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Toning On The Correct Level – Inside the head of a Hairdresser Part 4

Toning On The Correct Level – Inside the head of a Hairdresser Part 4

by Lyndsey - Salon Promotions Educator

Finally, the government has spoken - 4th of July Here we come (In England at least - hopefully Scotland and Wales will follow soon!)! After 14 long weeks, we are back in business.

These past 14 weeks has been an absolute roller-coaster. I haven’t had this amount of time off work since I had my girls, so it's been really strange, and amazing, all rolled into one. From struggling with the girls home schooling (which I’m ashamed to say is pretty much non existent at the moment) to motivating them to even get dressed. I’m actually dreading the reality of shortly having to be up, get ready and be out of the house before dinner time ?

Also renovating the house (thank goodness we now have a functioning kitchen, and I no longer have to cook tea on a camping stove on the living room floor)!

I also lost one of the most important people in my life, my amazing Grandma. Having to stay strong in front of the girls and not having the chance to have a duvet day, have a good old cry and feel sorry for myself.

Having said all that, I am so so grateful to have had these past 14 weeks at home with my family. To actually have the time to do some self development. To watch the stack of tutorials I’ve had lined up for months. To try to improve my baking skills ( and I have come to the conclusion that I will never be the next Mary Berry…. Sorry Grandma!) and just simply doing the things that you never actually have time to do, whilst leading a busy life.

For my last blog I wanted to write about the importance of toning on the correct level.

Last week we covered the lightening curve, colour wheel and choosing the correct strength of toner.

A reminder on Neal & Wolf Colour Hair Toners

  • 10.01, 10.02 & 10.89 - 1 part tone (a single shot of gin as we like to think of it)
  • 90.01, 90.02 & 90.73 - 2 part tone (double shot of gin)
  • 99.02 & 99.25 - 3 part tone (triple shot of gin)

The above toners/special mixes are for toning on your lighter levels. They contain no depth. I like to think of these as more of a tinted moisturiser. They are more sheer. But remember Neal & Wolf is a dual system, so anything can be made into a version of a demi. So if you are toning on a level 9 or below (remember your seesaw) you are going to need more of a full cover foundation than tinted moisturiser, so you need to be toning with the core range.

I once got shown a very simple diagram that has always stuck with me, so let me have a go at explaining it.

Let's say for example you have a regular client that, just like me, feels like she’s losing her marbles during lockdown, and fancied a change (I’ve only lost my marbles over Nancy’s school work). Whilst doing her weekly shop she bought herself a colour and is now enjoying her new life as a gorgeous brunette. She has now decided that she would really like a subtle balayage to break up the solid colour. She comes into the salon at the depth of a 5 and her inspiration picture has a soft balayage at a level 8.

I hope I can explain this well without being in front of you……

Depth 10 2 Pigments
Depth 9 4 Pigments
Depth 8 8 Pigments
Depth 7 16 Pigments
Depth 6 32 Pigments
Depth 5 64 Pigments

I visualise, that a depth of a 10 has 2 pigments. As go down throughout the depths, these pigments double.

Our lovely client is sat at level 5, so she currently has 64 warm (red/orange/yellow) pigments. We have lightened her hair to a level 8 and now has 8 yellow pigments.

If we choose a violet toner to neutralise the yellow on the depth of a 10 that only has the strength to neutralise 2 pigments, so we will not neutralise all those 8 pigments that we currently have at a level 8. You will still have 6 warm pigments presents, so it won’t be as cool as her picture and the warmth will start creeping through after a few washes. To fully neutralise you must tone on the same level you have lifted.

I hope that makes sense!

Whilst sat here typing, I did consider jotting down some different formulas for you all, but every client is different. Every head of hair is different. I hate to break it to you, but

There is not one magic formula that fixes all!

There is a very strong possibility that when we return to work on July 4th and we can finally get our hands on our client’s hair, we are going to come across some tricky hurdles. My one piece of advice would be to follow the steps, take your time and consider everything.

If your client has a few inches of regrowth then a warm band from where they have tried to lift their hair at home then a lovely clean blonde on the mid lengths and ends from their last salon visit, treat every section like it was a different head of hair. Lift the roots following the very first guidelines, then treat the warm band with something equally as strong to neutralise then then maybe something lovely and delicate to refresh them already light ends.

I am currently sat in my dining kitchen; we have stripped the walls which had years of build-up of wallpaper and paint and is now a complete rainbow of colours, and I thought ‘this is no different to colouring hair’. If I took one tin of paint right now and painted this full wall, would I get an even colour? And the answer is absolutely not. To get the look I want I need an even canvas to start with. It's exactly the same as colouring hair!

I know there is a lot of information to take in, but I’m hoping you find it useful and the thought of seeing what our amazing clients may or may not have done to their own hair isn’t as daunting ?

Please remember: If you need anything at all, we are always here for you and can’t wait to see you all again in salon.

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