All About Wigs
Everything you need to know about wigs!
WHAT COLOR AM I LOOKING AT? Printer Friendly Version

QUESTION: I'm looking at a wig on the website and love the color. I would like to know what color it is so I can order that same color. Why is it so hard to tell me what color it is?

ANSWER: Well, this has been a common question asked and the answer is simple but often wrong. The simple answer is the manufacturer took a photo of a certain color wig and provided it to us. Generally, we can find out what the original color was. There is a problem with simply telling you what the color of the wig is in the photo. We do our best to reproduce the colors of the photos as accurately as possible. The difficulty comes in having no reference as to how your system displays colors. We have many different computers here that we can view our website and photos with. They do not appear the same color on each computer. One computer may show a picture as a 1B (Off Black, the left photo below) yet another may show it as a 2 (Darkest Brown, the middle photo below) and a 3rd may show it as 33 (Dark Auburn, the right photo below). This difference in the way different computers show colors is where the problem comes in. Let's say the photo is of a 2 (Darkest Brown) and your system shows it too bright and with too much red. You may be seeing what looks like a 33 when it isn't that color. We tell you it is a color 2, you order the 2 and it doesn't look anything like what you saw in the photo.

Another problem is the number of colors your display will show at the same time. The only way to get true colors is to make sure your computer is set to provide 16 million colors. Knows as True Color or 24Bit or 32Bit color. To give you an idea of what a difference it makes, the photo on the left below is 256 colors and the right photo is 16.7 million colors. If you don't see a major difference between these then your monitor is not displaying colors accurately.

Here is a simple way to see if your system is displaying colors even close to being correct.
The color bars shown below are continously shaded from black to red, green, blue and brown. Take a look at the colors on the far right #10 location. The colors are pure for the red, green and blue. Whereas the brown is an actual wig color.
The next spot check is with something most people will have around the house, a Pepsi can. The main red color is actually about where #4 is and the main blue is about #4 also. So if you see the main red matches #3 and the main blue matches #2 then your system is not only too bright but it is too bright in the blue. You kinda get the idea here. Say you are looking at a color of a wig on our site, and you like the color shown in the picture. If you were to order the medium brown in the picture, you would receive a darker wig than you expected. Or you were expecting a burgundy color it would be more red because your system is showing too much blue.
Next, look at each color bar and notice which number on the number bar represents the highest number for what appears black. That number should be #2. If your system shows something higher or lower then you are not seeing the true color of the wig.

All that being said, there is still another thing to consider, room lighting. If you are in a room lit with standard florescent lights, wigs will appear a different color than under "Color corrected" florescent lights. Standard bulbs and candles will make a wig appear more red and outdoors in sunlight will be more blue on a fair day and more gray on a cloudy day.

Fortunately, there are a couple of ways of knowing for sure what color you are looking at.

1. Order a color ring for that collection. We do charge for the color rings, but if you return them we will refund the cost of the color ring back to you, or give you a credit to apply to your next purchase. We have found that many people will keep the color rings and not send them back to us. The rings can cost as much or more than some of the actual wigs. We simply can't provide them for free and continue to purchase replacements to keep on-hand. We ask for the deposit and then give the credit to make sure we get the ring back.

2. Color-correct your computer display. Most modern computers have the ability to color-correct the display. There is more to it than simple tweaking the knobs until it looks right. Also, simply matching the colors of your screen to the colors on your printer won't ensure that the colors you see match the original photo. There needs to be a standard to which to correct your monitor. How is that done? We wish there was a simple answer. There are basically only a few things that can be done. It can be corrected by eye, it can be corrected by software, and lastly (and the best choice) is to purchase a color correcting device that looks at your screen to see what it is showing. A good article from Microsoft explaining color-correcting can be found here. This article states it is for Windows XP but the suggestions work for other systems also.

The least expensive color correcting hardware "colorimeter" mentioned in the article is the Pantone Colorvision Spyder. The prices seem to be going around $125 at the present time.

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