Colored Hair? This Miracle Product Is An Essential!


hair toner Source: Dia Dipasupil /Getty Images

Coloring and highlighting your hair can be a high maintenance – not to mention, expensive – beauty ritual #RealTalk. With that said, there are a few game-changing habits that’ll keep your mane looking salon-fresh so you can go longer between salon appointments.

One of the best tricks is undoubtedly incorporating a hair toner into your routine. Toning your hair can help to neutralize brassiness or unwanted tones while simultaneously adding shine and boosting your overall hair health. Whether you have icy blonde locks, brunette coils, or jet black locks, there’s a toner out there to restore vibrancy and lift your color. Here’s everything you need to know about this holy-grail hair coloring product.

What is Hair Toner?

The term hair toner is actually a blanket term for any formula packed with pigments that cool, tone, and lift your current hair color. If you’re a faux blonde, you’re likely to be familiar with purple shampoos,; the most popular and fool-proof toner on the shelves. However, there are other toning formulas on offer like deep conditioners, restorative masks, and glosses, AKA temporary dyes, to lift color and add shine.

hair tonersSource: David Crotty/Patrick McMullan/Getty Images

Don’t fall victim to the widely held belief that toners are just for blondes, they can work wonders on all hair types and textures, from brunette waves and copper coils to curly redheads. For example, if you’re trialing the It girl trend, cherry red, this color can fade to orange in a matter of weeks. By adding a toning product, it’ll counteract the warm yellow tones and add a coolness to the color. Similarly, if you’re a dark brunette, your hair can turn red in the sun, however a toner can help to rectify this quickly.

1. For All Hair Colors: DpHue Color Boosting Gloss + Deep Conditioning Treatment, $35

hair tonersSource: dpHue

This toning treatment is a gloss – a semi-permanent hair color that stains the outer layer of the hair with pigment to boost color and add shine. In short: it’ll enhance and deepen your current color whether it’s color-treated or au-naturale. It’s also available in 11 shades from strawberry to auburn and black, so you should be able to find a shade to bring your color back to life.

To use: Shampoo and condition your hair as usual, then comb the gloss through damp hair. Let it sit for 30 minutes then rinse with warm water and style as usual.

2. For Blondes, Brunettes & Redheads: Rita Hazan True Color Ultimate Shine Gloss, $26

hair tonersSource: Rita Hazan

Looking to restore richness and vibrancy to your dull, faded tresses? This foam gloss offers the ultimate solution. Available in three shades, not only will it tone your color, but as it’s formulated with coconut fatty acids and hair hero, castor oil, to soften and nourish your tresses and boost hair health. Plus, unlike other gloss toners, you can use this up to four times a week.

To use: Start by shampooing your hair, then lather one pump in your palms and apply from root to tip. Let it sit for three to five minutes, rinse, and finish with conditioner.

3. For Blonde-Highlighted Hair: SheaMoisture Purple Rice Water Strength + Color Care Conditioner, $12

hair tonersSource: Shea Moisture

Coloring your hair regularly can weaken your locks, leaving you with brittle, split ends, which is why it’s so crucial to use a strengthening conditioner. This toning conditioner is formulated with antioxidant-rich rice water, famed for its restorative properties that’ll leave your hair softer, shinier, and fuller (find out more about the miracle ingredient here). Of course, it’ll also help neutralize brassiness, all the while softening and detangling.

To use: Use this toning treatment as an everyday conditioner.

4. For All Hair Colors: Four Reasons Color Mask Hair Toning Treatment, $28

hair tonersSource: Four Seasons

If you’re looking for a do-it-all hair mask, this is it. It’s available in 14 shades and will help restore your color back to its former glory. The formula also boasts keratin derivatives and pro-vitamin B5 that work to seal in moisture while softening and strengthening your hair. We love it as it leaves our hair feeling silky smooth and super shiny!

To use: Apply evenly to shampooed, towel-dried hair. Comb through to ensure an even coating, and leave for five to 10 minutes depending on the desired intensity (the longer you leave it, the cooler the final color). Rinse with warm water.

5. For All Hair Colors: Kristin Ess Signature Hair Gloss, $14

hair tonerSource: Kristin Ess


This cruelty-free toning gloss will revive your color and combat brassiness in under an hour. The best part? Unlike other toners, the results last for three to four weeks. It’s also available in 13 shades and is silicone-free, ammonia-free, and safe to use on keratin-treated hair.

To use: Mix together bottles 1 and 2, shake well, then apply evenly to wet hair – do this in the shower as it can get messy. Wait for 10 to 20 minutes then follow with shampoo and conditioner.

6. For Blonde and Brunette Tresses: Color Wow Color Control Toning + Styling Foam, $24

hair tonerSource: Color Wow

This foam is unlike any other product on this list – it’s a leave-in styling product that corrects color immediately without harsh chemicals. As it’s a leave-in product, the foam color is more diluted, and it also means it’s safer, mess-free, and easier to work with. It’s available in two shades: a lavender foam perfect for blonde, grey, or bleached hair and a blue foam to neutralize orangey tones for brunettes and darker hair colors.

To use: Dispense the foam into the palm of your hand, and apply to air-dried hair, directly to the brassy areas. Do not apply the foam to your scalp to minimize damage. Leave the product in, then style as usual.

7. For Blonde Beauties: Shimmer Lights Purple Shampoo, $10

hair tonerSource: Shimmer Lights

If you’re looking for a more affordable solution, this drugstore formula is perfect. The purple shampoo will cancel out yellow, orange, and brassy tones. Although it’s recommended to use it twice a week, and it can also double as a toning mask. Simply rinse your hair and let it sit for 10 to 12 minutes.

To use: Wet hair, lather, rinse, and repeat. For extra brightening, leave the second lather for three to five minutes. Use this shampoo twice a week or whenever your color needs a little reset.

Do you use toner? Let us know in the comments below.

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