Depending on what your desired result is, will be dependent on what level of lift you need.
Let’s say for example – your wanting a crisp clean blonde (seen in the image below)
Your hair needs to be lightened to a level 10 – palest yellow and then toned.
Before a toner is applied to your hair your hair is YELLOW!!!! You read that right – YELLOW.
So… now that your hair has been pre-lightened to a level of palest yellow – we need to neutralise the unwanted tone in your hair.
To neutralise an unwanted tone, the opposite colour on the colour wheel is used. The colours opposite each other on the colour wheel are also opposite in terms of tone. That is, warm colours neutralise cool colours, and vice versa. For example, yellow (warm) and its opposite colour violet (cool) neutralise each other.
Note: The yellow in your hair has NOT been removed from your hair, it has been neutralised. The yellow still remains as the underlying pigment underneath the freshly toned hair. Once the toner fades away, the yellow will be exposed again.
This is where blonde maintenance products come in to play.
As your toner fades away, and the underlying pigments are exposed again, you will need to re-tone.
The difference between each blonde product is the strength and tone of pigment in each product.
The violet/purple tones in the products will neutralise the yellow tones in your hair
The blue tones in the products will neutralise the orange tones in your hair
To achieve over-toned/ ashen look, a blue/ash-based product is usually used.
To find the which product is best for you, check out the NAK hair care toning scale below.