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Hair colour numbering system

What do the numbers in hair colour mean?

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

THE L’ORÉAL PROFESSIONNEL COLOUR NUMBERING SYSTEM EXPLAINED

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.

There are up to 4 figures in a hair colour number, up to 2 before the decimal point and up to 2 after the decimal point. For example, 3, 5.8, 6.13 and 10.21 are all L’Oréal Professionnel hair colour numbers. 

Hair colour chart numbering system between 1 and 10

Understanding Hair Colour Charts

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 colour chart 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.

Hair colour numbering system for reflect tones

WHAT IS A TONE OR REFLECT OF COLOUR?

Next your colourist will look at the second and third numbers on the colour chart 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. Ask for a colour consultation at your nearest L’Oréal Professionnel salon today to receive your personalised and tailored colour.

 

Inspired? Discover what hair colours suit you with our virtual hair colour try-on tool

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