AMERICAN vs EUROPEAN LEVEL SYSTEMS

Level System
A level is the lightness or the darkness of a color. This method of measurement is used in both Natural and Artificial color.
Understanding the level system is one of the most important things a colorist needs to comprehend.
The Level System goes from level 1 black to level 10 lightest blonde.
The European Level System goes from level 1 black to level 11 extra lightest blond, the usual difference is in the lower levels 1 thru 5.  

  

Level System…………………………..European Level System  

 1 – black…………………………………………..1- black  

 2 – darkest brown………………………………2- natural black

 3 – dark brown………………………………….3-.darkest brown

 4 – light brown…………………………………….4.-dark brown  

5-lightest brown………………………………..5.-medium brown 
 

6- dark blond…………………………………….6.-light brown 
 

7-medium blond…………………………………7- dark blonde  

 
8- light blond……………………………………..8-medium blonde  

9-very light blond……………………………….9-light blond  

10 –lightest blond……………………………….10 –extra light blonde 
 

N/A…………………………………………………11-extra lightest blonde  

Depth –

 

Each level has a depth to it, so each level number has the same 1 thru 10 levels of that number, so a level 4 will have:  

4-1 – This has the deepest depth  

4-2 

4-3 

4-4  
4-5

4-6

4-7

4-8 

4-9

410 – This has the lightest depth

 

Normally this will cause a little confusion but it’s seen all the time in natural hair, when stylists try to find the natural level with swatches and find that the client’s hair is in between level 4 and 5. When you encounter a clients hair that is in between levels, always formulate for the lower or darker level.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This depth comes into play in artificial color, because you can take a level 4RV and make it a very light level 9 and the depth is then lifted out of the level 4 and brought up to a level 9 which looks like pink at that light level, so a Red Violet tone can look and have the depth of a level 4 or the lightness and look of a level 9 pink, just from the saturation of the red violet.

 

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