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Last updated: April 19, 2024

14 Toning & Glazing Basics For Beginners

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Toning 101: Learn The Basics Below!

Toning and glazing—the hairdresser’s bread and butter. Keep reading to get 15 wise toning tips from Aveda Global Artistic Director for Hair Color Ian Michael Black. 



1. A glossing/glazing service is done to add tone and shine to hair color, but it won’t drastically change the existing level.
2. If toning with a colored formula, consider adding some Clear to the mix in order to reduce the amount of brown that will be deposited on the hair.
3. Always apply glaze to dry hair, or hair that has been thoroughly towel-dried.
4. Allow glaze to process for the full recommended amount of time for the best, truest results.
5. Consider adding additional tone to glazing/glossing formulas that are applied to midlengths and ends. Doing so will help balance the extra warmth that occurs if applying permanent color to new growth.



1. Don’t choose your toning formula before lifting the hair.  It’s impossible to gauge the end result precisely, particularly if you are lifting previously-colored hair.
2. Before choosing your toner formula, towel-dry the hair in order to get the most accurate view of the base that will be toned.
3. Be realistic. You may need to create two separate toner formulas—one for the root area and one for midlengths and ends.
4. If hair is over-sensitized, always apply a porosity equalizer before toning.
5. When performing a full-head bleach, apply toner first to the root area, and then to the midlengths and ends.
6. When performing a full-head bleach, watch the toner carefully as it processes to make sure it doesn’t over-develop.
7. If hair has just been lightened, apply a conditioner that neutralizes and prevents residual oxidation before applying the toner.
8. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of your color levels and natural remaining pigments. For example, placing a toner on a Level 10 will not neutralize all remaining warmth if the hair has only been lifted to a Level 9 with yellow natural remaining pigment.
9. Remember that both toning and glazing are distinct, additional haircolor services and should be charged for accordingly.