How To Find And Choose The Best Hair Color For Your Skin Tone

This elaborate handbook will help you figure out your skin tone and which hair color will look the best on it.

Reviewed by Madison Dufour, Barber & Cosmetologist Madison Dufour Madison DufourBarber & Cosmetologist facebook_iconlinkedin_iconinsta_icon
Written by , BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Arshiya Syeda BA (Literature & Psychology), PG Diploma Experience: 7 years
Edited by , MA (English) Subhrojyoti Mukherjee MA (English) Experience: 4 years
Fact-checked by , MA (English Literature) Aparna Harry MA (English Literature) linkedin_icon Experience: 3 years

How do you pick the right hair color for your skin tone? When it comes to dying your hair, deciding what color to use might be difficult. If you choose the wrong color, you can go from looking beautiful to awful in an instant. So that provokes the question: how can you know which color is best for you? Continue reading to find out the answer.

Melanin, a pigment found in the body of humans, determines the color of your hair, eyes, and skin. It also influences the color change in your skin due to changing environmental circumstances. Different skin hues are caused by variations in melanin in your body, such as its distribution, size, and shape.

Before you color your hair, the most crucial element to consider is your skin tone. You may not look pleasant if your complexion and hair colors clash. This article will serve as a reference for safe hair color ideas based on your skin tone and color. Keep reading.

Determine Your Skin Tone

Check if you are warm-toned or cool-toned person through the following methods:

1. To check if your skin tone tends toward being warm or cold, check your wrist in normal sunlight. If the veins in your wrists look green, then you are warm-toned. If they look blue, you are cool-toned.

  • If you cannot tell whether they are blue or green, you may have a neutral skin tone, giving you an olive complexion.
  • If you have yellowish undertones in your skin, then hair color that has warm overtones will look good on you. Copper blond color is one such color.
  • If your skin has pinkish undertones, you are cool toned and cool colors like ash blonde will look good on you.

Best Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone

Hair Color For Warm Skin Tone

Warm tones of blonde and brown pair well with warm skin colors. Select your shades depending on the color of your skin. For example, if you have light warm-toned skin, colors like honey blonde and rose gold will suit you. For darker skins, opt for darker browns like chocolate.

Stella, a YouTube vlogger, explained how she uses a color wheel to choose the best shades that complement her skin tone. She shared, “I am very much warm toned and one of the colors that looks really really amazing on me is orange copper tones today um I’m going to be dyeing my roots to match this (i).”

Hair Color For Cool Skin Tones

Cool tones like ash blonde, platinum, white blonde, and ash brown are ideal for cool skin tones. But you can also pull off softer warm tones like golden blonde and light chestnut brown.

Best Hair Color For Fair Skin

Fair-skinned people should avoid very dark hair colors. Having subtle highlights will do a great deal to improve your look. If you already have a tinge of brown on your hair, as some girls are born with, and have a fair complexion, then go for red streaks on your hair. You will look awesome. If you desperately want to try dark colors, choose shades with vibrant undertones.

A great way to color your hair if you fall under this category is to go for highlights. Shades of blonde, red, and light brown or chocolate will work best with this skin tone.

Best Hair Color For Medium Skin

Avoid colors that are too light. Stick to blondes and browns. The warmer, the better. Stay away from colors like ginger. You can go for dark plum shades and browns. Alternatively, you can also select the low lights. Get a haircut that will make the hair lowlights visible.

The ideal colors for you would be chocolate browns, dull reds, maroons, and dark, cool colors like blues or purples.

Hair Color For Dark Skin

For people with a darker skin tone, getting cool toned streaks like ash blonde might not be the best idea. Go for warm colors like streaks that are honey-hued or dark red. It’s safer to stick to darker colors with warm highlights when you have a dark skin tone. If you want to color most of your hair, opt for a balayage that will give you a smooth transition.

If you already have dark hair and are looking for a change, choose a shade that is near to your natural hair color. Maroons and dark browns work well with dark tones.

Hair Color For Light Skin

Shades that are on the cool end of the spectrum like white blonde, California blonde, dirty bronde, and ash browns look amazing on pale skin. Warm tones of light brown also look good on this skin type. However, cool tones are preferred.

Best Hair Color For Olive Skin

Warm dark blonde shades, dark browns, and light browns look amazing on an olive skin tones. Warm shades compliment this skin color really well. Ash colors also look good on olive skin because it’s a neutral skin tone.

Best Hair Color For Caramel Skin

Dark blonde shades and dark browns look good on caramel skin. Warm highlights that are blended well in dark hair are a suitable hair color idea.

