Mixing levels & tones- does it matter how?


If you are mixing different levels of color and tones, does it make any difference which way you do it?

For example, is 5 natural + 4 ash the same as 4natural + 5ash?


Yes it does matter. It would for me anyway. A neutral level 5 is not the same as a neutral 4. One is lighter than the other. Same holds true for ash. A four ash will cut more warmth then a five.

Think of it on white hair. If you mix 5N and 4A in equal parts, you will get an ultra cool almost overly cool level 4 1/2. It would look more like a 4.
If you mix a 4N with a 5A equal parts, you will still have ultra cool, but without the overly cool darker look
Now if you are using it on a level 4 hair…then I would do 4A and 5N because you want the maximum amount of cool coverage from the choices you gave. Mixing a 4N and 5A will not give you maximum amount of cool coverage, plus you might even see a bit more lightness because the formula would be less cool with a warmer neutral, and can appear a bit lighter because your formula is not so cool due to a less ash dyeload.

Cool absorbs light and looks darker, neutrals and warm tones reflect light and look lighter and brighter.

N = equal parts of warm and cool
Ash = all cool

When mixing them, think of mixing paints and what it is your painting. If you need to paint over the red….then you want the most amount of cool. If you are given a light cool and a dark cool to add to your neutral formula, which are you going to choose to get the most bang for your buck. You would choose the colors that contribute the most of what you need. Does this make sense?

Jennifer Hernon
Redken Advisor for Askmags.com
When it comes to what you love in life, don’t take no for an answer.

Senior Member

JBuzz and others got this one 100% correct. It does matter!
Within each level are 10 smaller steps or levels, so level 4 has 4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3 etc.
Neutral has more dyes load than other tonal series like Ash which is usually a combination color of blue, violet, green, or grey, but it’s normally just 2 tones mixed into those Ash colors versus neutral which will have 3 components to it and therefore more dye load. Normally in coloring you want the neutral as the lower level color and the colortone as the higher level, coverage first- tone second. Never mix levels that are 2 or more away from each other because of the dye load difference ex: level 4 and level 10, that’s a no no. – Mags

Mags Kavanaugh
Trichologist & Cosmetologist
Expert for AskMags.com

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