10 Toning Tips for Every Client
10 Toning Tips for Root Shadows, Lived-In, Platinum Looks & MORE!
Foils: placed perfectly. The lift: Impeccable. The breakage: What breakage? Next up toning, now what? If you’re struggling to bring the look together, don’t stress! We snagged ten—yes TEN—toning tips for every single client.
Keep scrolling for glossing tips and tricks from the pros to help you achieve the flawless finish you and your client are looking for. Picture it: Tips for on-trend looks, formulation strategies and what you need to tone a Level 10 client. That’s right A LEVEL 👏 10 👏 TONER!
Toning Tip #1: For Flawless Toning—It’s All About Lift
What’s the most important step when it comes to toning? Lifting the client to the correct level! “What I love about the Schwarzkopf Professional Level 10 Toners is that they are so sheer and light. But, that means you have to lift the hair to a true Level 10,” Danilo Bozic (@danilo.bozic) explains.
Here’s what to look for:
- The palest yellow. Not too yellow, but not white either. Danilo’s go-to lightener for the perfect Level 10 lift is BLONDME® BOND ENFORCING Premium Lightener 9+ from Schwarzkopf Professional®. Not only is it powerful, but it is also formulated with a Bond Protecting system, keeping the hair protected while lightening.
Toning Tip #2: Switch Up Your Formulation For Even Results
Struggling with saturation and even processing when toning? It could be in the consistency of your toner. Transformation specialist Jack Martin (@jackmartincolor) shared his cheat sheet for glossing on dry or wet hair.
- Dry hair: To achieve maximum saturation and make his application smoother, Jack prefers Schwarzkopf Professional® IGORA Vibrance® Activator Lotion for toning on dry hair.
- Wet hair: IGORA Vibrance® Gel Activator works really well with damp or towel-dried hair, creating the perfect consistency for a smooth application.
Toning Tip #3: Maintaining a BRIGHT Face Frame
We know, the face frame is the only thing your client sees, so it HAS to be bright. That’s why Carly Zanoni (@the.blonde.chronicles) applies toners strategically, so the client (and you) are satisfied.
“Always leave the front piece or face frame out when applying a toner formula and apply to that section last,” she explains. Not only will it keep these pieces the brightest, but also the hair around the face tends to be a little more fragile and porous, which will soak up the gloss much faster than the rest of the hair.
Toning Tip #4: Add Gold to Your Platinum Formulas
Here’s the thing: Textured hair (especially after lifting to a Level 10) will grab any toner immediately. So when it comes to formulating, Josie Vilay (@josievilay) creates balance by adding in just a touch of gold—even if her client is requesting platinum. Why?
“I don’t want the hair to only grab onto the cool tones,” she explains. “This will counter the violet or ash tones but also keep their platinum bright.”
Toning Tip #5: For Lived-In Looks—Here’s How To Maintain Brightness
For clients that don’t have a TON of blonde (but are still looking for those bright pops), Carly shared her tip to avoid disappearing brightness when glossing:
- Use warmth in the formula. Cool tones absorb light, so using all ash in the toning formula will result in dull, drab hues.
- Porous hair will soak up color QUICK. So, add clear for more control to avoid a darker result.
Toning Tip #6: Stay Organized
Brunettes requesting a subtle glow up to their color? They’re in luck! Glazed brunette is taking over, and Liz Haven (@lizhaven) has two toning tips to help you achieve this shimmering shade.
- The lift. Ok, so this comes before toning, but it is super important to lift the hair to a Level 10 to achieve that soft brightness this look requires. Liz applied her signature strandlights technique—meaning, she only takes strands of hair in each section to lighten.
- Keeping your sections clean for toning. Since her blonde pieces are so fine, Liz avoids losing brightness when toning by keeping her sections extremely clean. “Always brush through the hair before, during and after you apply the toner,” she explains. “This way you know there is maximum saturation, and those lifted strands won’t get lost.”
Toning Tip #7: Lifting Through a Faded Shadow Root? Here’s How To Avoid Damage
Sure, a faded shadow root can look darker—but there is still lightened hair underneath! Linh Phan (@bescene) explains how to avoid an over-processed band when retouching.
- Lifting regrowth on a Level 6 or darker: Use a higher volume developer and apply to the regrowth ONLY!
- Lifting through the old shadow root: Bump down to a lower volume developer to bust through the previous color.
Toning Tip #8: Avoid Dulling Out Copper Shades For Ginger Clients
To give her natural ginger client pops of brightness, Allie Wildy (@allie.style) likes to apply strategically placed highlights. When toning, she adds a touch of gold to the toning formula to avoid a cool ginger and keep the tones within the same family.
Toning Tip #9: Apply Your Root Shadow Last—Seriously!
Struggling with harsh blends and lines of demarcation? Platinum queen Maggie Hancock (@maggiemh) has a fix for that!
“Whenever I’m doing a melted tone look, I like to apply my lightest shade all over first. Then, go back in and do my root shade on top. This helps the shades flow really nicely and achieve a seamless blend,” she explains.
Toning Tip #10: How To Achieve Maximum Saturation On Extensions
For Brendnetta Ashley (@edgybgirl) it’s simple: Apply the toners on wet extensions. “Extensions typically require more product to make sure everything is saturated,” Brendnetta explains. “Applying on wet hair, not only helps with saturation but also makes the product easier to blend if you are creating a root shadow or melt.”
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