Posted on March 03 2021
Have you ever seen the shelves of hair dye at a beauty store? The choices usually have an entire wall dedicated to them. With so many hair color varieties, there needs to be a seemingly endless supply of tints!
Looking at all that dye could be overwhelming. A new wig-wearer feels something similar while browsing wig color options. If you’ve never worn a wig and are searching for your first, I bet you have a vision of a style and a color in mind.
Style, actually, is pretty easy. You can choose a human hair or heat-friendly synthetic wig and style it yourself or you can go with a normal synthetic wig and have an always ready-to-go look.
Color, though, is a different game. Many wig wearers prefer to pick a hue closest to their own natural hair color. After all, this is a shade they have a lifetime of experience working with.
If you need a hair topper instead of a wig, color matching is of the utmost importance. A topper only covers the crown of the head, so biological hair remains seen. If the topper’s color doesn’t blend in seamlessly with the color of the biological hair, then it looks obvious that it’s a hairpiece and not natural.
Matching a hair color can be tricky, especially when shopping online. Hair shades can be hard to judge when everyone has different computer or phone screens.
Why don’t colors just look universal? Here’s a quick and dirty rundown on color. Color is the result of light reflecting off pigment. Due to this, hues look different in different light sources. For example, the image below shows 3 different photos, but same color, Champagne Rooted by Ellen Wille.
For instance, consider photographing a red wig under varied settings. In natural (outdoor) light that red will appear brighter and with higher contrast than if it was photographed indoors. To see for yourself, compare photos from your last vacation in a sunny locale and selfies you took inside your home. You’ll notice a difference in how your hair color appears.
It isn’t only about lighting though. Fiber type and texture affect how a color looks. For fiber types, wigs come in two varieties: human and synthetic. Human hair will always appear warmer in color than synthetic because human hair has underlying pigments of yellow and red. Synthetics, meanwhile, will show more contrast in blends.
Texture and its effect on the appearance go back to the lighting discussion. Since color is the result of light reflecting, the texture of the hair comes into play. Light reflects differently off of curly hair than straight hair.
With all this in mind, how on earth can anyone color match while wig or topper shopping? For one, you can try using universal color codes.
Across brands, there are a few universal color codes. Below is a chart of the common color codes on wig sites.
Black: 1, 2
Brown: 4, 6, 8, 10, 12
Blonde: 14, 16, 17, 18, 22, 24, 26
Red: 27, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33 and 130, 131, 132, 134
Grey: 34, 36, 38, 39, 44, 48, 51, 54, 56, 59, 60 and 92
Platinum: 101, 102, 104 and 613
To use this chart, take a look at a wig’s color. For instance, Zara by Jon Renau comes in several colors, including FS27. Without an image, you can know that with the 27, this is a wig in the red color family.
If online color matching is too difficult, our Wig Experts are always available.
Our Wig Experts can help you find your ideal color or give you advice on how to customize to match a certain color style, like balayage. They can also teach you how to seamlessly blend your topper into your biological hair.