I get a lot of questions asking me what I use in between colouring to remove orange tones or yellow tones in bleached hair. Often I make up my own toner using La Riche Directions and thought I’d share with you how I do it.
Now there are oodles of tutorials using the white toner or violet (With violet you dilute it to a pale lavender, white I would use neat) for toning yellow hair, but not that many for doing orange. Now when I’m talking about orange I mean that pale orange/yellow (It can even help with a little bit of gold) and upwards. You could do this on orange hair but it would either do little or make it a bit ‘muddy’ or dirty blonde looking.
This tutorial is the same really for orange or yellow tones, you are just using a different shade of La Riche Directions. For orange I would use Silver and for yellow I would use Violet. You can mix silver and violet together if you wish – the choice really is yours.
Right, here’s what you will need….
A tub of La Riche Directions in Silver (Or Violet if you have more yellow tones)
White Conditioner (Doesn’t matter what brand or how cheap, as long as its white!!)
A Tint brush
When making my toner I first start with a small amount of Silver Toner in the bowl. I would say about a teaspoon but I’ve never actually measured. I also like to make A LOT of this up as you can pop it in a bottle/tub for another time if you do make too much. I then pour conditioner into the bowl and mix. When working with ultra pale orange to nearly yellow I make it to the the colour of a blue bleach mixture. So pale blue, but not so pale its white (I have included a photo).
Once its mixed you can either apply it straight away or keep it in a tub/bottle for another time. It doesn’t go off as far as I’m aware.
I apply it to DRY HAIR. Now I have tried this on wet hair, but find the results aren’t as good. I section my hair and saturate it. I often run out half way through and make a new batch. Once my whole head is covered, I massage my hair well and then comb through. Cover your hair now with a shower cap or a bag (If the bag has writing on it, make sure to turn it INSIDE OUT) to trap that heat in and let it go to work. I leave mine on for 30 minutes to an hour (You can leave it as long as you like as it will not damage your hair!! However, it can turn your hair a little pastel blue, so check it and see how its doing from time to time by wiping a little off and having a look). It really depends on how much I feel it needs toning (I often do the house work, write some blog posts or read a book while waiting for it to tone).
Not only does this tone your hair but you are also giving yourself a good intensive conditioning treatment. If you have time, give your head a quick blow dry to heat that mixture up on your head (Leave the bag/shower cap on while you do this), it helps it take better and also will help with the deep conditioning treatment too.
Once you are done, rinse well and then style as normal or leave to dry naturally. If you find its not dark enough you can do it again (Although clarify the hair first as it will help for a more even result and remove any silicones the conditioner may have added to the hair), if its a little too intense (You have silver/blue streaks) after a couple of washes or so these will fade.
So, there you have it. That’s how I tone my hair in between colouring. I find this is better if you aren’t wanting to use a quasi permanent dye due to damage on your hair or if you want to bleach again but can’t stand the tone this is ideal till you bleach again (Say if you are lifting to super light blonde from a darker colour and are working your way through shades of orange and yellow).
As with all colouring, always sensitivity test first and strand test (Although I never strand test doing this) – safety first always! This is just something that works for me, it may not work for you or your hair may be the wrong shade (Too dark) for it to make a difference, however I think with some that’s very reasonable in price its worth a shot, right?
Good luck removing those horrible tones and safe colouring!
La Riche Directions come in a variety of shades, I buy mine from Amazon but they are also available online at Ebay and other outlets.