Gloss, Glaze, Toner, what's the difference?

Gloss, Glaze, Toner what's the difference?
For the purpose of this post I will give you the professional answer and the actual answer.

Professional world:
A gloss penetrates the hair's cuticle so it will last two to four weeks. A gloss typically just adds shine to the hair but can also add color depending on the gloss used.

A glaze, on the other hand, simply coats the shaft with shine or color (not permanent), it will only last a week or two. Think of a glaze as a top coat of polish for your hair.

A toner, "tones" hair to bring it to the desired color. A toner should last until your next salon visit. A great example of a toner is to cancel out brassy tones in highlights.

In the actual world:
These three words are used interchangeably; depending on the color line the colorist chooses and the use the colorist needs it for. Any one of these words can be used to add shine, temporarily coat the hair with color or cancel out unwanted undertones.

Additional uses for a gloss, glaze and/or toner:
  • re-freshen faded color for affordable maintenance in between color services
  • to match your ends to your roots
  • perfect for color bending blonde highlights on brown hair for a softer more natural look.
I wouldn't get too caught up with the word your colorist uses. Some words are used by habit, preference or depending on the color line the colorist uses. It is very important to understand that if you are asking because you have an allergy to hair color it is 100% in your best interest to stay away from all three. An allergy to PPD can be fatal and shouldn't be left in the hands of a colorist using interchangeable words. When it comes to a hair color allergy please do your research before selecting a colorist. Be sure the colorist you choose is very familiar with hair color allergies and understands the severity of an allergic reaction.

Having said that, I personally use the word "gloss" for all gloss, glaze or toner uses. In my opinion clients relate a toner with a "mistake" that needs to be corrected, which is not necessarily the case. Some client's hair simply lifts warmer than others, and a toner would be needed to cancel out the unwanted warm undertones. I also choose not to use the word "glaze" because when I think of a glaze I think of a doughnut and that just makes me hungry.

Here are two side by side selfies of me in my pjs. I used a gloss to freshen up my color in between my color services. Color fades, especially artificial red hair color. Be sure to ask your colorist what your hair maintenance will be before you decide to change your color. This is something that is important to be clear on before changing your color because if you don't plan to keep up with monthly maintenance, for example, you definitely shouldn't become an artificial red head... But I'll save those details for another post!

xoxo Erika


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