If you're an avid hair dyer, everyone knows that hair toners are the not-so-secret trick that you need to be investing in to keep your locks fresh. Everybody knows that your hair always looks its best after having a cut and blow dry and using the best hair dye or visiting a salon to freshen up the colour. We're desp to find that secret to keep hair as salon-fresh as possible and so we've been on a hunt to find the toner that suits everyone.
Stand back blondes, because there will be no more brassy days to suffer. The secret you need is right here and it's completely available online right now - from beauty shops to department stores, you'll have one ready to go in no time. What's the secret? Well, only that hair toners tint your hair in-between salon visits to make your 'do look bright and bold - or, subtle and sleek. Depending on what you want.
Closer's best hair toners at a glance:
Editor's choice: BLEACH LONDON White Toner Kit, £8 on Cult Beauty
Best hair toner hair drops: Charles Worthington ColourPlex UV Toning Drops 30ml, £10.74 on Amazon
Best budget hair toner: Jerome Russell Blonde Maximum Blonde Toner Atomic Blonde 75ml, £7 on Amazon
Look no further. We've found the best hair toners to top up, maintain and keep up your tones. These little beauties will keep your blonde hair bright (meaning you face no stress from looking for the best blonde hair dye), brunette hair chocolatey and coloured hair shining. Even better, we've enlisted the help of hair experts to really show us what to look for in our hair toners.
Now we really fancy a pamper...
SHOP: The best at-home hair toners
If you're fond of bleaching your hair, you've probably heard of BLEACH LONDON at some point. With
- Strong colouring
- Options to branch out into other colours easily
- May be too bold if you want an everyday choice
Best hair toner toning drops
Say hello to Charles Worthington's new ultra-violent toning drops, making having fresh hair even
- Easy-to-use, just drop into your shampoo
- Perfect for blondes who want a quick solution
- Not suitable for brunettes
Best budget hair toner
Now, we wouldn't usually go to the bargain bin for our hair care, but we couldn't resist this
- Great affordability and price
- Easy to use
- Not as effective as other toners
Best hair toner conditioner
Our experts also recommended blue toner if you have more warm tones or are brunette. This blue
- Easy to adapt into your hair routine
- Perfect for brunettes and warm tones
- Will need to use over time
Best for long lasting results
If icy is more your style, get your hands on this Scott Cornwall Colour Restore toner. You can
- Good for blondes who are looking for a cooler tone
- Can be left in longer
- May not last as long as others
Best eco friendly hair toner
If you find it hard to work with typical hair toners, SHRINE DROP IT may be a perf alternative for
- Eco-friendly packing
- Multi-use and non-permanent
- Only subtly changes hair appearance
Best hair toning shampoo
Silver shampoo is perfect for those who want to neutralize their yellows the most. With cold
- Easy to use
- For blonde grey and white hair
- May not have as vibrant results as others
Best hair toner mask
This is a little bit more expensive for a hair mask but totally worth the investment. It
- Intense tone
- Nourishes hair
- If too much is applied hair may turn purple
Perfect for: An intense tone that leaves your hair silky
Best high end hair toner
- Salon results
- Cleans hair without drying out
- Have to be careful to not use it all up fast
Best scented hair toner
Sometimes splashing out on hair care is the only thing that can make us feel better. Well, if
- Good for all hair types
- Smells nice
- More of an investment than the others
Best hair toning duo
Matrix has a huge selection of tones for you to choose from, depending on what you're really
- Moisturising hair care
- Easy to navigate hair care routine
- If used too much it may have the opposite effect and could dry out hair
So, what is hair toner?
First, though, before we deep dive into purple and silver hair toners for those of us who have taken the plunge into the world of purple hair dye, it's best we really know what we're working with.
If you've had your hair coloured or bleached, you've probably already heard of this product in an intense session. It's hard to know what to really look for, so we spoke to SALON64's Senior Colourist, Bart Cacciapaglia, to tell us the ins and outs of what toners really do.
He says, "Toners are an incredible tool used to tweak the tone of a freshly applied colour such as highlights and bleach services like balayage.
"Toners are also a great solution to the refreshing tired old colour. For blondes or balayage that is starting to lose its impact and become dull, booking a quick toner and a blow-dry can help your colour last longer and a quick and easy answer to keeping your colour looking its best."
How can I get salon hair at home with hair toners?
The question is, then, how do we really achieve a salon look at home? Many toners used in salons aren't available to buy on shop floors, so we want to know how to really get our locks looking fab-u-lous.
The chemicals in salon toners should only be handled by professionals so, step in, silver conditioners and purple shampoo for bleached hair, which help you achieve a similar effect. These are technically considered toners because they contain smaller portions of pigments that temporarily dye (or tone) your hair.
BobbiJo Byford, Senior Colourist at Gielly Green, has some top tips for you to upkeep your do. She says, "only ever use true semi-permanent toners such as pigmented shampoos and conditioners as they are easier to apply. They don’t contain peroxide or ammonia which means they are kinder to the hair and less likely to go wrong if used by a non-professional."
"To brighten up dull hair, you want to add warmth by using gold-pigmented conditioners. You can also remove product build-up - which can make the hair appear dull - by using cleansing shampoos or going to the salon for a vitamin C cleanse."
We'll be getting our vitamin C bookings in ASAP.
How do I use hair toner and shampoo?
So, what's the sitch on these home toners, then? Mark Hill, founder of hair brand, Mark Hill, let us in on the secrets of these pigmented shampoos. He said, "a shampoo toner is a quick fix to brighten your colour without any commitment. They work by depositing colour on the hair shaft and don’t penetrate into the hair which means they soon rinse out.
"They come in either blue or purple. To choose which one you need, look at your colour – is it yellowy or orangey (brassy)? If it is yellow, then pick up the purple shampoo, if it is brassy, then the blue is for you. If your hair is brunette, or you're looking for a shampoo for red hair, try the blue shampoo to get rid of any warm tones. Each brand is slightly different, so always read the instructions before you use them.
"If your hair is dry or damaged, the shampoo toner may stain your hair and last longer. I would advise you to do a small test strand first before you apply it to your full head. Try using Mark Hill Hair Lab Bond Repair to improve the condition of your hair and make it stronger before using any toner. "
Review: "Just like every blonde I hate those brassy yellow tones. And instead of forking out money to get it redone, I reckoned I could do it myself. I’ve tried products before that have made it more yellow or stayed the same. I applied it all over the hair and mixed some conditioner in just in case it was too powerful. After about 10-15 mins I took it off and WOW. I am shocked at how much this has worked, it looks nearly the same (if not better) than when it was professionally done!"
Can toner ruin your hair?
We all want that fresh salon look every day, but sadly, it's just not the same as going to our hairdressers. Professional toner that's used in salons shouldn't be used at home because of the level of chemicals - it's strictly for professional use.
So, the toners we get at home - including shampoos, conditioners and masks - are a bit safer as they're basically diluted versions of what our hairdressers use. This is so that our hair can stay as strong as possible whilst looking the best it can.
Home toner is not as harsh as bleach or pigments, but it can still break down the strands of your hair if you use them too often. We recommend using toners when you need a colour refresher. Make sure to keep your hair in shape with colour-friendly shampoos and conditioners, alongside your toning routine.
Caitlin Casey is a Senior Beauty & Fashion Products Writer for heat, Closer, and Grazia. She covers shopping, women’s lifestyle, popular culture as well as all things trending.