Skip to Content

Hair Color Numbers Decoded: Shade Chart for Blonde, Brunette and Red (2024)

This site is supported by our readers. We may earn a commission, at no cost to you, if you purchase through links.

hair color numbersThere you are, standing in front of the hair color wall—rows and rows of numbers, letters, slashes, dots. Overwhelmed? Don’t be. With some know-how, you’ll crack the color code and find your perfect shade in no time.

See, each formula contains clues about the level, tone and intensity that’ll help you zero in on your best match. Start by checking the number before the decimal—that’ll give you the depth from black to blonde.

Can’t decide between two similar hues? Grab ’em both and blend your custom color creation right in the bowl. With a few simple tricks, you’ll be a hair color pro decoding those numbers and expressing your true color essence in no time.

Now grab your cape and let’s get mixing!

Key Takeaways

  • Hair color uses a numbering system where the first number indicates depth on a scale of 1-10, and numbers after the decimal point indicate cool or warm undertones.
  • Cool undertones complement pinkish skin, warm undertones match peachy complexions, and plum/burgundy tones look good with dark skin.
  • Hair color shades and reflects are influenced by natural pigment concentrations, so professional colorists analyze each client’s hair.
  • Understanding your natural hair level, tone, and features is crucial for selecting personalized hair coloring, whether do-it-yourself or done by a professional.

Hair Color Level System

Hair Color Level System
You’re looking at levels when picking the right hair hue. The first number in those 4-digit hair color codes reveals depth – how light or dark the shade is. Like paint chips or crayons, levels start at 1 for black and climb to 10 for pale blonde.

They measure how much your strands’ pigment has been lifted. Higher numbers equal lighter locks as more natural melanin gets removed. But bleach isn’t the answer. That just fries fragile follicles, leaving straw-like strands.

Have pros safely open the cuticle so dyes can seep in and alter underlying tones. Request a personalized consultation to find your ideal level based on your complexion, eye color and style goals. With the right formula, you’ll get beautiful, dimensional color that flatters your features.

Hair Color Tones Explained

Hair Color Tones Explained
The numbers after the period signify your hair’s undertones. Cooler tones like ash brown or ash blonde have numbers like.1 and.11, while warmer coppery tones are.3 or 33. Knowing your hair’s undertones is crucial since the wrong tone can wash you out or make your complexion look ruddy.

During your personalized L’Oréal hair color consultation, your colorist will expertly match tones to your skin. Cool, pinkish skin looks best in ash or gold shades. Warm, peachy complexions need caramel or beige to neutralize redness.

Your colorist can mix custom tones to enhance your natural beauty. With the right balance of warm and cool pigments tailored to you, your color will be luminous.

Hair Color Reflects and Shades

Hair Color Reflects and Shades
Underneath your natural shade of hair lies a complex color made up of different pigment concentrations that affect how light is reflected. This is what hair color reflects and shades are all about. Knowing your reflects will allow you to enhance your natural features through personalized coloring.

Our expert colorists use tools like the virtual try-on to preview how different dye combinations will interact with the undertones in your unique hair. This helps us recommend on-trend shades tailored just for you – whether you want to softly blend away grays or make a bold hair color statement.

With the right reflects, we can create a look that complements your complexion and eye color for natural beauty. Trust our salon professionals to analyze your natural hair color numbers and match you with a personalized shade.

We stay on top of the latest trends while considering how color combinations will flatter your individual features for hair you’ll love.

Hair Color Numbers by Brand

Hair Color Numbers by Brand
Working with L’Oréal Professionnel’s hair color numbering system requires trained expertise in hair color. Their numbers use a unique four-figure format like 5.8, where the first number before the decimal represents the shade’s base tone, and the two digits after indicate the dominant hue.

L’Oreal Professionnel

With expertise guiding the distinct tones and levels, L’Oréal Professionnel’s four-digit color system considers your features for a tailored result. Our salon colorists blend artistry with science, assessing your skin’s undertones and eye colors before painting your canvas with shades meant just for you.

With a personalized color consultation, we decode trends into hues that complement your complexion. Try colors virtually first, then let us mix customized pigments to accentuate your beauty. Our nuanced system translates inspiration into unique colors personalized for you.

Other Brands

Brands use letters ‘n numbers uniquely for undertones and levels to represent their shades euphemistically. Each brand has its own hair color numbering system to categorize tones and depths. While the numbering methods differ, the concepts are universal across professional products.

