How to Read the Aveda Hair Color Chart 2020

Learning the alphabet and numbers used to indicate hair colors can be daunting, but this article can help you decipher their mysterious codes to choose the ideal hues for each client.

Aveda offers natural and plant-based professional color products without PPD (p-phenylenediamine). PPD has been linked with bladder cancer, lung and kidney issues, severe allergic reactions, and even death.


Aveda’s demi hair color line does not use harsh sensitizers like PPD and TDS; it uses ethanolamine, an alkaline agent often used as an ammonia replacement that provides alkaline solutions to penetrate hair shafts with dyes more effectively. Furthermore, sunflower, castor, and jojoba oils protect coloring for maximum shine with long-term color results.

The Aveda Hair Color Chart allows you to select your ideal shade easily, from level one black through 10 lightest blonde. All hues have been designed to resist fading, cover grey effectively and achieve vibrant, rich hues that last up to 8 weeks for lasting deep beauty.

Aveda Colour Ambassador Lynsey suggests some simple and non-committal steps maintain healthy colored hair, including using hair up and headscarves to cover roots, using dry shampoo on blondes with darker roots, and investing in a deep conditioning treatment pre and post-coloring.

Base Tone

hair dye charts represent tones through letters and levels via numbers. Each number corresponds with an underlying base tone and shows how light or dark a shade will appear – for instance, a shadow with 5RV will contain red and violet tones, while 10G denotes very light blonde shades. Most dye lines use this system; some may deviate slightly.

According to the color wheel, colors opposite each other on the spectrum also contrast in terms of “temperature,” so warm tones can neutralize cool tones and vice versa.

Aveda’s demi line uses no nitro-chemicals or parabens; instead, they use natural ingredients like henna to help oxidize dye, helping minimize damage. Their groundbreaking new formula is ammonia-free and does not contain PPD (p-phenylenediamine) or Toluene-2,5-diamine Sulfate (TDS); additionally it boasts 98% natural ingredients with certified organic botanical essential oils providing nourishment with pure-fume aroma.

Shade Numbers

Have you noticed the numbers and letters printed on hair color boxes? These represent levels and tones of each shade; levels represent light or dark shades, with levels from one to ten being indicated; tones denote whether a shade is warm or cool, and there are various tones such as natural, beige, gold, and copper; some shades even feature double styles such as 5RV that indicate red and violet together in it!

Knowing how to interpret these numbers and letters will enable you to select the ideal shade for your hair. Although most color lines use this system, some brands may employ unique tones and names to distinguish themselves. At Mint on the Avenue, we can assist in understanding these systems so you can select your perfect hue!