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Last updated: November 25, 2020

Do More With Your Toners: Adding Dimension + Creating A Root Smudge

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Toning—for a lot of colorists, it’s a total game-changer. It allows you to enhance color, add dimension, create shadows and even perfect those trending root smudges. But, in order to do all of the above, you gotta know your product and have some cool techniques for how to use it best. Here’s what Insta-famous colorists like @prettylittleombre and @lizhaven suggest.



Pick The Right Toner

  • When it comes to a go-to toner, a lot of colorists head straight for Redken Shades EQ—and as consistent winner of the Stylist Choice Award for Favorite Glossing/Toning Line, we can see why.
  • “I love Shades EQ to tone with after a balayage process because it is quickly visible,” says @prettylittleombre. “I’ll often dilute my toner with clear and then leave it on for 10 minutes.”


Place The Toner Strategically For Dreamy Dimension

  • Think you always have to tone the entire head to achieve the best results? Think again! According to @lizhaven, leaving some hair out creates added dimension for beautiful color results.



  • Try organically weaving sections to tone (see pic above!), and leave some strands “raw.” Then let process for about 15 minutes, or until desired tone is reached.


For this toning formula, Liz used Shades EQ 1 oz. 9G + ½ oz. Clear + 1½ oz. Shades EQ Processing Solution



Use Toner To Create A Brilliant Root Smudge

  • Watch this unique way @prettylittleombre uses her toner to enhance the overall end result—she calls it a micro root smudge. 



  • Use this technique to soften foil lines and to create longevity for your guest’s color (it will decrease any visible regrowth line!). Below is a look at the finished color.


For this micro root smudge formula, @prettylittleombre used: Equal parts Redken Shades EQ 8V + 8N + Shades EQ Processing Solution



Products Used


Bonus Toning Formulas!
We grabbed seven go-to toner formulas that @prettylittleombre swears by—and now you can try them in your salon!  Check ‘em out.


  • Sandy Blonde: Equal Parts Redken Shades EQ 9N + 9NB + 9V + Shades EQ Processing Solution


  • Icy Blonde: 1 part Redken Shades EQ 9V + 1 part 9P + 1 part Shades EQ 9GB + 3 parts Shades EQ Processing Solution


  • Champagne Blonde: Equal Parts Redken Shades EQ 9N + 9V + 9RB + Shades EQ Processing Solution


  • Butter Blonde: Equal Parts Redken Shades EQ 9GB + 9NB + Shades EQ Processing Solution


  • Neutral Shadow Root: Redken Shades EQ 7NB + Shades EQ Processing Solution


  • Icy Shadow Root: Redken Shades EQ 8v + Shades EQ Processing Solution


  • Neutralizing Stubborn Orange Tones: Redken Shades EQ 9B + Shades EQ Processing Solution


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