YOUR PERFECT HAIR COLOR: SHADE VS TONE

 

The beauty savvy amongst you probably already follow The Beauty Department, the excellent beauty blog started by Lauren Conrad's beauty team: Amy Nadine (makeup) & Kristine Ess (hair & nails). The site offers easy-to-follow tutorials, as well as professional insight into a myriad of beauty woes. However, their latest series on hair color is just so genius we just had to recap it for you! It addresses a huge consultation issue: shade vs. tone in hair color.

SHADE

Shade describes how light or dark your hair color is, commonly referred to by your stylist on a scale of 1 (black) to 10 (lightest platinum blonde). 

TONE

Tone describes the hue of a hair color. For instance a level 9 blonde could have predominately gold tones, neutral tones, or ash tones depending on the desired results.  

ASH

Ash tones are the coolest of cool & not for the faint of heart.

Ash tones are the coolest of cool & not for the faint of heart.

  • Who can wear it? The girl who’s skin is completely clean and clear! Any hints of redness from acne or rosacea will clash with ashy tones. If you have redness but you cover it well, you can still wear an ashy tone.
  • Talk to a pro. Seriously– putting a warm glaze over your hair at home is one thing, but making an ashy tone look nice requires some mad skills that only a great colorist will have.
  • Makeup must: a pop of color on the lip. Icy hair color paired with a bright matte pink or orange lipstick can be stunning. And it will keep you from looking too drab.
  • Be polished. With ashy hair you’ll want to put a little effort into your hair, styling-wise. If you have beautiful air-dried waves, that’s great, but if you don’t make sure to put a little effort into your hair. Ashy can tend to look dull so you have to OWN it!
  • Maintenance: Purple shampoo and a deep conditioner. Purple shampoo will help you maintain those silvery tones. And you must deep condition at least once a week to retain some shine.
  • NEUTRAL

    Not quite cool or warm, but the perfect in between. 

    Not quite cool or warm, but the perfect in between. 

  • It may take some time. Neutral hair doesn’t always happen in one color application, especially if you’re coming from a warmer color. Cutting underlying warm tones can take a couple rounds. Be patient & know that it will happen with repeated application.
  • Go in for a glaze. Ask your colorist if you can come in to get a color glaze in between color appointments. It’s a quick process and will help keep unwanted tones away.
  • It’s a thin line between ash and neutral. Ash is just over the fence from neutral. If you really desire that perfect neutral tone, you may have to overshoot into ash and live with it for 2-3 shampoos. Mentally prep yourself for that (aka: don’t schedule a hot date for the next evening). If you don’t have the patience for that, warm tones may be your best bet.
  • Purple shampoo every other time. You just have to. It’s the law. No, but really, if you don’t the likelihood is high that warm tones will work their way into your hair.
  • Conditioning treatments are important. Just like ash colors, if this starts to look dull, it can look bad. Keep it shiny and keep it clean.
  • Who can wear neutral tones? Almost anyone! The most important thing to think about, however, is “Is this my most flattering color?” Sometimes just because you can pull it off doesn’t mean it’s your best color.
  • GOLD

    Sun-kissed perfection that anyone can wear.

    Sun-kissed perfection that anyone can wear.

  • Be clear on what you’re after. Everyone has a different idea of what gold means so bring a bunch of photos for reference. Use words like “not brassy” “natural-looking” and “surfer girl hair”.
  • Do some good research! Speaking of reference photos, try looking up kid hair color for gold tone inspiration. When you search “kid hair color” on Pinterest , you get images like THIS, THIS and THIS, all of which show perfect gold tones.
  • Glaze it up! Keep it shiny by glazing in between colors. Gold toned hair should sparkle! It will reflect so much more light if you glaze in between.
  • Who can wear it? Honestly, I’ve never met a girl who didn’t look great in gold tones as long as the color is not too light or dark for your skin tone.
  • WARM GOLD

    This rich tone is complimentary on everyone! 

    This rich tone is complimentary on everyone! 

