Want to achieve your dream shade? Levels and tones can help! print

Want to achieve your dream shade? Levels and tones can help!

If you’ve ever had a specific colour in mind that turned out nice but it wasn’t quite what you had envisioned, it may be because you weren’t familiar with levels and tones. Two very important things to know in hair colour! Level describes how light or dark the shade is, while tone is all about the hue or tint your hair colour gives off. For example, a woman who prefers a cool, ashy blonde won’t be satisfied with a warm, golden blonde. Learn more about levels and tones to nail your look every time…


Level refers to the degree of lightness or darkness of a colour. Within each colour family, there are light, medium and dark levels. For example: light blonde, medium blonde and dark blonde. While every hair colour brand has its own level numbering system, generally black is Level 1 and lightest blonde is level 10 (or higher!).


Tone refers to the “finish” of a shade—its degree of warmth or coolness. Tones are categorized as warm, neutral or cool, and are usually part of the shade description (think terms like “gold” or “ash”). No matter what your level of colour, you can choose from a variety of tones to help you achieve your colour transformation. Read on to help you differentiate between some of the most common tones…

ASH (Cool)

Colour which has no red or gold highlights/tones (will minimize red/gold/brassy tones)


Colour which has an equal amount of primary colours (balanced) Tip: In general, neutral tones tend to look great on everyone.


Similar to a neutral, but may be more warm or cool, depending on the base in the colour.