Congratulations, you have made the big decision to change your hair color – that’s the hard work done, right?
Wrong. Now the job of selecting a shade begins. And let’s face it, if it was as simple as choosing between blonde, brunette, black and red, there wouldn’t be a need for HairColorCode.com!
When it comes to shades there are literally hundreds if not thousands of possibilities so it is wise to start by narrowing down your options.
Get started by finding your level
To kick things off, let’s start by selecting your level. This is how light or dark you want to go, and obviously a strong determination of whether you become a brunette or a blonde. Level 1 is the darkest and Level 10 is the lightest (however some cosmetic brands go up to Level 12).
As a general guide, Level 1 is black (reserved for the Goth kids) and Level 2 is typically the color found is most Asian/Indonesian hair. Levels 8 through 10 are the very lightest blonde (but remember to allow room for margin as every brand is slightly different). We are not concerned with tonality or shade here, just the lightness or darkness of your color.
Next step, pick your perfect tone
Ok, so you have chosen your level, the next step is to select your tone. This is how you tailor your color to your complexion and your wardrobe.
When it comes to tones you will have three options, cool, neutral or warm. Let’s say for example you have selected Level 4. You now have the choice of Level 4 cool, Level 4 neutral or Level 4 warm. Each of these categories will contain two or three specific shades so you can find the one that is exactly right for you.
The three options when it comes to tone:
So how do you decide if you are cool, neutral or warm?
One of the best indicators of your perfect tone is your skin complexion and eye color
Check out this article on selecting a color for your skin tone.
An understanding of tones is invaluable when it comes to color correction, for example if your neutral shade becomes ‘brassy’ you can select a shade with cool tones at the same level to balance it out.
There are some tonal selections which might initially seem confusing, for example ‘cool reds’ such as burgundy and merlot shades, these are called secondary pigments and are another means of subtly changing your color.
And Now it’s time to pick your next hair color shade!
Once you have decided on a level, and either a cool, neutral or warm tone, you will have narrowed down your options to two or three shades. Which one you go for is entirely up to you, but hopefully if you have followed these steps the choice should be a little less daunting!
If you’re ready to pick your new shade, check out our Hair Color Chart
Color does not have to be tricky, but a little research will help you to make the best choices. Whether you are coloring your hair at home, or starting negotiations with a professional, an understanding of levels, tones and shades will help you predict the end result prior to placing the product on your precious locks.Hair Color Shades - A Selection Guide,