SoZo HAIR Salon Tips


What Is A Toner?


Let’s start by explaining what a toner does. A toner can be many things, especially these days with all the “fun” hair color being such a trend. A toner is used after hair has been lightened. When hair color is lightened it will go through some or all of the 10 stages of lightening, depending on where the hair starts. These stages are; black, black-brown, brown, red-brown, red, red-gold, gold, yellow, and pale yellow. Toners deposit “tone” in the hair to counteract or enhance. Fun hair color, for example, is almost always pre-lightened and then the fun color is deposited on a light colored canvas (lightened hair being the canvas) so it will show and be vibrant. Sometimes when depositing color over hair that has been lightened it will be called an “overlay”. this is basically a toner.

Pheomelanin And Eumelanin


Some hair has more eumelanin which is the brown and black pigment, and some hair has more pheomelanin, red and yellow pigment. This comes into play when lifting natural pigment, lightening the hair, it effects how long it will take to lift and how far it can actually be lifted. Therefore, depending on desired results, if too much gold is left in the hair it may need to be counteracted with a cool tone, hence the “toner.”

Every Head Of Hair Is Different

Each and every head of hair will respond in its own way, some pull a lot of gold tones, some don’t. Some lighten quickly, some don’t.  Hair color is a theory, not an exact science. This is one reason toners are so valuable. When hair is lightened it’s usually not going to be exactly the level and tone desired, toners are the “overlay” to adjust the exposed color to achieve the desired result.

Keeping That Summer Blonde?

Long haired blond woman turned back on sunset meadov - outdoor image

While the warm weather may soon be coming to an end, many women are keeping their summer blonde or a variation of it all year long. When we think of blonde hair, most of us picture a foil covered head with bleach lightener, however, this is only one of several ways to accomplish blonding. Many colors lines now offer high lift color that will accomplish beautiful variations of blonde in a much more gentle manner. These high lift blonde shades are also fantastic because they often have a toner built right into them, making beautiful blonde a one step process. Still, there are those of us, like myself, who prefer the result accomplished with a bleach Lightner. Bleach lightening can give greater lightening results in less time, but can also be much harder on the integrity of the hair. Bleach lightening will often require a toner as a second step in the process to neutralize any unwanted brassiness, or deposit the desired tone. This means an additional application of color with low ammonia after your bleach has been shampooed out of your hair.

Erin Before and After Hair Makeover 1115Before and After of grown out warm blonde to a freshly lightened and toned cool blonde with some red “color melting” at the scalp.

While toning is a fabulous option, it, like any color deposited in the hair will fade. So what are our choices at this point? A favorite go-to for continued cool toning, or even a more gentle initial toner is a cool toning or purple shampoo. SoZo’s cool toning shampoo works wonderfully as a five-minute initial toner at the shampoo bowl, or as a part of your at home product regimen. This product can be used to shampoo your hair up to three times a week, and is not only gentle and nourishing to your blonde locks, but also keeps any unwanted yellow, or gold tones out of your tresses between color services. Cool toning shampoo can also be used on gray or salt and pepper hair to keep yellowing from happening. It’s always important to consult with your stylist about a product regimen that will work best for your hair type and texture, while also helping you to get the most out of your color service. Adding a cool toning shampoo to your at home care, with a variety of moisturizing products will keep your blonde looking and feeling amazing in between visits to your stylist, and will also reduce the amount of chemical treating you are having done at your appointments.

SoZo Cool Toning Shampoo 8oz (Medium)Marula Shampoo Brightened (Large)Marula Oil Conditioner (Large)Miracle isolated larger (Medium)

We at SoZo hair want all the best for our clients and their hair. It is our pleasure to give you your desired look while maintaining the best possible condition and integrity of your hair. So be brilliant, and be blonde all year long!

About SoZo HAIR:

SoZo Salon Tips is a blog about beauty salon tips, tricks, and hints.  SoZo HAIR by Bajon Salon & Spa serves the greater Cincinnati area. We are located in Olde West Chester at the corner of Cincinnati-Dayton and West Chester Rds. We’re just a short drive from Mason Oh and Fairfield Oh….a big city hair salon without the big drive and big traffic.

Karen Welch

Karen Welch has 32 years of experience in the Hair Fashion Industry and is considered an expert in hair design, hair color and beauty makeovers. Karen says she learns more every day and plans to always continue learning!


Chelsea S. is a passionate hair designer with an up to the minute awareness of what’s happening in the hair, beauty, and fashion industry. Her passion shows immediately along with her very caring customer service skills.