Does trying to figure out what the heck wig color codes mean make your head spin?
It’s gotten easier over time (strictly because I’ve been doing this awhile!), but sometimes it seems like helper hair-wearing is conducted in a whole other language, don’t you think?
Industry-Standard Wig Color Codes
First, let’s discuss the wig color codes that relate to the industry as as whole. They can really be broken down into color buckets.
* BLACK 1 – 2
* BROWN 4 – 12
* BLONDE 14 – 26
* RED 27 – 33, 130 – 134
* GREY 34 – 60
* PLATINUM 101 – 104, 613
For reach of these buckets, there is a range of wig color codes within them.
For example, take Red. Wig color codes closer to 27 will be more of your Strawberry Blond red colors. As you get closer to 33, that’s when you get into your Red/Brown or Auburn shades. Jump to 130 and we’re getting into the fiery, super-vibrant reds.
The same is with Grays. Starting at 34, we get more of a salt & pepper blend (I absolutely LOVE color 38 Milkshake – more on that, another time!). As we approach color 60, that’s when you’re getting more towards a full gray.
Color 101 kicks off the Platinum blond scale. Later on in this post I’ll show you a wig with a even blend of color 102–Jon Renau’s Palm Springs from their new California Blondes human hair collection. The closer to 101, the more cool/ashy the blond tone is. As you move towards 104, it gets warmer. 613 is actually quite buttery.
It’s important to remember that each main color has a range which may move from light to dark, or may move from cooler to warmer.
Breaking Down Wig Color Codes
You need to actually break down the color codes to determine what we have going on – each color code is made up of a sum of its parts.
Let’s start with an easy one.
Here’s Jon Renau’s 10H16.
This has a base color of 10 (light brown), with a highlight color of 16 (blond family). Industry-standard is a highlight at about 20%, so 20% of the hair will have the lighter color sewn through it.
While that’s pretty industry-standard, Jon Renau enhanced this color combination. Check out the wavy Sarah wig, below. She’s 10RH16. Whereas 10H16 means 20% highlights, 10RH16 is Jon Renau specific, and means there are 33% highlights. The result is a slightly lighter, brighter look.
Here’s another example of this in action, this time comparing two of the same color across brands.
This is Jon Renau’s 8H14. It has a base color of 8 (a neutral brown) with a 20% highlight of 14 (blond family).
And here’s Estetica Jewel (although, Estetica reverses their color codes and lists the base color second) in 14/8:
And here is a side-by-side. Pretty close, right?
Once you understand how the brand itself constructs their wig color codes, things start to get a little easier. 🙂