Wella T14 vs T18: What's the difference?

15th February 2018

So you’ve been researching how to dye your hair grey or silver and you keep hearing about Wella’s T14 and T18… but which one should you use?

T14 and T18 are both part of Wella’s Color Charm range and are often recommended for toning hair silver. Each 42ml bottle contains a liquid toner that must be mixed with developer to work. Its mixing ratio is 1 part Color Charm to 2 parts 20 volume peroxide and it needs around 30 minutes to process.

Wella ColorCharm bottle

Wella Color Charm bottle

To compare the two toners, I’m going to dye identical pieces of bleached blonde human hair (the colour is #60). I’ll process them for the same amount of time and then compare the results.

Human hair weft in colour #60 bleached blonde

Human hair weft in “bleached blonde, #60”. This is the base colour I’ll be toning

Here’s the dye before mixing it with developer.
T14 is labelled “pale ash blonde” and T18 is “lightest ash blonde”. You can see that T18 is a bit bluer and darker than T14.

Toners before mixing with developer.

The toners as they come out of the bottle

Here’s how the colour looks when it’s applied. T14 is much paler and more silvery than T18, which looks violet on the hair.

Wella T14 and T18 processing on hair

T14 (bottom) looks more silver applied to the hair, while T18 seems violet

I let them develop for around 40 minutes, which is longer than recommended. A longer development time was needed because the hair was sitting on a cold desk; I would expect you’d only need 30 minutes if applying to your hair. It’s always best to do a strand test to figure it out timings before dyeing your own hair.

Swatches dyed with T14 and T18

T18 (top) is a little warmer. T14 has better coverage but can look slightly green in some lights

Here’s the swatches after rinsing and drying. You can see there isn’t actually much difference between them. T18 is warmer toned that T14 and has a hint of violet. It didn’t cover as evenly as T14 but looks more like a natural grey. T14 is a more solid, muted pale grey but has the slightest green tinge from some angles.

Color Charm is good, but…

While I think Color Charm does a great job of toning, and is a good choice for correcting excess warmth in your hair, I don’t recommend it as a long-term solution. Even though the box says it’s permanent – it has a permanent lightening effect of 1 or 2 levels – the colour does wash out in a few weeks and you will need to refresh the colour often. Since it has ammonia and can lighten your hair, using it frequently will accumulate damage to your hair.

The good news is that there are many non-damaging hair colourants available that give similar or better results. Adore, Crazy Color, Pravana, Manic Panic and Sparks all have at least one excellent grey/silver colour in their range and can be used as often as needed without damaging your hair.

Got a question about dyeing your hair grey or using Wella’s T14 or T18? Ask our forum!

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