The first digit indicates the depth, from 1 bein’ black to 10 bein’ lightest blonde. The numbers after the period represent tones that neutralize or enhance natural undertones. Brands add letters to specify color tones like ash or copper. Special Mix options help achieve your perfect hue.

Choosin’ the right formulation starts with determinin’ your levels and tones. A customized consultation creates the most natural, dimensional color.

Factors Affecting Final Hair Color

Factors Affecting Final Hair Color
Hey there! When it comes to interpreting hair color numbers and achieving your ideal shade, it’s crucial to understand how the level, tone, and your unique features all come into play. Getting an expert color consultation tailored to your specific hair goals is the best way to ensure you walk out of the salon with a gorgeous, flattering hue that complements your complexion.

Understanding Color Levels

You’ve got to wrap your head around the full scope of hair color levels to choose the right shade for you. The level chart is key for matching tones and reflections to your desired color result. It indicates lightness, from pale 10 down to rich, dimensional 1. But the level is just the canvas – tone provides artistic expression.

Like an artist’s palette, combine color families with cool and warm hues for your signature look. It’s all about finding balance between depth, dimension and allowing your inner spirit to shine through.

– Interpreting Tone Numbers

Bout that tone number – the digits after the period indicate the dominant hue, so.1 equals ash while.4 means copper. Interestingly, over 60% of women express a preference for warm, golden undertones.

  • Violet tones counteract unwanted redness.
  • Blue tones neutralize brassy yellow tones.
  • Green tones cancel out red and purple tones.
  • Beige tones soften intensity.
  • Silver tones brighten and illuminate.

Fantastic colorists artfully apply complementary tones when painting the canvas of your hair. By considering your eyes, skin, personality – the complete you – they handpick tones to allow your inner light to shine.

– Personalized Consultation

Rather than relying on a generic chart, ask your stylist to analyze your features for a personalized shade. Professional colorists have the skills to enhance your natural beauty. They’ll examine your skin, eyes, hair to mix a custom color.

Try that virtual try-on tool too. Nothing beats an in-person consultation with an expert who understands hair color numbers.

Choosing the Right At-Home Color

Choosing the Right At-Home Color
You see hair color codes listed on at-home hair color boxes, but do you know what they really mean? To pick the perfect shade that flatters your complexion, you must determine your natural level, understand hair color tones indicated by letters or numbers, and learn techniques to neutralize unwanted warm or cool undertones.

With some practice reading codes, you’ll become adept at selecting complementary colors for beautiful results.

Understanding Color Codes

You’d be wise to look beyond the numbers and see the rainbow. Understanding hair color codes unlocks your shade potential.

  1. The first number indicates your base level.
  2. The digits after the decimal reveal tone.
  3. Your strands’ pigment affects the final result.
  4. Consult a colorist for personalized guidance.
  5. Carefully choose your at-home color.

With some color code savvy, you can discover the right hue for you. Play with dimension, glow, and shades that feel uniquely you.

– Determining Natural Hair Level

It’s best to assess your natural hair level before grabbing those drugstore boxes. Compare strands to the color chart’s levels. Your undertones also come into play. Madison Reed has a quiz identifying your depth level and primary tones before suggesting secondary hues.

Knowing your natural base provides insight into which drugstore shades will work or if professional help is best.

– Neutralizing Unwanted Tones

You’ll want to counteract unwanted warmth or coolness with complementary tones when coloring at home. For instance, if you notice brassiness creeping into your blonde, go for an ashier tone next time to neutralize the unwanted warmth.

Tone correction helps manage undertones and unwanted reflections. Careful color balancing and neutralizing techniques allow you to create your ideal shade. Focus on hair color numbers that target correcting tones, so you get the exact hair color you desire.


Vivid shades captured by numbers—this comprehensive hair color system empowers you to confidently request your ideal hue. With mastery over levels, tones, and reflects, you can walk into any salon and say, I’d like a level 7 copper with intense red reflects.

Let the colorist handle the mixing while you focus on expressing your colorful personality. Our shared language transforms visions of luminosity into luscious locks. Now you can seamlessly articulate the exact color that reflects your essence.

Avatar for Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim Sweileh

Mutasim is a published author and software engineer and beard care expert from the US. To date, he has helped thousands of men make their beards look better and get fatter. His work has been mentioned in countless notable publications on men's care and style and has been cited in Seeker, Wikihow, GQ, TED, and Buzzfeed.