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What is the logic of the numbers on color tubes?


It is more and more common to want to regrow hair color in the comfort of your home? Before jumping into a color choice, it is important to understand the numbering of professional coloring creams.




Before choosing a new color (destination) it is essential that you determine your natural color level (starting point). We suggest you validate your natural level with a hairdressing professional. A poorly rated level results in an approximate formulation that will not give you satisfaction.

Then, you should know that the shade of a color is described by its level and its reflections.


Ex: The European standard mainly uses numbers 6,75 or 6.75 or 6/75 or the American standard which favors using letters like 6BR depending on the product manufacturers.


1 / The level

The level is always represented by a number the first of the series placed before the point, the comma or the slash. In our example the 6 of 6/75 cold chocolate (dark blonde / brown mahogany) ... represents the pitch.


Level is the unit used in the hair industry to display the degree of saturation of pigments in a color. Level 1 (black) being the darkest and level 10 (very very light blond) the lightest.


Here are the levels (ex: 6/75 dark blonde / brown mahogany)


1 = Black


2 = Brown


3 = Dark brown


4 = Brown


5 = Light brown


6 = Dark blonde


7 = blond


8 = light blonde


9 = Very light blonde


10 = Very very light blonde

This level scale is universal and allows 3 things to be determined:


  • the initial natural or colored level
  • the desired color level
  • the tone level of a coloring tube

2 / The reflections

The numbers corresponding to the reflection(s) are presented after the period, the comma or the slash, in our example the 75 of 6/75. These numbers are used to determine the warmth or cool shade of the color.


Here are the highlights (ex: 6/75 dark blonde / brown mahogany)


  • the 6 indicates the level of the pitch that will be obtained,
  • the first number / 7 .. (brown) following the "point, comma or slash" determines the intensity of the main reflection which will be the most dominant.
  • the second number /..5 following the / 7 .. specifies the secondary reflection which will offer a more sophisticated effect to the reflection by adding light, intensity or depth.

N = 0 = natural


A = 1 = ashy, cold


V = 2 = iridescent and or cold purple (secondary reflection)


G = 3 = golden, hot


C = 4 = copper, hot


M = 5 = mahogany, cold


R = 6 = red, hot


B = 7 = brown, hot / cold (main reflection)


We invite you to always validate the description of any letter present on the tubes to ensure that you make the right choice.


Numbers aren't the only way companies are careful to identify their tube colors. The description of the color shade is always present on each tube and packaging.

Ex: 6/75 = dark blonde / brown mahogany


Before choosing a new range of shades, we suggest that you carry out a colorimetry test to validate which shades best match your skin tone. A poorly chosen reflection will have the effect of offering a tired or even pale complexion.


N.B: this information is subject to reservation and includes generalities which may vary from one company to another, we invite you to validate the description of the numbering always present on the tube or packaging.



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