Women with black hair are often unsure as to which of our black toned hair extension sets would best suit them. You’d think that black would be the easiest hair color to match, right? Wrong! Just like other hair tones, black hair comes in different shades with different elements to it, and we’re here to reduce the guesswork and help women make the best choice possible.
The first thing that needs to be understood is from where hair gets its color. Every single hair color in the world comes from the combining of two types of melanin; eumelanin and pheomelanin (red). What makes it a bit more complicated though is that eumelanin comes in two varieties; black and brown. Every person’s hair therefore, has varying amounts of (a) black eumelanin or brown eumelanin (you can’t have both) and (b) pheomelanin. So let’s take the three most extreme examples of hair color; pure black, pure white and ginger red. The person with pure black colored hair has a lot of black eumelanin in their hair, no brown eumelanin along with a total absence of pheomelanin. A person whose hair is naturally pure white (think someone who is albino) will have no black eumelanin, next to no brown eumelanin and almost no pheomelanin. Someone whose hair is ginger red will have no black eumelanin, next to no brown eumelanin, and a lot of pheomelanin. Every other hair color in the world will be some less extreme permutation or combination of the foregoing.
So what does it mean when we say someone’s hair has “warmer” or “cooler” tones? What it often means is that their hair contains more reddish undertones, which essentially means that their hair contains more pheomelanin. For example, a classic dark “Ash Brown” (which is known as a “cool” color) would contain large amounts of brown eumelanin, and very little pheomelanin. A typical “Chestnut Brown” (which is known as a “warm” color) would contain a bit less brown eumelanin than Ash Brown and a healthy dose of pheomelanin. An “Auburn Brown”, depending on how dark it was, would contain similar concentrations of pheomelanin as Chestnut Brown, but also contain more brown eumelanin.
So if you’re a woman whose hair is black, the first thing you know is that you’ve got a lot of black eumelanin in your hair. The difference between all of these shades of black however basically comes down to how much pheomelanin (red) you also have mixed in with that black. As with brown, that’s what distinguishes a “cool” toned black (sometimes referred to as “blue black” or “raven haired”) from a warmer toned black.
The darkest of our tones is our #1 Jet Black. This is a true, pure black with no warm undertones to it (in other words, no red). For the vast majority of black haired women this is an unnatural color. Those women who have this hair color naturally (though it’s still uncommon among these groups) are women of Sub Saharan African ancestry, South Asian ancestry (the Indian Sub-Continent) Native American ancestry and South East Asian ancestry (Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, Vietnam, etc.) In all other parts of the world it is an uncommon to see this hair color naturally, but for women who dye their hair pure black, this would be the tone to match it.
The second darkest of our colors is #1B, Off-Black. Think of this color as a “natural black”, in that the hair of the majority of black haired women in the world would match this color. This color contains a slight bit of red undertone to it, which gives it a “warmer” feel than is the case with Jet Black. Viewed in darker rooms, most people might not be able to pick out the differences between Jet Black and Off-Black. Put them in a naturally sunlight setting however, and you’ll easily be able to tell the difference.
Finally, there is our #1C Espresso. #1C Espresso is a color that in many ways connects black to brown, but we think the best way to describe it is as a black that contains a lot of red undertones to it. For that reason it’s the warmest tone of black that you would find naturally occurring, and this color will be most often found among women of Mediterranean or Middle Eastern ancestry, and sometimes found naturally occurring among women of East Asian ancestry.
When you think of Jet Black, think of how sunlight reflects off of a raven’s wings, giving it an almost bluish hue. Unless the sunlight hitting your hair produces a similar effect (which can happen if you’ve dyed your hair pure black), you are very likely to be #1B Off Black. If your hair color has so much red undertones to it that in bright sunlight it almost comes off looking a super dark brown, then you are likely to be #1C Espresso.
At the end of the day though, if you’re looking for hair extensions and have any doubts as to which black would suit you best, you need only shoot us an email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and one of our color matching experts would be glad to help get you your perfect match.