  • Your colorist can get you there with a glaze. You may already have nice highlights that you paid a lot for an don’t want to get rid of. If you want to keep the pattern you have but just go a little darker and richer, ask your colorist to do a warmer glaze to kick off your “fall color”.
  • Cut out purple shampoo. Consider a color-preserving shampoo instead!
  • Who can wear warm gold? I’ve never seen a warm gold I didn’t like. There are various skin tones in the images above and they all manage to pull it off well. If you have pink tones in your skin, go for bronze! Bronze is much more complimentary to warm gold toned hair.
  • How light or dark? Warm gold tones can be done on the lightest and the darkest hair colors. Even over blackest color of hair! If your hair is super dark, you’re going to notice it more when you’re in the sun than when you’re inside, but it will definitely show up.
  • HINT OF RED

    The perfect way to test the waters if you aren't sure you want to fully commit to red. 

    The perfect way to test the waters if you aren't sure you want to fully commit to red. 

  • Contrary to popular belief, reds are actually GREAT for those with pink/redness to their skin. Red tones in the hair will often “upstage” the red tones in your skin and make blemishes, acne and rosacea less obvious. The red tones of the hair does not make the red tones in the skin stick out more. It’s magic and it’s one of my all time favorite tricks for helping someone through a hard moment/trying to repair their skin.
  • Conserve that color! You paid for it and if you like it, you should try to keep it! Use a color conserving shampoo.
  • What if you hate it? If you try a having a “hint of red” and you decide you hate it, use a clarifying shampoo once or twice a week to make it fade a little faster.
  • Who can wear hints of red? Pretty much anyone can wear hints of red. I would suggest putting a tiny bit of color on your brows though.
  • Play with your makeup. The makeup you used before may not be the right makeup after you get your “hints of red”. Maybe instead of black liner, you try a dark brown. Or maybe instead of lipstick, your new go to becomes a gloss. Who knows! Play around.
  • RED

    This bold hue makes a statement. 

    This bold hue makes a statement. 

    • Ginger. This is the kind of color you see on someone who is a natural redhead. Think of Nicole Kidman, Julianne Moore, Isla Fisher, Jessica Chastain, etc… Ginger is not an intense red so the darker you go, the less you see the red. I suggest you go for this if you have fair skin and light eyes.
    • Copper/Orange. This is one of the most popular reds on earth thanks to Christina Hendricks and Taylor Tomassi-Hill. Admit it! You’ve definitely wondered if you could pull of that sparkling shade of Joan. The good news is it can be done on almost any skin tone as long as it’s done right. A true copper will have a very “orange” tone to it so you’ll have to work hard to keep it from fading but it’s so worth it.
    • Blue Reds. Don’t let the blue part scare you. It just means this is more of a true red. Think kool-aid, think red velvet cake, think Jessica Rabbit. Just like the copper/orange family,  you can put this on anyone that wants to try it! It looks great on any skin tone if it’s done right.  This color isn’t for the shy girl.
    • Purple Reds. We’re talking merlot, black cherry, plum and berries. These are best for girls who have naturally dark hair and want to dip into the red family. It tends to go well with a more olive skin tone. Purple based reds aren’t supposed to look natural! Shine and intensity is what this color is all about.

    Fading: Synthetic reds (as in anything you use color to achieve) are known for fading fast.

      • Use a color shampoo. Either one that deposits color or one that is intended to keep the color longer.
      • Start strong. It's best to formulate color so that it’s extra bright for the first week and then fades out to a perfect shade by the second week, then it holds that color for weeks to come.
      • Give it some time. With red, you have to apply it over and over and over in order for it to really stick– especially if you’re going red from a lighter color. Give it time.
      • It’s easier to keep the color in if you’re going from a darker shade to red vs. a lighter shade to red. Natural dark hair color has so much red under it already that it supports the red and keeps it from fading so fast. Lighter hair doesn’t have the same underlying red tones to support. Just know it may be a little harder.

       

       

      AND THERE YOU HAVE IT!

      Finding the perfect color for you may just be a question of switching your tone. To ensure you get the hue you had in mind, be sure to bring plenty of pictures to your stylist! And remember, booking that color appointment is just a click away with our convenient online booking!  Pageboy also offers a full range of Pureology and KEVIN.MURPHY shampoos & conditioners, guaranteed to keep your color looking vibrant until your next appointment!

       

      jenna halikPageboy Salon