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Processing
Home / Blog/ How to Tone Even the Brassiest Hair in 2022: a Complete Guide for Professionals
Home Blog How to Tone Even the Brassiest Hair in 2022: a Complete Guide for Professionals

How to Tone Even the Brassiest Hair in 2022: a Complete Guide for Professionals

BY SALLY MADISON
NATIONAL COLOR TRAINER



Looking to get the best results toning even on the brassiest, yellowest hair? 

In this article, we will take you through a fool-proof 3-step blonding technique - that works every time.

And we will also show you to get rid of that brass, that yellow, that orange.

And also how different Ugly Duckling toning products work to achieve different blonde results for your client.

Interested? Then read on...

STEP ONE

First, lift any part of the hair that is too dark to a level 9 or level 10 before you do any toning. 

Hair Color Level

Pre-lightening is the first essential step that any professional needs to do before even starting to tone.

Hair should be lifted up to level 9 in order to achieve for the best toning results.

For that, a good quality lightener is essential.

We suggest that you use our new Brilliant Blondexx Bond Protect Lightener

Brilliant Blondexx

Use 20 Vol for lifts of up to 3 levels and 30 Vol for lifts greater than 3 levels.

Make your mix of 1 part lightener to 2 parts developer.

Now really saturate the dark regrowth area or the whole head depending on what needs lifting.

Start applying at the back in case of full head applications.


In the case of regrowth applications apply on the dark regrowth first. Then stretch to other areas if you feel they also need further lifting.

The goal is to lift the hair evenly and consistently all the way up to level 10 for best results

See pictures below for hair that has been correctly pre-lightened)

A common mistake is to not lift sufficiently - don't do this or you won't get a really nice result!

Once you have done this, you are ready to tone.

Here is a client whose dark regrowth we lifted and prepared for toning:

Before Bleaching & Toning: Very Dark Regrowth, Blonde Ends

 Bleach Hair Level 10

After Bleaching, Before Toning: Dark Regrowth lifted and equalized with ends. Hair is at Level 10.

Hair Before & After: Ashley

STEP TWO

CHOOSE YOUR UGLY DUCKLING TONER & APPLY

Now is the time to choose your Ugly Duckling toner. Ugly Duckling has a wide range of toners and blonding colors.

There are 2 basic categories you need to be aware of:

Cream Based Toners (Permanent)

These are good for full head blonde transformation.

We would recommend these when you are aiming to do full head blonding, and especially when you are aiming for super-white blonde results.

Use these toners with 20 Vol developer in most cases.

Make your mix in a plastic bowl and apply using a tint brush, segmenting finely and making sure you thoroughly saturate the hair.

Ugly Duckling cream toners are very powerful and before long, you will start to see the color of the hair change, as the pigments start to act.

Watch carefully, and rinse when you get the result that you are looking for.

There are 4 toners to choose from:

Intense Pearl Blonde 100V

Intense Pearl Blonde

No-Lift Pearl Blonde 10V

Pearl Blonde

Intense Silver Blonde 100B

Intense Silver Blonde 100B

No-Lift Silver Blonde 10B

Silver Blonde 10B

Liquid Gloss Toners (Demi-Permanent)

These toners are ammonia-free. They are great to use in situations where you want to tone and refresh blonde hair without touching the base.

Or when the hair has already been well lifted and you want to do a quick blonde refresh.

These toners are good with low strength developer (10 Vol or 20 Vol). They won't lift or touch the base.

Being liquid toners, they are really very simple to use. Just pour the mixture onto the hair and rub in very thoroughly.

But don't be fooled: although they are ammonia-free and non-lifting, their pigmentation (violet and blue) is very very strong.

You should find that their neutralization of yellow and yellow-orange is second-to-none.

They can be applied straight out of the applicator bottle. Massage into the hair throughly and process for 10 minutes. Then rinse.

Blondify Natural Ash Blonde Toner

Natural Ash Blonde Toner

Blondify Natural Violet Blonde Toner

Natural Violet Blonde Toner

Ugly Duckling toners, whether cream based or liquid based, are all very fast acting. 

So you do need to be alert and watch while they are processing and be prepared to rinse when done.

Use 10 Vol developer if you have really lifted well and you are confident that there is minimal yellow left.

Otherwise, use with 20 Vol developer for best results. You will get better release of yellow pigments and better toning that way. 

Apply on towel dried hair. It can be still wet. Just make sure there is no excess moisture. 

What mix ratios for Ugly Duckling toners?

If you are using an Ugly Duckling cream toner, the mix is 1 part of your chosen Ugly Duckling toner with 2 parts developer.

But if you are using Ugly Duckling Blondify liquid gloss toner, the mix is 1 part toner to 1 part developer.

When working with cream based toner, make your mix in a plastic bowl.

When working with liquid toner, you can make your mix in a plastic bowl or in an applicator bottle, whichever is more convenient.

How do I apply the toner?

When applying with a brush:

Section the hair starting from the back, using fine sections.

Start applying wherever the hair is the most yellow or the most brassy.

Work fast because the toner works fast and you want to give your whole head an even processing time.

Leave out the last inch nearest the roots when you apply, and return to this section at the end.

Hair processes faster on the root area due to the heat of the scalp.

As you apply, you will see the hair turn grey with a purple or grey or blue hue.

This is normal, it shows that the toner is doing its job of neutralizing yellow and brassiness. 

Normally, 10-15 minutes is enough.

Once again, remember to watch the roots in particular carefully - do not over-process there.

Ugly Duckling Toner Mix

A mix of Ugly Duckling Intense Pearl Blonde Toner 100V and 20 Vol. A fairly runny mix will allow you to work faster. Which is what you need.

When using an applicator bottle:

Just pour over onto the hair and massage in vigorously. Process. Then rinse. It really is that simple!

STEP THREE

The third step is a last step which will help you get rid of any remaining yellow pigments in the hair. This step involves the use of purple based shampoo and mask.

As these products are hair treatment products, and they will also help to condition the hair after bleaching and toning and return it to its natural condition.

These products are acidic, which means they will return the hair to its normal pH level after bleaching and toning.

They are also sulfate-free and gluten-free.

USE PURPLE SHAMPOO & MASK TO GET RID OF ANY REMAINING YELLOW AFTER TONING

  • Rinse hair with Purple Shampoo, massaging thoroughly for 5 minutes as you do.
  • Then apply Purple Mask.
  • As we mentioned above, these products are not real toners. But they are excellent as finishing products.
  • Leave the mask in the hair for 10 minutes.
  • Ugly Duckling's Purple Shampoo and Mask contain very intense pigments.
  • These will neutralize any remaining yellow and take your hair to ultra white blonde.
  • They are also low pH and will help to close the hair cuticle after the lightening and toning process.
  • Only use Purple Shampoo and Mask after toners, not after regular blonde colors (10.1b, 9.1b, Silver Grey, Smoky Blue Grey, Metallic Grey, 10.2 etc)
  • This is because you will lose the unique vibrancy of the above colors if you put purple shampoo on top!

Purple Mask

Learn More About Ugly Duckling Purple Mask Here

FINAL RESULTS AFTER BLEACHING, TONING & PURPLE SHAMPOO & MASK

Afer toning

After toning: Hair by Ashley

Toner Used: Extra Light Cool Blonde 10.2

This is the same model after bleaching and toning.

WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE AN UGLY DUCKLING CREAM BASED TONER APPLICATION: 

WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE AN APPLICATION OF AN UGLY DUCKLING LIQUID TONER:

WATCH THIS VIDEO TO SEE AN APPLICATION OF AN UGLY DUCKLING PURPLE SHAMPOO:

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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