- Go here if you are looking for the Hair Colouring Category for the listings of Hair Colouring Products.
- Go here if you are looking for the article Hair Colour Looks.
- Go here if you are looking for the article Hair Levels.
- Go here if you are looking for the article Hair Tones.
- 1 Basics
- 2 Advance
- 3 Colours and Shades
- 3.1 Blonde
- 3.2 Brunette
- 3.3 Red / Ginger
- 3.4 Black
- 3.5 Vivid Colours
- 4 Colouring Techniques
Before you Colour
- Make sure your hair is in good condition.
- Consider cost and cost of upkeep.
- Consider the damage to your hair and how long it would take to grow out fully to the same length.
- For corrections or changes to already coloured hair considering going to a professional.
- For bleached hair colour from natural hair colour considering going to a professional.
Choosing a Colour
Consider your skin tone and your natural hair colour. Going a few shades darker or lighters is less drastic but more intense colours or larger level jumps could make your face look obscured or harder.
Pastels and bright colours require more upkeep as they fade quicker with every wash. Often the best results on colouring hair for bright colours and pastel colours are Levels 7-10. Dark vibrant colours tend to work best with Levels 4-5.
Hair grows approximately half and inch a month which in turn requires upkeep about every four weeks.
Hot roots usually occur when hair has previously been dyed, with virgin roots. The roots lighten faster than the previously dyed lengths of the hair, but usually lighten in a brassy way, giving the appearance of orange roots and darker lengths.
Deep conditioning, having less frequent washes and avoiding swimming in chlorine, etc. Are just somethings to make sure when considering an after care routine or program.
Colour Depositing Products
Hair colors are divided into 10 different levels. Some brands use 10+, 11 or 12 but they basically fall under Level 10.
|10||White Blonde (Platinum)||Pale Yellow (Yellow)||Violet (Purple)|
|9||Light Blonde (9.5 Lightest Blonde)||Yellow (Yellow)||Violet (Purple)|
|8||Medium Blonde (8.5 Medium/Light Blonde)||Gold (Yellow-Orange)||Blue-Violet (Blue)|
|7||Dark Blonde (7.5 Medium/Dark Blonde)||Gold-Orange (Orange)||Blue (Cool Ash/Blue)|
|6||Light Brown (6.5 Lightest Brown)||Orange (Red-Orange)||Blue-Green (Ash)|
|5||Medium Brown (5.5 Medium/Light Brown)||Red (Red)||Green (Matte)|
|4||Dark Brown (4.5 Medium/Dark Brown)||Red (Red-Violet)||Yellow-Green (Matte)|
|3||Darkest Brown, Brown-Black or Soft Black (3.5 Darkest Brown)||Dark Red-Brown/Red-Brown (Violet)||Yellow (Beige)|
|2||Medium Black or Natural Black||Dark Red-Brown (Blue-Violet)||Yellow-Orange (Golden)|
|1||Black, Pure or Blackest Black||Darkest Red-Brown (Blue)||Orange (Copper)|
This chart follows the levels that drugstore brands follow. This chart applies to the levels that this wiki follows, seeing how most the hair dyes on this site are drugstore brands.
Keep in mind that when using professional hair dyes, they don't follow the same levels that drugstore brands do. A Level 6 light brown to you could be a Level 7 dark blonde to professionals. Black is still considered a Level 1 but Level 2 is considered darkest brown for professional hair dyes and the chart goes on from there. This chart is important for people who want to color their hair, especially for those who want to bleach their hair.
Remember that not all hair will go through all ten stages of bleaching. Only those with black hair will, depending on the desired level.
There are some of the different names for the undertones in hair dyes (for the full list go here):
- Ash - Hair dyes that include the word "Ash" in the name typically means the hair dye is more cool-toned. They consist of green, blue and pale violet undertones. These cancel out any unwanted red, orange, brassy, gold, and yellow undertones.
- Golden - Gives nice warmth to the hair. Superior gray coverage. In some cases, it can turn brassy and become more of a red-orange undertone.
- Copper - Enhances gold to orange undertones into a nice fiery copper tone.
