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Is natural the same color as 1B?

The short answer is no, natural and 1B are not the same color. Natural is typically used to describe a beige or light brown color, while 1B is a shade code used in hair color to represent black or off-black hair.

Defining Natural Color

In hair color terms, natural refers to a person’s original hair color before any artificial coloring or bleaching. It is often used to describe hair that is an untouched warm brown, beige blonde, or salt and pepper mix of gray and darker hairs. The exact shade depends on the person’s natural pigmentation and can range from dark brown to light blonde.

Natural hair color generally falls within Levels 6 to 10 on the hair color shade chart, moving from darkest to lightest. At the darker end, Level 6 is a medium to dark blonde and at the lighter end Level 10 is a very light blonde. So natural shades are typically medium to light blonde or light to medium brown.

What is 1B Hair Color?

1B is a hair color shade code within the Level 1 range, which are black and off-black shades. The 1B code specifically refers to hair that is:

  • Jet black or off-black
  • Has blue, purple, or cool undertones
  • Darkest shade before Level 2 which are dark browns

Here is an overview of the Level 1 hair color shades:

Shade Code Color Description
1 Blue black
1A Jet black, coolest tone
1B Off-black, blue/purple tone
1C Blue-black, hint of warmth

As you can see, 1B is a very dark shade with blue, purple or cool undertones. This is quite different from the warm, medium blonde to brown tones of a natural hair color.

Comparing 1B and Natural Hair

Here is a quick visual comparison of 1B black hair vs. natural light brown hair:

1B Hair Natural Hair
  • Jet black or off-black tone
  • No warm undertones
  • Darkest on level 1 scale
  • Light to medium blonde or brown
  • Warm golden, beige undertones
  • Level 6-10 on shade chart

As you can see from the table, 1B and natural hair colors vary significantly in their shade and tone. Natural hair has warmth from golden undertones, while 1B lacks warmth and is a very dark black or off-black.


In summary, the hair color terms 1B and natural do not refer to the same shades. 1B is a blue/purple toned black or off-black, which is the darkest shade before level 2 browns. Natural hair color on the other hand covers a range of medium to light beige blonde to brown shades with warm golden undertones. So in hair color terminology, 1B and natural are distinctly different shades.

If you are looking to achieve a natural hair color, choose blonde shades like beige, golden, honey, or caramel in levels 6-10. For brown natural shades opt for golden browns or chestnuts in the same range. Steer clear of 1B and other jet black shades which have an artificial look compared to warm natural hair colors.

Understanding hair color levels and codes like 1B allows you to accurately communicate with your colorist. Taking into account your skin tone and complexion, your colorist can then suggest natural shades that will best complement your coloring and facial features. With the right natural hair color and cut, your stylist can help you look your radiant best!