Posted on by David Moon

Which is the best hair colour ?

What is the best hair colour for grey coverage? We get these questions asked on a daily basis. So we decided to ask some of Toronto’s top hair colorists which permanent hair colours they use and why they prefer them. All of the colorists we interviewed have worked with all the major brands and recognize that each brand has their own strengths. The top permanent hair colour brands that most colorists in Toronto use are Schwarzkopf Igora Royal, Wella Koleston Perfect, L’Oreal Professionnel Majirel and Goldwell Topchic. There are many other good  brands out there such as Redken Color Fusion, Joico Vero K-Pak, Wella Color Perfect, Wella Color Charm, L'Oreal Professionnel LUO. However, we have decided to focus on the big four. We will mention a little bit about the specialty oil infused colours such as Schwarzkopf Essensity, L’Oreal Professionnel INOA and Redken Chromatics

Redken Color Fusion Natural Shade levels 2N - 10N

Redken Color Fusion Natural shade levels 2N - 10N

L’Oreal Professionnel Majirel

L’Oreal has a long history in hair colouring technology that dates back to 1909. Today, L’Oreal Professionnel premier brand Majirel is utilized by top salons all over the world. Majirel incorporates two different technologies to treat the hair; INCELL and IOENE G. Both technologies strengthen hair by penetrating into the cuticle and cortex. The result is hair that is stronger,smoother and improves the porosity. 

DM5 and Rubilane technology

The Majirouge line of intense reds and coppers are some of the most popular colours because of evenness and longevity. Certain colours incorporate DM5 & Rubilane technology for added shine and intensity. They are designed to cover up to 100% white hair without mixing another shade. Less mixing and no additional cost is a great benefit.

Majirel - High lift

Formerly known as Majiblond, a complete palette of super lightening blondes. Lightens up to 4.5 levels on natural light bases without pre lightening. Made with Netra B technology to aid neutralization of warm reflects. 

Majicontrast

This specialty hair colour is a real time saver. It creates contrasting coloured highlights with pre-lightening, even on dark coloured hair. 

L’Oreal Professionnel Colour Numbering system

L’Oreal professional colour numbering system is similar to other European numbering systems. The first figure indicates the tone level. The first figure after the point indicates the primary reflect. The second figure after the point indicates the secondary reflect.

Levels

Reflects

10: Lightest Blonde

1: Ash/Blue

9: Very Light Blonde

2: Iridescent/Violet

8: Light Blonde

3: Gold/Yellow

7: Blonde

4: Copper/Orange

6: Dark Blonde

5: Mahogany

5: Light Brown

6: Red

4: Brown

7: Metallic/Green

3: Dark Brown

2: Darkest Brown

1: Black

*L’Oreal Technical guide

L'Oreal Professionnel Majirel Natural Shade levels 1-10 | cosmeticworld.ca
L'Oreal Professionnel Majirel Natural shades 1 - 10

 

We asked L’Oreal Colour Trophy winner Mauricio Jiminez, why he uses L’Oreal Professional Majirel hair colour. Mauricio has used Majirel for over 20 years. He loves the fact that majirel has more pigment and ability to change his clients look. He particularly likes the Majirel Cool cover  new formulation. This is what Mauricio says about L’Oreal Professionnel INOA, “Inoa is the colour of the future. It is a healthier choice, better for the environment and not tested on animals”. 

Mauricio Jiminez - Master Hair Colourist - L'Oreal Colour Trophy Winner | cosmeticworld.ca
Mauricio Jiminez, L'Oreal Colour Trophy Winner, Master Hair Colorist

 

Schwarzkopf Igora Royal

Igora Royal launched in 1960 and has continued huge success globally with over 500,000 participants at their technical seminars. Today, Igora Royal creme colours incorporate HIGH DEFINITION COLOUR PIGMENT MATRIX technology with Lipid carriers in their developers to seal hair surface for longer lasting colour retention and true to tone colour results. All Igora Royal shades provide up to 70% or 100% white hair coverage. 

Igora Royal Absolutes

Provides 100% coverage in more than 50% white hair without having to mix with a natural tone. 

The Schwarzkopf Igora numbering system

The first number before the dash indicates the colour level.  The first number after the dash indicates the primary colour tone direction (dominant colour tone). The second number after the dash indicates the secondary colour tone direction. Two identical numbers after the dash indicate an intense colour. A zero as the third number (Absolutes) indicates the additional neutral tone for 100% white hair coverage. 

