Using a Professional colour chart.

16 Sep

Welcome to BACK2MYROOTS B2MR: Regular postings of fresh new topic’:

Another look at the international hair colour chart .A topic worth reposting form time to time in the hopes that many get to read and understand How it works. Why it such a useful tool to have and trust.

The international colour chart is a system used to both asses the natural level of a clients hair and also provide many choices of colour shade and tone. Depending on ones target colour.

Why is all this so key? lets consider colour families shade and tone:

This is how we can start to apply this to our shade chart and so have an understanding of the basic’s of hair colouring.

I have included different versions of the colour wheel because it is my experience that we all digest or process information in different ways.

This diagram shows the break out of primary colours in the center working out through secondary into tertiary.

Quarternary colours are all the other combination’s of colour, including all the colours the eye can see

So onto the Eight colour families: and how they then relate to out colour chart.  We have what is know as an international colour code system. The number denotes lightness and darkness. The letter denotes shade and tone. Using the knowledge we have gained from the colour wheel, we are ready to move forward.

The N series is normally calibrated to control the warmth exposed at any given level working with up to 2 levels of lift. An example of this would be a natural level 6 would have enough Blue/Green to control the Red orange exposed in the under pigment at that level. [colour wheel] think opposite.

Note the N series is neutral a perfect blend of the primary colours at any given level 1-10.


Now we are starting to see how these colour rules/laws work in conjunction with our shade chart.

Lets look for example at Nc natural copper

This would sit on a colour wheel around level 7

It is a perfect balance at that level of our primary colours with secondary colours

red+yellow= orange

So NC or 7NC natural level 7 with copper.

At a level 7 as soon as you lift the hair the first pigment exposed will always be warm and always have an orange undertone.

Finally the last piece of the puzzle.

level refers to how dark or light the shade of hair.

These shades are divided into levels. note were level 7 sits!


Depth                                                Tone

*1 blue black  = blue base               /0 natural

*2 black                                           /1ash

*3 dark brown =violet base             /2 cool ash

*4 medium brown =red violet base /3 honey gold

*5 light brown =red                         /4 red               *6 dark blonde =red orange             / 5 purple         *7 medium blonde =orange             /6 violet

*8 light blonde =yellow orange       /7 brunette

*9 clear blonde = yellow                  /8 pearl ash

*10 extra light blonde = pale yellow / 9 soft ash

Therefore a colour which has a number of 6/1is the depth of dark blonde with ash tones, so it would be a dark ash blonde.

Lets take a look at our N series on our scale of 1 to 10 being as suggested Black 10 being the lightest

the most natural light level is a 9.


examples of the N series

Once we understand the N series we can  the different colour families from. Ash to Gold to Copper and Reds.

As we look at the shade chart we can see the families laid out N for Natural A for ash and so on  so for example a level 6 with Ash would be 6A or 6.1  level 9 with Ash would be 9.I or 9.1 on this bases a Copper Chat level 6 would be  6C or  6. 04 if it was a Copper Red at our level 6 it would be 6CR or 6.45 the first letter or number is always the lead or strongest pigment.

finally the more high fashion shades .the high lift Blonde tones and cool Violet tones in this instance lets look at V shades lesschoice because asthe shade gets lighter it would become to pink .

Less shade choice only at levels 4 and 5 or 5.07 on the number system.

in closing the colour chart is read down the side scale for shade dark to light across the top for tone most from Ash to violet  lead by  either A.G .C R V .

I hope this shaed a little light on the shade chat any question please post i willl as always respond.

Mike B2MR


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