What is toner and why do you need it?

Toner for some time received a bad rap with most people believing it was for hairdressers to correct orange/yellow highlights which sometimes it was, but in truth its mostly because of its name and lack of description. Of course, every hairdresser on the planet knows what one is but you the trusted guest doesn’t… Mostly likely because you haven’t had a proper explanation. Let’s change that…

What is a toner then?

Well toner quite simply is a semi or demi colour that adds a creative customisation to finishing your colour and quite literally toning your hair to the colour you want. Yes, it can help with unwanted tones/colours, but it really is so much more, what about adding a beautiful subtle rose gold to your highlights or give a bright warm honey to your balayage.

Toning isn’t just adding ash to blonde highlights either, you can tone brunettes, reds, golds, natural hair…well you get the idea.

Why do I need it?

Like I explained before one of the reasons is to finish your colour off giving it the edge it needed to make you go from meh to WOW. And the other reason is also to quite literally finish the colour… Let me explain;

When your hair is bleached it opens the cuticle and removes the colour pigments in your hair – the cuticle which is the top layer of your hair is what makes your hair look shiny or not depending on what is happening to them. The aim is to make them closed for healthy shiny looking hair, but like I said bleaching does the opposite of this. So, how do you get the gloss? Cue the wonderful toner! A true toner closes down the cuticle and deposits your desired colour pigments giving you Insta worthy tones, gloss and shine making it the most important part of the colouring process.

Now you’ve got your toner what next?

Its’ important that you understand that toners are not permanent colour that will fade and really, it’s hard to say how long they will last. There are somethings you can do to help get the best from your toner.

  1. Using the right products; sulfate free shampoo is best and if you can get a conditioning mask with colour in that really helps too. I give these as a bespoke add on to my colour services.
  2. DO NOT use really hot water; if you’re like me and you like to look like a lobster after the bath or shower then your colour isn’t going to last! Try having your hot bath or shower with your hair up, then turning it right down for washing your hair.
  3. How many washes; washing your hair every day will not help, if you can use dry shampoo and lessen the amount you wash your hair that will really help.

So next time you’re having your colour done make sure you ask your colour expert about the right toner for you!

Peace, love and beautiful hair

Steph x




But don’t worry it won’t be long till I’m back and ready to create your dream hair. Till then please keep up to date with news, videos and cool stuff on my socials and my blog.

Also I want you to know that going forward I am looking into my health and safety procedures, and seeing what I can do to make sure everything is as clean and safe as possible for each guest! I’ve started by taking online courses, such as the Barbicide disinfectant training.

Love Steph x



Whether you’re away to warmer climates or doing a staycation, you need to keep your locks looking and feeling fabulous. If you’re a hair extension wearer, you need to take extra care, but don’t worry I’ve got the perfect tips to make life easier. Because caring for your hair extensions on holiday doesn’t need to be hard. So make sure you save this for later!

Sun, Sea, Sand and Chlorine…..

4 things that can play havoc with your hair extensions, especially the bond!

Sweat can increase the ph value of your hair from neutral to alkaline, not good for the bond or hair – to help with this you should use my favourite Great Lengths product, Anti- Tap Water. This can go on as a pre-treatment when your out, then use when you wash your hair. Toal life saver this product, so pop it in ya bag!

Tie your hair back whenever your doing activities like pool and sea, go for a stylish fishtail braid and minimise knots when your hair gets wet. Want some inspo? Check out my pinterest board here.

Brush, brush, oh and brush. If you’re an extensions client of mine, you know that this is my biggest rule and holiday is no exception. Want fabulous hair that’s knot free? BRUSH IT! With the right brush of course, and I can hook you up with the best brush, which is also available in travel size for ya bleach bag. You’re welcome

Chlorine and minerals in water can be the cause of discolouration of hair extensions, yuck! Don’t let this happen to you by using Anti-Tap Water or Malibu C hard water treatment. Let’s not have a Love Island moment ay!

Sun Protection And After Sun!

Oh yes that’s right you can get it for your hair too! All of my ICON products contain sun protection, but one of my fav’s is Beachy Spray. This stuff contains real sea salt so you can get the look, without getting your bonds wet!! Also packed with vitamins like vitamin A, which helps with sun damage and vitamin E for healthy hair. This product will leave you with mermaid hair that everyone wants! £

“Did you know that suncream can discolour blonde hair and can be damaging to your bonds?”

Aftersun is very important and I’ve got the best cocktail, before you hit the bars for the real cocktails! So start with ICON’s Energy shampoo, this helps to super clean your scalp and hair. Taking off all the sea, pool and that discolouring sun lotion. Then use ICON’s infusion mask, you only need 60 seconds for this awesome product to work its magic. Towel dry and apply Anti-Tap Water and don’t wash it off, this will bring the bonds and hair back to it’s natural ph. So super shiny hair! Whoop! Then to finish it off with ICON’s Antidote, a total vitamin boost for your locks. For Blondes you can add a Malibu C blonde fresh treatment to the cocktail, to really help keep your colour perfect.

Once you’ve sunbathed all day and partied the night away, you can keep ya lush locks healthy by wearing a Silke London turban. This is a bloody must! And don’t just take my word for it, a lot of my clients wear it and swear by it. £50 from

So in summery my top tips for caring your hair extensions on holiday are:

  • Tie your hair up to avoid getting wet or any suncream on
  • Wear a hat whenever you can
  • Invest in good quality products that are suited to your hair
  • Get a Silk London bed hat!
  • Don’t let the bonds get too hot or put oil on them


Enjoy your holiday and tag me #zxaarholidayhair in your holiday selfies!

