Focus on toning!
If you’ve ever had your hair lightened or bleached – whether it was highlights or full head colour – the chances are, you will have had a toner or at least been offered one!
Toners are used to neutralise gold or copper pigment.
However, they can be used in other ways such as adding pastel tones or darkening hair that has been lifted too light.
As a general rule of thumb, natural hair shades have a universal number system.
Number 1 being the darkest – usually black – up to number 10 – usually light blonde.
Hair that is Base 7 and above is fairly easy to lift to a nice creamy blonde with little or no gold residue left.
Base 6 is a little harder to lift to a very light blonde and may well need toning afterwards and may also need the bleach to be left on longer or have 2 applications.
Bases 5 and 4 are extremely hard to lift to a clean blonde and will almost certainly need 2 applications and a toner to neutralise the inevitable copper and yellow tones that persist.
Bases 3 and below should be lifted with great caution.
Firstly, not to over promise on the result and to let the customer know that it could take a while to achieve the look they would like.
Cost could come into it too and must be explained to avoid disappointment.
Violet based toners should be used to neutralise yellow tones and sometimes, just using a purple shampoo will make a huge difference, without the need for a toner.
A word of caution for any toner… They wash out!
Depending on how porous the hair is and how often the hair is washed, they will fade. It is usually recommended that another application should be done at a follow-up appointment. Another factor to take in when considering the maintenance of blonde hair!
In general, the stronger the pigment, the longer it will last. For example, raspberry pinks or apricot shades stay in the hair and if toners are used regularly, the colour will build up and last longer.
Toners can be used to darken blonde hair too and these too will last longer.