Black Sheep Hair Company


Let’s Talk Toners

Hands up who’s got a Hair Goals board on Pinterest?! (And a hidden Wedding Dress one just in case its needed in the future….jokes…obviously…..who even does that?! Definitely not me!) Anyway, where I’m going with this is that images of dreamy hair are everywhere around us and we all want a bit of that don’t we?

But dreamy hair means colour work is getting more and more technical and very often us hairstylists find ourselves working with colour corrections to get that insta-worthy end result. The days of in and out appointments are fading fast and any hairdresser would agree it’s not very often we have a simple one-step process nowadays.

In total honesty I’d say at least 95% of my highlighted ladies have a lightener (a.k.a bleach) with some kind of toner but since opening Black Sheep H.C I’ve realised so many of my clients put their trust in me without understanding exactly what a toner is. As flattering as their faith in me is, I know I’d want to understand exactly what I’m paying for if it were me. And it’s not just us at Black Sheep that’s aren’t sure…an industry survey found a whopping 86% of salon clients didn’t know what a toner was either so let’s clear things up.

When it comes to bleach it’s pretty simple….it makes hair lighter. It strips (sometimes explained as ‘lifts’) the pigment out of the hair and that’s as far as it’s job goes. Raw bleach is rarely pretty with a best case end result being a pale yellow, (on naturally fair hair) worst case (usually on previously tinted dark hair) a hardcore warm/copper…….Ok, lets be honest, we all know we’re talking ginger here.

But think of all those blonde photos we have pinned on our boards…there’s the ash ones, the honey ones, the platinum ones, the beige ones….I could go on but you get the picture. And here’s the thing…..they’re mostly all achieved using bleach and a lot of them probably started off a little bit yellow. *In steps the toner* Saviour of the Slim Shady vibes and creator (joint creator-us stylists need credit for these hair spells we perform) of beautiful blondes. Toners can neutralise unwanted undertones (Bye yellow! See ya never orange!) to alter the end result or to add an extra kick of intensity to the hair. They’re basically THE most important step in your colour appointment.

Let’s break it down. Bleach makes hair lighter. Toners create the end colour. But it isn’t just for blondes. Toners can be used for brightening redheads, adding dimension to brunettes or just purely as a gloss to give your locks an extra kick of shine.

And believe it or not, you’ve probably even used toners at home yourself. That pigmented brunette hair mask that kinda stains the edges of your nails? Toner! Silver shampoo to freshen up your platinum blonde between salon trips? Toner! ‘Brightening’ leave-in conditioner? Yup, you guessed it. Toner! Because as heroic as they are, toners WILL fade. Depending on the condition of your hair, the fade-rate varies but we all occasionally need a top-me-up in one way or another.

Naturally we’ll always discuss your options with you which is why colour consultations are so important-not only so we can understand your hair to help us determine the necessary steps to give you the hair of your dreams (and therefore book out enough time,) but also so we’re prepared for possible orange-banishment. It’s also when we carry out that all important skin test….we know we go on about them but we can’t express enough how important they are to your safety-even if you have been colouring your hair for years!

I’m pretty sure I’ve ticked everything off but as always, get in touch if you have any questions. And any blondies who haven’t tried Insight’s anti-yellow shampoo yet, I promise you won’t be disappointed!!

Thanks for reading

Chloe x

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