- Mahogany - Neutralizes deep red to orange undertones into a nice cool red undertone.
- Red - Maximizes red to orange undertones to create beautiful red tones.
- Chocolate - Sometimes referred as "Mocha" is a dark rich neutral polychromatic type blend that takes advantage of all primary and secondary tones.
Remember that all colors are made from three Primary Colors: Blue, Red, and Yellow. Equal portions of blue, red, and yellow will create a neutral color. Think of it as a math equation: Blue + Red = Violet, Violet + Yellow = ? (look at the color wheel chart and apply it to the formula). So, what does it equal? A neutral color because yellow is right across violet on the color chart.
Secondary Colors are colors that are made when you mix equal parts of primary colors. Blue + Red = Violet, Red + Yellow = Orange, and Yellow + Blue = Green. Colors that are right across from each other on the color wheel signify which colors cancel out each other. These are called Complementary Colors. Green cancels red, blue cancels orange, purple cancels yellow, etc. This color wheel chart is very helpful when making coloring mistakes.
Hair has different characteristics to keep in mind.
Texture — Diameter of the hair strand.
- Fine Hair — Lacks body, you barely feel the strand, very thin hair strand, lightens easily, and can turn out darker when depositing color
- Medium Hair — Has decent body, lightens fairly well, good when depositing color.
- Coarse Hair — Has great resistance to lightening and may have color end up lighter when depositing color.
Porosity — How porous the hair is.
- Porous — Hair is dull, cuticle is open, easy to lighten but is prone to grab color and fade quickly.
- Normal — Porosity shiny, cuticle is intact, has average response to lightening.
- Non-Porous — Tends to resist lightening and may need additional processing time.
Formation — How the hair grows, also considered type ex. Type 1, Type 2, etc.
- Straight Hair (Type 1) — Reflects more light.
- Wavy Hair (Type 2) — Midrow between straight and curly.
- Curly Hair (Type 3) — Diffuses light.
- Kinky Hair (Type 4) — Excessively Curly Hair may need a more intense tone because the hair is curling too much that it doesn't reflect light well and lessens the effect of the shade.
Different volumes of developer — Developers are key tools when dyeing hair. They're pretty much the things that make the hair dye work! For those of you who don't know, the developer is the white cream that comes in every hair dye box.
- 10 Volume — For optimum gray coverage and for lifting one level/depositing.
- 20 Volume — The happy medium. This is the most common developer used in boxed dyes. It's used to lift the hair 2 levels.
- 30 Volume — This is usually used for people who wish to go 3 to 4 levels higher. Don't be confused when boxed dyes say a certain dye is "Hi-Lift". Hi-Lift pretty much means the boxed dye is using a level 30 developer. This is good for people with black, dark brown, and medium brown colored hair wishing to go to a light brown color. There are also Hi-Lift colors for dark blondes wishing to go light blonde/platinum blonde.
- 40 Volume — This is the highest developer. This is used for when people want to go 4-5 shades lighter and when using bleach.
- Bleach — Bleach comes in the form of a powder. People usually chose a 20, 30, or 40 developer to mix with the powder when bleaching hair. Bleach is used to lift the hair 7+ levels.
Please keep in mind that volume 30, 40, and Bleach are very damaging to the hair. Just remember that the higher the volume, the more damage. This is why it is highly recommend by some people only dye their hair every 2-3 months to prevent as much damage as possible and to condition well.
Types of Hair Colouring
- Bleach — This is used to lift the color to any level. It lasts the longest and is hardest to get rid of. However, it is the most damaging.
- High Lift — This is used to lift the color 1 to 3 levels and may deposit color. Its lasts the longest and is less damaging than bleaching.
- Permanent — This is used to lift the color to pernitrate and deposit color. It lasts the longest and is good for coloring grays.
- Henna — This is used to deposit color. It lasts as long as other permanent dyes, causes no damage, is natural and is good for coloring grays.
- Semi-Permanent — This is used to deposit color and lasts anywhere from 5-8 weeks or 8-20+ shampoos.
