If you’re one of those people who like to switch up their hair color frequently, then you’ve probably heard of toner. Toner is a versatile product that can be used to modify the tone and shade of your hair. However, with all the talk about toner, many people are left wondering if it can cause damage to their hair. In this article, we’ll dive deep into the world of hair toners and answer the question, does toner damage hair?
What is Toner?
Before we delve into the topic of whether toner damages hair, let’s first understand what exactly toner is. Toner is a hair care product that is used to remove brassiness or yellow tones from lightened hair. It usually comes in a purple or blue hue, depending on the tonal correction required.
Toner works by counteracting the warm tones in your hair. It does so by depositing small amounts of semi-permanent color onto your hair strands. Doing this neutralizes any unwanted brassy tones and produces a more natural-looking hair color.
How Does Toner Work?
Toner works by altering the pH balance of your hair. When your hair is lightened, it goes through a process where the outer layer of the hair shaft is removed, causing the hair cuticle to open. This allows the toner to penetrate the hair shaft and deposit its color.
However, using too much toner or leaving it on for too long can have detrimental effects on your hair. It can lead to dryness, brittleness, and even breakage.
Can Toner Damage Your Hair?
The short answer is yes, toner can damage your hair. The degree of damage varies depending on how often you use it and for how long you leave it on your hair. While toner is meant to enhance your hair color, overusing it can cause more harm than good.
Here are some of the ways toner can damage your hair:
Perplexity refers to the unpredictability of the outcome when you use toner on your hair. The reason for this is that different hair types react differently to toners. For example, if you have naturally dry hair, using too much toner can make it even drier and more prone to breakage.
Burstiness refers to the sudden increase in the number of hair breakages that occur after using toner. This can happen if you leave the toner on your hair for too long or use a toner that is too harsh for your hair type.
Pros and Cons of Using Toner
As with any hair product, there are pros and cons of using toner. Here are some of them:
- Toner helps to neutralize unwanted warm tones in lightened hair
- It can be used to enhance natural hair color
- It’s a semi-permanent solution, which means it fades out over time
- Overusing toner can lead to dryness and breakage
- It can cause perplexity and burstiness
- Toner can be expensive
Alternatives to Toner
If you’re not keen on using toner but still want to get rid of brassiness in your hair, here are some alternatives you can try:
- Purple shampoo: This is a shampoo that has a purple hue, which neutralizes yellow tones in your hair.
- Apple cider vinegar rinse: Mix one-part apple cider vinegar with two-parts water and use it as a rinse after shampooing.
- Lemon juice: Squeeze fresh lemon juice onto your hair and let it sit for 20 minutes before rinsing it off.
How to Use Toner Safely
If you decide to use toner on your hair, here’s how to do it safely:
- Choose a toner that is gentle and meant for your hair type.
- Follow the instructions on the packaging carefully.
- Do a patch test before using the toner all over your hair.
- Don’t leave the toner on for longer than recommended.
- Use a deep conditioning treatment after toning your hair.
Comparison with Hair Dye
Now that we’ve established that toner can damage hair if not used correctly, let’s compare it with another hair coloring product – hair dye.
Hair dye differs from toner in that it permanently alters the color of your hair. This means that it is more damaging than toner. Hair dye can cause dryness, brittleness, and even hair loss if used excessively.
While toner is a semi-permanent solution, hair dye requires a commitment to maintaining the new color as it does not fade out over time.
Tips for Maintaining Toned Hair
Once you’ve toned your hair, here are some tips for maintaining its color:
- Use a sulfate-free shampoo to avoid stripping the color from yourhair.
- Wash your hair with cool water to prevent the toner from fading.
- Use a color-safe conditioner to keep your hair nourished and healthy.
- Avoid using heat styling tools excessively.
- Get regular trims to prevent split ends and breakage.
The Best Toner for Your Hair
With so many toners on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one for your hair. Here are some of the best toners based on hair type:
- For blonde hair: Wella Color Charm T18 Lightest Ash Blonde Toner
- For silver or gray hair: Fanola No Yellow Shampoo
- For brassy brown hair: Redken Shades EQ Gloss Demi-Permanent Equalizing Conditioning Color
- For red hair: L’Oreal Paris Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Hair Color
So, does toner damage hair? The answer is yes, but only if it’s not used correctly. Toner is a great product that can enhance your hair color when used safely and in moderation. It’s important to choose the right toner for your hair type and follow the instructions carefully. Don’t forget to deep condition your hair after toning it to keep it healthy and moisturized.
