DIY Hair: How to Use Wella Color Charm Toner
Toners are a great way to keep processed hair looking natural, but finding the right shade and learning how to use the product correctly can take a little practice. Luckily, I've used Wella toner on my hair many times and am here to share my best tips with you.
In this article, we will cover the following topics:
- Wella Color Charm Shades
- Choosing the Right Toner for You
- How to Use Wella Toners
- Why Choose Wella?
- What Is Hair Toner and How Does It Work?
- Can Toning Damage Your Hair?
- Troubleshooting Toning Mistakes
- Maintaining Toned Hair
Wella Color Charm Toner
One of the most popular and accessible toners out there is Wella Color Charm. They've got a family of three main branches: silver, ash, and beige.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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 toner with a green-violet base, this product will cancel out the red and yellow brassy tones in golden hair while still keeping it warm.
What Color Toner Is Right for Me?
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 that 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. (A quick look at a color wheel should help you see why!)
A Couple of Things to Keep in Mind Before Toning Your Hair
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 showing lightness shades below 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.
How to Use Wella Toners
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
- Dye Brush
- Glass Bowl
- Tin Foil or Plastic Wrap
Step 1: Perform a Strand Test
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.
Step 2: Apply Toner in Sections
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.
Step 3: Let Toner Sit
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 or 20–25 minutes for a darker shade.
Step 4: Wash and Condition Your Hair
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 on your hair and brush it; you'll get the same result. Don't waste your money on a specifically branded "leave-in" when you have perfectly good conditioner already.
Why Should I Use Wella Over Another Brand?
Wella Professionals, based in Germany, has been making hair products for over 130 years, and they have a real knack for getting things juuust right. From toners to moisturizing shampoos, you really can't go wrong with Wella.
While some DIY products can yield disastrous results (we're looking at you, Sally's boxed dyes), most users have great success with Wella and find that they can get salon-worthy results from home. They also provide a huge range of shades (though you may have to order online, depending on the in-store offerings in your area), meaning there's a much higher chance of attaining the color you're looking for.
Honestly, there's simply no comparison between Wella and most of the other DIY brands you'll find at your local beauty shop!
What Is Hair Toner and How Does It Work?
Simple! It's a product that neutralizes brassy tones on blonde or bleached hair. In other words, it's a miracle in a bottle that keeps your hair looking natural rather than processed. Have you ever seen someone 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.
Note: For an in-depth explanation of toner, check out "What Is Toner, and How Does It Work?"
Can Toning Damage Your Hair?
Sort of. The toner itself won't damage your hair, but the bleach that often precedes it (it's not possible to lighten your hair with a toner) or the developer needed for the toner to work can absolutely damage your hair.
We're all pretty familiar with the ways bleach can damage your hair, but fewer people are familiar with the potential damage developers can inflict. Developer opens your hairs' cuticles so that color can penetrate it, but using developers that are too strong (e.g. 30 or 40 volume, which you should never use at home) or using weaker developers too often can be very hard on your hair.
For this reason, you shouldn't tone your hair too much or too often. it's important to give your hair time to recover between toning sessions—a few days at the very least. In addition to giving your hair a breather, this will also give you a better idea of what your color is really like, as it will shift a bit after being toned.
Troubleshooting Toning Mistakes
Going from your current hair color to your dream hair color via toning can be trickier than it initially appears. Here are three common toning mistakes and how to avoid them.
1. Toning Lighter Than Your Current Level
This usually happens when you're worried about making your hair too dark, but using a toner for a level that's lighter than the lift you already have can end up creating unbalanced warmth and resulting in an awkward look.
Solution: Never tone higher than the level the hair is already lifted to.
2. Making Your Hair Overly Ashy
This usually happens when you eliminate all warm and gold tones in the hopes that it will give you the silvery look you're going for. Unfortunately, all this does is remove your hair's brightness.
Solution: Never eliminate warmth completely. Instead, try balancing it.
3. Toning Too Much All at Once
While going from your current color to your desired color in a day would be optimal, it often isn't possible, especially if the difference between the two is fairly drastic.
Solution: Don't try to achieve your perfect color all at once. Instead, resign yourself to the fact that it may take several sessions over the course of a few months to achieve your perfect color.
4. Accidentally Turning Your Hair Green
This can happen if you use an ash toner (which contains more green tones) or blue-tinted toner on yellow-toned hair, as the combination could result in a greenish color.
Solution: Avoid green- or blue-tinted toners and opt for purple-tinted ones instead!
5. Toning Darker Without Filling First
Toning darker without filling the hair first will result in a muddy gray color that almost certainly isn't what you were going for.
Solution: Fill hair to balance the tones before using a toner to go darker.
For more information about troubleshooting toning mistakes, including examples, check out this article by @PaintedChair.
Maintaining Toned Hair
At this point, you should 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 before toning it? Did you leave the toner in long enough? Did you use the proper volume of developer?
Again, if you need to redo the 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. There are many ways to prevent brassy hair, but I've found that a particularly great product for upkeep is , available at Sally's. This will work to tone your hair every time you take a shower, preventing brassiness! But again, be sure to use a moisturizing conditioner, as toning shampoos can end up drying out your hair. Generic Brand Purple Shampoo
More Hair DIYs
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2018 Alex Rose