What’s a Toner?

You may have heard your stylist refer to a toner – most often when we are working with lightening the hair. But what exactly is a toner?

A toner is a stylist’s best friend when it comes to lightening the hair, because let’s be honest, the hair has a mind of its own! It often comes up yellow or brassy. That’s just the natural way hair color ‘pulls’. A toner, mixed with the knowledge of color theory 😉 , is a GREAT way to combat unwanted tones. By using complementary colors, we are able to neutralize the unwanted tones – for example, to combat yellow, we use purple (this is often why you will see a blonde with a take home purple shampoo to keep her hair looking fresh until her next appointment)! To combat brass (orange), we use blue! To combat yellow and brass at the same time, we may mix blue and purple! Your stylist will have the eye and the knowledge to best fit your hair needs.

Toners are often applied at the bowl on wet hair (I personally use Redken’s SEQ Gloss), and are left on anywhere from 5 to 15 mins. It’s often a very simple and quick process. AND not only do toners tone the hair to the perfect color, they also leave the hair with incredible shine! Win, win!!!

So there you have it, toners are quite literally used to tone the hair. I hope this makes you feel like you’re down with your stylist’s lingo the next time you head to the salon 😉


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