What Is Toner? How it’s used for your Hair


I feel like the idea of toner is a very misunderstood service that clients are unsure about whether or not they need it. I’m going to go over how a hairstylist uses toner to give you a better understanding of how this magical product works!

How toner is used.

Toners are used on hair that is lighter than the desired color. Take a look at the photo, the left being the before and the right being the after. You can see that the color tones have changed from a Brassy Tone to more of an Ash tone. This also makes the hair look darker. This leads me to my next common misconception.

Does toner make your hair darker?

Whenever toning, it will definitely change the tone of your hair because that is the whole idea of toner. To answer your question, yes toner may make your hair appear to look darker when you’re dealing with brunette tones. Such as this photo, in order to remove the brassy tones I had to apply a slightly darker ash toner to give my client that Ashy Brown that she loves! If you take a look in the after photo, there are still lighter pieces that peak through. So whether or not it darkens your hair is a tough question to confirm yes or no.

Naturally, Ash tones are “darker.”

Take a look at these pictures. The orange (brass) appears to be brighter than the green (ash). Technically I don’t believe one is darker than the other but how we perceive the two are lighter and darker, right? The brown on the right is the Ash Brown that women love to have these days. In order to achieve this color hairstylists lift your hair to a yellow/orange base and apply the green (ash) to achieve the ash brown. This is why when you go from a lighter brassy color to a more ashy you may feel a bit darker.

Side Note: If you’ve ever been blonde and see that there are green hints in your hair, its simply because the ash (green) in the toner grabbed onto your hair more than the hairstylist probably anticipated. We use ash (green) to remove the unwanted orange tones. NEVER fear when this happens, the cool think about toner is it will fade! Usually, after a few washes the green will fade and you’ll love your color!

I hope that makes a little more sense! Colors are weird. Last time most of you touched base with the color wheel was in elementary, so its hard to remember what colors cancel out what. In the end, as a hairstylist, its basic color wheel theory. Who would have thought the color wheel would have been key in my career? #LifeOfAnArtist


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