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Can I Use Wella T18 Toner With a 20-Vol Developer? How?

Wella T18 allows you to tone your hair at home, but only if you’re prepared and understand what you’re doing. As a permanent hair dye, toner requires careful application and the correct mixture to achieve the desired effect.

This article will discuss using Wella T18 Toner with a 20-volume developer to achieve a perfectly ashy, cool blonde.

What is Wella T18 Toner?

Wella T18 is a blue-tinted, permanent liquid hair color for the home and salon. It adds depth and dimension to blonde shades with blue, gray, or violet undertones.

You can use Wella T18 toner with a 20-volume developer to give your hair a new look but do a strand test first, especially if you have fine or thinning hair.

Used alone, Wella T18 Color Charm Toner won’t produce any results. Toner needs to be mixed with a developer to open the hair cuticles and deposit color.

Wella T18 toner is used to neutralize the hair’s warmth, which can occur after applying bleach or any other lightening product. You can use it to counteract the orange tones in your hair and keep it cool.

Why Does It Work?

why is Wella T18 Toner Used
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There are several potential causes of orange tones after bleaching, even if you treat the hair for the allotted time. Stopping the bleaching process before it reaches the light yellow stage will produce an orange and brassy color.

Overexposure to the bleaching process can also cause hair loss and breakage due to the chemical’s significant damage. Instead of repeatedly bleaching fragile hair until it reaches the desired lightness, stylists often use toner to correct the brassy shade.

By applying a layer of blue pigments to the existing color, blue toners erase brassiness and warm tones from hair color. The use of blue toner is common practice among professional hairstylists and cosmetologists for removing unnatural orange or brassy tones from hair.

Toner Color Theory

toner color theory

Examining the blue toner’s place on the color wheel will reveal its functionality. Because complementary colors cancel each other out, any mixture of blue and orange or purple and yellow hues will produce a dark grayscale or neutral white.

In other words, using a blue toner on orange hair will neutralize the toner’s blue tones and the orange tones present in the hair.

What is a Developer, and What Does It Do?

Permanent hair color or toner requires a developer to penetrate the hair shaft. The cuticle layer of hair is raised by a hydrogen peroxide developer, with the degree of elevation varying with the potency of the activator.

The oxidizing potential of a hair developer indicates the concentration of hydrogen peroxide.

How to Know Which Developer To Use?

hair developers
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Adding or removing hair pigment necessitates opening the cuticle. Since a hair developer damages hair as it opens the cuticle, it is recommended to use the smallest volume of developer that yet produces adequate results.

Each volume of developer has its particular applications and limitations.

10 Volume Developer

If your hair is very blonde and you’re looking for a platinum result, the 10-volume developer will best open the cuticles. And the Wella T18 will neutralize undesirable brassy hues.

A 10-volume strength developer will open cuticles more gently. Lighter hair shades don’t need a powerful chemical reaction to open cuticles.

A more potent developer on lighter hair can cause damage to the hair.

20 Volume Developer

If you have dark blonde or orange hair after bleaching, you’ll need to use the more robust 20-volume developer with the Wella T18 toner.

A 20-volume strength developer will open the cuticles smoothly, allowing your toner to penetrate more easily.

Darker hair is more pigmented, and cuticles are sealed more than lighter shades, so it retains more color.

Darker hair requires a higher volume developer to create a stronger chemical reaction that will open more sealed cuticles.

How to Use Wella T18 Toner With 20-Volume developer

If you decide to go with the 20-volume developer, follow these next steps to achieve the desired results. Here’s how to use Wella T18 toner with a 20-vol developer.

Step 1: Prepare Your Hair

Before toning your hair, you can take a few steps to ensure you have the results you want and a better toning experience overall. Preparations include pre-lightening hair, damp locks, and allergy and strand tests, which we will cover next.

Prelighten Hair

  • Use a bleach kit or
  • Start with naturally blonde hair

You should lighten the hair to the desired level before applying toner. Wella T18 tones blonde hair to a cooler, ash blonde.

