Clairol’s Creme Toners
With double process blonding coming back into style, more and more colorists are looking for products to create beautiful, delicate blondes. One of the oldest, but still best, products for this is the Clairol Crème Toner. First introduced in the 1950’s, the Crème Toner is an oxidative oil shampoo tint with a crème formula. It produces no, or minimal, lift of the natural pigment and the depositing action is much more gentle than a standard tint product. Thus Crème Toner is completely dependent on the porosity created in the hair by proper pre-lightening to achieve the correct deposit. Clairol’s Crème Toners create incredibly pale, high-fashion blonde shades that are translucent and sheer, and they produce results that are simply unobtainable with standard tints.
When toning hair with a standard tint, it is usual procedure to use a low volume of developer with your toning formula, such as 5 or 10 volumes. However, Crème Toners must be used with 20 Volume developer to achieve the correct, pastel, results. They are buffered with additional ingredients to shield fragile, pre-lightened, hair from the higher volume of developer and Clairol has refined the product in recent years, adding additional polymeric conditioners and reduced the levels of free ammonia by 30%. They have also added additional agents that prevent the hair from being over-swelled and causing additional damage. Crème Toners can all be intermixed as well as mixed with the Miss Clairol colors to create a limitless array of beautiful blonde shades.
Because of the intense lightening that toned hair has been exposed to, the Crème Toners my be easily lifted by harsh shampoos, chlorine, hot blow-dryers and sunlight. Therefore, only the mildest of shampoos and conditioners should be used, and your Crème Toner patron should shampoo their hair no more than twice per week. It should always be protected with sunscreen or covered when exposed to the sun and a conditioner should be applied before swimming, with a clear-water rinse and condition afterwards. For refreshing a faded Crème Toner color between retouches, use Clairol Born Blonde toners – they are gentle, semi-permanent, non-ammonia or peroxide toners that tone pre-lightened hair beautifully. They are also excellent for clients whose heads are too sensitive for a peroxide-based developer after lightening. The Borne Blonde toners can be mixed and matched to create just the shade you need.
Clairol’s timing directions on the back of the Crème Toner bottle state 5 to 15 minutes. This is really not enough time. Crème Toner will work for up to 45 minutes and a typical timing is 20 to 30 minutes. Some of the Crème Toner shades can have odd brownish or very blue/violet tones while developing on the hair – this is nothing to worry about – when the toner is washed off, the correct color will be in the hair. When doing a virgin application, apply to the scalp area first, then to the cold shaft, out to where the ends show damage. If the ends are very damaged, wait till the last 5 to 10 minutes of processing to apply. When processing is finished, add some shampoo to the remaining product in the bottle and work it into hair as a soap cap. Rinse till the water runs clear, give a very light shampoo then acidify and condition. When retouching the Crème Toner, apply to the roots and allow to develop until the desired color is just about achieved. Then dilute the remaining toner with water and work into the hair – allow to develop until shade is even, then rinse, shampoo, acidify and condition. If the shaft of the hair is almost colorless, you can bring the toner down over the shaft as soon as you are finished with the application at the scalp area. A light application of Instacure, Y-Serum or Logics DNA Leave-In Protector will help even the porosity and create better color take.