The Essential Guide to Getting Rid of Brassy Blonde Hair at Home

You might be considering going all over platinum blonde.

Or maybe you’re already a blonde but the color just isn’t quite right. Or it was right at one point in time and somehow it’s changed.

What’s the missing crucial step to achieving and maintaining the blonde hair of your dreams?

Hair toner. More specifically, Zotos Professional AGEbeautiful Permanent Liqui-Creme Topcoat Toner.

 

 

What Causes Brassy Blonde Hair?

Hair has a level scale between 1 and 10, 1 being darkest black and 10 being lightest blonde. Level 1 has an undertone of darkest red, and level 10 has an undertone of pale yellow.

The darker your hair, the more levels of brassy undertones there are that you need to break through with bleaching and lightening your hair.

For example, if your hair is a level 5 and you’re trying to get to a level 10+, you have to start by breaking through orange red undertones all the way up to pale yellow, depending on how light you want to go.

Also, if you have color treated dark hair, it’s even harder to break through each level of brassy undertones than it is with naturally dark hair.

Another factor is the water quality you have at home. If your water has high rust content, your hair is going to soak up that mineral over time and get brassy.

 

 

What Does Hair Toner Do?

Hair toner is the key if you’ve been wondering why you can’t get that perfect shade of blonde you’ve been seeing all over Pinterest.

Or if you asked your stylist for caramel balayage highlights and ended up with orange streaks.

Basically, toner is a semi permanent hair color that deposits and corrects whatever undertone bleaching leaves your hair with so that you can achieve the results you’re hoping for.

Because it is semi permanent, that means that it won’t last forever. Refreshes will be needed.

Think color wheel. What tone do you see in your hair now? Go to that color on the color wheel and then look at the color directly opposite on the color wheel. You want to use a toner with that color as the base to correct.

 

 

Is Toner Bad For Your Hair?

The easy answer is no, toner is not bad for your hair.

The complicated answer is, it depends on what type of developer you’re mixing it with.

If you are using toner that mixes with a 10 or less volume developer, it’s going to do little to no damage to your hair. That’s because the higher the volume of developer, the more damage.

 

Step by Step Guide to Toning Blonde Hair at Home

I’m going to be taking you from a massive root situation and brassy yellow ends to a full head of platinum blonde hair using Zotos Professional products with this tutorial.

 

 

If you are only reading this to learn about toning your already lightened hair, you can skip to step 4…

 

 

Supplies Needed…

 

Tools Needed…

  • Hair Color Mixing Bowl
  • Measuring Cup
  • Applicator Brush
  • Hair Sectioning Clips
  • Gloves
  • Plastic Processing Cap

 

Step One: Section the Hair

In my beauty school days, we were taught to do 4 sections of hair when doing an “all over” color or bleach.

When I’m doing this on myself, I have learned through trial and error that 5 sections are much easier to manage.

I do 2 sections in the front of my head, 1 for just the top crown of my head, and then 2 more in the back.

 

 

Step Two: Mix and Apply the Powder Lightener to Your Hair

Mix one scoop of AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Powder Lightener to 2 oz. of creme developer. It should be about the consistency of frosting.

 

 

Because my natural hair color is bordering on a level 6/7, I need to lift my hair at least 3 to 4 levels (if not more) to achieve a platinum blonde.

That means I need to use at least 30 volume developer. But I’m a little impatient, so I tend to live on the edge and use 40 volume. I DO NOT RECOMMEND THIS WHEN USING ON SCALP. I have many years of experience and have learned how to make it work without causing damage to my scalp or resulting in breakage.

Because I waited wayyyy too long to do my hair, I had to resort to some extra precautions when applying the bleach.

 

 

First, I applied the bleach to my hair about 1/2″ away from my scalp up to the pre-lightened ends. This is known as “Zone 2”.

I used this technique because your scalp gives off heat and will cause the bleach to lighten faster the closer to your scalp that it is. You don’t want to end up with “hot roots” where your hair is super light by your scalp and darker in your ends.

 

 

Once I did this and saw that it was starting to lighten in Zone 2, I went back and applied bleach to my roots, otherwise known as “Zone 1”.

 

 

I let the bleach sit on my hair for about 20 minutes AFTER I was done applying Zone 1.

