Menu Search Find a salon

Hair colour numbering system

THE L’ORÉAL PROFESSIONNEL COLOUR NUMBERING SYSTEM EXPLAINED

When it comes to changing the colour of your hair – knowing some basic information about how hair colour works can be fundamental in understanding the options presented to you in-salon.

Your L’Oréal Professionnel colourist will use our international colour numbering system during your bespoke in-salon consultation to identify which depth and tones/reflects will best suit you and your hair. We have decoded the hair colour numbering system: one of the key tools which will help you better understand the complexity that goes into your hair colour service in-salon.

chart to show L'Oréal Professionnel international base hair colour numbering system


WHAT IS A NATURAL BASE COLOUR?


The level system is made up of 10 numbers which help determine the depth level of your natural hair. 1 is black, 5 is light brown, 6 is dark blonde, 7 is blonde and 10 is the lightest blonde. Your L’Oréal Professionnel colourist will analyse your hair and assess your natural base colour in-salon.

WHAT IS A BASE COLOUR?


The first number which appears on the tube is the base colour. This number indicates the base level of the shade you would like to achieve. It shows how light or dark the colour is.

chart to show L'Oréal Professionnel hair tone/reflect colour numbering system


WHAT IS A TONE OR REFLECT OF COLOUR?

Next your colourist will look at the second and third numbers on the tube that appear after the period mark. These numbers indicate the primary and secondary reflects/tones that are present in the colour.

For example,.1 = Ash, .2 = Iridescent, .3 = Golden, .4 = Copper

This system also allows your colourist to neutralise the colour, so for example to avoid a blonde hair colour from becoming too warm; they could add more .2 - Violet or .1 - Blue to counteract the yellow or orange tones that appear naturally. 

The outcome of your final target shade will also be influenced by several other factors that need to be assessed by your L’Oréal Professionnel colourist such as undercoat and distribution of pigment.

Whether you have a specific colour in mind or are in need of some inspiration, your L’Oréal Professionnel colourist can offer you a bespoke service to identify the best hair colour for you. Taking into consideration your natural hair colour, skin tone and eye colour they will create a personalised shade that can help emphasise and illuminate your features. We are sure you will agree that in order to achieve your perfect hair colour it is necessary to consult a trained L'Oréal Professionnel colourist! Ask for a colour consultation in your nearest L’Oréal Professionnel salon today to receive your personalised and tailored colour.