5 Steps to Color Formulation


    The Natural Series in the framesi® Framcolor® swatch books are a quick, convenient reference to accurately determine the current level of color in the hair.  Simply match the correct color swatch with hair at the back of the head nearest the scalp.  The hair should be lifted slightly off of the scalp.  Be careful not to push it flat against the scalp as this will make it appear darker.

    The levels may differ from one color company to another, so it’s extremely important to determine the natural level by using the swatches from the framesi® swatch books.


    During the consultation phase, you and your client will have discussed the new haircolor you wish to achieve.  With framesi®, the level number you choose will always be the same as the level you wish to achieve.  

    Before you can proceed to step 3, you need to understand remaining color and the lifting process.  At each level of lift, color always remains in the hair (remaining color), so your final color is actually a combination of these 2 colors.

    The Guiding Principle of Haircolor:  
    Remaining color at lift level + the framesi® color base=the final color

    Please refer to Remaining Color Chart found in all framesi® technical manuals:

    Framcolor® 2001 Technical Manual
    Framcolor® 2001 Wall Chart
    Framcolor® Glamour Technical Manual
    Framcolor® Glamour Wall Chart
    Framcolor® Eclectic Technical Manual
    Framcolor® Eclectic Wall Chart

    The color wheel is a tool used to visualize color theory.  Colors directly across the wheel from each other are opposites.  Mixing a color with its opposite always results in “browning out”.  Do you want to ENHANCE the Remaining Color?  Do you want to REFINE the Remaining Color?

    Note:  Remember, when lifting color, there will always be warm tones remaining, never cool tones.


    The true success of mixing color and achieving predictable results lies in understanding and applying simple color concepts inherent in the Universal Law of Color.

    Remember that all hair (except gray hair) contains all 3 primary colors – red, blue and yellow.  When hair is lightened, the warmer red and yellow tones are exposed.  The tone of the desired color is achieved by combining the remaining color at the lift level with the proper selection of one or more of the framesi® bases.  


    The level you wish to achieve will determine the particular developer required.  Please refer to Developer Usage Chart found in all framesi® technical manuals.  Because of the lower ammonia content and rich conditioning base of all framesi® colors, it is necessary to follow framesi’s developer usage chart to achieve the most predictable results.



    In many situations, you will also need to determine the percentage of gray in the natural hair color.  Because gray hair lacks all pigment, it is necessary to choose shades that will replace the missing primaries.  Since the Natural Series contains all 3 primaries in proportioned amounts, it is recommended to use the N series in proportioned amounts according the the % of gray in the hair.  In addition to the Natural Series, framesi® offers many other options for gray coverage without intermixing.  
    With Framcolor® Glamour, every single shade covers gray without the need to intermix.  Framcolor® 2001 contains 6 beautiful bases that cover gray when used alone.  Framcolor® Futura will soon be launching the NN Series, used alone for the most resistant gray coverage.

    Note:  as your clients age and become more gray, it may be necessary to adjust their color formulations.  

In conclusion, these 5 simple steps are basic, yet essential for a successful color service.  As stylists, we sometimes forget how basic and simple a problem may be.  When you start tacking an issue, or ask the questions in order to determine the cause of the problem (hot roots, inferior gray coverage, uneven results), the problem is always found in the 5 Steps to Successful Color Formulation.   Next time your color results are not what you expected…..Remember the Basics!

Join the conversation:

Monica Zakry

I have to say that I am underwhelmed with the grey coverage of Glamour. I have been told by my rep to add a strip of 3 and put under heat. This only works for some people and it is making me look like I don’t know what I am doing. When I started with Framesi I was using 2001, and since I didn’t get educated on it clearly, I switched to Glamour. I am considering switching to another color line. Also, since you’ve changed from State beauty supply to CosmoProf I have had times where they were out of color I need and always when you have a litre sale I cannot get what I need. I have 2 CosmoProfs that I use, and I am getting tired of waiting for product. I hope this will get the attention of someone who can do something about it.


Thank you for contacting framesi with your concerns below. We would love to help you with your Framcolor Glamour formulation issues. If you could please contact our technical line at 800.245.6323, we can discuss each of your formulations with you to better understand why you are not achieving superior gray coverage. When you purchased the framesi colors, did you have a framesi technician come in to your salon to discuss the colors in detail? We can have a Framesi technician visit your salon at your earliest convenience to correct the issues you have been experiencing with our colors.

Also, can you please tell us the address of the 2 CosmoProf stores you deal with? we will follow up to ensure they have adequate product on the shelves for our customers.


I have to say I am completely happy with glamour have had superior coverage with gray. Was wandering when I lift to say an 8 np what can I use to tone out orange yellow? Love the glmour.


Please if you have more information about framesi colors send it to me I want to learn everything since I’m Opening my own salon ! But I want to know the basic of the line I’m going to use !



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