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How To Use The Color Wheel To Formulate Your Perfect Hair Color        

 


The color wheel is the perfect foundation for home hair color. Designed to visually show how primary, secondary and tertiary colors interact with each other, it also shows how warm and cool colors either complement or counteract each other. A color wheel is the next closest thing to having your own personal stylist standing beside you as you color your hair.


As hair lightens, "underlying pigment" or undertones appear. Look at the chart above. Across the top are the 10 identifying "levels" of hair color. Underneath each are the undertones that appear as hair is lightened to that particular level. As it happens, the underlying pigment chart simplifies and illustrates the helpful information the hair color wheel so badly wants you to understand.
    

 

Warmth Appears As Hair Lightens

  Hair always lightens to warm tones. More often than not, home hair colorists turn to the color wheel as an aid to "counteract" strong undertones. Follow the steps below to get the most benefit from the hair color wheel:

      1) Determine the hair color you want to achieve.
      2) Looking at the underlying pigment chart, find the level of the color that you want to achieve.
      3) Note that colors' underlying pigment.
      4) Find the underlying pigment color on the color wheel.
      5) Beginning at the above determined underlying pigment on the colorwheel, trace your finger directly across the color wheel to find its counteracting tone. Below is the terminology associated with the counteracting tones.

  •  Here are the descriptive terms used for hair colors:
  •    * "Ash" is the descriptive term associated with green-the counteracting tone for red hair. Levels 1,2, 3 even 4&5-black, black brown, very dark brown, & dark brown. (Personal note: Level 5 hair color is often called a medium brown-I disagree. I strongly feel that it is much closer to a dark brown than a medium brown.)
  •     * "Smokey", "cool", "beige" and yes, sometimes "ash" (note that when "ash"is used here, it refers to the lighter tones noted below) refers to blue. Blue based hair colors balance orange. Brassy orange tones appear as dark hair is lightened to dark blonde and lighter hair color (levels 7.5 and above ).  
  •     * "Platinum", "icy"" champagne" and once again, "ash" is purple based which counteracts yellow.  (When counteracting yellow, be sure that the hair is actually yellow- (level 9 or above) not light gold-( level 8,8 1/2). Why?  Look at the color wheel in the picture in the video above. Purple is made up of of red and blue.  The red in the purple will  intensify the gold undertone. A strand test is so vital to determine which counteracting tone (i.e. hair color) is best to use. 
Use The Color Wheel to Cool Down That Warmth

 
    

Even when you've successfully put together the right formula, there are times when the color wheel doesn't seem to be the color expert you've been led to believe it to be. Why? This is Laurie. Below are several examples of the challenges her hair has experienced:
     1) Sometimes Laurie's hair might have an abundance of a particular undertone-particular to the level she's trying to achieve. Slightly darkening Laurie's hair color would be the perfect solution to balancing the brassiness. (Adding even just a few drops to a capful of a darker color to your previous formula can make a big difference.) Darker than you would like? Add a few highlights to give the illusion of lightness.
     2) Laurie may have lightened her hair more than two shades resulting in stubborn undertones, seemingly unwilling to budge. See above.
     3) When/if Laurie continuously "refreshes" her hair ends with the permanent color formula used on her roots, the porosity of the hair is destroyed, making her hair unable to hold the hair color. Shortly after she's colored her hair, it fades to a dull,  brassy color".
   Laurie first needs to recondition her hair. Neutral Protein Filler will help to even out the porosity issues with Laurie's hair. The next time she colors her hair, the filler should be applied to her ends per the directions. Then each time afterwards, added to her color before refreshing the color.
     Mixing your hair color can fine tune it or "double up" to add impact to the counteracting tones. Following is a formula for Laurie's hair that would avoid this brassy color.  
Mix: 1/2 oz 7.1 Dark Ash Blonde Preference Liquid Creme hair color
 1/2 oz.  7.1B Medium Ash Blonde Preference Liquid Creme hair color
  1 oz. 20 Volume peroxide
Looking at the color wheel (above in my video picture above) level 7 undertone is orange. Straight across from orange on the "wheel" is blue. Blue is the undertone of beige. That's the "b" in this formula and with the ash also in this formula, the counteracting ability of the formula doubles.
   
   Learning to use the color wheel takes a little practice. Always remember the power of strand testing.









  



   1) Determine your natural hair color shade- in hair color lingo, shades are referred  to as ."levels". Reference the chart below. (When in doubt, think darker rather than lighter). 
   1) Determine your natural hair color shade- in hair color lingo, shades are referred  to as ."levels". Reference the chart below. (When in doubt, think darker rather than lighter). 
   1) Determine your natural hair color shade. In hair color lingo, shades are referred  to as "levels". Reference the chart above. (When in doubt, think darker rather than lighter). 

   2) Determine the level of your desired hair color. Learn the level attached to that particular color by referring to this same hair color chart. Not sure how to find your ideal hair color levels? A strand consultation will answer that question for you.
   1) Determine your natural hair color shade. In hair color lingo, shades are referred  to as "levels". Reference the chart above. (When in doubt, think darker rather than lighter). 

   2) Determine the level of your desired hair color. Learn the level attached to that particular color by referring to this same hair color chart. Not sure how to find your ideal hair color levels? A strand consultation will answer that question for you.
   1) Determine your natural hair color shade. In hair color lingo, shades are referred  to as "levels". Reference the chart above. (When in doubt, think darker rather than lighter). 

   2) Determine the level of your desired hair color. Learn the level attached to that particular color by referring to this same hair color chart. Not sure how to find your ideal hair color levels? A strand consultation will answer that question for you.
   1) Determine your natural hair color shade. In hair color lingo, shades are referred  to as "levels". Reference the chart above. (When in doubt, think darker rather than lighter). 

   2) Determine the level of your desired hair color. Learn the level attached to that particular color by referring to this same hair color chart. Not sure how to find your ideal hair color levels? A strand consultation will answer that question for you.
Black (1&2)                         Red
Very Dark Brown (3&4)    Red Orange
Dark Brown (5)
Medium Brown (6)
Light Brown (7)
Dark Blonde (8)
Medium Blonde (9)
Light Blonde (10)    
Black (1&2)                         Red
Very Dark Brown (3&4)    Red Orange
Dark Brown (5)
Medium Brown (6)
Light Brown (7)
Dark Blonde (8)
Medium Blonde (9)
Light Blonde (10)    
Black (1&2)                         Red
Very Dark Brown (3&4)    Red Orange
Dark Brown (5)
Medium Brown (6)
Light Brown (7)
Dark Blonde (8)
Medium Blonde (9)
Light Blonde (10)    


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