How to Tone Blonde Hair
Blonde hair is beautiful, but it is one of the harder colors to maintain, necessitating a little extra effort to keep it looking its best. If you don't tone blonde hair regularly, it can begin to turn an unappealing brassy shade. Toning your hair is easy though, and it won't add much more time to your regular morning routine, whilst the results will speak for themselves.
Blonde shampoo is your first line of defense against overly warm tones. These shampoos have an addition of violet pigment that counteracts yellow tones as you shampoo your hair. When you use such a shampoo, it's no different to regular shampooing, except that it can slow down fading by keeping your hair toned.
When you shop for blonde shampoo, actually open up the bottle to get a better look. This should preferably be done with the shopkeepers permission, though a little covert beauty investigation should never be frowned upon. When your hair looks that good, the cosmic forces will surely forgive you. However, don't open the product if doing so would break a seal and make the product unsalable afterwards.
Look for blonde shampoo that has a deep dark opaque purple hue to it. If it looks more like a pastel shade or is translucent, it has absolutely negligible toning power and will do nothing for your hair. Professional shampoos like Fudge's violet shampoo, and De Lorenzo's silver shampoo offer you the most bang for your buck. They last forever because you only need to use a little amount, and may even only have to use them every couple of washes between washes with a regular shampoo. The De Lorenzo silver shampoo also has blue pigment to counteract any coppery notes and will give you the most toning power should you require it. This distinction doesn't carry over to other shampoos and some will be called a silver shampoo but have no blue pigment. The best idea again, is to open the bottle and examine for yourself.
- Choosing a purple shampoo
Wondering which blonde shampoos are the best, and how to choose one for your own hair? Here are the most effective and highest quality toning shampoos for every type of blonde...
How to use toners
Often, the use of blonde shampoos isn't enough to keep blonde hair as toned as you will desire. Especially if you are trying to maintain an ash blonde or silver shade. In this case, blonde toners should be part of your hair care regime.
There are a few different types of toners, and they can be easily defined in terms of how long the color lasts. Temporary rinses are the least permanent and are applied as the name suggests, by using them in the shower after shampooing your hair. Semi-permanent toners are applied like a dye but have less penetration so they wash out over a number of shampoos.
For lasting results, a demi-permanent toner is the best option as it provides the best durability whilst causing almost no damage to hair that has been bleached blonde. This is important because after dyeing your hair blonde, you want to limit the amount of damage it sustains hereafter in order to stay blonde and keep your hair looking great.
Types of toners
- Temporary rinses
- Permanent tint
Temporary rinses offer you the convenience of in-shower application. They only last one shampoo though, so they're best used for toning problem areas or temporarily cooling down excess warmth when you're between applications of a more permanent colour. To apply them, first shampoo your hair and then squirt a little product even over your hair, massaging it in. It may help to step out of the shower and watch it in front of a mirror to ensure it doesn't over-process. Once it reaches the desired tone, rinse it out and condition your hair.
Semi-permanent toners can be in the form of liquids or a cream. They're applied to washed, dry hair and left to process until the desired color is reached. These dyes contain no ammonia or developer so they cause no damage to the hair yet are able to last a few shampoos before they fade out. These dyes will actually condition your hair and make it feel nicer.
Liquid semi-permanent dyes should be squeezed onto the hair evenly and massaged in thoroughly. The quicker you can apply the dye, the more even the results. Cream dyes may be more suited to application with a tinting brush depending on how thick the consistency is.
After it reaches the desired tone, you can wash it out. You should not shampoo after this rinse, but you may condition your hair if you need to.
Type of toner
3 - 6 shampoos
Once a week
6 - 12 shampoos
Every 6 weeks
Indefinitely - fading possible
Every 6 - 8 weeks
Demi-permanent and permanent toners both fall under the category of long-lasting color. The only difference between the two is that demi-permanent colors are mixed with a low volume of developer and don't penetrate the hair shaft to the extent that a permanent dye does. They also often incorporate some direct dye ingredients in combination with oxidative dye, which acts very similar to a semi-permanent color.
Because of this weaker penetration and the low volumes of developer and ammonia used, a demi-permanent dye isn't very damaging. They can last a few weeks and can be applied again once they have faded noticeably. If you're using a blonde shampoo to reduce fading, chances are you will only need to use a demi-permanent or permanent toner once every six weeks or so, and this will coincide with the time it takes for your regrowth to need a touch-up.
To use demi-permanent and permanent toners, apply the colour to sections of your hair quickly and thoroughly. It is easiest to apply if you separate the hair into four quadrants by parting it down the middle from your forehead to the nape of your neck, and then parting it from eye to eye, clipping each section back with a sectioning clip. Work down in small sections of hair from top to bottom of each section until your hair is entirely covered and then watch the dye closely whilst it processes.
The hair shaft of each hair on your head is protected by scale-like formations called cuticles. When exposed to alkaline products like shampoo, or when exposed to heat, these cuticles open.
When the cuticles of your hair remain open like this, it is easier for color to wash out. Acidic products like conditioner, barrier creams like smoothing serums, and the reduction of heat will help to seal the cuticles.
When you have blonde hair, taking steps to minimize fading is the easiest way to help your toner last longer and maintain a nice color for longer. There are a couple of things you can do to lessen any fading:
- Use tinted shampoos and only wash your hair as often as necessary
- Keep heated styling tool use to a minimum
- Apply products like smoothing serums to seal the hair
- Avoid excess sun exposure
- Always condition - conditioner closes the cuticle and prevents fading
How often do you tone your hair?
Blonde hair looks great, and it's important to take pride in the way you look. Toning your hair will keep it looking the best it possibly can, and help boost your confidence. Looking good and feeling good may be two different concepts, but they're both very important and can affect the way you feel about yourself. You deserve to be able to feel both.
Do you have a question about blonde toners or need some help to tone blonde hair? Leave a comment for tailored advice and share your insight with other readers.