We get it. We used to think toner was just something for the printer, too, but it turns out toners are one of the most important parts of the hair coloring process — and we’re going to break down exactly how and why.
What does toner do?
Toners are demi- or semi-permanent dyes applied to hair to achieve the overall tone you’re looking for, whether it’s warm, cool, or neutral. This also means that they eventually wash out of your hair. While toners won’t change the color of your hair on their own, they can fix, enhance, or neutralize unwanted tones in your hair and ensure an even application of color from root to tip. Toners come in a variety of forms, including glosses, shampoos, foams and masks.
Who are toners for?
Typically, lighter hair colors get most of the toner love, as it helps create dazzling platinums, striking silvers and vibrant pastel shades. But brunettes and redheads can also benefit from toning, especially if they have highlights or balayage hair. Essentially, any part of your hair that’s been treated with lightener should then be treated with a toner to minimize unnatural yellow or brassy colors. Even if you have dark hair that hasn’t been color-treated, you can still use toners to change the undertone of your hair.
Toners for brassy or colored hair
Your hair likely has notes of orange and red in it, unless it’s naturally very light blonde. That’s why all shades that are lifted have the potential to turn brassy. Purple products, like our Purple Mask, are formulated with violet pigments that bring out the cool tones in your hair and cancel out the warmer ones. While toning your own hair at home is generally not advised unless you’re experienced with using toners, this mist combines the advantages of toners in an approachable, easy-to-use treatment for those who want to extend the life of their lightened hair at home between salon visits.
Why should you use toner?
Toner can take your color anywhere you want it to go, whether you’re seeking an ash blonde or pastel pink. Not only do toners add a “finished product” look to your hair by smoothing out the color and depositing your desired undertones, they can also add shine and depth to your hair — even if you haven’t used a lightener.
Here are five can’t-miss benefits of using toners:
- Neutralize brassy hues - directly counter brassy tones that naturally appear in hair after lightening with toners or purple shampoos to keep your color cool, literally
- Restore color - quickly restore hair that’s gone dull or faded with a nourishing toner or purple shampoo
- Add shine to hair - some hair toners are “glosses” meaning they leave your strands with a glossy effect — think of the shine of lip gloss, but for your hair
- Hydrate strands - hair can get really dry after being treated with lighteners, so it’s important to use a product like a toner, which can add moisture back
- Detangle and strengthen - toners also add protection to your hair by balancing the porosity of your strands, making them stronger and less likely to break
How to apply toner
Any major color work you want done should be taken care of by a professional. But toning products are an easy, at-home remedy you can use to target pesky brass notes whenever they may pop up. For example, here’s how to use our Purple Leave-In Mist:
- Give the product a good shake
- Spray product 6-8 inches away from dry or damp hair
- Use a comb or your fingers to gently and evenly distribute product through hair
And just like that, you’re set! You can also apply toner to wet hair, though you should make sure it’s damp rather than freshly out of the shower or rinsing bowl in order to get the maximum effect of the product.
How long should you leave it in?
Traditional toners should be left in hair anywhere from 5-20 minutes, and their effects can last from two to six weeks. But luckily, our Purple Leave-In Mist doesn’t actually require washing out. You can just spray it through your hair, comb it through with your fingers and carry on with your day, all while enjoying radiant, cool-toned hair.
verb purple leave-in mist
reduces brassiness by 46%*
and detangles by 69%*
*proven results in a third-party testing lab
Toning & more for brassy hair
Toners help make your style completely your own by neutralizing unwanted brassy tones and playing up the colors you actually do want. Our Purple Leave-In Mist makes that easier than ever, with its three-in-one formula that works to reduce brassiness by 46%*, detangle and hydrate your locks. Plus, it’s made with açai extract and apple cider vinegar, which supercharge your strands and help maintain your vibrant color.