How To Tone Hair
Apr 06, 2021
Let's Talk All Things Tone!
This blog post is a broken-down script for our interactive YouTube channel. Check out the video link below to get free online salon education.
Sometimes we need to go back and recap some of the basics we learned when we first began hairdressing. This blog post will help us go over some things that we may forget as time goes on in salon, or, just help reconfirm what we're already doing.
Here Brian has his lovely model Dolly. We have divided her hair into quadrant's. This is because we want you to see the different tones and explain clearly how we have achieved these looks.
The color wheel.
Here we have the color wheel and as stylists we should be familiar with this tool.
If you take a look at the different colors we have our primary colors. Red, blue, and yellow. These are colors that you cannot recreate by mixing different tones these are the basis to create our secondary colors.
The underlying dominant pigment chart.
We also have an underlying pigment chart. Having a pigment chart that clearly shows the dominant pigments takes the guessing out of color and toning. It's important to refer back to this to give our choices a reason and guide us into the best result.
hair color misconception.
Warm tones and hair myths- we need to be clear.
What Brian recommends, is educating our guests, especially when under the misconception their hair lifts red/warm, and is unique to their hair. This is a mis-education and all hair does this. Brian is happy to let his guests be wrong about some hair myths, but this is something we as hairdressers should own as a myth. It is our job to identify what the hair needs to achieve a particular tone.
The Hair tonal choices and results.
Dolly's back right panel is the color that we begin with. We wanted you to visually see our starting point.
The first quadrant we colored on the back left is 9N. As you can see, this isn't a great tonal difference. The color added a neutral tone to something that was strong with warmth, so it didn't enhance or neutralize the tone.
Embracing the gold tone.
Sometimes it's really nice to work with golds. They have their place where they can really look beautiful.
We used Paul Mitchell the demi 9G. this tone adds richness in comparison to the 9N in the back. This warm tone actually appears to be darker, but it's not. The reality is, this tone has more pigment so it looks more dense.
The ashy quadrant.
Everyone loves a smoky tone, ashy tones have become more popular over recent years.
We used color 9A. We noticed this tone looks different colors under different lights- sometimes we see a slight greenish tint. This will be the blue tone mixing with the underlying yellow tone giving it a green appearance. As we know, yellow + blue = green.
These colors all different depths and different tones. we need to educate our guests.
They all live in the cold color family. White hair is clean and bright. platinum hair has a more silver light tone. Ash is a more Smokey and appears to have a darker tone. (Warm reflects light, Cool absorbs it.) When consulting guests, be conscious of clarity.
Damp or dry toner?
When making decisions, we need to with purpose.
Water can dilute our toners. So, if we choose a wet application, we need to give it a good towel dry. Applying toner dry gives a denser effect. Maybe the guest has real strong pigments that needs an extra push to tone. Without the slip of damp hair, you may need to mix up more product.
TIP- overuse of purple shampoo can build up and go dark. Educate your guests on when they need to use purple shampoo. This is usually when the hair starts to go yellowish.
Toning level choice.
You need to think about your choice of level.
Putting a level 10 toner over level 9 hair will not show. You need to tone with at least the same level or below. Toners do not lift. They may help the hair appear brighter, but they do not lift the level we apply on. Lifting and toning are two very different things.
TIP- if you're moving to a new color line, do your research! One color lines ash may have more blue then another color lines ash. Study your color wheel and your information to understand your color lines blend, and how to use it.
Choosing color on skin tone.
A good way to figure out if your guest has a cold or a warm skin tone, is to look at their veins.
If you're guest has a blue purple looking veins, typically they will have cool skin tone. Also, if they have a greenish looking vein generally their skin tone is warmer.
Sometimes, choosing opposing colors to the skin tone really do complement each other. Warm hair color can make cold skin tones stand out. And cool colors can give warm colors a complimentary glow. Giving our guests a nice pop to their natural features.
Getting yellow tones from natural white hair.
Again, this is not down to underlying warm tones. Educate your guest on these misconceptions.
Yellow tones on white hair are down to outside factors. Think heat, environment, pollution, smokers etc. It's good to try and identify what is going on and find a solution. So, maybe this is a good time to recommend a purple shampoo.
Longevity from your toner.
Keeping the hair in best condition, will give a longer lasting tone.
think about a number of factors. Moisture, strength, cuticles lying flat, heat use, wash ratio and water temperature.
These all make a difference with longevity. If you want to go to a caramel tone, do you really need to use a bleach? Blasting it with strong lighteners can compromise the integrity of the hair. If you only need lift of a few levels with a warm shade, maybe think about using something with less power.
TIP- Using clear color to seal in toner again is a bit of myth. Some color lines have even released clear colors to remove temporary tones. It has a good chance that putting a clear toner over your toned hair will give the opposing effect and can pull out some of your hard work toning.
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