Chapter 4 – Lightening Virgin Hair and Regrowth

4.7 Application Process: Global Toning Service

Three mannequin showing hair before colouring, after lightening, and after toning.

Tools and Supplies Required

  • Colour-safe gloves
  • Colour cape
  • Towels
  • Hair clips
  • Wide-tooth comb
  • Colour bowl or bottle
  • Weigh scale
  • Tint brush – 2-inch or 3–4-inch standard


Prepare your client for their toning service by performing the following procedure:

Note: Hair should first be rinsed and shampooed thoroughly following the lightening service and prior to the toner application.
  1. Change the colour cape if needed.
  2. Tuck a fresh towel into the outside of the colour cape.
  3. Carefully comb through the towel-dried hair with a wide tooth comb to remove tangles.
  4. If using a porosity equalizer, apply to the hair and gently comb through for an even application.
  5. Section the hair into four quadrants using your comb and clips. Section nose to nape, then ear to ear.

Once you have prepared your client, gathered your tools and supplies and mixed-up toner:

  1. Don your gloves.
  2. Begin your application in the back two quadrants, as the hair around the face is often a finer texture and will generally process more quickly.
  3. Beginning in the nape and working upwards, working in ¼-inch sections, apply the toner to the length of the hair from base to ends. If more than one formula is being used, apply each formula to the corresponding areas of porosity, working base-to-ends on each section.
  4. Work quickly and efficiently, as toners may process quickly on freshly lightened hair.
  5. Outline the hairline for even application.

Video: Global Toner Application

Note: Video has no sound.


While processing a toner, you should remain with your client. Although it is always ideal to allow the product to process for the full recommended timing, freshly lightened hair may process more quickly than expected.

The general timing is 20 minutes for non-oxidative toners and 30 minutes for oxidative toners. Allowing the hair to process for the full amount of time will give the toner greater longevity. Accurate formulations that take texture and porosity into consideration will be more likely to allow for optimal processing times.

If you feel that the hair has reached the desired tone before the recommended processing time, you can check by selecting a small segment of hair and running a damp towel down the strand to remove the toner and allow you to see how it has deposited. If it has not fully processed, re-saturate the strand and continue processing.

Process until the desired tone has been reached, or until the full time period has passed.

Product Removal

Once the toner is ready to be removed, bring your client to the sink:

  1. Rinse the hair until the water runs clear using warm water.
  2. Use a colour-safe shampoo and conditioner.
  3. Style as desired.

Don’t forget to educate your client on how to properly care for and maintain their hair! Toners will inevitably fade away and expose the underlying pigment over time. To prevent premature fading, clients should minimize heat styling and use colour-safe products to clean and style their hair.

Media Attributions


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Hair Colour for Hairstylists: Level 2 Copyright © 2021 by Arden Magtiza is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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