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Chart of Hair Colors Can be Deceiving!

Chestnut Brown or Brunette Hair Color

There is more to reading a chart of hair colors than meets the eye!

I just changed the professional line of hair color that I personally use color my hair a new brand, Matrix Logics. I used Framesi hair coloring products for years, but I was seeing some results from Logics that I really liked and I think change is good every so often so, I decided opted for a brand change.

Well, it was a bigger project than I thought and it brought to mind the problems you DIY’ers are up against when trying to choose the right hair color from a chart of hair colors.

My experience tells me most women who experiment with home hair color, (especially those who are new to using a chart of hair color,) will get it WRONG! It’s not that you can’t get a color shade that you like over-the-counter, many women can, but sometimes only after the pain of getting it very wrong! The culprit is not knowing your own base hair color and not taking the time to read all directions.

To come up with the hair color you desire this formula needs to be used:

Starting hair color + new hair color = finished hair color.

The problem most women have is they look at a hair color swatch and choose, let’s say, dark brown with light gold high lights and think that’s what they will get! It may seem logical but . . . that won’t happen! The problem is their starting hair color was not considered and it contributes to the outcome of the finished hair color.

The colors to choose from on any chart of hair colours will have levels and tones to consider. Levels of hair color have to do with darkest color (black) to the lightest color (platinum blondes). Tones have to do with cool or warm tones like, ash tones, red tones or golden tones.

To give you an idea of how I use a chart of hair colors; this is what I used to reformulate my hair color. I was a level 7 (light golden brown) and wanted to deepen my hair color to a level 5 (medium brown) and tone down the gold. Now, again remember:

Starting hair color + new hair color = finished hair color

Starting hair color – Roots are a level 4 with over 50% gray. Rest of hair is colored a light golden brown level 7.

New hair color – Permanent hair color – Equal parts 6NN and 4NN with 20 volume developer on roots for 45 minutes. Rest of hair used a demi-permament hair color 2 parts 6N to 1 part 8G with 5 volume developer for 20 minutes.

Finished hair color – Level 5 (medium brown hair) with warmth

This formula worked perfect for my desired results! On the contrary, if I had just picked up a box of hair color ‘medium brown’ and just poured it on my head; I would have ended up with lighter roots and black hair!

A professional hair colorist has more control of the hair color you can achieve. But, if you want to do your own hair coloring at home, remember not to choose a color just by its name or color on the front of the box, but read the back of the box thoroughly, know your own base hair color and take your time to get it right – or DON’T do it!

Picture of a Chart of Hair Colors



1 Comment »

  1. This is why I usually let a trained professional handle coloring. It scares me to try and do it myself using a color chart and hoping the color turns out like it says it was.

    Comment by Best of Beehive — October 6, 2010 @ 11:27 am

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