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Last updated: February 18, 2020

This Common Toning Mistake Can Ruin Icy Blondes

Amy McManus @camouflageandbalayage The More You Know Toning For Icy Blonde Hair Tone Blondes Blonding
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Toning Yellow Vs. Pale Yellow: How It Affects Icy Blonde Results

Does it feel like your icy blondes are not as white and bright as you’d hoped for? It’s probably because you’re rinsing out your foils too soon and toning a yellow blonde vs. a pale yellow blonde. Sound familiar? BTC Team Member Amy McManus (@camouflageandbalayage) has a solution! Below, we’re breaking down a genius post from her Instagram and sharing what happens when you tone yellow, how to achieve an (almost) icy white hue from yellow blonde AND why you should wait and rinse out pale yellow instead. Keep scrolling for all the deets!


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What Happens When You Tone Yellow

A lot of colorists will see yellow in the foil and consider the client done processing, so they’ll rinse and tone with a Level 9 violet or blue violet base. Amy says this will still give you a beautiful blonde (thanks to the amount of yellow still left in the hair), but it won’t get you to the desired icy blonde hue because the hair will just be brassy again after a few shampoos.


How To Achieve An (Almost) Icy White From Yellow Blonde

If you rinse the foils too soon and are working with a yellow blonde, Amy says you’ll need to tone one level darker to neutralize all the warmth or two full levels to achieve a true ash tone. “As the toner goes through its cycle, the hair will turn yellow again because there’s still so much yellow underlying pigment,” says Amy. “You can tone the crap out of it at a Level 9 and add all the purple shampoo you want, BUT if white is the end goal you 💯 will not achieve it if you’re rinsing at the result of the left picture.”


Why You Should Rinse Out Pale Yellow Vs. Yellow

If you want to make your life easier, simply wait until the client lifts to a pale yellow blonde before rinsing. “If you rinse at actual pale yellow—the color of the inside of a banana—you honestly don’t have to work too hard at creating a bright icy white blonde,” explains Amy. “It’s better to tone for what you got, not what you hoped for.” 


TAP HERE To Learn How To Transition Your Client’s Balayage In Multiple Sessions

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