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Monday, March 3, 2014

Using Toner to Disguise Your Roots

We've all been either too busy or too broke to fit in a trip to the salon when we need to touch-up our roots.* I have your AMAZING short-term solution: using toner to blend roots with your highlights!

I can usually tell my roots are getting bad when some random guy asks, "Petrea, are you a natural blonde?" Yes, of course, my hair naturally grows in dark and becomes blonde at the ends. Sigh. So frustrating. But when you're on a budget and a $200 trip to a professional is out of the question, this quick fix works!

What You Need
My friend Vanessa is the one who brought me this great solution, and I trusted her with my extremely fragile (and prone to turning orange) hair. I was so anxious while she applied the products I thought I would pass out, but it looked great! Turns out all you need are a few simple things, and they're available at Sally Beauty Supply:

On the right is Wella Color Charm Liquid Permanent Hair Color Toner. On the left is Salon Care 20-Volume Clear Developer. You will need both.** It's important to note that you are not using dye or bleach (so if you're terrified of home dye-jobs, fear not!). It's also important to note that you are not using this product for its intended purpose. Toner is the product they put on your hair after you get highlights done at the salon. Its purpose is to tone down any harsh contrast or brassiness. It's gentle enough to be applied directly after your hair goes through a pretty intense process, so breathe easy: it's not going to hurt your hair.

You will also want a comb, some plastic gloves, and something to apply the toner. I used a kitchen utensil - a basting brush - but I'm sure they have more hair-specific options at Sally's.

More great news: I bought everything I needed for $10.99!

1. Wet and towel-dry your hair.
2. You need to mix two parts of the toner with one part of the developer. To keep it simple, I dumped the toner in a bowl, then filled the empty bottle twice with developer and mixed it all together.
3. Apply the toner to your roots, but don't be afraid if some of it gets on the highlighted part of your hair. Remember, the toner is blending everything together, so that actually helps.
4. Let it sit for up to 30 minutes. I waited the whole 30 this time, but the first time I was so nervous Vanessa rinsed it out after 15. The overall look is so blended and subtle it really didn't make much of a difference.
5. Wash your hair and condition as usual. Or use a deep conditioner, which the Sally's employee recommended to me. I used Ion Repair Solutions Effective Care Treatment, and you can buy a one-time use package at the front counter at Sally's.


 How much do I love you, reader? Enough to post a pic with no makeup.
It's Saturday, people.

If you're not a seasoned hair DIYer, you may need to enlist help. My husband (God bless him) applied all of this to my head, muttering the whole time about how he wasn't responsible if it fell our or turned orange.***

And I am thrilled to announce that neither of those things happened. I love it. No, it doesn't look like I went to the salon and touched up my highlights, but it looks a heck of a lot better.

Granted, the hair in the top picture isn't even brushed.
It's Saturday, people.

I hope you'll trust me when I say this is a totally gentle, effective way to disguise your roots. I am extremely protective of my hair after a college roommate put Quick Blue bleach on my roots and they turned orange and all my hair broke off.

If you have questions or suggestions, feel free to leave them in the comments section, and (for the next few months) enjoy not having to answer the question of whether or not you're a natural blonde!

P.S. Check out products for your fragile hair and find out the cheapest way to get whiter teeth.

*I say this assuming Kim Kardashian isn't reading, because I watch that show and she doesn't ever seem to be either.

**Write down these product names, and be clear and specific at the store. There is a huge variety when it comes to this stuff, and you don't want to grab the wrong thing.

***He still remembers 2011, when I got a bad haircut and talked about it for an entire year.

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