You would think that selecting hair color would be as simple as ordering take-out from a Chinese menu. Imagine what a typical Chinese menu looks like. Shrimp, chicken, pork, or beef dishes, each have their own area on the menu.
If only hair extension color numbers were that clear and precise. Today, we’ll make it easier for you to understand extension colors.
Be warned that COLOR and Hair Extension Colors are two different animals.
Stylists who work with COLOR are familiar with the International Color Chart or ICC. Using industry guidelines, ICC focuses on twenty-five colors of which 9 are considered natural and 16 identified as fashion colors. Each color has a number that matches other standardized colors used in dye, wigs, tints, and sometimes hair extensions.
COLORS are matched to numbers in an attempt to create an industry standard and make your job as a stylist easier. The first number represents the base shade (darkness). The second number is the primary tone (depth) and the third number (if there is a third number) is the secondary tone.
Now, take what you know about COLOR and throw it out the window when it comes to hair extensions.
Hair extension color numbers use some numbers that match the International Color Chart exactly but do not follow the system using base, primary, and secondary numbers. To make sense of hair extension numbers remember that the numbers fall into five basic categories. Like a Chinese take-out menu.
Base Shade Number Range
Black & Brown…………..1 to 18
Blonde……………………..22 to 613A
Red…………………………19 to 530A
Gray & Platinum…………34 to 280
Solid Colors……………….By Name
Surprisingly, the numbers overlap but the categories are actually narrower than the numbers suggest. For example, the main blonde colors run from 22 to 27 but then all of a sudden take a giant leap to number 613.
So just because blonde shades begin with number twenty-two and end with number 613, it doesn’t mean that all 591 numbers in-between have been assigned a color. Good thing, or your customer would be absolutely petrified while making a decision about which color to choose.
Also, color number shades generally transition from dark to lighter shades. For example, brown #4 is a lighter shade than brown #2 and blonde #24 is lighter than blonde #22.
There are some variations in the system. For example, number 27-613 means that blonde hair #27 has been blended with blonde hair #613 in the same strand or weft. The same example applies to brown number 6-10. The strand contains a certain percentage of color number 6 and 10 to soften and neutralize the shade.
Solid colors are another thing altogether. They are sometimes referred to as fashion colors and have no numbers assigned to them. So you’ll see names like red wine, dark purple, green, burgundy, black wine, and pink. It is not unusual to find that solid colors from different manufacturers vary in color, just as clothing dye lots can vary from company to company.
Don’t underestimate the importance and convenience of buying a hair extension color ring from Donna Bella Milan. A color ring is a valuable tool to guide your client with her color choice. And of course an actual color ring is always more accurate than color swatches printed on paper or seen on the Internet.
Fortunately, at Donna Bella, we have the benefit of working with thousands of stylists in North America and abroad. We have listened to what you have told us and sell the thirty-five best colors in the universe.
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