Because why not?

Schwarzkopf - Live Colour Silver Toner.

28 January 2014
Blondes will know the importance of toning, for me it is absolutely critical that I tone my hair on a regular basis as my colour is still in transition and it's quite easy for my hair to show yellow and orange tones.

When it comes to toning there are a few options:
  • Peroxide activated: Kind of like a hair dye that is mixed with peroxide so that it will attach it's self to the hair, fairly long lasting as far as I'm aware (few weeks I think?) but can damage hair. these come in liquid, cream and powder form.
  • Cream: Semi permanent hair colour in a cream base, doesn't last very long as it washes out over time but doesn't damage the hair either. Can be used as often as you like to maintain your colour.
  • Home made: Semi permanent hair colour mixed in a conditioner base, my next frontier in hair toning. Also can be used as often as you please.
With that said there may be more that I'm not aware of, it you know of any let me know in the comments.

So I'm sitting here with this Live Colour Silver Toner in my hair right now and I just wanted to get down my first impressions and application feels, because there are a few of them.

First up, as you can see, these things come in foil packets. What the fuck?

I picked up three of these because I have a fair bit of hair to cover but when I saw the pissy little packets they came in....

Anyway I put aside my disgust and got down to it, I'd clarified my hair beforehand and tried my best to comb it out with my Tangle Teezer but it was no easy feat, wet bleach damaged hair that hasn't been conditioned is almost impossible to detangle. After sectioning off my hair and throwing the annoying glove packets across the room I started to put the toner in my hair.

On the first section of hair I felt my stomach drop. I knew that three packets were not going to be nearly enough to do this properly, I knew I was going to need at least double that amount but since I'd already stepped in to the flowing brown creek to Hell there was no going back.

The package says "Adds Condition" so I assumed it would be easy to work through the hair. WRONG HAILEY! This is like trying to work cement through hair and unless you have blonde hair that is in tip top shape you're going to have to work hard to make sure this is evenly distributed. By the time I had used up the contents of my three pathetic foil sachets I had estimated that I would need a minimum of 6 packets to do this properly and while I clipped up my hair I took deep breaths and reminded myself that I would be able to fix this within 48 hours at the most.

Ok let me go back to some important info that I've left out.
These retail for about $5 a packet and has no indication anywhere as to how much product that they contain but unless you have hair as short as the models pictured on the box you are going to need a hell of a lot more than one packet. It's a gentle formula that contains no ammonia or peroxide so it won't damage your hair at all, it claims to last 6-8 washes, the instructions say to apply and leave for 5-10 minutes but the results will be minimal, I left mine for well over an hour because I'm aiming for maximum results. Each pack comes with instructions and those annoying gloves.

If your hair is any longer than these two love birds you'll need more than one packet.
This should be applied to wet clean hair, so shampoo it (something clarifying is best), skip the conditioner and leave in products, towel dry it and work the toner through sections until completely covered.

Toner in. Purple areas around my face should tone to a silvery white, the sections where you can still see the blonde tones in my hair aren't covered enough, hair should be saturated completely for maximum effectiveness.

I skipped the gloves, as I always do when using a cream toner that doesn't contain ammonia or peroxide, my hands looked like this by the end of the application:

And after scrubbing with soap and a nail brush looked like this:

I like to live dangerously.

By the time I rinsed my hair I had zero remnants of the colour left on my skin. While rinsing I was annoyed that my hair didn't really feel conditioned, it was slightly softer but no where near enough when it came to what my hair needed so I had to put conditioner in there, since these are semi permanent this caused quite a bit of colour run stright off the bat. I reminded myself to stop grinding my teeth.

A quick snap of my hair before toning:
Hair damp before toning, lightest area is on top of my head.

Lengths damp before toning, yellow monstrosity!

Out of the shower I inspected my hair. My lightest sections were a beautiful silver with very slight lavender hints when the light hit it right (awesome because this is what I'm aiming for in the long run), my darker sections looked a little ashier which is great but I could see horrid streaks of yellow in there as well and I'm positive is due to not having enough fucking product in those foil packets. what are these bloody sample packs!?!?

Do those grey/purple sections frighten you? 
Now I do like this as toner, let me be clear on that, it works and it does a good job. If you're a platinum blonde and you are going for a temporary white or silver this is a good way to go, if you're a light or dark blonde and looking to tone down your yellow this will work, leave it in for an hour though, your hair will only take so much colour so it won't turn out purple and you can always wash it again if you think it's too much. The only thing I can't stress enough is that your hair needs to be well coated in this stuff so if you're thinking about giving this a go buy many packets, many, many packets!

Hair after toning and fully dried, the grey/purple dries to a pretty silver white.
A nice shot of what happens when you don't use enough product, yellow streaks through the hair.

  • Colour takes well to hair and tones effectively.
  • Slightly conditions hair so if your hair is in good shape you won't have the need to condition after use.

