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Everything You Need to Know About Hair Toners and Your Hair Colour

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Toning is the finishing touch to your colour work – it is the fine tuning that transforms something basic into a finessed, multi-dimensional look. Nowadays there are many types of toning formulas and the best hairdressers know to curate a “toning toolbox” in order to provide the best toner for each individual client’s needs. So how do you know what to use and when? We answer some of the most frequently asked questions about toners.

What is Hair Toner?

The term toner can be a little confusing because a lot of hairdressers use it interchangeably with “glazing” or “glossing”. Basically, a toner is a colour product that contains low or no ammonia which gently alters the undertone of the hair.

As toners are low ammonia, they don’t deeply penetrate the hair strand - instead they lay on the surface of the hair like a top coat. This also means that they can be used on any hair type regardless of whether the hair is damaged or compromised.

Right now toning is having a moment!  We have a number of formulas to cater to all your toning needs.

Find a salon near you to book your next toning appointment!

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Why Do We Use Toners?

There are so many reasons why you should use a toner if you colour your hair

- Neutralising
Hair looks its best when it is clean and clear of any unwanted tones. For example, a cool blonde hair colour is free from traces of yellow and a mocha brunette will be free from any unwanted orange or brassiness.

- Colour Refreshing
If your colour is starting to fade, you can apply a toner to refresh the existing shade and shine in-between your permanent colour appointments.

- Colour Correcting
Toners can also be used to quickly fix any colour problems that might have resulted from inaccurate application.

- Double Process Hair
If you like the look of on trend colours like rose gold or pastel hair, you will need to undergo two steps to achieve the perfect shade. Your hairdresser will most likely lighten you hair to create a clean canvas and then use a toner to apply the final shade.

- Grey Blending
If you aren’t completely grey, toning is a great way to blend your greys with the rest of your hair. Toners are sheerer than permanent hair colour so you’ll achieve a reflective, multi-dimensional look instead of a solid colour.


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How Do You Apply Toner?

The best part about toners is that they are quick to use. Most formulas take 20 minutes to process and even better yet, our new ColorSync 5-Minute Fast Toners take just that – only 5 minutes!  Your hairdresser will apply your toner when your hair is damp and then shampoo when your time is up.

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What Colours Are Best For Toners?

The best part about toners is that they are good for all hair colours!

- Blonde
Toners can remove unwanted warm tones, or finish off a blonde shade with a fun tone like lilac or rose gold. They can also add sparkle and shine to any blonde hair colour shade.

- Brunette
You can add richness, depth and dimension to brunette hair color with a toner, as well as neutralise colour that is too warm, brassy or ashy.

- Red
Red hair colour really stands out, especially when it’s shiny and vivid. Toners can amplify red hair colour and restore the look of your red shade if it begins to fade.

- Highlights
Toner can add a level of refinement to your highlights by blending and balancing them. Toning balayage, foilayage or foil highlights makes them look subtler, more natural and frankly, more expensive!

- Pastel
Pastel shades like pale mint green hair or pastel blue hair generally require the two steps described above—lightening, followed by a toner overlay. The Matrix ColorSync Sheer Pastel Toners have the perfect assortment of pastel shades. Toners can also be combined to create a rainbow of unique hair colours.

- Vivid
The name says it all—the vivid hair colour we love is bright and bold! Toners like Matrix SOCOLOR Cult keep vivid hair colour on point—refreshing them with healthy, low-ammonia formulas to maintain their original vibrancy.


Need to maintain your colour after your salon visit? Check out our recommended products to maintain your colour at home.


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