How to Get a Three-Tone Hair Color

Ton-on-tone semi-permanent hair colors combine different tones to produce the ideal blend.

Working closely with a skilled colorist like Tommy ensures the colors balance harmoniously against your natural base hue.

Color Selection

Hair dye charts or tubes of dye show shades with depth levels as their first number, which indicates how light or dark it will be.

A second number indicates whether any tones are present; tones are secondary pigments that affect hue.

The International Color Consortium color system classifies shades into tones and levels.

Example: 1 represents black, three is dark brown, 6 is light brown, and ten is blonde; each subsequent number, usually denoted by a decimal point or slash, indicates its tone level in that shade.


When selecting your hair color, it is crucial to consider your skin tone and complexion undertones.

Spending the time to do so will allow you to achieve your ideal look.

For best results, it is best to compare your face to natural lighting; indoor lighting may cause warming or cooling effects on the skin that alter results.

Every hair color shade has two tones that combine, known as its primary and secondary tones.

These numbers appear on an ICC shade chart; for instance, “4.2” indicates dark brown with a red undertone.

Letter-based shade charts may also exist, and adding these tones can neutralize unwanted undertones of your color choice.


hair colorists consider the existing tone and desired hue when applying hair dye because selecting the ideal shade can make or break an aesthetic look.

Once desired results have been reached, post-color care advice must be provided by your colorist to maintain vibrant colors for as long as possible. Typically, this involves avoiding hot water and using color-safe shampoos and conditioners.

hair color charts like the one above display two numbers that indicate the depth of a shade, while another number refers to tone – usually written out using letters representing pigments beneath.

Cool tones neutralize warm tones and vice versa during the blending process, with this considered by colorists when selecting techniques that will match or complement each client’s skin tone and natural undertone and provide maximum grey coverage.

Post-Color Care

After your colorist has given you the three-tone look of your dreams, there are certain things you can do to maintain its vibrancy and freshness for as long as possible.

Avoiding daily shampooing (which strips natural oils that help retain color), limiting heated workouts, and washing with lukewarm water contribute to long-term color longevity.

Be patient if you try to achieve a particular shade (such as silver blonde). Some shades take time and may require multiple applications of toner to reach their final result.

Reading a shade number on a hair dye package requires two numbers; one indicates the depth level, while the second digit reveals the tone/shade.

For instance, Neal