Toner? I hardly know ‘er!
There’s your dad-joke for the day.
Toner is something that not everyone who dyes their own hair uses, for several reasons. One reason is, it’s technically not necessary. You’ve already lifted your hair color with bleach, any dyes you use will still work, although underlying colors may change the resulting color, or remain visible, especially in sunlight. Another reason is that it’s an extra step in a process that is already a minimum of two steps, with each step involving mini-steps of its own, including sitting around while hair color processes, possibly staining nails/polish and bathtub while rinsing. A third reason is most useful toners can do additional damage to the hair that was already damaged during bleaching.
I personally just got sick of having constant undertones and orange highlights in the sun. My hair grabs on to any reddish anything I dye it with, so it had a strawberry-blonde look after I bleached it,except for two-inch roots that were lemonade yellow. Since I was going for a green, I didn’t want the yellow roots any more than I wanted the strawberry blonde, afraid I’d end up with weird undertones and highlights again.
I covered step one of my most recent hair color adventure, now it’s time for step two, where I applied Manic Panic’s Virgin Snow white toner to my hair.
I’m going to cover color theory briefly here, as it relates to hair dye. Basically, certain colors, usually the opposites in hair color theory, can remove/cover other colors. Here’s a nice chart.
So, having orange and yellow in my hair that I wanted to be rid of, I tried a violet-toned toner. I went with Manic Panic’s Virgin Snow, because it was cheap and I knew the brand.
I had ordered the toner along with several tubs of hair dye, and had already bleached my hair and used deep-treating conditioners to start undoing the damage that the bleach did. When the toner arrived, I was already incredibly sick of the blonde (made me look washed out), so I slapped it on my head immediately.
This was a mistake, as it arrived in early January and was semi-frozen. It was like dumping a slushie on my head. However, I was still determined, and already had a big glob worked into part of my hair, so I dealt with the chill and continued working it in. I combed it through, scraping the formula that was displaced by the comb off and reapplying it, to make sure it covered every strand of my frizzy hair that freaks out and tangles at the slighted hint of moisture.
Knowing that the warmer any hair color is, the better it works, I put on a shower cap after I’d finished working it in, wrapped a towel around on top of the cap, and did other things for about an hour and a half. It warmed up quickly, so I wasn’t worried.
When I felt it was done doing its thing, I rinsed it, and eagerly conditioned my hair and scrubbed my non-hair parts.
Definitely meh. I didn’t get any pictures because I’m a terrible blogger.
It did lighten both the yellow and orange tones to a degree, so it wasn’t a complete wash. I wasn’t expecting it to do anything to the orange tones, to be honest. However, it didn’t even completely remove the mild lemony tones from my roots, which had never had any dye on them. So basically it worked, but not well.
When I next attempt to remove yellow and orange tones, I’m going to give Wella Color Charms a shot, as they’re deposit-only, no lifting, so ideally less dangerous. Specifically, in T14 (Pale Ash Blonde), which has a blue-violet base. Blue for orange, violet for yellow. It’s the most pale option, so if you found this post looking for a way to simply get a light blonde color, you might want to try T10 (Pale Blonde) instead. It also has a blue-violet base, but won’t cross that line over into ‘near platinum’ territory.
Additionally, if you’re trying to remove only orange or yellow, but not both, I suggest T18 Lightest Ash Blonde to remove yellow only, as it’s only violet-based.
Stay tuned for part 3 and 4!