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Mixing Colours: What Colour Levels and Tones Work Well Together

Blending colours can let you combine the best of two colours and smash your hair goals.

Mixing colours lets you:

  • achieve a colour level which is one level deeper or softer than your current colour level
  • add a little bit of warmth (but not too much)
  • reduce a little bit of warmth
  • double down on tones you love or need – copper or cool

All colours have both a:

  1. Base colour level – This describes the level of depth that the colour has; level 1 being darkest black, level 5 is a mid brown and level 10 is lightest blonde.
  2. Secondary tone, which can be either:
    1. Cool: Cool tones includes Ash and Beige colours. They have cool blue, violet, silver, or green undertones, and they will counter-act natural warmth to leave a tonally balanced finish when lightening.
    2. Warm: Warm tones have gold, copper and chestnut tones.
    3. Neutral: Neutral tones have an even balance of cool and warm pigments.

Blend a sandy golden blonde with just a hint (teaspoon) of a rich copper tone to create a deliciously soft strawberry blonde.

Blending Colour Levels:

It is best to blend colours from two colour levels which are next to each other. Blending colours from adjacent colour levels will help you achieve a colour level which is halfway between the two levels.

If you have tried colouring with a dark blonde level 7 and you want just a little bit more depth, a blend of Genoa Light Brown 6 and Napoli Dark Blonde 7 will give you a base colour level which is half a level deeper than a level 7 colour alone.

You can also soften your colour by half a level by blending with a softer colour level. Talk to our colourists if you need to lift some pigments out from previously coloured hair before achieving a softer colour.

Blending Tones:

Blending tones is where the magic happens.

Blended tones can help you achieve beautiful colour results and solve colouring problems!

Blending tones let you blend tones to create an

  • even, consistent colour result over greys if you are colouring with a warm based colour
  • a soft warm colour result such as strawberry blonde or a lighter auburn colour
  • tonally balanced results if you need just a bit of cool tones to reduce unwanted natural warmth

Problem: Lighter, Brighter Roots When Colouring With A Warm Colour

Grey hair lacks all natural pigments. If you colour with a warm based colour and you have grey regrowth, you could see a lighter, brighter colour result over greys. This occurs because greys hair lacks all natural pigments. Natural pigments help anchor the colour, and without them you see lighter results over greys.

Solution: Blend A Warm Based Colour With A Neutral Colour

A colour blend with one neutral toned colour can be the best colour to cover greys. Neutrals fill and anchor the pigment missing from greys, which can help grey colour coverage. A Duo colour blend with a warm and a neutral colour will give you even, consistent, better colour results from roots to ends if you are colouring over greys.

Problem: Unwanted Natural Warmth

Everyone’s hair has natural warmth. Some people’s hair has more visible warmth than others. You might like seeing a hint of natural warmth but no more.

Solution: Add Half-Strength Cool Tones

A blend on one neutral and one cool colour is a good approach. It will add half-strength cool tones which is enough to reduce some, but not all natural warmth. We have neutral colours at every colour level, and cool colours at almost every colour level, so we can create a half-strength colour blend for almost everyone.

Problem: You Want Just A Little Bit, But Not Too Much Warmth

You may find that colouring with one predominantly warm colour leads to a bit too much warmth in your colour result. Some people’s hair throws more warmth than others.

Solution: Add Half-Strength Warm Tones

You may need just a hint of warmth to add a warm glow to your hair. Blend a neutral colour with a warm colour to add half-strength warm tones, for a softer warm glow. Try half-strength golden tones, such as Imola 7.3 Dark Golden Blonde blended with Genoa 6 Light Brown for a bronde base with softer golden tones. Add a hint of golden tones to a mid-brown base by blending Modena 5.3 Dark Golden Brown with Siena 5 Brown.

Blending ratios:

A 50:50 ratio will give you an even balance of each of two colours.

If you want one dominant tone, you can swap out one tablespoon of colour to add just a hint of a particular tone to your colour. This can be an effective way to create a strawberry blonde colour.

Our colourists can help you achieve the colour level and tone which will work best for you. They’re available 7 days a week, so get in touch!

I spent A LOT on salon visits…enter The Shade. I could not be happier with my result! I used a 6.1 + 7.1 Duo blend.

Jamie Berude

Loving the colour, the smell and how good my hair feels. It was lovely to get advice from the colourist on the Duo blend before purchasing.

Lisa Jeans

I used a Duo blend of colour which was easy to prepare, and I am now sporting a beautiful natural looking head of hair. Overall very happy with the results and I would recommend The Shade!

Kerri Hoch

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