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Last updated: October 08, 2022

3 Fast Toning Cheats For Brunettes

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Instagram via @emilymariestephens

Toning Tips, Techniques & Products For Brassy Brunettes 

Lost dimension, splotchy toners and bold brassy tones—OH MY! If toning brunettes gives you the service scaries then we’re here to help! Below, Get the must-know toning tips for darker shades. Plus! The pre-toning product you didn’t know you (or your clients) needed. 


Toning Tip #1: Use a zigzag pattern for an even application—FAST!

Avoid splotchy results and unwanted dark spots with this double zigzag application from BTC Team Member Liz Haven (@lizhaven). Check out the steps below and watch the video for a full tutorial!


  • Step #1: Using an application bottle, start at the root and apply toner underneath the section in a zigzag pattern. Melt the toner down with your finger to saturate. 


  • Step #2: Use another zigzag pattern to evenly apply toner to the top of the section. But instead of sliding your fingers down to saturate. fold the sections up. Then, use your hands to blend the product down. “This keeps everything clean and even without dripping,” Liz explains in the video. 


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A post shared by LIZ HAVEN • HOUSTON, TX (@lizhaven)



Toning Tip #2: Lift at least three levels to maintain contrast 

The fear of toning brunette clients too dark is REAL. BTC Team Member Jessica Scott (@jessicascotthair)’s advice: Don’t forget color theory. “If my client is a Level 4, I will lift her highlights to a Level 7 or 8. With my glaze formula being three to four levels of difference, the highlights will still be visible when the hair is dry,” she explains. 


 Check out her application + toning formula in the video below!

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A post shared by LIVED IN BALAYAGE | EDUCATOR (@jessicascotthair)


Toning Tip #3: Pre-toning brunettes? Here’s what you need to know!

Pre-toning with purple shampoo is essential for platinum. But if your client is a Level 6 or lower—purple isn’t going to bust any brass. 


For Ohio-based blonding expert Emily Stephens (@emilymariestephens), the color wheel says it all: Blue is the direct counter to Orange. That’s why she uses the GOODBYE ORANGE Shampoo from Schwarzkopf Professional®. The blue neutralizes warmer brassy tones on Levels 4-7, which is perfect for brunettes and darker blondes, she explains. 


Pro Tip: Emily sends her clients home with GOODBYE ORANGE shampoo to help maintain their color between appointments. “Since their hair is many levels lower than platinum, I recommend they use it whenever they see unwanted orange tones but only twice a week max,” she shares. 


For her platinum clients? GOODBYE YELLOW will eliminate brassy yellow pigments. Her advice? Limit use to once a week to avoid over-toning. 


Instagram via @emilymariestephens


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