easier, look a lot nicer and last on your hair a lot longer. We typically say a toner can last between 4 to 8 weeks, but in some cases it can last up to 10 weeks when it is evident that good hair care away from the salon is being carried out and the integrity of the hair is optimal.

A toner is applied most commonly at the backwash after a colour is rinsed off, but may be applied at a section if you’re booked in for a maintenance toner and not your full colour service. A toner is really the only way to keep the tone and depth in your hair without having a full colour, and is often the only way to achieve the colour you desire when pre-lightening is involved. A toner is the final colour during a colour change service. Without going too scientific, a pre lightener has only one job in a colour service and that is simply to lift the hair to the best of its abilities, it’s a toner that gives you the shiny appearance and adds the tone and depth back in. A toner is a great way in between colour services to add some luster and life back to the hair without going any lighter or undergoing any PH changes with a lightener or tint too soon.

A toner can make the hair appear shinier and healthier, and clients often comment on how their tired ends look more lively and concealed. Perfect solution of you girls out there who don’t like a trim as often as you should!

Overall: A toner is a low PH non damaging quasi tint that sits on your hair and is the main reason your hair looks the colour that it looks. A toner is sometimes unavoidable and needed to correct the tones in your hair, but is also used sometimes just to boost a tone or bring it down to a more natural colour.

A toner needs to be applied to healthy and well cared for hair to have the best longevity results, meaning home care and toners come hand in hand. A toner can be used on virtually any hair colour, it’s most commonly used to clean out brass on blondes but can also be used on brunettes, red heads and balayage to keep away unwanted tones or add/remove warm tones or cooler tones. Smart bond can be added to toners for a small extra charge, meaning when you’re visiting us for your maintenance toners between colours, you’re also having an express protein and PH balance treatment on your hair, bettering your chances of your toner staying until your next full colour appointment.

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