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How do I choose loreal hair color?

Choosing the right L’Oreal hair color can seem overwhelming with the dozens of shades available. But finding your perfect match is possible with some basic knowledge about hair color categories, techniques, and considerations. As a hair color expert, I’m here to walk you through the process step-by-step.

Determine Your Base Hair Color

The first step is figuring out your natural base color. Examine your roots in natural lighting to see if your hair is blonde, brunette, black, or red. Cool undertones appear ashier while warm ones seem golden. If you can’t tell, ask your stylist. This provides a starting point for selecting shades that will complement your complexion.

Consider Your Skin Tone

Hair color should enhance your skin tone, not compete with it. Warm skin with yellow/olive undertones is flattered by golden bronde and auburn shades. Cooler skin with pink undertones pairs best with ash browns and platinums. Can’t tell your undertone? Check the color of your veins – greenish means warm, blueish means cool.

Skin Tone Best Hair Color Shades
Warm with yellow/olive undertones Golden bronde, auburn
Cool with pink undertones Ash brown, platinum

Decide Permanent vs Semi-Permanent

Permanent hair color uses ammonia or ethanolamine to open the cuticle and bind the color inside the hair shaft. This 100% grays coverage lasts 4-6 weeks. Semi-permanent lacks ammonia for gentler hair but washes out in 4-12 shampoos. If you’re committing to a color or covering grays, permanent is better. For subtle, temporary changes, try semi-permanent.

Type Duration Uses
Permanent 4-6 weeks 100% gray coverage, long-lasting color
Semi-Permanent 4-12 shampoos Subtle changes, temporary colors

Choose Between Single vs Double Process

Single process means applying one formula all over the hair. Double process is lightening first then applying a new color after. Double process allows more drastic color shifts like deep brown to light blonde. But it causes more damage from the lightener. Stay single process if you want subtler color change with less damage.

Process How It Works Best For
Single One color applied to all hair Subtle changes, matching roots
Double Lightens then deposits color Dramatic transformations

Pick Between Luminous, Natural or Intense Shine

L’Oreal offers shades in three different shine levels. Luminous has heavy conditioning and reflects the most light for a high-shine finish. Natural has medium conditioning and shine. Intense has the least conditioning for deeper matte pigmentation. For high-wattage color, go luminous. For rich matte color, choose intense.

Finish Description
Luminous Shine High shine and conditioning
Natural Shine Medium shine and conditioning
Intense Shine Deepest matte pigmentation

Look at Your Color History

Think about how your hair responded to past dyes. Did your stylist use high lift bleach to reach your current color? How porous and damaged is your hair? This helps determine if you should adjust your shade darker or lighter. Severely lightened hair may need to go darker to stay vibrant. Virgin hair can handle more lightening. Consult your stylist if unsure.

Research Shades by Hair Color Family

L’Oreal organized shades into color families based on depth and tone to simplify selection. As a starting point, look at shades in your current family then explore options. For example, if you’re light golden blonde, start with light golden blond shades. Color families include:

  • Black – Deepest brunette shades like raven, ebony, and black cherry.
  • Darkest Brunette – Chocolate and coffee shades.
  • Medium Brunette – Rich caramel, maple, and mahogany shades.
  • Lightest Brunette – Dark beige, brown sugar, and ash brown shades.
  • Darkest Blonde – Dark honey and medium beige shades.
  • Medium Blonde – Camel, golden brown, and buttery shades.
  • Lightest Blonde – Buttery yellow, pale yellow, and lightest beige shades.
  • Highlift Blonde – Palest ash and champagne shades.

Ask Your Stylist for Input

Schedule a consultation and bring example photos of shades you’re considering. A pro can evaluate your hair in person to recommend shades that enhance your complexion and minimize damage. They know techniques to reach certain colors based on your hair’s current condition. A stylist helps translate desired shades into ones that flatter and are achievable.

Do a Strand Test First

Before committing to all-over color, ask your stylist to do a strand test of one or two shade options. This gives you a preview to see if you like the shades on your actual hair. Strand tests involve applying product to a 1-inch section of hair near the nape of your neck and processing the time recommended on the box instructions. Rinse and evaluate the color in natural light. This safeguards against surprises.

Go Gradually Lighter or Darker

Make gradual shade adjustments over multiple sessions instead of dramatic leaps in one session. This minimizes damage and disaster if you don’t like the results. For example, if shifting medium blonde to light blonde, go halfway first, then lighter next session if desired. The healthiest hair color journeys move slowly and strategically.

Combine Techniques for Dimension

Dimension means variations of shade rather than a flat, all-over color. This creates a more natural, dynamic look. Ways to build dimension include:

  • Highlights – Lightened pieces that contrast with base
  • Lowlights – Darker pieces that contrast with base
  • Sombre – Darker roots that gradually lighten towards ends
  • Ombre – Abrupt lightening towards tips

Discuss add-on techniques with your stylist when planning an appointment. Dimension makes hair color exciting and multidimensional.

Pick Cruelty-Free Formulas

L’Oreal recently expanded its permanent hair color lines available in cruelty-free versions, indicated by Leaping Bunny logo. Choose these to get vibrant color while avoiding animal testing. Some options include:

  • Superior Preference Fade-Defying Shine
  • Superior Preference Permanent Triple Protection System
  • Feria Multi-Faceted Shimmering Permanent Coloring
  • Feria Power Reds Permanent Hair Color

Go bold or natural while being ethically conscious with cruelty-free cream formulas.

Maintenance is Key

Preserve your L’Oreal hair color vibrancy and quality with proper aftercare. Use sulfate-free shampoo and cold water washes to minimize fading. Deep condition weekly and trim split ends regularly to maintain health and shine. Limit heat styling which causes fading and breakage. Touch up roots every 4-6 weeks with the same shade. Proper maintenance lets you enjoy your new shade for months.


Choosing beautiful, complimentary L’Oreal hair color involves considering your base shade, skin tone, and hair condition while selecting the right color family, process, and technique. Consultation with a professional stylist combined with strand testing helps find your perfect match. Maintenance keeps color looking freshly done. With knowledge of the range of options, you can discover your ideal L’Oreal shade for a gorgeous transformation.