Why Toning Is The Most Important Part Of Your Hair Colouring Process


When the capital’s chic salon chain Taylor Taylor London held a survey recently they found that 86 per cent of clients – despite having their colour done – didn’t know what a toner was. The thing is, it’s the most important part of the hair colouring process.

Sometimes knowing the jargon can work to your advantage. Swatting up on what pre-lightening and toning means to the pigment-adding process could help you get the hair you’ve always wanted. Here, Taylor Taylor London’s colour director Zoe Adams and senior colour technicians Kris Barnes and Santiago Rodriquez explain what you need to know about colouring your hair:

1. Bleach is not a colour

“Bleaching is a tool that we use to take colour, or pigment, out of the hair. The professional term is a ‘pre-lightener’. During this process, you are pulling the pigment from the hair, stripping away the colour but not adding any colour.”

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2. Toning is when the colour is added

“Your final colour comes from the toning process. You can go anywhere with a toner. On blondes, cooler toner makes the colour more silvery and warmer toner makes it more coppery. Toning is the most important part of the colour process.”

3. It’s not just for blondes

“Contrary to popular belief, toners are not just used for achieving blonde shades, but are also a must for redheads and brunettes. At-home, pigmented masks can be used to ensure the hair stays glossy and healthy between salon appointments.” Try the Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care masks which come for five hair different colours.

4. Toning doesn’t last – this is why your colour fades

“Depending on your hair type, toner can last between two-to-six weeks. The general rule of thumb is that previously coloured hair which is more porous will hold colour for less time than natural or ‘virgin’ hair, which can hold colour for up to six weeks.”


5. Toners aren’t just for colour, but shine too

“Toners don’t just add colour to the hair. Acid-based toners can add shine to natural hair and won’t affect the colour. By reflecting the light, this gives hair a super glossy varnish-like effect which we call ‘glossing’.” Ask in salons for a Redken Shades EQhair gloss. After an initial consultation, your hairstylist will crate a custom hair gloss for you which works in 15 minutes. Think of this as being like a lip gloss for the hair (clear or otherwise): it boosts the condition while adding shine.

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6. Do incorporate toners into your at-home routine

“Try to choose an at-home shampoo and conditioner or mask that has toner incorporated within the product. This will refresh your hair each time you wash it and help prolong the colour. However, it is important to avoid over-washing hair – ideally, wash it no more than twice a week to best maintain your colour.”

Bazar recommend trying the Christophe Robin Shade Variation Care masks which come for five hair different colours; the Joico Color Balance shampoos, available for blondebrowncopper and red hair; and the Evo Fabuloso Colour Intensifyingconditioners, available in seven hair shades.

From: Harper’s BAZAAR UK