Many a time you had been standing in front of a drugstore shelf wondering if a particular hair color would meet your expectations. You hoped for a color shown on the box, but ended up with either dark or too light hair, or worse still, with unattractive grey-green shade. What to do to avoid disappointment? For all women unsure of how to properly read the information on the hair color boxes we have prepared a special guide!

Before you pick a hair color

First and foremost, consider your current hair color and hair condition, because these should influence your choice of a proper shade and hair color type.

Very damaged hair should not be color-treated with the use of ammonia-containing products, because it might cause further damages to its structure. If weak and damaged hair is your problem, choose gentle ammonia-free hair colors, herbal hair colors or color shampoos.

Thin and delicate hair are more vulnerable to bleaching, so never use effect-strengthening methods like wearing a cap or applying heat, these are recommended for thick and strong hair. Also, cut the bleaching time by 5 minutes.

Another features to consider are your complexion and age. Couperose skin, prone to discolorations and eczema, looks good when combined with natural, less intense hair colors. Dark and vivid colors  might additionally emphasize skin blemishes. The same applies to your age. Decide in favor of delicate, natural colors, because intense ones stress face features, including lines and wrinkles. If your complexion is creamy, beige or peach choose golden blonde or copper brown. Porcelain skin looks amazing with ash blonde, cherry, pearl blonde or ultra-black hair.

Always remember that the colors displayed on the hair color boxes might differ from the color achieved on your hair. This might be caused by many factors like

  • not following instructions,
  • poor hair condition,
  • strong primary hair color,
  • or just unrealistic expectations.

Picking a hair color, you should choose a color one tone lighter than the color you would like to have. Only in the case that you have natural hair that has never been color-treated you can assume that the color will be very similar to the one on the package. Otherwise the hair might turn out darker than you expected.

If you wish to darken the hair that had previously been bleached, there is a risk that the color will have a greenish shade. Hair colors of natural palette have a lot of green pigment which you should neutralize it in order to achieve natural blonde or brown. You can do it at home by buying two hair colors (of the same brand!), one box with the color you wish to achieve and another one with red tones. Add approximately 3-4 cm of red hair color to the target hair color. The addition of red hair color will help you achieve warm, natural shade, without green tones.

To avoid too intense red, women with dyed blonde hair who want to change their color to red should use two hair colors, one with red tone and another one with medium brown. The two combined in equal proportions will neutralize intense red pigment.

How to choose a proper hair color?

To make it easier for you to choose a proper hair color we have prepared a brief guide on how to decide on the new hair color taking into account your current one:

For very light blondes and blondes – good news is that you can expect the color corresponding to almost every color on the box. The one exception is 6.56 Wild Plum.

For medium blondes – the majority of colors is suitable but before applying 9.0 Natural Blonde, 9.11 Frozen Blonde, 9.3 Golden Blonde, and 9.13 Champagne Blonde, you should de-color your hair.

For dark blondes – 9.0 Natural Blonde, 9.11 Frozen Blonde and 9.13 Champagne Blonde are not recommended. Before applying 8.1 Light Ash Blonde, 7.0 Medium Blonde and 7.3 Hazelnut you should de-color your hair. The remaining colors are recommended.

For light brown – 9.0 Natural Blonde, 9.1 Ultimate Ash Blonde, 9.11 Frozen Blonde, 9.13 Champagne Blonde, 9.2 Pearl Blonde, 9.3 Golden Blonde, 8.1 Light Ash Blonde, 7.0 Medium Blonde, and 7.3 Hazelnut are not recommended. Before applying 7.44 Copper Red, 7.45 Intensive Red, 7.46 Medium Copper Red, 6.45 Light Mahogany, and 66.56 Wild Plum you should de-color your hair. The remaining colors are recommended.

For brown – 9.0 Natural Blonde, 9.1 Ultimate Ash Blonde, 9.11 Frozen Blonde, 9.13 Champagne Blonde, 9.2 Pearl Blonde, 9.3 Golden Blonde, 8.1 Light Ash Blonde, 7.0 Medium Blonde, 7.3 Hazelnut, 7.44 Copper Red, 6.45 Light Mahogany, 66.56 Wild Plum, and 5.0 Light Brown are not recommended. Before applying 6.26 Aubergine, 5.3 Light Golden Brown, and 5.4 Chestnut you should de-color your hair.

For very dark brown – 9.0 Natural Blond, 9.1 Ultimate Ash Blond, 9.11 Frozen Blond, 9.13 Champagne Blond, 9.2 Pearl Blond, 9.3 Golden Blond, 8.1 Light Ash Blond, 7.0 Medium Blond, 7.3 Hazelnut, 7.44 Copper Red, 7.45 Intensive Red, 7.46 Medium Copper Red, 6.45 Light Mahogany, 66.56 Wild Plum, 5.0 Light Brown, 4.0 Medium Brown i 4.03 Mocha Brown are not recommended. Before applying 6.26 Aubergine, 5.6 Dark Mahogany, 5.3 Light Golden Brown, 5.4 Chestnut you should de-color your hair.

Bleaching or color change of black or very dark hair should be preceded by de-coloring treatment. Depending on the intensity of pigment you might need as many as 2 or 3  treatments. Without de-coloring your new color will be either invisible or unexpected (for instance green).

Read here on how to safely de-color your hair: Safe decoloring treatment – it’s possible!

Apart from the common color name (for instance medium brown), on the hair color box you can find important information given in numbers. Remember that the lower the number the darker the hair color. Cameleo Hair Color Cream Omega+ includes the following:

1.0 – Black , 2.0 – Blue Black, 3.0 – Dark Brown, 4.0 – Medium Brown, 5.0  – Light Brown, 7.0 – Medium Blond, 9.0 – Natural Blond

These are the number notifications of basic natural hair colors. The first digit means how dark or how light the colors is – the lower the digit the darker the color. If there is no zero after a dot, for instance 3.3 – Dark Chocolate Brown, 4.4 – Copper Brown, 5.3 Light Golden Brown, 5.4 – Chestnut, 5.6 – Dark Mahogany, 7.3 – Hazelnut, 8.1 – Light Ash Blonde, 9.1 – Ultimate Ash Blonde, 9.2 – Pearl Blonde, 9.3 – Golden Blonde, 4.03 – Mocha Brown, 6.26 – Aubergine, 6.45 – Light Mahogany, 66.56 – Wild Plum, 7.45 – Intensive Red, 7.46 – Medium Copper Red, 9.11 – Frozen Blonde, 9.13 – Champagne Blonde, 7.44 – Copper Red, it means that this hair dye is a tonal variant of a basic color.

You can read more on the numbers on the hair color boxes in this post: What do the numbers on your hair color box mean?

You should bear in mind that a bleaching hair color is a different product than a hair bleach or oxidant. A bleaching hair color is supposed to give your hair a color that normally requires the use of a bleaching product, that is 1-2 tones lighter compared to your current color. In simple terms, it is the one product that combines two features, bleaching and coloring. Important: Bleaching hair colors are suitable only for women with dark brown hair. If you have black hair, de-color your hair first.

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Remember that the effect of color-treatments to a large extent depends on your realistic expectations. Ultra-black hair will not turn to ash blonde without prior de-coloring. And very light bleached blonde will not immediately become a deep lasting red. Above all, hair coloring should be safe and well-considered. Cameleo coloring series will make your decisions easier 🙂