Pictured: JLaw looking ever-so-toned at the X-Men: Apocalypse premiere
What does toner do to your hair?
The bleaching part of the process isn't where you get your colour - it's the toner that gives you that shade you've been lusting after. Toner is the most important part of the colouring process, as it works to both adjust or maintain the warm or cool tones in your curly locks. Toners can also add shine to your hair and reduce the appearance of split ends.
Toner itself comes in many different forms. You can't just walk into the supermarket or the hairdressers and ask for a standard toner, there are just too many to choose from. Tinted shampoos, demi-permanent colours, foams and glosses can all be considered toners, because they work to adjust the tone in your hair.
Purple and blue toners, like the purple shampoos and conditioners you can get from most stores, are all about eliminating brassiness. Blue toners work best for brunettes and red-heads, because the blue cancels out any sneaky orange tones. Purple toners work best for blondes, keeping your highlights looking salon fresh by reducing yellow hues.
How long does toner last?
It will depend on your hair type. Toner typically lasts anywhere between two to six weeks, and this is way you'll notice your colour fading. If your hair has been previously coloured, it will hold your new colour for less time than un-dyed 'virgin' hair. This is because dyed hair is more porous than virgin hair, which can hold colour for up to six weeks.
Does toner damage hair?
Not if you have it done professionally, but you can end up with over toned hair if you get a bit too enthusiastic at home. Stick to the directions, and if you don't feel confident make an appointment with your colourist instead. It's their job after all!
Here are our 10 Best Hair Toners:
10. Daddy-O Shampoo
Product: Daddy-O Shampoo by Lush
Price: You can pick up a 100gram bottle for $12.95, a 250gram bottle for $25.50 or a 500gram bottle for $39.95 - the choice is yours! After Pay is available.
Why We Love It: Lush Australia is a cruelty-free, environmentally friendly cosmetics store that strives to keep their products as natural as possible - and this toning shampoo is no exception!
Pictured below: A giant vat of Daddy-O being made in the Lush Kitchen
Pros and Cons: It's vegan, you can recycle your empty bottle in store and just some of the natural ingredients you'll find in each bottle are fresh lime juice, violet leaf absolute, fresh organic lemon and tooth wrack seaweed infusion and extra virgin coconut oil. It will remove brassiness and is great at taking grey hair from dull and lifeless to sparkly and white, but if you have have that is severely in need of professional help, this shampoo may not be enough to complete cure all your hair drama. Additionally, if you use it like a leave-in, wash out treatment, you can give yourself pink hair or light purple hair! This may be a pro or a con, depending on your hair goals.
Reviews: This toning shampoo has 55 reviews on Lush Australia's website and has an average of 4.3 star rating. Here's a snippet:
"Daddy-O is hands down the best shampoo for a blonde. It helps to brighten my blonde whilst keeping oils at bay, it also smells divine and helps keep my hair naturally voluminous! A must for any Blonde."
9. Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo & Conditioner
Product: John Frieda Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo & Conditioner
Price: Currently $9.00 for 250ml shampoo bottle at Chemist Warehouse
Why We Love It: John Frieda has been caring for both brown hair and and blonde hair (actually scratch that, pretty much everyone's hair!) since 2002. This addition to the Sheer Blonde range gradually lightens your hair without the use of any peroxide or ammonia!
Before and After: Sheer Blonde Go Blonder Lightening Shampoo & Conditioner
Pros and Cons: If you're looking to gradually lighten your hair so that it achieves that natural sun-kissed warmth, this is the lightening duo for you. It's an inexpensive shampoo and conditioner made by an established brand. However, if you're hoping for platinum blonde results you may need to lower your expectations. This range is about subtle lightening and you can see from the hair toner before and after picture (above) that the change is not a dramatic one.
Reviews: Here's a 5 star review from Chemist Warehouse
I've been using all four 'Go Blonder' products together (shampoo, conditioner, in-shower treatment and spay). I began 3 weeks ago & I use each product exactly as per packet instructions. My hair is still soft, very healthy and MUCH lighter. I was born blonde, but my hair colour deepened to a rich brown through adolescence. In 3 weeks I've gone from a perfect match with JF's "Dark Chocolate Brown" hair dye, to what I'd call a "caramel blonde". Looking forward to continuing to lighten over the next weeks! Note: I wash my hair about 6 days a week, then follow with the spray & a quick, but hot, blow dry. I have no straighteners or hot irons. Others who only wash hair once or twice a week would be slower, while peeps with straighteners or hot irons would likely be faster to lighten."
