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Last updated: October 30, 2018

QUICKIE: Toning A Root Smudge

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A root smudge is an easy color technique for creating subtle dimension while giving clients a natural, low-maintenance look, but does your toner consistently pull too warm? Gina Bianca (@the_hair_doctor) has a solution and she recently shared her toning hack with her 187k Instagram followers. Get the color formulas and how-to steps below, then watch how she does it!


Products Used

Watch The Video How-To Below

Color Formulas

Formula A: Paul Mitchell The Demi 9A + Processing Liquid
Formula B: Paul Mitchell The Demi 3BV + 4N + Processing Liquid



1. Start by applying a layer of conditioner over freshly rinsed and shampooed hair to avoid over-processing and to ensure the toner doesn’t pull too dark.


2. Then, apply Formula A from the scalp to the ends as the second layer.


3. Layer Formula B over the roots only, leaving out a thin section for a money piece. “When layered over the first two layers, this formula comes out about a Level 5,” shares Gina. “Overlaying a Level 5 toner over a Level 9 creates a perfect Level 7/8 tone because layering dilutes the formulas.”


4. Apply Formula B to the money piece last to maintain brightness, then use a wide-tooth comb to blend the root formula down into the midlengths. 


Check out some of Gina’s finished looks using this technique!



Have time for another quickie? Check out this micro root smudge quickie from @prettylittleombre!

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