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How do you tone level 9 yellow hair & make it ash blonde?


How do you tone level 9 yellow hair & make it ash blonde?

This is one of the most common questions we get at Ugly Duckling.

In this blog post, we are going to explain the entire process of toning level 8, 9, 10 yellow hair.

So that you as a hairdresser can get stunning white ash blonde results, no matter how yellow your client's hair.

Toning Yellow Hair

This hair is yellow level 9. It has been bleached but not it needs to be toned.

Why is hair yellow in the first place?

Hair is yellow because as you lift, the hair produces a secondary pigment, or undercoat.

As you lift, this undercoat gets lighter lighter.

At level 8, you will see a lot of yellow.

At level 9, there will still be yellow, but it will be light.

At level 10, you will see only very light, palest yellow.

The better lifted the hair, the less yellow it will be.

See the image below.

Hair Lightening Levels

The more you lift the hair, the less yellow there will be

3. What level should the hair be before I tone it?

We recommend that you get the hair to as close to level 10 as possible.

Do that and the bulk of your yellow hair issues will go away.

The images below show what hair level 10 looks like, at the back was and also when towel dried and when combed.

Under-bleaching is the most common mistake that trainee or new hairdressers make, and is the no 1 reason why hair is too yellow.

Compare your client's hair carefully to the pictures below.

If you can get it to level 10 as below, it will really be ideas.

Hair Level 10

Hair Level 10 - Towel Dried 

Hair Level 10

Hair Level 10 - towel dried & combed

4. So what should I do to get the hair to level 10?

The first thing to do is to bleach the hair using a good quality bleach.

We recommend that you use Brilliant Blondexx.

It has Bond Protect built in and it does not require developer strength greater than 30 Vol.

In most cases, you will find that  20 Vol developer is enough when you are using this bleach.

Brilliant Blondexx Bond Protect Bleach

Brilliant Blondexx with Bond Protect

5. How do I tone the hair after bleaching?

After bleaching, you will need to tone.

To do this, you will need a blue based or purple based toner to get rid of the final traces of yellow in your client's hair.

A blue based toner will give you a more natural silver white blonde and will counteract yellow in the hair perfectly.

A purple based toner will give you stronger toning, and take the hair to a pearl-grey blonde with zero yellow.

In general, if your client's hair is at level 8, it will be more orange-yellow, and a blue based toner would be better.

But if you are at level 9 and above and the hair is pure yellow or light yellow, then a purple-based toner (violet-based, in other words) would be a more natural choice.

Color Wheel Toner Choice

Use the Color Wheel principles to guide you in toner choice: choose the pigment opposite to the one you are trying to neutralize

6. So which toner do I use to get rid of yellow hair?

Use the chart below to guide you as to toner choice.

If the hair is well and truly lifted to level 9 or level 10, use Ugly Duckling Pearl Blonde or Silver Blonde toner with 20 Vol.

You can also use Blondify Natural Violet Blonde. It's ammonia-free and processes in just 10 minutes. 

If the hair still has quite a lot of yellow or even some orange in it, use Ugly Duckling's Intense Pearl Blonde or Intense Silver Blonde toner with 20 Vol.

You can also use Blondify Natural Ash Blonde.

All the above toners will do a great job in neutralizing yellow hair.

Depending on whether it is at level 7,8,9 or 10.

If your client's hair is darker than that (level 6) use Brilliant Blondexx first and lift. Then tone with any of the toners above.

Toner Choice Guide

7. How do I use the toner?

When Using Ugly Duckling Cream Toners

To get the best out of all toners, you need to get the mix right, as well as the developer strength.

If you are using Ugly Duckling cream toners then the mix is 1 part toner to 2 parts developer.

Use 20 Vol developer in most cases unless the hair is truly well pre-lightened to level 10, in which case, use 10 Vol developer.

Use a color mixing bowl, then start applying with a brush.

Do a second application with fingers using gloves to get extra good color vibrancy.


When Using Ugly Duckling Liquid Toners

If you are using Ugly Duckling liquid toners (Blondify), then the mix is 1 part toner to 1 part developer.

Make your mix in an applicator bottle and apply straight out of the bottle onto the hair, rubbing the product really well into the hair.

Let the product process for 10 minutes, then rinse.


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.

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