To check your own hair to see if it’s ready to rinse, use a paper towel to wipe away the bleach. The color should resemble the inside of a banana peel.

 

Step Three: Wash the Bleach Out of Your Hair

Using warm (not hot) water, thoroughly rinse all of the bleach out. Then, use a high quality shampoo and conditioner to wash and condition your hair.

I like to use AGEbeautiful Ultra Bond Synergy No. 1 Cleanse Shampoo and Ultra Bond Synergy No. 2 Conditioner because the shampoo is free of sulfates and great for color treated hair, and the conditioner contains bond-building arginine, silk amino acids and keratin.

 

 

TIP: If your hair is super healthy and soft, you might want to skip the conditioner before you use hair toner! This will help the toner “stick”.

Because my hair is already super blonde, and has gone through many chemical lightening processes already, my ends are very porous.

This is why I always use conditioner before I proceed to applying hair toner so that it doesn’t soak it up too quick and turn my ends purple.

Trust me, I’ve made this mistake before! I just make sure to concentrate the conditioner on the pre-lightened ends more than the roots.

 

Step Four: Mix Your Toner with Creme Developer

I was going for as platinum blonde as possible and because my natural hair was already pretty dark with a lot of orangey undertones, I went with the Silver Ash Blonde AGEbeautiful Topcoat Toner.

This toner has blue undertones which help counteract the maximum amount of brassiness.

 

 

AGEbeautiful Topcoat Toners come in 3 different shades:

  • Silver Ash Blonde (blue undertone)
  • Pearl Blonde (blue/violet undertone)
  • Beige Blonde (violet undertone)

 

How do you know which developer to use with the toner?

10 volume will allow the toner to deposit more color, 20 volume will deposit less.

I’ve also found that 20 volume will continue to lighten your hair slightly so be careful about applying it on the areas you don’t want to tone. Again, I’ve made this mistake before so learn from me 😀

 

 

Once you decide which toner shade and developer you will use, mix 1 oz. toner to 1 oz. creme developer.

 

 

Depending on how thick your hair is, you might need to mix more. I personally have pretty thin hair, so 2 oz. total was plenty for me.

 

 

Step Five: Apply the Toner to Your Hair

The directions on the package say to apply toner to dry hair.

Through my personal experiences, and with how “thirsty” my hair is, I like to tone when it is slightly damp and towel dried. Again, this is from many years of doing my own hair.

If you’re unsure if you should do this damp or dry, do a strand test on a small section of hair in the back before applying to your entire head.

I applied the toner to Zone 1 & 2 first since they were the brassiest after bleaching and because pre-lightened ends of hair will soak up toner faster than roots.

 

 

Once I saw the toner start to take effect, I applied toner to the ends of my hair.

 

 

Once I had applied the ends, I checked my hair every 5 minutes until I was happy with the results. Then, I shampooed again and treated my hair with Ultra Bond Synergy No. 2+ Deep Conditioner Treatment to really seal in the toner.

Here is my hair (wet) BEFORE and AFTER using the AGEbeautiful Topcoat Toner…

 

 

After giving myself a good solid trim (yep, I also cut my own hair when I don’t give myself the time to get in to my amazing friend and hair stylist) here are the results…

 

 

You guys, I could seriously cry. Although I still have access to some of the same products I used to use when I worked in the salon, the Zotos Professional AGEbeautiful line is the PERFECT dupe for my favs!

As you can see, my blonde isn’t a super ashy blonde like you might have expected from the name of the toner. But that’s because my roots were pretty dark with a lot of brassy undertones to counteract.

I knew I needed to get those darn mega roots under control first, and now that my hair is on the same page blonde-wise I can experiment with going ashier 🙂 That’s the beauty of toner!

If you are already lighter than me, you could easily experiment with the other shades of toner to get the perfect shade for you.

 

 

How Long Does Toner Stay in Your Hair?

This depends on some factors including…

  • if your hair was previously lightened or colored
  • how often you wash your hair
  • how much you’re in the sun
  • how hot your showers are

 

The bare minimum a toner will last is approximately two weeks. That’s if you had previously colored hair, washed your hair all the time in super hot water, and were in the sun all the time.

