DIY Hair: How to Use Wella Color Charm Toner

Updated on March 31, 2018
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What Is Toner?

Simple! It's a product that neutralizes brassy tones on blonde or bleached hair. It's a miracle in a bottle that keeps your hair looking natural rather than processed. You've seen people out there who tried to go platinum and got more of a "banana" color instead. This is exactly the issue that toner aims to fix.

How, you ask? Toner uses ammonia mixed with some other chemicals to create a gel. That gel, when applied to your hair, will slightly lift and tone your hair to specific and delicate shades of blonde.

Hair toners are commonly tinted with violet, blue, and green. These colors end up canceling out yellow, orange, and red tones that are present in bleached hair. It's important to understand color theory when toning, so you end up with the desired result. If you want to cancel out yellow, go for a violet based toner. Orange tones are negated by blue, and red tones by green.

Below I've detailed Wella's Color Charm toners, including which cool tones are present in the formulas.

Wella Color Charm

One incredibly popular and accessible toner is Wella Color Charm. They've got a family of three main branches: Ash, beige, and silver.

In order to use these toners, Wella recommends that you lighten your hair to at least half a shade lighter than your desired end result. I've included a chart below showing lightness shades so you can figure out what level you need before toning! Chances are you're going to want to lighten to a level 10 to 12.

It's important to consider the damage that could be done to your hair through the bleaching and toning process! It's inevitable, but when done properly, you can still maintain a healthy mop.

Breaking Down Wella Color Charm Shades

Silver

  • T28 - Natural Blonde
  • T10 - Pale Blonde: Formerly known as "Ivory Lady," this toner contains violet-blue undertones and will cancel out yellow-orange tones in your hair.

Ash

  • T14 - Pale Ash Blonde: Formerly known as "Silver Lady," T14 is also violet-blue based. This shade will add ashy tones, resulting in a hair shade that is darker than T18.
  • T18 - Lightest Ash Blonde: According to many reviews, this toner is better for going to nearly a white blonde than T10. This is a violet based toner, "White Lady," that will eliminate light yellow tones from your hair.

Beige

  • T15 - Pale Beige Blonde
  • T11 - Lightest Beige Blonde: This toner has a green-violet base, and will result in a sandy beach tone. It is best on yellow hair, and not ideal if you are looking for a cooler tone.
  • T27 - Medium Beige Blonde
  • T35 - Beige Blonde: Another green-violet based toner, this product will cancel out the red and yellow brassy tones in golden hair while still keeping it warm.

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Directions for Use

Once you've decided on the proper shade of toner for you, the rest is very simple!

  • Wella Color Charm Toner
  • 20 volume developer (I prefer Salon Care Cream)
  • Gloves
  • Dye brush
  • Glass bowl
  • Tin foil or plastic wrap

In your glass bowl, mix 1 part toner to 2 parts developer. As you mix it with your dye brush, it will start to form a gel. It is wise to conduct a strand test to figure out your processing time. Select a small section of hair that isn't terribly visible. Test out the toner and see what amount of time produces the desired result. I'm not very wise so I usually skip this step.

Working quickly, separate your hair into thin layers and paint the toner on, saturating the entire section. I usually start with the hair on my part and around my face and neck, and work my way in.

The toner may start to change to a deep, dark shade of blue or purple. Do NOT be alarmed! Let it do its work. You will not end up with dark hair. Let the toner sit for 8-10 minutes for a lighter shade, 20-25 minutes for a darker shade.

Once you're ready, wash it out with shampoo and be sure to condition. Just a heads up for people who didn't know this, but you can use any conditioner as a leave-in conditioner... Just let it dry into your hair and brush it, same result. Don't waste your money on a specifically branded "leave-in" when you have perfectly good conditioner already.

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Upkeep

Ideally at this point you have a beautiful, non-brassy shade of blonde hair! If that didn't happen, you may need to reevaluate the steps that you took. Did you bleach your hair to the proper level? Did you leave the toner in long enough? Did you use the proper volume of developer?

If you need to complete another process, wait a few days first to give your hair a breather.

In my experience, toner is not truly "permanent" and will need to be used again once brassy tones start to come back through. This will take some time though. A great product for upkeep is Generic Brand Purple Shampoo, available at Sally's. This will work to tone your hair every time you take a shower!

More Hair DIYs

Now that your hair is perfectly toned, it's time to start thinking of your next hair journey! Read some of my other DIYs here:

How to Touch Up Roots

What Is Developer and How Do You Use It?

How to Remove Red Hair Dye

Questions & Answers

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