8. Colour Extend Blondage Shampoo & Conditioner
Product: Redken Colour Extend Blondage Shampoo & Conditioner
Price: $31.00 for a 300ml shampoo or conditioner from Adore Beauty.
Why We Love It: This purple shampoo and conditioner deposits colour back onto your hair whilst neutralising brassy tones. It extends the life of your colour so you don't have to head back to the salon quite as often, and this is great because we all know maintaining a blonde-do is pricey!
Pictured: Redken explains the difference between 'tone' and 'level'
Pros and Cons: The price is fairly high, but it's still cheaper than not maintaining your highlights properly.
Reviews: The shampoo alone has 12 reviews on the Adore Beauty website and has ana average 4.3 star rating. One happy customer said:
"Amazing purple shampoo
I can't live without this product! I have tried many blonder shampoos and whilst they kept away the brassiness they made my hair feel dry even with a hair mask. This keeps my hair perfectly cool blonde whilst also keeping it hydrated, perfectly pared with the conditioner"
7. Silver Saviour Shampoo & Conditioner
Product: Keune Silver Saviour Shampoo & Conditioner
Price: $13.50 from Oz Hair & Beauty
Why We Love It: Keune Care Silver Savior Shampoo & Conditioner are gentle yet brightening. The conditioner alone contains Provitamin B5 which keeps your crowning glory looking and feeling silky-soft.
Staying Silver with Keune Silver Saviour
Pros & Cons: Keune has been taking care of our hair since 1922, so you can rest assured that they know their stuff! This Silver Saviour range is designed for cool blondes, grey and white hair so it covers all bases.
Reviews: The Silver Saviour shampoo received four 5 star reviews on Salon Style.
6. Shimmer Lights Shampoo & Conditioner
Product: Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo & Conditioner
Price: Approximate total cost is $30 if you buy a shampoo and a conditioner.
Why We Love It: When it comes to hair colour, Clairol is an expert brand and they've created to those of us who like to do at home hair colouring for years.
Before & After: Clairol Shimmer Lights Shampoo & Conditioner
Pros & Cons: Shimmer Lights is not very widely distributed in Australia, you typically have to head to Ebay or Amazon to get your hands on it. But hey, it's worth it if it works best for you!
Reviews: The shampoo has received 1,160 reviews on Amazon and has an average 4 star rating. A recent review said:
"Been using this for YEARS!! I mix it with my regular shampoo to get a little bit every wash. I have platinum blonde hair and the colour needs some serious management. It's long and using curling irons, the sun and time in general turns it the last 8 inches yellowy. For a real treatment just wash your hair in the shampoo as it is - it may leave a blue/purple residue but that will last for 1 wash."
5. Novafusion Colour Care Shampoo Intense Indigo
Product: De Lorenzo Novafusion Colour Care Shampoo Intense Indigo
Price: $21.90 from Oz Hair & Beauty. You can pay using After Pay.
Why We Love It: Perfect for use on dark hair or even blue hair (as pictured) this Intense Indigo shampoo acts as a blue toner for orange hair. It neutralises gingery tones just as a conventional blonde toner eliminates yellow brassy tones.
Video: De Lorenzo's Philosophy
Pros & Cons: This product probably isn't going to be the one for you if you're a blonde, but it's great news if you're a brunette, a red-head or are currently rocking some blue tresses. De Lorenzo is an Australian company with a natural, cruelty free approach to haircare which is what we love to see.
Reviews: This shampoo got 5 reviews on the Beauty Heaven's website and achieved an average of 5 stars.
"Calling all red hair beauties!
This is the ultimate red hair shampoo. Stop looking, you just can't beat this.
Red hair is notorious hard work when it comes to upkeep. Use this and you will never had a dull hair day again. Beyond keeping the colour looking fresh it makes your hair feel like a dream. My hair never looked so healthy before from a shampoo.
Important to note, I used this as a touch up colour only, my hair was dyed red BEFORE I started using this and I just used it as an upkeep.
It smells great but the best part is not having red residue all over my body. You won't have any residue on your face or hands from this! (although I am pretty sure there's a warning, I've never used gloves and never had any issues)."
