If you've ever set foot in a hair salon you’ve probably heard the word toner. Want a balayage? Toner! Highlights? Toner! Add shine? Toner!!! But what exactly is this mysterious product? A toner is a deposit-only hair colour used to temporarily enhance or refine undertones in your hair.
A toner, also known as gloss or glaze, is used for a variety of reasons. It is primarily used to refine lightened (bleached) hair, and adjusts warmth or coolness. Any time hair is lightened the undertone is exposed. The darker the hair, the more red/orange is hiding underneath. A toner can use that warmth to create a beautiful caramel colour or completely cancel it out to get that trendy "granny grey". Of course, toners just aren’t for blondes! They can be used to enhance every shade of hair whether it’s the colour you were born with or something created in a salon.
We should all know by now good hair isn’t cheap.“Can I save a few dollars and skip the toner?” Any great stylist would say no. A toner can make or break your expensive new colour. Leaving hair untoned doesn’t only leave an undesirable result, it can also leave your hair lacking shine, and feeling tangled or dry. Most toners used in professional salons have conditioners that will soothe bleached hair, smooth the cuticle, and add shine. Not only will toners remove unwanted brassiness or “mousiness”, they can also leave your hair feeling healthier.
Since toners are demi-permanent, the colour will fade away over time. We all know someone with the brightest blonde that just craves being brunette. Instead of jumping in with a permanent colour, a toner can be used to satisfy those naughty feelings and will fade out enough to make your stylist not want to rip their hair out when you want to be blonde again.
Most toners are designed to last 4-6 weeks depending on how often you wash your hair and if you are using a colour safe shampoo. A silver or pastel toner isn’t going to last as long as a deeper colour, and anything ashy won’t last like something warm. Toners can be used at any time in your colour journey as a temporary change or refresher. For example- a balayage is done every 3-6 months, but that gorgeous honey colour the toner gave will only last for 6 weeks. Instead of settling for orange hair or sitting for another 3 hour lightening service and dropping a few hundred dollars, book in a toner and fall in love with your hair all over again!
Most toner services are under $100 and will include a wash and blowout so it’s a perfect way to get an inexpensive freshening up before an event or night out.