Ask the Experts: To tone or not to tone...that is the question! August 3, 2018 10:57

With a career that spans decades, Jennifer Morgan has a reputation for being an expert in the industry. A journey that began with training under the tutorage of Dennis Langford, managing director for Toni&Guy Australia, Morgan has been a salon owner since the age of 21, while also boasting an impressive career with L’Oréal Paris/Redken which saw her working with the technical team before moving into the role of National technical manager. 

Known in the industry for being a specialist colourist at Morgan & Morgan Hair Collective since 2001, Jennifer is the go-to girl with any colouring conundrum and her passion and skill set are enviable in the hairdressing community.

Her technical expertise and precision with colour work has also seen her in the roles of Artist and Educator for industry heavyweights such as L’Oréal, Redken and more recently Schwarzkopf.

So she is the perfect person to ask the Tone or Not to Tone?!

A toner is the secret weapon that helps us to correct or personalise your colour. This service is used to add natural or more visible tones after a professional colour treatment and, as a result, enhance the tonality of your hair, creating a professional finished look.

It’s most commonly for, but not limited to, blondes. In order for toner to work correctly and effectively, it’s important to first get your hair to the suitable colour through the process of tint or lightener.

Getting your hair toned is a service that’s one of the most important parts of your hair appointment if you’re changing the colour of your hair...and sometimes, even if you’re not.

What is a Hair Toner & Why is it Important?

A hair toner is a demi-permanent hair color that can alter the state of the hair’s tone and pH level. Colourists use it to help cool down or warm up the exact shade of your hair when you leave the salon.

As a service for non-colour treated hair, it’s a way to experiment with a little bit of colour play without fully committing to a new shade. (Demi-permanent means exactly what you think, non-permanent colour that will eventually fade.) Toners are also available in clear form, where they act like more of a gloss for hair.

Toner allows us to personalise your colour by making it warmer or cooler in tone, correct unwanted tones or to add a bright pop of fashion colour, without actually lifting the shade. It also enables us to make sure you get an even hair colour result from root to tip. All this can help you achieve the finished look that you’re after. 

Toner helps to even out the colour of your locks, blending the new colour seamlessly with the old one, adding luster to your hair. And, not only does a toner have an effect on the colour of your hair, it also has an impact on its condition too. It makes hair look more natural, as well as healthier, softer and shinier.

Toner can be applied in between services, not just right after one, so that your colour lasts and looks fresh longer.

HOT TIP: To maintain your shiny, toned hair at home, try using a FabPro Customised Conditioner

How is a Hair Toner Applied?

Toners come in a cream or liquid form, and are an ammonia-free product that we will apply after your highlights/foils/balayage are rinsed out. The toner will stay on your hair for up to 20 minutes and can be applied to wet or dry hair depending on the results we are trying to achieve

With creative toning, we sometimes use 2-3 different shades to create a truely bespoke result

Our Vibrance Glosses can help balance the hair’s imbalanced pH level after a colour service, returning it to a normal, healthy level. It’s not just for colour-treated hair, though. It can help bring balance to virgin hair that’s been affected by environmental conditions, hot tools, and products.

You 100% need it at every service, not just to fine-tune the tone or hue of the colour, but also to improve condition the hair.

However, it certainly impacts colour, and will be mixed by your colourist to achieve the perfect shade you’re looking for. We can customise the formula of your toner to fit your hair type, colour, style and strength.

What Colour Results Can You Expect from a Toner?

There is no one shade-suits-all toner. In fact, a toner is a way to make your hair colour your own. Colours can be mixed together by your stylist to get the right shade for you. Toners offer a range of colours, from warmer tones like copper or honey, to cooler tones of light ash or even silver. It’s also the ideal choice for those looking to achieve the perfect pastel hair with shades of pink and lilac. As well as toners your stylist uses in salon, you can also find haircare products that contain a toner for use at home in between appointments.

Is a Toner Only for Blondes?

No. Toners can also be used on brunettes and redheads who want to banish unwanted brassy tones or want to personalise their hair colour making it warmer, cooler or adding a fashion colour.

The length of time your professional toner lasts will depend on your at home hair care routine. Your toner will last longer if you use a professional brand hair care, for instance.

Is a Hair Toner Worth the Extra Cost?

You might think of toner as an extra service that you don’t need, but you should talk to your colourist about what you’re trying to achieve. Since it’s often priced as an a la carte service, some guests opt out of getting one to skip the cost, but sometimes (most times) it’s necessary for you to get the exact result you’re looking for.

The difference between an expensive looking colour service with all the nuances of your favourite celebrity and the sort of results you might see in the mall are often the clever and creative use of a number of toning shades to bring dimension and variance to the colour

Bottom line: Find out where you can get your hair toned, then ask your colourist about your toner, what it costs, what it will do for you, why you need it and how often to come in between colouring services to get it done.

Toner should always be provided by your stylist, it’s like putting the top coat on your nail polish, it seals the whole deal.