Hair color plays a pivotal role in defining one's appearance. The right shade can enhance your features, complement your skin tone, and even influence your mood. In the world of hair extensions and wigs, two shades often spark debate: 1B and 2. These shades, while seemingly similar, have distinct characteristics that cater to different preferences and needs. In this guide, we'll delve deep into the nuances between 1B hair color and 2, helping you make an informed choice for your next hair purchase.

Understanding Hair Color Codes

Before we dive into the specifics of 1B and 2, it's essential to understand the hair color coding system. Hair colors are typically categorized using numbers and letters, with lower numbers typically indicating darker shades and higher numbers signifying lighter ones, and letters denoting the undertone or specific hues.

Basics of the Coding System

1-2: Blacks and dark browns.

3-4: Medium browns to light browns.

5-6: Dark blondes to light blondes.

7-9: The range of golden and ash blondes.

10 and above: Lightest blondes to platinum.

Note: The presence of a letter, like 'A' for Ash or 'G' for Golden, can indicate the specific undertone of the shade.

1B Hair Color: The Classic Natural Black

  • Appearance: Often referred to as "natural black," 1B is a shade that's black with a hint of brown. It's the shade that most black-haired individuals naturally possess. It's rich, deep, and has a certain luster that captures light subtly. 
  • Who it's for: 1B is versatile and suits almost all skin tones. However, it particularly complements individuals with blue or pink undertones skin. Because the depth and richness of the 1B shade can create a striking contrast against lighter skin tones, making features pop and adding a touch of elegance. 
  • Styling: Due to its natural appearance, 1B hair seamlessly blends with most black hair types. It's perfect for those seeking extensions or wigs that offer a natural transition. 
  • Those Seeking a Classic Look: For individuals who prefer a timeless and classic hair color that never goes out of style, 1B is a go-to choice.
  • People with Dark Eyes: Dark brown or black eyes can be further accentuated and complemented by the depth of the 1B hair color.
  • Versatility Seekers: Given its natural appearance, 1B is adaptable to various hairstyles, be it curls, waves, or straight locks. It's a shade that offers flexibility in styling without looking out of place.

2 Hair Color: The Dark Brown Elegance

  • Appearance: Shade 2 is a dark brown that's a tad lighter than 1B. It is a rich and warm hue that resonates with a sense of sophistication. It's a shade that's just a step away from the deepest black and carries its own unique charm. 
  • Who it's for: This shade is ideal for individuals with warm undertones. Its warm undertones of the dark brown shade harmonize beautifully with those who have golden, peachy, or yellow undertones in their skin. 
  • Styling: Shade 2 offers a soft contrast against black roots, making it perfect for those looking for a subtle change. It's also an excellent choice for ombre or balayage styles, where a gradual transition from dark to light is desired.
  • People with Hazel or Brown Eyes: The warmth and depth of the dark brown shade can enhance and complement the richness of hazel or brown eyes, making them stand out even more. 
  • Versatility Enthusiasts: Much like its 1B counterpart, the dark brown shade is adaptable to a myriad of hairstyles. Whether you're sporting straight tresses, bouncy curls, or beachy waves, the color adds a touch of elegance to every style. 

Key Differences Between 1B and 2

1. Shade Depth:

  • 1B (Natural Black):

A hue that falls between jet black and dark brown.

While close to black, it often gives off subtle brown undertones when exposed to sunlight or certain lighting.

It often looks black in dimly lit areas but reveals its brownish-black nature in brighter lighting.

  • 2 (Dark Brown):

A true dark brown without the stark depth that black possesses.

In bright light, the richness of the brown is more pronounced, with the color appearing warm and deep. 

2. Suitability:

  • 1B (Natural Black):

Because of its neutral nature, it suits a broader range of skin tones, from fair to deep.

It can provide a striking contrast for those with light skin tones, while harmonizing beautifully with medium to deep skin tones.

  • 2 (Dark Brown):

This shade complements warmer skin tones due to its underlying warm brown undertones.

It provides a softer contrast for those with light skin, giving a more harmonious look.

3. Maintenance and Fade:

  • 1B (Natural Black):

It tends to maintain its depth longer since it's close to a natural black.

Fade, when it occurs, might lighten the shade to a more evident brown but still retains much of its darkness.

  • 2 (Dark Brown):

Being a dark brown, it may show signs of fading quicker than 1B, especially if exposed to sunlight frequently. This could result in a lighter brown over time.

Fade might expose some of the warmer undertones, giving it a slightly reddish or auburn hint.

4. Versatility:

  • 1B (Natural Black):

Offers a classic and timeless look, often perceived as more formal or sophisticated.

Provides a starker contrast when paired with bright colored clothing, making it stand out. 

  • 2 (Dark Brown):

A versatile shade that provides a natural and soft appearance.

Works beautifully for a day-to-day casual look and also for more formal occasions.

Pairs well with both muted and vibrant clothing colors, offering a harmonious balance. 

5. Styling and Highlights:

  • 1B (Natural Black):

Lighter highlights or streaks, like caramel or blonde, stand out vividly against this shade, offering a bold look.

It may require bleaching if one desires to add bright colored highlights. 

  • 2 (Dark Brown):

Highlights tend to blend more seamlessly due to the inherent warmth of this shade.

Suitable for those who prefer a subtle gradient with their highlights.

Choosing Between 1B and 2

Your choice between these two shades should hinge on:

1. Skin Tone Evaluation:

Fair Skin Tones:

1B: Provides a dramatic contrast and can make paler skin tones stand out more.

2: Offers a softer, more natural appearance against lighter skin. The warmth of dark brown can complement and warm up cooler undertones in the skin.

2. Medium to Olive Skin Tones:

1B: Harmonizes beautifully with these skin tones, adding depth and enhancing the skin’s natural warmth.

2: Further accentuates the warmth in medium to olive skin, offering a seamless, blended appearance.

3. Deep Skin Tones:

1B: Matches perfectly with deep skin tones, providing a balanced and natural look.

2: Creates a subtle contrast against deeper skin, which can be both interesting and attractive.

4. Consider Maintenance and Longevity:

1B: Being close to a natural black, this shade tends to maintain its depth longer.

2: Being a true brown, it may fade slightly faster, especially if frequently exposed to sunlight.

5. Reflect on Your Personal Style:

Are you aiming for a timeless, classic look? 1B's depth offers sophistication and a touch of formality.

If you lean towards a more relaxed, versatile, and natural appearance, 2 might be the perfect choice.

6. Lifestyle and Occupation:

For individuals in formal professions or settings, a 1B might be deemed more appropriate due to its classic feel.

On the other hand, if your environment is more laid-back or creative, a dark brown can offer flexibility and softness in appearance.


Navigating the world of hair colors, especially when deciding between shades like 1B, and 2, is a journey of self-expression and personal style. It's essential to find a hue that not only complements your skin tone but also resonates with your personality. While 1B and 2 are classic choices, the spectrum of hair colors is vast and varied. Luvme Hair takes pride in offering a diverse palette of shades to cater to every individual's unique taste. From vibrant reds to cool BLONDES, and from NATURAL BLACKS to subtle browns, our collection ensures that there's a shade for everyone. Explore the myriad of color options on our website, Luvme Hair, and discover the perfect hue that speaks to you.

August 14, 2023 — xiaowen zhou

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