Why You Need a Gloss & Toner


ou know how painting on a layer or two of top coat after applying nail polish locks in your manicure, helps it last longer, and adds tons of shine? Gloss and toner are like the hair color version of that—they seal the deal. To get a little more specific, they can neutralize brassiness for lightened hair, enrich your color (whether natural or dyed), help camouflage greys, and so much more. 

If you’ve ever wondered what those extra few minutes at the sink during hair color appointments are for—or are looking for ways to boost your natural or enhanced hue—the Society team breaks it down for you here. 

So first all, what exactly is a gloss? 

It’s a semi-permanent treatment that adds tons of shine and extends the life of your color. It prevents hair color from fading, helps nix brassiness, and can be used to refresh color that’s gotten dull. It’s also a great option for covering grays when you’re not looking for something as permanent as dye. Love your natural color, but just want to amp up the shine and dimension? Gloss is great for that too. 

The process is pretty simple: Your colorist will apply gloss to your hair after it’s shampooed, conditioned, and towel-dried. Then, they’ll let it sit for about 10-20 minutes before rinsing. 

After a gloss treatment, your hair will be super rich and shiny for the first few weeks. It will gradually fade back to your baseline sheen over the course of about four weeks.

Okay, so what is a toner?

Toner is a post-color treatment that’s used to counteract unwanted yellow or orange tones on lightened hair. This is a very important step for any lightening process (think: highlights, balayage, babylights, bleach and tone...you get the gist) because when you significantly lighten your hair, it’s inevitable that an orange-y hue can occur. But toner will correct and balance that out. 

Similar to gloss, it’s applied after coloring, rinsing, and shampooing your hair. Your colorist will work it in, let it do its thing for anywhere between five and 30 minutes. Then rinse. 

How often should I get these treatments? 

Aside from having these incorporated into your highlighting or lightening services, we recommend booking a toner or gloss treatment in between your usual appointments, about every 3-4 weeks. It’s relatively quick, reasonably priced, and a great way to keep your hair looking salon-fresh all month long. 

Anything else I can do to preserve my color?

Try to shampoo a little less frequently. If you wash your hair daily, toners and glosses will fade pretty quickly (and some brassiness will start to reveal itself). Aim to wash your hair once or twice a week instead and make dry shampoo your new BFF. When you do suds up, consider purple-hued shampoos and conditioners which deposit a teeny bit of pigment to keep your lightened hair bright and brass-free.

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