Colour level

Colour tone direction

-0 natural (neutral)

1- black

-1 cendre (blue/violet)

3- dark brown

-2 ash (blue)

4- medium brown

-3 matte (green)

5- light brown

-4 beige (muted gold)

6- dark blonde

-5 gold (gold)

7- medium blonde

-6 chocolate (warm brown)

8- light blonde

-7 copper (orange)

9- extra light blonde

-8 red (red)

-9 violet (violet)

 

Schwarzkopf Igora Royal Natural shades level 1 - 12 | cosmeticworld.ca
Schwarzkopf Igora Royal Natural levels 1 - 12

 

We asked Toronto master hair colorist Jorge Gallegos - what makes Igora Royal his go to hair colour. Jorge first started out hair colouring in 1985 at Devah hair salon in Toronto. He has worked with all the major brands but enjoys Igora Royal over others. “Lower in ammonia - which needs no answer, is better” according to Jorge. Many of his clients spend time down south which will impact the longevity of the colour due to exposure to sun. “Igora has lots of green under tones and doesn’t look as red". His clients love the longevity and looks better for longer periods. For his Eastern European clients love their red colours so he switches to L’Oreal Majirel or Goldwell Topchic. “Igora Royal grey coverage is good. It has less ammonia but some ammonia is needed to erode the pigment and molecules. It alters hair to be porous, erodes the hair to drop the pigment. Reds are the smallest molecules, which enter the shaft and start to couple and process. In order to maintain the colour, a colour mousse or semi permanent gloss is recommended”. 

Jorge Gallegos - Master Hair Colourist | cosmeticworld.ca
Jorge Gallegos, Master Hair Colorist

 

Wella Koleston Perfect

Wella has over 100 years of history in hair colouring innovations. Wella is also credited for inventing the first creme hair colour in 1950. Their hugely popular Koleston 2000 was re branded as Koleston Perfect in 1995. Koleston Perfect utilizes Triluxiv technology which works by depositing lipids onto the porous parts of the hair and balances the hair structure. Presently, the latest Koleston Perfect utilizes ME+ technology. Designed to replace sensitizers, PPD and PTD, reducing the chance of developing allergies to hair colour. 

Wella Koleston Perfect rebranding | cosmeticworld.ca
Wella Koleston rebranding from 1995

 

We asked master hair colourist and Wella Colour artist Christine Winter why she uses Koleston Perfect. Christine loves the consistency and great tonal range. "The ability to do everything with all depths and incredible shine". 

Christine Winter - Master Hair Colorist | cosmeticworld.ca
Christine Winter, Master Hair Colorist

 

Welloxon Perfect Creme developer

It is recommended to use Koleston Perfect with Welloxon Perfect Creme developer to achieve maximum results. Koleston Perfect HDC molecule technology in combination with Koleston Perfect Creme developer HDC activator enables intense colour development.

Wella International numbering system

The number to the left of the stroke represents the level of depth (2-10). The numbers to the right of the stroke represent the tonal value. The first number to the right identifies the primary tone. The second number to the right of the stroke represents the secondary tone. 

Tones

-/

Pure

/0

Natural

/1

Grey Ash

/2

Green

/3

Gold

/4

Red

/34

Orange

/5

Red Violet

/6

Violet

/7

Brown (Warm)

/8

Pearl (Blue)

/9

Cendre (Soft Violet)

 

Wella Koleston Perfect Natural shades level 2 - 10 | cosmeticworld.ca
Wella Koleston Perfect Natural levels 2/0 - 10/0

Goldwell Topchic

Topchic was introduced in 1974 and since then has gained a reputation as a “hair colorist's hair colour”. The current Topchic integrates Integrated Protect System (IPS), Coenzyme Technology to maximize colour tonality, gentleness and durability. The latest Topchic developers feature bonding technology called Bondpro+. 

Goldwell Numbering system

Goldwell Color System describes each shade by a combination of numbers and letters. The numbers indicate the level or depth. The letters indicate the colour characteristics of the shade. In the case of a combination of letters, the first letter usually indicates the predominating shade and the second letter the complementing direction. 

