There are only a few pure tone hair color companies left today. I believe the reason for this is that most hairdressers are not given enough time and education in beauty school to go over the amount of time it would take to understand how to correctly use them. With less hours being required now to receive your cosmetology license, it is impossible to gain the full understanding of color theory. Many hair color companies have tried to make it easy for the hairdresser to formulate a color by becoming a brown base color line. A pre-mixed, pre-formulated brown base color will not allow you to be creative and mix several shades together. Pre-formulated brown based colors end up looking muddied, drab and dull.
We use Framesi and Alfaparf here in our salon. These color lines are European lines and are pure tone. A pure tone color line are colors that are not premixed with a brown base. They give you endless combinations to formulate and customize to better suit your client. With pure tones, we are able to mix several colors to give you the purest reds and golds, the most natural browns and ashes, all with high shine and a more reflective finish.
I can see the need for both types of color line choices. When you come out of beauty school you need results, and without a lot of color theory, it is hard to know what to choose. This is why pre-mixed color lines work well for beginning stylists. The guess work is taken out, and the results are a happy client. But, for a stylist who has been in the industry longer, we need to be the artist without the limitations.
My favorite color line that I used (before they took it off the market) was called "Inspire" by Wella. It made me feel like a true colorist. You were given a clear tube of cream color, along with colored granules (think fine grained sand) in 8 colors. The colors ranged from blue, violet, red, gold, rose, orange, ash, and natural. Nothing was pre-mixed. You had to formulate the color yourself like a true chemist. There was no swatch book to go off of to show you the colors. You created them from scratch. I has a blast with this line, until it was discontinued due to complexity.
After a ton of research and trial on my own hair, the next best thing was a pure tone color line. We as hairdressers, love to be artists with unlimited possibilities and that is why our salon uses Framesi and Alfaparf as our main hair color lines. We can say we customize your color for you and you only!