  • Bloody foil sachets, not only are they annoying to handle with slippery fingers or gloved hands, they also hold a pathetic amount of product.
  • Not conditioning enough for bleach damaged hair.
  • Expensive in comparison to other supermarket toners, even if you only need one packet it works out cheaper to opt for other just as effective products.

It works and it works well but I won't be buying these again simply because of the packaging and the fact that it'll cost me just a little under $30 for enough product for one application. Schwarzkopf sell a Nordic Blonde branded toner in a nice big tube for about $10 which is a generous amount to do my hair and I'm pretty sure it's the same stuff just in a large tube. Cheeky marketing.

Just a quick note before I end this post, I haven't bothered to see how many washes this will last before posting this as I know it'll differ for everyone but with these types of supermarket cream toners I generally feel the need to tone again after 4-5 washes but that also varies depending on the cleansing products I use. 

Do you have a favourite toning product? Let me know what it is in the comments!

All Products were purchased by myself and I'm in no way affiliated with any of the companies mentioned unless otherwise stated. Links provided are for shopping examples only, I have personally purchased from some (not all) of these online stores but I highly recommend researching before buying.

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9 comments on "Schwarzkopf - Live Colour Silver Toner."
  1. I'm glad i don't have blonde hair! It seems like so much effort to get it to look right!
    Your hair looks beautiful though! I love the silverness of it!

    1. It's definitely a lot of work but I enjoy it, I think the desire to have weird hair colours comes with the drive and determination to make it work haha.

  2. I love Matrix So Silver. I find that using the shampoo once a week, seems to keep brassiness away :)

    1. Ohh thanks for the tip! The silver shampoo I'm using at the moment is awesome but pricey. I'm afraid to try anything else though in case it's no good, always nice to have recommendations!

  3. I think bleached hair needs some serious moisturing and restoration. I personal think the pro naturals hair repair mask wpould work great for you.

    1. Thank you for the recommendation Mel, totally agree that the most important thing for bleached hair is to be treated really well! I have a list as long as my arm of products to try out but it's even better when something comes with backing from a real person.

  4. I was looking at these, they cost $9 a packet in the supermarket so I was trying to find some info on how much was in there -disappointed that there is so little! I have hair a similar length to yours, paying $9 per packet I may as well fork out the money for one of the expensive purple/blue conditioners!
    Do you think that maybe this could go a bit further with some white conditioner?
    I was hoping this would be an easy, readily available and not too expensive option... Not sure what to do now!

    I did try the wella T18 and it worked pretty well, but it's very hard to get here and expensive, so I have to get it off ebay (which is a pain) and generally you want to put developer with it so it's not fantastic after bleaching.. I have just been using my own mix of directions plum and atlantic blue with conditioner, as well as steiner silver brights conditioner when I can't be bothered -it does work reasonably well, but it smells really gross..
    I have also tried a toner from schwarzkopf (I think it was the nordic blonde?) it barely did anything to my hair and was purple rather than blue. It also made my hair really horrible, made me wonder what on earth they put in there. Onto the next product!

    1. You could mix this with some conditioner but keep in mind that it will dilute the pigment so it may not work so well.

      I've been wanting to try the Wella T18 but I refuse to pay those stupid prices! Also I've come to the point where using any form of bleach or developer on my already lightened hair frightens me and feel like I'm walking a fine line between keeping the hair I have and it all snapping off or turning to cotton candy.

      I use Manic Panic Ultraviolet mixed with conditioner to tone and I'm quite happy with doing that, right now my hair is lavender but when this method is used for toning or colouring the maintenance is so time consuming!

      I quite liked the nordic blonde toner, it took to my hair well but I tend to use it after bleaching so the hair is able to take the colour well.

    2. I bought a couple (found some for $5) to try out and was really disappointed!
      I'm not sure what the deal is, I bought this "colour" but it didn't look anything like the pictures you've added =/
      Basically I paid $5 per sachet for the same stuff you get in the nordic blonde toner tube -which has always been useless for me (even straight after bleaching) =(
      I don't know what it is but my hair can feel fine after bleaching and then I use that stuff and it just ruins it..
      I ended up wussing out with the main bleach (as per usual lol), but I had bought the schwarzkopf silver blonde lightening kit for such an issue and the bleach was smelly but did the job, and it came with two sachets of silver toner -they were bigger than these sachets and had a much better colour!
      I left it on too long but it came out a really nice lilac/light lavender colour which came down to a really nice silver after deep conditioning =D (Ok, and a bit of panicked washing with sulfate products)
      Cost $15 but I think it'll be my go to thing now, both sachets generously covered my very thick shoulder length hair -gutted about spending the money on the sachet of light purple disappointment though lol steiner silver brights conditioner is darker than the product I got!

      T18 does a pretty decent job, I think I paid $15 on ebay? But I figure now if I'm going to put more developer on I may as well just bleach it a little more lol (I'm very lucky that my hair can handle it).
      I wish manic panic was cheaper! I can get directions for $10 including shipping so MP is kinda off the table for me at the moment =P