While you can use T18 on brunette hair without lighting first, the results might not show. Or light brunette locks might show a faint violet tone if there is no orange/yellow base to start with.

Wet or Dry Application

How to Use Wella T18 Toner With 20-Volume developer - Towel Dry Hair

Your hair should be somewhat moist or towel-dried before toning. You should always apply a hair toner when your hair is at least 70% dry. If your hair is damp rather than dripping wet or fully dry, you will get the best results.

Allergy Test

  • Collect a cotton ball, bowl, and spoon

If you’ve ever colored your hair before, they always recommend doing an allergy test before applying a product to all of your hair.

Hair color products can induce allergic responses, which can be severe in rare instances. Don’t tone your hair immediately if you’ve had a past reaction. Instead, do an allergy test 48 hours before completing an application.

In a plastic bowl, combine nickel-sized amounts of toner and developer. The ratio is 1:1, meaning you’ll use equal parts toner and developer.

Apply a tiny quantity of the mixture to the inside of the elbow. Allow the area to air dry. Do not wash the area for 48 hours. Use the leftover mix to do the strand test next.

Strand Test

  • Collect scissors, tape, coloring bowl, and toning brush

Do the strand test each time you color to determine optimal timing and color results. Chemical treatments like straightening, previous shade, and the sun can affect your results and timing.

To start your strand test, cut a 1/4-inch strand from a root location that is not ordinarily visible (anywhere other than the temples, part line, or hairline is excellent). Then tape the strand, exposing the root end.

Using the remaining mixture from the allergy test, apply the toner to the hair and start your timer.

After 10 minutes, inspect the root of the hair. If you don’t like the color of the root end, leave it on for another 5 minutes.

Step 2: Section Hair

  • Collect a comb and hair clips

Using a comb or the pointed end of the tint brush, section your hair off into four separate parts—two front sections and two back sections. This will help you apply the toner more evenly. You can also use a clip to hold each area while you work with it.

Step 3: Mix Toner and Developer

How to Use Wella T18 Toner With 20-Volume developer - Mixing
Mix Toner and Developer
  • Use vinyl or latex gloves
  • Collect a color bowl and tint brush
  • Mix 1:2 toner/developer

In a bowl, combine one part Wella ColorCharm toning liquid color with two parts 20-volume developer. Blend with a brush until the mixture is smooth and light lavender appears.

Step 4: Apply Toner

How to Use Wella T18 Toner With 20-Volume developer - Applying Toner
Apply Toner
  • Start with towel-dry hair

With a tint brush, apply the toner mixture to your hair. Load the brush with plenty of toner, then sweep it from root to tip. Start with the front sections and work your way back. Keep each section in place with a clip while you work.

You can use gloved hands to apply the toner to your entire head.

Spot toning will work better than total toning if you want to neutralize orange tones in only a few spots. Ensure that the hair is completely saturated with toner/developer mixture.

Step 5: Time It

Once you’ve finished applying the toner, set a timer for no more than 30 minutes. You can put on a shower cap to trap the heat, making your toner work better.

The strand test from before should give you a good indication as to how long it’ll take for your hair to reach your desired shade.

Step 6: Rinse and Shampoo

How to Use Wella T18 Toner With 20-Volume developer - shampoo and rinse

Don’t let the toner sit for more than 30 minutes in total. Once you have achieved the desired color or your 30 minutes are up, rinse out the toner. Rinse your hair with warm water, then shampoo and condition it. End with a cool water rinse.

To avoid further damaging your hair, you should allow it to air-dry instead of blow-drying. Use a heat protectant spray on your hair before blow-drying it.

The result is vibrant hair without a trace of orange or brass.

Final Thoughts

Wella T18 toner with a 20-volume developer is a good choice for people who want to tone their hair after a session at the bleach bowl. You can apply blue toner to neutralize the warmth if your hair has taken on an orange hue.

It is easy to use and can give your hair the color you want without damaging it. The result will produce a blonde shade that is cooler and more well-balanced because there will be no traces of orange.