4. Blonde Plus 10V Toning Foam
Product: Nak Blonde Plus 10V Toning Foam
Price: $19.95 from Hairhouse Warehouse. You can pay using Zip or After Pay.
Why We Love It: NAK Hair is an Aussie brand - let's here it for another home grown success story!
Before & After: The Nak Blonde Plus 10V Toning Foam In Action
Pros & Cons: The foam format means you can just apply to freshly shampooed, towel dry hair and let it process. That's a pretty fuss-free routine if you don't have time to be sitting around in the hairdressers.
Reviews: This foam has 7 reviews on Oz Hair and Beauty and has an average 5 star rating.
3. Blondifier Trio
Product: The Blondifier Trio from L'Oreal
Price: $54.95 from the Hairhouse Warehouse. You can pay with Zip or After Pay.
Why We Love It: You get a shampoo, a conditioner, and a Bestie Spray - who wouldn't want a spray that is going to act like a bestie? This total package when it comes to a toner for blonde hair. The Blondifier Illuminating Shampoo and Conditioner is enriched with açai berry extract (good in your breakfast bowl, even better on your hair!) while the Bestie Spray is a top coat that works to nourish and protect your luscious locks.
Before & After: The Blondifier Trio
Pros and Cons: It is a little on the expensive side, but it is one of the best hair toner packages out there. The Bestie Spray is a nice touch, especially if you're someone who loves to heat style. You'll need to take special care to protect your hair after bleaching.
Reviews: Check out this 5 star review from Oz Hair and Beauty
Made this purchase after my hairdresser used the bestie spray on my hair . My hair felt and looks healthy after using this product . I would recommend it and will be purchasing it again"
2. Clean Blonde Damage Rewind Violet Toning Shampoo & Conditioner
Product: The Clean Blonde Damage Rewind Shampoo & Conditioner by Fudge
Price: $26.99 for the 250ml shampoo and $23.99 for the 250ml conditioner at Priceline
Why We Love It: Say goodbye to yellow hair! This dynamic duo will get you results in just one use. That's right, one! (check out the video below)
Before & After: Clean Blond Damage Rewind Violet Toning Shampoo & Conditioner
Pros and Cons: Fudge is a staple of the hair colouring industry - you know you're going to look the bomb when you pick up one of their products. Do be careful with anything you purchase from the colour or silver toner ranges, they are quite strong and tend to stain. Best option is to wear gloves and exercise caution when applying anything in a white bathroom!
Reviews: The shampoo alone has 22 reviews on Beauty Heaven's website and has an average 5 star rating, so full marks to Fudge! Here's what one user had to say:
"Great Blonde Shampoo
I was very excited to try out this product as I have read so many great reviews, and it definitely lives up to the hype. The colour is a very deep purple which is what I usually go for in a toning shampoo as I love the ashy grey blonde colour, rather a golden blonde. And with this product I can 100% achieve the ashy colour i am aiming for.
I love that it comes in a tube packaging as it makes it very easy for you to dispense the product, especially when you re getting towards the end of the bottle. I left the product to sit in my hair for about 5 mintets and it was a lovely ashy colour.
1. Wella Colour Charm Toner - T18 Lightest Ash Blonde
Product: Wella Colour Charm Toner - T18 Lightest Ash Blonde
Price: $14.99 from Tint Department. You can pay with After Pay and you get free shipping over $100 spent.
Why We Love It: We love the entire Wella range, and you obviously don't have to buy this ash blond toner if that isn't the colour you're hoping to achieve at home, but this particular hair toner is a stand out. It allows you to neutralise any unwanted brassiness, leaving you with ashy white hair à la Daenerys, Mother of Dragons.
Before & After: Wella Colour Charm Toner - T18 Lightest Ash Blonde
Pros & Cons: Check that cheap price point! We know value for money when we see it. However you do need to also buy Wella Colour Charm 20 Volume Developer to mix with your toner in order to activate it, so factor that in if you consider this product.
Reviews: This toner has 194 reviews on Tint Department's website and has an average 5 star rating. Wowza! Here's a taster:
"The best easy access toner
I did my own hair from the scratch and wella toner in lightest ash blond made life so much easier . I don't need to go hair salon anymore as I can do my own hair at home. Going to purchase it more often now."