Free Shipping from $100
Home Blog How do you tone highlights without lifting the roots?

How do you tone highlights without lifting the roots?


How do you tone highlights without lifting the roots?

Are you looking to tone highlights without touching the roots in any way?

It's a common problem.

The secret lies in using a no-lift toner, low strength developer and limited development time.

In this blog tutorial we will show you how this all works.


Product Used: Blondify Natural Violet Blonde Toner

How do I tone my client's highlights without lifting or touching her natural hair color or roots?

Very often clients have a dark natural root or regrowth which they want to keep and not lift in any way.

Sometimes they have had low lights put in and they want to keep those.

But at the same time they find that their highlights are too brassy, too yellow. 

They come in asking for a their blonde hair to be toned. Without touching the roots, natural color, or low lights.

Stylists often ask us what products and which technique they need to use to deal with these issues.

Why most toners can't solve this problem

Most toners are incapable of doing this because of the way they work.

They inevitably have some lift (in fact the fast acting toners typically have a lot of lift).

Which means that they may turn the root area light brown if it was dark brown, or even turn it orange if it was light brown.

The Solution: Blondify: No-Lift Toner

Ugly Duckling's new toner range, Blondify, is a new non-lifting toner from Ugly Duckling.

It is what you need to use when you want to tone hair without lifting the roots.

These toners have been built to work with very low developer strength - 10 Vol developer or even 7 Vol developer.

So this means the mix you are applying is non-lifting.

In addition, because these toners are very pigmented and fast acting, the development time is only 10 minutes.

These toners are liquid toners and can be mixed in an applicator bottle.

So you can apply it very quickly on the hair, rub into the hair and rinse after 10 minutes.

Your client's dark base or dark roots don't get touched or lifted in any way.

How do I Tone Highlights and Not My Dark Base using Blondify?

Step One: Lift your highlights or ends with Bleach

Bleach highlights - dark base

Bleach highlights have been put in and are now being rinsed.

First, lift the parts of your client's hair that you want to be lifted using a good quality bleach.

We always recommend Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect built in.

Only apply the bleach to the parts that you want to lift.

It could be the highlights for a balayage look.

Or it could be all the lengths for a color melt result.

Rinse and towel dry when you are done with the bleaching.

Step Two: Choose the Right Shade of Blondify Toner

Now, time to choose your Blondify toner.

Always use Color Wheel Principles to make the right choice.

Violet (or purple, in other words) will neutralize yellow hair.

Ash will neutralize yellow-orange hair.

So, use Natural Ash Blonde when the hair has been lifted to level 7/8 and when it is brassy yellow or yellow-orange.

And use Natural Violet Blonde when the hair has been lifted to level 9/10 and is yellow or pale yellow.

Natural Ash Blonde Toner 

Natural Ash Blonde Toner

Use this toner to neutralize yellow-orange hair 

Natural Violet Blonde Toner

Natural Violet Blonde Toner

Use this toner to neutralize yellow hair

Step Three: Make Your Mix and Apply your Toner 

Make your mix 1+1. The developer strength we recommend is 10 Vol.

You can make your mix in the applicator bottle or in a plastic bowl - whichever you prefer.

You should find that the mix you get is quite liquid and very easy to apply.

Apply all over the hair and rub in thoroughly.

If you have a dark root area you wish to keep dark, try and avoid applying it there if at all possible.

But rest assured that thanks to the way Blondify has been formulated, even if it does come in contact with the dark areas it will not lift those areas. 

After 10 minutes, emulsify and rinse the hair to get rid of product and then towel-dry hair.

Blow dry and style in the usual way and you are done.

Applying Blondify toner

Applying Blondify toner to the hair with a dark root

After Toning

Final Result after using Blondify - note the dark base which has been left intact.

Hair by Elona Taki.

About the author

Sally has been a hair colorist and trainer for many years in both the US & Europe. She currently does hair color training for Ugly Duckling. She also helps develop new & awesome products for the brand.

You May Also Like