Why Do Some Hairdressers Not Use Toner

Explore the reasons Why Do Some Hairdressers Not Use Toner in their hair coloring processes. Dive into the world of hair care and uncover the myths and truths behind toning.


In the multifaceted world of hair care and styling, the tools and products hairdressers use often become subjects of debate and curiosity. One such topic that has gained attention is the use of hair toners. While many swear by toners for achieving the perfect shade, ensuring evenness, and enhancing the longevity of hair color, there are some hairdressers who consciously choose not to incorporate them into their services. Why might this be? Let’s delve into the reasons and the philosophy behind the choice to forgo toners in hair treatments.

Why do some hairdressers not use toner?

Hair toners, often used to neutralize unwanted brassy or yellow tones, have long been a staple in many salons around the world. They can give a fresh, polished look to color-treated hair and can refine the hue to ensure it matches a client’s desired shade perfectly. But, not all hairdressers jump on the toner bandwagon. Why is this? Let’s dive into some of the primary reasons:

What exactly is a hair toner?

When it comes to achieving the perfect shade for our hair, there’s more than meets the eye. You might have heard of hair toners during a visit to a salon or when diving into the depths of DIY hair colouring. But what exactly is a hair toner? Let’s unravel this often misunderstood product.

Understanding Hair Toner

At its core, hair toner is a product that adjusts the tone of bleached or dyed hair. Think of it as a finisher or a fine-tuner. It works by neutralizing and correcting the hair’s shade, ensuring that unwanted brassy or warm tones are eliminated. Hair toners can either add or neutralize colour from your hair, making it cooler or warmer depending on the desired effect.

How Does It Work?

When hair is bleached, it goes through various colour changes, from its natural colour to deep red, to red, to red-orange, to orange, to yellow, and then to pale yellow. The exact path depends on your original hair colour. The aim for many is to reach pale yellow, where then a toner can be applied to achieve the desired blonde shade, be it platinum, beige, or ash.

Toners use a colour wheel principle. Remember those orange or yellowish tints you want to avoid? To counteract those, a toner might have violet or blue undertones.

Why Use a Hair Toner?

Application and Duration

Hair toners are typically applied after the hair has been bleached or coloured. Depending on the product, they can last anywhere from 2-8 weeks. Factors like hair washing frequency, exposure to sun, and use of heat styling tools can affect how long the toning effect lasts.

What Does Hair Toner Do to Highlights?

Delving into the world of hair color, you’ll come across various terms: highlights, lowlights, balayage, and of course, toners. But if you’ve ever wondered how a hair toner interacts specifically with highlights, you’re in the right place. Let’s explore the role of hair toner in enhancing and perfecting highlighted hair.

Understanding Highlights

Before diving into the specifics of toners, it’s crucial to understand highlights. Highlights are strands of hair that have been lightened to be a few shades lighter than the base color. They can be subtle or contrasting, providing depth, dimension, and a sun-kissed appearance to one’s hairstyle.

The Role of Hair Toner in Highlighting

When is Toner Applied?

Toners are applied after the highlighting process. Once the hair has been lightened and the desired level of lift is achieved, the toner is applied to damp hair. It’s left on for a specific duration, depending on the desired result and the product’s instructions, and then rinsed out.

Are There Any Risks for Using Toner on Highlights?

Hair toners, when used appropriately, can elevate the look of highlighted hair by refining the tone and adding a polished finish. However, like many hair treatments and products, there can be some risks associated with their use. Let’s delve into the potential challenges of using toner on highlights.

Potential Risks of Using Toner on Highlights:



The decision not to use toner by some hairdressers is multifaceted. While toners can be instrumental in achieving specific hair shades and neutralizing unwanted tones, they are not always deemed necessary by all professionals. Factors such as the client’s natural hair color, the desired outcome, the type of hair dye used, and the health and porosity of the hair can influence this choice. Furthermore, with advancements in hair coloring products, some modern dyes may already incorporate toning elements. Ultimately, the choice to use or forgo toner depends on the stylist’s expertise, experience, and the specific requirements of each individual’s hair journey.

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