Choosing the right hair colour for your skin tone is critical, especially if you are going for a drastic colour change.
When choosing the perfect hair colour for your skin tone the rule is fairly straight forward and simple. Warm skin tones look best with warmer hair colours, and cool skin tone works best with cooler hair colours.
If you’ve ever walked out of a hair dressing salon feeling less than thrilled about your new hair colour, it could be because the wrong hair colour has been matched with your skin tone.
A lot of the times when we see a colour, we want it, and we go with it. But that doesn’t always mean it works for us and our own unique complexion.
The secret to avoiding such disappointment lies in the art of selecting a hair colour that complements your skin tone – and skin tone changes with the seasons if we tan naturally or with self tan.
Deciding the best hair colour for your skin tone may seem tricky, but it’s not as difficult as you think.
Any complexion can essentially achieve some version of most shades, and if you learn a few key tips, you and your stylist will be able to work together to customise whatever colour you are envisioning.
If you are colouring your hair at home, try opting for an organic or natural hair colour to reduce the chemical impact on your hair. Some salons now offer both non natural and natural hair dyes, so ask your professional hairdresser what they stock and find something that works for you.
How to find your skin tone, and undertones:
Before deciding on the best hair colour for you, take time to figure out what your skin’s undertones are.
Most people fall into one of three categories. Warm, Cool or Neutral skin tones. And all of these are possible regardless of whether your complexion is dark, medium, or fair.
An interesting and fast way to see what skin tone you are is look at your veins in the inner wrist. Are they blue in colour, or slightly green in colour? If they are blue, you are cool tones, if they are green in colour, you are warm toned.
Other ways of working out what hair colour shade will suit you are:
- Look for specific colours in your skin:
Cool-toned skin has blue and olive undertones, while warm-toned skin has yellow and gold. An example of this is how you wear colours is if you wear the colour yellow well and it makes you glow, you are warm toned. However, if yellow washes you out and makes you look pale, you are cool toned. Neutral skin tones will suit colour shades of both, meaning you will be able to wear yellow which is only suited to warm skin tones, and pull off wearing blue, which is normally complimented on cool skin tones.
- Find your celebrity match:
When you’re looking for A-list colour inspiration, make note of which stars seem to have similar skin and eye colours to your own. This will give you a much better idea of how the hue will look on you.
- Take hints from your eye colour:
If you have a lot of gold specks in your eyes, usually your undertones are warm. If you have a lot of blues and greens, then you are usually cool.
Matching Hair Colours to Skin Tones
Once you understand skin colouring, it’s time to get schooled on the different hair colours and how they work with skin tones.
For Warm Undertones:
If your undertones lean toward warm, consider shades like golden blonde, rich copper, caramel, butterscotch shades and warm chocolate or golden brown. These colours enhance the warmth in your skin and create a radiant look.
For Cool Undertones:
If cool undertones are your signature, explore the world of ash blonde, platinum, cool brown,dark mocha, brown-black, burgundy, auburn, or even the boldness of raven black. These shades create a harmonious synergy with your cool undertones and make your features pop.
For Neutral Undertones:
The beauty of neutral undertones lies in their versatility. You can dabble in both warm and cool colours with ease. For a natural touch, opt for honey blonde, auburn red, reddish-brown, or chestnut brown to enhance the skin’s glow.
Medium Skin with Warm Undertones:
It’s hard to go wrong with any shade of brown in general since the shade works on almost anyone. A cooler brown tone can look particularly striking on anyone with warm skin, as it helps make yellow undertones look creamier. Try using shades like dark chocolate, chestnut, dark auburn, and mocha.
Medium Skin with Cool Undertones:
Caramel browns fit best with skin tones on the lighter side of olive, with a bit more yellow and green tones to them. Hair shades like caramel, honey, golden brown, amber, and mahogany are well suited and will compliment skin.
Medium Skin with Neutral Undertones:
Neutral skin tones have the benefit of sitting right in the middle of the hair colour spectrum, making most hair colour tones compatible. A universal rule when choosing a base hair colour is to stay within two shades of your natural colour.
Any darker can look harsh, and any lighter can become brassy. Best shades are true black, espresso, blue-black or liquorice.
Fair Skin with Warm Undertones:
Cool blonde shades look great against porcelain skin with blue, violet, or golden undertones, since those icy hues tend to neutralise redness. Use hair shades in the colours of platinum, ice, silver, ash, sand, beige, and champagne to compliments eye and skin colour.
Fair Skin with Cool Undertones:
Fair skin with cool undertones looks better with warm tones like strawberry blonde, copper, honey, and gold. Other hair shades that work with this skin tone are gold, caramel, amber, honey, and butterscotch.
Fair Skin with Neutral Undertones:
Strawberry blondes are great on fair and neutral skin tones. Other hair colours that work is copper, amber, rust, and russet. These shades will help bring out the tones in eye colour and compliment both cooler and warmer influences of neutral skin types.
Fair Skin with Peach Undertones:
It may sound counterintuitive, but red is actually an ideal undertone to complement peach and red undertones. Colours best suited to these skin tones are true red, auburn, and burgundy. If you do have olive undertones however, use less vibrant reds and focus on more brown-red and strawberry blonde tones to soften.
Let’s Talk Pastel Colours:
Pasteles shades will generally suit all skin tone, depending on what shade you are wanting to colour your hair in.
Darker skin tends to look washed out if paired with paler shades, while saturated hues enhance deeper skin tones. So for tan skin, try vibrant and saturated tones, jewel tones like ruby, fuchsia and magenta.
Well-known global hair colourist and ambassador for Matrix and Loreal, George Papanikolas says, there are some shades you need to watch out for and stay away from.
Warm Undertones: “If you have warm undertones, you should avoid hair color shades that are too warm or golden,” Papanikolas tells us. “Instead, look for cool, blue-toned, or ashy shades that balance out your skin’s natural warmth.”
Cool Undertones: “If you have cool undertones, you should avoid hair color shades that are too cool or ashy,” he says. “These shades can make your skin look dull and washed out. Instead, look for warm, golden, or reddish tones that complement your skin’s and help give it some natural warmth.”
Neutral Tones: Papanikolas says that those with neutral skin tones have the benefit of most shades working with their skin tone, since they fall right in the middle. Still, check out pictures of your desired shade on people with similar undertones so you can decide if you like the look.