How to match your shade in three easy steps

When you’re facing an aisle of home hair colour boxes, it’s hard to know where to start - let alone make a choice that will give you the results you’re after! Our community tell us it can be overwhelming and isolating.

How to match your shade in three easy steps

Josh sat down with our friend Minal to break it down. The first thing to nail? Your shade.

Josh: In very general terms, are you light or dark haired? Our system is very simple, we sell 12 shades from natural black to blonde, and our numbering runs from 2.0 (natural black) to 9.0 (lightest blonde). All our permanent kits deliver 100% grey coverage.

Step 1: What base colour you are?

The best way to do this is to look at the roots of your hair. Check right at the base of your partings, at the top of your head. Even if you’re grey – you’ll still see pieces of hair that are your natural pigmented hair in this area.

Super important: You want to match the colour you’re trying to create (the colour swatch on the box) to the roots of your hair, not your ends. And to get the best result, your root colour should be as close as possible to the colour you’re trying to achieve. Josh Wood Colour doesn’t deliver dramatic transformations in hair colour, it boosts what you already have, covers grey, giving you beautiful modern natural colour, and shiny, nourished hair. If you’re looking to go drastically lighter or darker than what you already are, we always recommend visiting a salon.

Step 2: How grey you are?

For assessing grey, look at the roots of your hair across the temples, underneath your hair. This is where you see the pattern of greying. This is important because it will show you the areas you need to apply the permanent colour to first, and leave for the longest. If you’re only just starting to grey and there’s not many greys in there, it may not be time to begin permanently colouring your hair. There are other options for you, such as our semi-permanent treatment gloss or root concealers.

On our recent trip to Boots Covent Garden, Josh was given the same problem over and over: my ends are too dark and heavy with colour. This is because you really don’t need to apply permanent colour to your ends – they already have plenty of colour! Apply permanent colour to where your grey is first and leave. Only comb colour through to your ends for the last 5-10 minutes of the process.

How to match your shade in three easy steps

Step 3. Choose if you’d like to have a cool or warm finish.

You need to look at the overall colour of your hair (roots plus ends) to make this choice. And really this is about whether you like warmth in your hair, or if you absolutely can’t bare it and would prefer cool, clean colours. To add cool or warm individual tones, choose from icy, smoky, champagne or chestnut from our Shade Shot Plus range.

If you’re a brunette who hates brassiness try Smoky Brunette, or if you love warm, chocolatey tones try Chestnut Brunette.

If you’re a blonde who wants a sun-kissed result try Champagne Blonde, or if you want an ashy finish try Icy Blonde.

(Shade Shot Plus must be pre-mixed with the permanent kits and applied as normal).

How to match your shade in three easy steps

Still unsure? Book a video consultation with our team of expert colourists here.

Alternatively, please send us in a photo of your hair to and our team of expert colourists are on hand to help!

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