If you tried to limit hair washings, used cooler water when you did, and didn’t spend a lot of time in the sun, you could probably spread that time out to about 6 weeks.

The good news is, you can also extend the life of your toners with color-depositing shampoo and conditioner! That is why I use a purple/blue depositing shampoo and conditioner every other week to maintain my platinum.

For more, visit Bre Pea!

 

 

 

How To Manage Emotional Well-Being During COVID-19 Quarantine

While locked down at home, our daily lives have become full of stress and anxiety. We have a COVID-19 contingency plan and also a schedule for our kiddos to help manage and enhance their emotional well-being.  I need to manage my own feelings too because I’m also stressed, irritable, or anxious!  I’m a better parent when I’m a happier parent.  One of the things that have been very helpful in managing my emotional well-being is to treat myself like doing my own manicure, hair treatments, facials, and even try a new makeup palette.

If you are also looking to treat yourself while #shelterinplace,  I highly recommend some pampering me-time like COLORING your roots – you want to look fabulous when this is all said and done!  I have been using the @zotosprofessional AGEbeautiful products to keep my hair looking healthy and glossy, which I have been able to save over $1,000 a year.

Yes, I have been saving over $1,000 a year in hair coloring.  If you are following me then you know that I have been dying my hair at home and getting salon-quality color for over 10 years.  My hair grows exponentially fast making my gray roots very obvious.  Although I don’t mind going to work or hanging out with friends and family when my roots are showing, there are certain situations when I feel self-conscious about it. So I dye my hair every few weeks and in between hair coloring, I follow a hair routine maintenance to take good care of my hair.

For years now I have been following these tips to get the glossy, healthy, and salon-quality hair color after each dye. I have not had any split ends and only see my hairstylist every 14 weeks for a trim.

SELECTING THE RIGHT SHADE FOR YOUR HAIR

Whatever you do, do not make drastic changes to your hair color.  If you want to alter your color to more than 3 shades, I highly recommend getting it done by a professional hair colorist. Choosing the right shade is so important because you want the color to match and blend in with your natural hair color.  I have naturally black color hair but I want to go a tad lighter so it’s not harsh looking.  The shade  that I use on my hair is dark to darkest brown.  Many hair color brands offer several shades within the tone so choose one that closely matches your hair color. I love Zotos Professional AGEbeautiful Permanent Hair Color in Darkest Brown 3N because it completely covers my stubborn grays especially the hairline and temple areas.

GATHER THE RIGHT TOOLS

Having the right tools ready is so important to get your hair colored without wasting time searching for them.   You would need the following: plastic gloves to prevent staining on your hands, petroleum jelly to rub around your hairline to prevent staining your skin, plastic cap to cover your hair, a hairdresser clip to section hair for better application, Argan hair oils (add a drop of two to the mix for the extra gloss), and a box of hair color along with the toner.

PREP YOUR HAIR

The best time to color my hair is when it’s been at least 2 days after shampooing.  The main reason is because dirty hair lacks the slippery conditioner that freshly washed hair has.  I usually wear an old t-shirt so that I don’t have to worry about the stain getting on my clothes.

DO A STRAND TEST

Everyone’s skin reacts differently.  If you have never used the product before I would highly recommend a strand test to see if you have any allergic reaction.

APPLY THE COLOR

So here’s the trick to prevent my hair from getting brittle and dry due to coloring.  Since the Zotos Professional AGEbeautiful Permanent Hair Color lasts so long on my hair strand, I would only color my roots.  and color my entire hair every so often.  The best news is that I can use the same tube for two separate applications thus saving me even more on cost

RINSE AND CONDITION

The average wait time for the color to deposit into your hair is 45 minutes.  During this time, I would do my laundry, clean up my house, and even prep food for the family.  When it’s time to rinse make sure you wash it without using any shampoo.   Don’t forget to have your gloves on to prevent staining on your hands.  If your hands and/or skin is stained, you can use an exfoliating cream and it should come right off.  After the rinse, use a paraben-free conditioner to finish up the process.  I usually don’t shampoo my hair until a few days after so the color stays longer.

I hope these tips will help you attain beautiful salon-quality hair color and save a lot of money as they have for me.

For more inspiration visit Mama In Heels.