Overall, toner is a great option for anyone looking to neutralize unwanted tones in their hair. Just remember to use it responsibly and take good care of your hair afterward.
- Can toner cause hair breakage?
Yes, overusing toner or leaving it on for too long can lead to perplexity and burstiness, which can cause hair breakage.
- How often should I use toner on my hair?
It’s best to use toner sparingly – once every few weeks or as needed. Using it too frequently can damage your hair.
- Is toner better than hair dye?
Toner is a better option for those looking for a semi-permanent solution to neutralize unwanted hair tones. Hair dye is more damaging and requires a commitment to maintaining the new color.
- Can I use toner on my natural hair color?
Yes, toner can be used to enhance natural hair color, but it’s important to choose a toner that is gentle and meant for your hair type.
- Can I apply toner to wet hair?
No, toner should only be applied to dry hair. Applying it to wet hair can dilute the product and reduce its effectiveness.## How to Apply Toner to Your Hair: Step by Step
Now that we’ve covered the basics of toner and its effects on hair, let’s go through a step-by-step guide on how to apply toner to your hair safely and effectively.
Step 1: Gather Your Supplies
Here are the items you’ll need:
- Toner product
- Developer (if required)
- Mixing bowl
- Applicator brush
- Sectioning clips
- Old t-shirt or towel
Step 2: Prepare the Toner
Follow the instructions on your toner product to mix it with the developer (if needed). Make sure you mix the two products well to ensure an even application.
Step 3: Protect Your Skin and Clothes
Apply petroleum jelly or a similar product around the hairline and on your ears to prevent staining. Wear an old t-shirt or towel to avoid getting toner on your clothes.
Step 4: Section Your Hair
Divide your hair into four equal sections using sectioning clips. This will make it easier to apply the toner evenly.
Step 5: Apply the Toner
Using your applicator brush, apply the toner to each section of hair from root to tip. Make sure to saturate each section completely for even coverage.
Step 6: Time the Toner
Check the packaging on your toner to find out how long to leave it on your hair. It’s important not to leave it on for too long as this can cause damage.
Step 7: Rinse and Condition
Once the toner has been on your hair for the recommended amount of time, rinse it out thoroughly with cool water until the water runs clear. Apply a color-safe conditioner to your hair and leave it on for a few minutes before rinsing it out.
And there you have it – a simple guide on how to apply toner to your hair at home.
Alternatives to Toner
If you’re not comfortable using toner on your hair or want to explore other options, here are some alternatives:
- Purple shampoo: This is a great option for those with blonde or silver hair. It helps neutralize yellow and brassy tones in the hair.
- Demi-permanent hair color: This type of hair color is less damaging than permanent hair color and can be used to neutralize unwanted tones in the hair.
Pros and Cons of Using Toner
Here are some pros and cons of using toner:
- Can neutralize unwanted tones in the hair
- Provides a semi-permanent solution
- Can enhance natural hair color
- Easy to use at home
- Can lead to damage if used incorrectly
- Can be confusing to choose the right toner for your hair type
- Requires maintenance to keep the new color looking fresh
Tips for Using Toner on Your Hair
Here are some tips to keep in mind when using toner on your hair:
- Always follow the instructions on the packaging carefully.
- Choose a toner that is meant for your hair type and color.
- Use toner sparingly – once every few weeks or as needed.
- Deep condition your hair after toning it to prevent damage.
- Consider getting a professional toning treatment if you’re unsure about doing it yourself.
Overall, toner can be a great product for those looking to neutralize unwanted tones in their hair. Just make sure to use it safely and follow the instructions carefully to avoid damage.
Stephanie is a hair specialist at Belady Hair Factory, a high-end hair distributor located in downtown Toronto. She is a trained cosmetologist and has been with the company for over five years. Stephanie has vast knowledge in hair care and styling and can provide clients with everything from classic to trendy looks. She is also knowledgeable about the different products in the market and can help clients choose the right one for their hair type. Full her bio.