Steph x



A common problem I come across time again in the salon is thinning hair. Often I am asked how to combat this growing problem. And this can be hard without knowing what the cause is.



Different types of medication can affect your hair, skin and nails. Unfortunately this is a difficult one to tackle, but speaking with your doctor might be worth while.


Hormones can be a problematic factor at any age. A lot of the lovely ladies I talk to, find their hair thins after having a baby. Very common and normally goes back to normal after 2 years.

Vitamin Deficiency

This seems to be a very common problem. For whatever reason, diet, lifestyle etc, but more often now women have some form of vitamin deficiency, and believe it or not vitamins have a big part to play in good healthy hair.

Bad Products

In the year of 2019, technology is so advanced that we are more aware of the ingredients that we have been using in products for years. We now know and understand that things like silicons can cause serious damage.

So what can I do about it?

Fear not! I speak to so many fabulous women that feel there is nothing they can do, that they are stuck with hair that makes them feel awful. BUT there is!!

Firstly, if you believe there could be a medical or vitamin problem, speak with your doctor. Get some blood tests. Also if you’ve had a baby it can take up to 3 years to recover, make sure you start taking a postnatal vitamin, or a good multi vitamin.

Secondly, investing in good quality products that are suitable for your hair type and problems. If you are unsure then have a chat with your hairdresser.

Thirdly, hair extensions. BUT tread carefully with this as hair extensions can cause more harm. You need to do lost of research, the right method, the right specialist that is fully qualified & experienced. And following a good aftercare program. I have helped so many ladies through difficult hair problems, with hair extensions with fabulous results.

When does it go beyond the normal problems?

In some cases it’s more than the normal problems that can be fixed, it can be more serious and so you need to seek a professional. Things like alopecia can be hard to diagnose and can be every distressing, but you can do something about it.

Trichologist are hair doctors that have a wealth of knowledge in hair & scalp and can help with medicines and cutting edge technology. And in some cases you can see specialist hair integration hairdressers, these systems are like wigs but more permanent.

For more information on the hair loss systems, take a look at the dream girlz website below. These ladies are the best in the business, with a long client list and years of experience.



One of the hottest beauty must haves for women right now is hair extensions. And with so many types and methods out there, it can be a minefield to find the best ones.

But fear not! As Zxaar’s hair extensions guru I’ve got the perfect guide to help you sift through the good, the bad and the let’s just not even go there!


Let’s not get this method confused with glue. Good quality pre-bonded hair, doesn’t contain glue of any kind. In fact, bonds are normally made of natural materials that mimic the hair and help protect it.

There are two ways to apply pre-bonded hair, the most common which is heat, and the lesser known, cold fusion. Now heat is often damned for being “really bad” BUT what most people don’t know is that a heat machine doesn’t even heat up to a boiling kettle, let alone a pair of hair straighteners! So not as damaging or “bad” as everyone believes ay.

  • Duration: 4 – 6 months no refitting as they just grow down with the natural hair growth.
  • Salon maintenance: Low – Normally a visit a month after application is enough.
  • Aftercare: Easy – Good quality shampoo and conditioner with no sulphate or silicon, regular brushing right from the scalp over the bonds.
  • Suitability: Good for most hair types and densities. This is because the bonds can be customised to suit most hair densities.


This method is great for your bank balance and is less of a commitment. Made with a medical grade tape, hair is fused between two sandwiches of tapes, using a clamping tool. A full head can be applied in an hour and a half and is light on the hair.

  • Duration: 6 – 8 Weeks but good quality tapes can be applied up to 3 times.
  • Salon maintenance: High – Because re-taping needs to be done every 6-8 weeks.
  • Aftercare: Easy – Good quality shampoo and conditioner that are sulphate and silicon free. Cooler setting on the hair dryer and cooler water when washing.
  • Suitability: Great for fine hair as they are light weight. But good for most hair types.


Now if you know me, you’ll know I’m not a fan of micro rings. Mainly because I have never come across a set I’ve liked or a client has liked. I truly don’t rate them, BUT if you’re going to use the method, you need to do your homework. Micro rings are copper bands/rings that are used to ‘clamp’ pre-tipped hair extensions, to the natural hair. The hair can be reused due to the application method.

They are marketed as being better because they don’t need heat to be applied. That makes sense but as I explained earlier, good heat machines are not bad. Also you need to take into account that these are made from metal, which absolutely is not natural. This can and will have damaging affects on finer hair types.

  • Duration: 12 – 16 weeks the hair needs to be moved up.
  • Salon maintenance: High – Because they need to be moved up.
  • Aftercare: Easy – Any shampoo and conditioner, and no brushing from the root over the ‘bond’.
  • Suitability: Not great over all, easy to see. Not good for fine hair.


The La Weave is actually a trade mark name for a method of sew-in hair extensions. Copper rings lined with silicon are ‘clamped’ into the hair, then wefts of hair are sew into the copper rings. If you use good quality hair wefts, this can be cost affective as the hair can last for 18 months.

  • Duration: 8 – 12 weeks to be refitting but good hair can last for up to 18 months.
  • Salon maintenance: High – Refitting needed every 8 – 12 weeks.
  • Aftercare: Easy – Look after the hair and it will last.
  • Suitability: This is a heavy type of extensions, so not great for fine hair.


Information is key. The more research you do before investing in hair extensions, the better the outcome. Hair extensions can be amazing and give a much needed confidence boost, so make sure you ask to see ‘under the hood’ pictures as well as before and after. Ask about aftercare and how to look after them, and MOST importantly, make sure you only use a qualified hairdresser!

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