- Demi-Permanent — This lasts longer than semi-permanent but is still not permanent. They will wash out eventually. This will lift the hair color around 1 level and is good for coloring grays.
- Toners — This is pretty much non-permanent hair dyes that is used as a colour corrector or neutralizer. For example, say you bleached your hair to blonde but it turned out a little too yellow-ish and you want to get rid of it. You would use a purple toner to cancel out the strong yellow tone of the hair. It is usually combined with a 10 or 20 volume developer because you're only depositing color, not lifting it. Toner is very common for people wishing to go blonde because going from a level 1 to a level 8 will most likely result in brassiness and will need toning.
- Temporary — This can consist of sprays, hair makeups, hair chalks, etc. tend to last in a range of 1 day to 1-3 washes.
Colours and Shades
This shade may require bleaching and possibly an anti-brass toner like a purple or blue shampoo or even an additional hair colouring step to add the desired effect. If the description mentions lightening or lifting it is a type of pigment removal—if it says only coverage or colour it is colour deposit.
The lightest hair colour for the most lack of pigment with a blue or purple wash or toner. High up keep if not naturally blonde and usually need to be done by professionals. Grey is added after as a colouring or shampoo.
Iridescent, Pearl, Ice and Crystal Blondes
- Iridescent (purple (violet) tones)
- Pearl (iridescent + blue tones)
- Ice or Crystal (blue tones)
The lightest of reds into blonde; copper, copper-golden or golden-copper tones.
A midrange shade in ash, beige, neutral, golden or copper tones.
Medium, Dark and Strawberry Blondes
Similar to light browns and strawberry blondes but just before or on the border the brunette or redhead hair spectrum. Often red blondes are considered both blonde and red, so it will most likely flatter those naturally blonde or naturally red.
Similar to medium and dark blondes but just past the fair hair spectrum.
The mid range of browns.
Similar to black browns but still identifiable as brown.
Ash, Blue and Cool Browns
If the brunette shade seems cooler than neutral-cool, it might be a ash toned, blue toned or "Cooler" ash toned brown, ideal for cool tones skin.
Beige and Neutral Browns
Universally flattering, these neutrals sometimes range neutral, neutral-cool or neutral-warm and are the safest brunette choices.
Bronze and Golden Browns
These warms are ideal for warm tones skin.
Mahogany or sometimes referred as "Burgundy Browns" or "Auburn", is deep, intense, vibrant or subtle purple, violet or red-violet toned brunette shade. It tends to be universal complimenting for all skin tones, as long as you can carry a dark shade because this shade usually is medium, dark to almost black range.
Sometimes referred as "Auburn" but is not to be mistaken as the red shade at most it could be interchangeable, reddish browns tends to be on the "Warmer" side should be avoided by olive toned skin.
Red hair dyes range from light to dark and orange-ginger/copper to red-auburns/burgundy.
The lightest of reds into blonde.
The brightest and oranges of reds.
The most intense, vivid and vibrant reds.
The mid range of reds or reddish brown.
The darker intense reds going as dark as reddish black.
Black dyes usually have a colour, unless it's jet black, that sheen in the light this means your dye options tend to be: black brown, black blue, reddish black and black violet.
Darkened vibrant colours: violets, red-violets, purples, blues, teals, green, etc. For for the purposes of this wiki dark reds and burgundies will be under the red shade.
Bright Colours fade more quickly.
Pastels usually require you going platinum blonde first.
Smokey / Dusty
A range of desaturated colours and/or grey and silver colours.
Metallic pastel to medium pink blonde hair.
A range of varying shades of orange, rose gold, red, peach and yellow.
A range of denim blue shades can be considered denim hair including: indigo, grey-blue, metallic blue and pastel blue. Grunge, faded and smokey blues are all considered in the denim spectrum as well.
Rainbow / Mermaid / Unicorn / Holographic
The most up keep to coloured hair, usually it is bright or pastel colours with ombré effect(s).
A range of varied rainbow colours as layered highlights or allover applied on darker or dark hair with ombré effect(s).
See Ombre Hair.
Highlights and Lowlights