Up until about a month ago, I had virgin hair. Yes, after a series of bad dye jobs (from platinum blonde to black) I decided my salon days were over. I grew my hair out for five or so years but after desperately needing a change, I recently went back to blonde.
Approximately 72 hours later, I began to remember the hardships all blondes face. Starting with: Brassy hair. Great.
“Blonde hair may go brassy due to colour fading, which in summer could be the result of plenty of exposure to the sun and water, as well as overusing heat styling tools,” explains celebrity hairdresser and Pantene hair expert Barney Martin.
The saviour? Toner. Lots of it.
What exactly does toner do?
Think of it as your temporary “filler” between visits to your hairdresser.
“Toners work to correct the unwanted tones in your hair. If you find your blonde is looking brassy, golden, orange, or even reddish, a toner can be used to counteract the unwanted pigments in your hair and create your desired shade,” explains explains Shari Reynolds, Wella Colour Artist & Head Colourist at Barney Martin Hairdressing. (Watch how to style a bob in under five minutes. Post continues after video).
Don’t be scared by the colour…
I set out to grab myself some of this magical toner business and was a little confused – it was all purple. Varying shades of purple and blue. And I’m meant to put this stuff on my head?
Don't stress — there is some logic behind it.
“They’re not necessarily always purple for blonde hair, but they work to counteract the colours on the opposite side of the colour wheel," explains Reynolds.
"If your colour is looking orange it takes a blue toner to balance that; if it's looking yellow it would need a violet colour; or somewhere between yellow and orange might require a mix of both blue and violet."
Just as purple colour-correcting skin products counteract yellow skin tone, purple toner works to banish your yellow, brassy colour. Clever.
While I was determined to rid my roots of their brassiness, I was a little worried that the toner would turn my hair purple. Don’t stress - this won’t happen if you follow the directions stated on the packet. (Post continues after gallery.)
“Toners won't permanently change the colour of your hair and tend to fade, depending how often you wash your hair. If you wash your hair a few times a week it’s likely to fade out quite quickly, but if you only wash once a week it can hold for much longer,” explains Reynolds.
If nothing will work on your orange-y blonde hair, visit the salon for a toner mixed by a professional.
Have you used toner on your hair?