What Does Hair Toner Do To Highlights?

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Highlights have never gone out of style. Although if they’re not done right, they can look funky, having highlights done properly is a great way to take your hair a level higher to gorgeousness.

An essential part of producing those lovely highlights is the use of hair toner. Some people may get away with simply bleaching the hair for highlights. But toners give more life to them. 

What does hair toner do to highlights? Well, the toner helps bring out the ashy, blond, or platinum tints. This makes your highlights more cohesive with the rest of your hair. Sure you want your highlights to stand out — but not in a brassy way. 

If you want to know how a toner does that to your highlights to make it look beautiful, then continue reading below. We’ll also tell you when you should use a toner for your highlights and what other things you can do to maintain your highlights. 


What Does Hair Toner Do To Highlights?

The main process involved in creating highlights is applying bleach to certain sections of the hair. This lightens the color of the strands and gives a contrasting look to the rest of the hair. 

There are different types of highlights including foil highlights and balayage. You can choose whether to have the highlights well blended on your hair or in chunks. 

The areas where bleach is applied will be lighter than the rest of the hair. For some, that kind of highlight is enough. 

However, there are some that get bleached hair that looks too brassy, rusty, or yellow. Even if it stands out from the rest of the hair, it doesn’t look as good. 

Can toner change the color of highlights?

Yes, toner will change the color of highlights somewhat, but it’s more akin to dialing in the exact tone rather than a full-blown dye-job.

To help improve the appearance of brassy highlights, many hair professionals will use a hair toner on the highlights. The toner helps correct the brassy tones so you can have beautiful platinum highlights on your blonde hair. 

The type of toner used will depend on what tones you don’t want in your hair. Toners improve the color or tone of your highlights.

Aside from your highlights, it also improves the tone of the rest of your hair. 

Hair toners won’t remove your highlights. But they will cancel out some tones on your hair. Your highlights will remain lighter than the rest of your hair, even when you use toner. 

Toner For Hair After Highlights

Toning Shampoo

As we’ve mentioned, there are many hair stylists who apply hair toners on highlighted hair after it has been bleached. They do this to improve the overall tone of the hair. 

Bleach will obviously lighten hair, but it can bring out weird, unwanted color tones as well. You can use toners to tame those unwanted colors, and dial in the perfect shade of hair, whether it’s platinum blonde, strawberry, ashy, or whatever!

Hair toners can be applied to highlights right after it is bleached. This improves the color, especially when it is too brassy. 

Furthermore, hair toner can be used on hair with highlights weeks or months after the procedure. The hair color or hair toner used during the procedure will eventually fade naturally

The degree of fading will depend on the products you use. When it does, you are left with brassy hair. That is why your hair doesn’t look quite as good as it did the day you stepped out of the salon. 

Using a hair toner will be great at this time!

If you are doing this at home, you have to make sure that you know the right toner to use, especially if you are planning to use professional-grade ones. 

As an alternative, you could use a mask toner . Their effect may not be as drastic as professional-grade ones, but they are gentler on the hair.

You can also use them regularly, most can be used once a week.  

Additionally, you can also prolong the beautiful color of your hair by using a toning shampoo   for maintenance.

These will also help keep the brassiness at bay. 

Do I Need a Toner After Highlights?

No, you don’t necessarily have to use a toner after your highlights are complete.

If you’re happy with the color of your hair after your highlights are complete, there’s no need for a toner. If unwanted tones start to appear, you can use a toner or toning shampoo at that point.

Tips On Maintaining Your Highlights

Tip 1: Protect From The Sun

The sun does double damage to your hair. It can cause heat damage plus UV damage. Whenever you go out for activities that expose you to the sun, make sure you protect your gorgeous locks.

Tip 2: Avoid Hot Hair Tools

We can efficiently style our hair by making use of heat. However, those blowers, curling irons, and flat irons can all cause damage to your hair. If you decide to use them, make sure to use a heat protectant for your hair.

Tip 3: Choose Your Hair Cleansing Products

When selecting hair products, it would be best to choose milder cleansing ones. Those that are sulfate-free clean the hair without having to strip it off. They are gentler but efficient hair products. 

Aside from sulfate-free ones, there are also some shampoos specifically designed for color-treated hair . You can also use these ones because they are less likely to make your hair color fade. 

Tip 4: Condition Regularly

Hair with highlights is chemically treated. They have gone through the bleaching process and that does some damage to the hair. Conditioner after washing your hair is great because it immediately moisturizes the hair after cleansing.

However, you should also make sure to regularly deep condition to help preserve the color and keep it shiny and moisturized. 

Tip 5: Avoid Chlorinated Water

Chlorine is quite useful for killing all those nasty bacteria in pools. But before you take the plunge, think about what it does to your hair. Although you can spend some time in the pool, avoid prolonged periods in chlorinated water because it can bring out the green tones in your hair.

Final Thoughts

Hair toners are your highlight’s friend. It helps improve the appearance of the hair by improving the tone. Due to the bleaching process, bleached highlights usually appear brassy but they can easily be remedied by using hair toner

What does toner do to highlights?

It tames unwanted colors in the highlights, and gets them to the right shade.

Aside from using hair toners, you can also maintain your highlights by protecting them from UV and heat damage, carefully choosing hair products you use, regular deep conditioning, and avoiding chlorinated water. 

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Written by Kayla Young

Kayla is the founder of LuxeLuminous. She has worked professionally in the tanning industry for years. She has been interested in esthetics since childhood, and has tried every hair, skin, and makeup product ever produced (more or less).