The Good. Clean. Fun.™ BLOG
When it comes to coloring your own hair at home, there’s a definite learning curve involved: how to mix the hair color, how to apply it, how to know if you’re covering all your grays, and more. But there’s one crucial step that can make or break your entire DIY job – and it happens before the color even touches your hair.
Enter the first, most important step: choosing the perfect hair color for your hair’s level and tone. Now, what’s a level, you ask? That’s what we’re here to explain.
What Level Is My Hair?
What is my hair’s shade level? Before we tell you how to determine what level hair you have your hair’s level, let’s get to the bottom of what exactly it is. Your hair’s level is a number that represents how light or dark your shade is. When you choose a hair color, the shade you select is going to differ based on the level of your hair currently, and where you want to go.
To determine your level, take a section of hair from the crown of your head and hold it out where you can see it, away from the rest of your hair. Then, compare it to our level chart, with level 1 being the darkest (black) and level 10 being the lightest (light blonde).
- Level 1: Black
- Level 2: Darkest Brown
- Level 3: Dark Brown
- Level 4: Medium Brown
- Level 5: Light Brown
- Level 6: Dark Blonde
- Level 7: Medium Blonde
- Level 8: Blonde
- Level 9: Light Blonde
- Level 10: Lightest Blonde
What do I do once I know my level?
Now that you know your hair’s level, it’s time to decide what direction you’d like to shift on the scale. If you’d like to go lighter, keep in mind that Better Natured Liqui-Creme Color can lighten your hair 1-2 levels, so take it slow. If you’re in the Level 3 range, you can end up in the Level 4 range, if that’s what you’re going for.
When going darker, we also suggest taking it slow, darkening your hair gradually over time. While a switch from blonde to black may sound enticing, starting with a light brown and gradually increasing intensity over a few months is your best bet.
How do I figure out the tone I want?
Next, it’s important to take your desired tone into account. Each level has a natural tone, and it can also have a variety of other tones, like ash, gold, warm beige, red, red violet, and blue. Our shade chart breaks down every level and possible tone that we offer. Combining the level number with your desired tone will give you your ideal color shade.
Can you help me find my level and tone?
Short answer: YES! We’re here to help you every step of the way, on video calls, messaging, email and over the phone. Our pros are available to take a look at your hair and help figure out your level, as well as how many levels you can darken or lighten your hair.
You can also learn more about hair levels and tones on our Hair Color 101 guide, or take the hair color quiz.
Maintain Your Hair’s Level and Tone
Of course, just as important as finding the right shade is keeping your color in gorgeous condition. Maintain your desired tone by washing and conditioning with color-focused products, like Better Natured Color Care Shampoo and Conditioner.