 

Goldwell Topchic Natural shade levels 2N - 10N | cosmeticworld.ca
Goldwell Topchic Natural levels 2 - 10

Shade level

Name

Letters

Colour characters

10

Extra Light Blonde

N

Natural

9

Very Light Blonde

A

Ash

8

Light Blonde

G

Gold

7

Medium Blonde

P

Pearl

6

Dark Blonde

K

Copper

5

Light Brown

B

Brown (level 6 and below)

4

Medium Brown

B

Beige (level 7 and above)

3

Dark Brown

V

Violet

2

Black

R

Red

O

Orange

S

Silver

M

Matte

 

We spoke to celebrity stylist Norm Wright of Taz hair salon on why he thinks Goldwell Topchic is the best hair colour. Norm has used Goldwell Topchic since 1985 and started using it at the 4 Seasons salon. He feels that Topchic is the best because of the longevity and the quality of the ammonia. Topchic is the best hair colour for blondes and reds. “Goldwell hair colours are geared for hairstylists that like to formulate and those that don’t”.

Norm Wright - Master Hair Colorist | cosmeticworld.ca
Norm Wright, Celebrity stylist, Master Hair Colorist

 

The future of permanent hair colour

The future of permanent hair colour is trending towards oil infused systems. Most of the top oil systems leave the hair strengthened, more shine, no odor and no ammonia. Oil infused systems are a huge benefit for clients that have sensitivity to hair colours and ammonia.

L’Oreal Professionnel INOA

INOA is an acronym for - Innovation No Ammonia. L’Oreal Professionnel claims that they had the first ammonia-free oxidative hair colour. INOA incorporates an Oil Delivery System (ODS) technology: an oil-base that potentiates the action of the hair colouring process. Lightens up to 3 tones in 35 minutes. Covers up to 100% grey hair.

Schwarzkopf Essensity

ESSENSITY Color is Schwarzkopf’s first permanent ammonia-free oil colour. It utilizes Phytolipid Technology, which delivers natural looking colour results. The combination of specially re-designed colour pigment mixes and plant-based oils that contain lipids found in healthy-looking hair maximizes colour performance.

It provides up to 100% white hair coverage and is free from ammonia and harsh odours.

Redken Chromatics

The technology behind Chromatics is ODS² (Oil Delivery System) + Protein Extract Technology. It gives Chromatics the unique ability to fortify hair and deliver colour pigments at the same time. This technology doesn’t seem to be exclusive to Redken as L’Oreal Professionnel INOA utilizes ODS² (Oil Delivery System). There is no surprise that L’Oreal Professionnel the parent company of Redken, more than likely shares the features and technology. 

Redken Chromatics Natural shades level 2N - 10N | cosmeticworld.ca
Redken Chromatics Natural levels 2N - 10N
 

We asked celebrity stylist Jason Lee what his favorite hair colours are and why he uses Redken Chromatics.

“So when it comes to hair colour, I often take the approach that not one brand can achieve all that you need.  So I carry and work with a multitude of brands.  The one I go to most is Redken, specifically Shades EQ, however I also really like Chromatics.  It seems to neutralize warm tones that my clientele tends to pull and it gives a nice glossy finish to the hair. I use Shades EQ the most because it spreads well on the hair but also I can manipulate it to create soft blends throughout the hair and it can be very forgiving. 

For fast in and out clients who are in every 3-4 weeks, I tend to use Schwarzkopf 10 minute colour because those 3-4 week clients don’t want to actually be there.  It’s a necessity for them to cover grey most of the time so I try to get them in and out when possible.  I also use the heck out of Blond Me Lightener. It's my favorite and I stock up on it like crazy because I go through tons of it”.

Jason Lee Celebrity Stylist | cosmeticworld.ca

Jason Lee, Celebrity stylist, CEO Mela and Kera

Conclusion

L'Oreal Professionnel Majirel Cool Cover range | cosmeticworld.ca

L'Oreal Professionnel Cool Cover range
L'Oreal Professionnel Majirel Cool Inforced range | cosmeticworld.ca

 L'Oreal Professionnel Cool Inforced range

 

It is difficult to put a crown on one brand and claim it to be the best. The top four brands have their own strengths and qualities. It all depends on which suits your needs.  With the advice of our hair colorist panel, we  have to recognize the top qualities each brand  brings. Known for long lasting hair colour is Schwarzkopf Igora Royal. The hair colour that is known for its wide tonal range and flexibility is Wella Koleston Perfect. For high lift colours and reds, Goldwell Topchic is highly recommended. The reformulated cool coverage line from L’Oreal Professionnel Majirel is an industry favorite and has the widest range of colours.