Best Hair Color For Wheatish Skin

Warm dark browns and cool light browns look good on wheatish skin. Since wheatish skin falls into the medium-dark skinned category, the same rules apply, depending on how dark or light your skin is.

Best Hair Color For Yellow Skin Tone

Individuals with yellow or warm undertones in their skin generally have a variety of options when it comes to hair colors. You can go for warm and rich shades; popular options include golden blondes, honey browns, or fiery reds. These hues can add warmth and radiance to your complexion. This creates a balanced and flattering look. However, it is important to consider your undertones within the yellow spectrum. If you have more olive or golden undertones, you may find deep browns and warm blacks suitable. Some of the most favored hair colors include chocolate brown, mahogany brown, and chestnut brown. In case you fancy darker shades, go for coffee black or espresso black.

Tips To Choose Hair Color For Your Skin Tone

  1. Determine what colors from your wardrobe suit your skin tone
  • If you look good in red, orange, golden, yellow, green – golden blond, golden brown, strawberry blond, and auburn are the colors that will suit you.
  • If you look good in maroon, fuchsia, black, royal blue – platinum, ash blond, ash brown, burgundy, and jet black will suit you.
  • If you look good in red, purple, charcoal gray, teal – sandy blond, beige blond, chocolate brown, and mahogany will look good on you.
  1. Your eye color also plays an important role in determining the hair color that will suit you.
  • People with hazel, green, and brown eyes can go for warm overtones in colors. Golden blond, golden brown, and burgundy are some of them.
  • People with blue or gray eyes can go for cool overtones in hair color. Platinum, ash blond, ash brown, and blond colors will suit these people more.
  1. If you have dark skin tone, and still want to go in for full hair color, or let’s say you have gray hair and want full coverage, choose a subtle blond that is between brown and blonde, also known as bronde.
  2. Going completely blonde when you have a wheatish complexion can be really difficult to carry off. Instead, you can play around with reds, browns, light browns, and burgundy.

If you are thinking of going for an unnatural color such as purple, blue, or green, think about how this may clash with your wardrobe and if it works with your dress code at work or school. Always choose hair dyes that are free from ammonia peroxide!

Avoid dark colors on an extremely light skin tone as the contrast will make you look paler than you are. Dark hair on pale skin can also make you look older than you are.

How To Choose Hair Highlights – Hair Highlight Ideas

1. Medium Brown With Gold

Medium brown with gold hair highlight
Image: Shutterstock

For all the beauties with hair that is not too brown or not too black, gold is the perfect color to get highlights in. Gold highlights scream confidence and show that you’re not afraid to take risks.

2. Ombre

Ombre hair highlight
Image: Shutterstock

This is a trend that took the fashion world by storm in 2013 and looks like it’s here to stay. Graduated fading of color from the bottom to the top is a perfect way to highlight your dazzling mane.

protip_icon Trivia
The hair-coloring method known as ombré gained popularity in 2000 when singer Aaliyah had her hair colored in a gentle, subtle fade from dark at the roots to lighter at the tips.

3. Black With Red

Black with red hair highlight
Image: Instagram @stylesbyk8

Are you one of those lucky women with long and lustrous jet-black hair? Are you still not happy with it? How about getting some deep red highlights to make the statement you want to?

4. Dark Brown With Caramel

Dark brown with caramel color hair highlight
Image: Instagram @jessicaannebach

If you thought no good would come of out caramel, just imagine a delicious, moist walnut brownie, dripping with golden molten caramel. That’s what your hair will look like. Yummy!

5. Black With Chocolate

Black with chocolate color hair highlight
Image: Instagram @salon_peridot

There is no truer love than that of chocolate. Any sane woman will attest to that. So what if you can’t eat it as much you’d like to? Declare your love for cocoa goodness by highlighting your black hair in this color!

6. Dark Brown With Light Brown

Dark brown with light brown hair highlight
Image: Instagram

Let two long-lost souls have a not-so-tearful reunion. Couple dark brown hair with light brown highlights, and you’ll see that it’s a match made in heaven.

7. Black With Honey

Black with honey color hair highlight
Image: Instagram @haleytoweryhair

Oh, honey! The rich and delectable nectar that sweetens our lives so! Watch it work its magic in your black hair when you highlight it in its golden goodness.

8. Black Or Deep Brown With Burgundy

Black or deep brown with burgundy hair highlight
Image: Instagram @anyahairnailartist

For the uninitiated, burgundy is a shade between deep red and maroon. It’s neither here nor there but is one of the most popular color choices for women with dark brown or black hair to get highlights in, so go figure.

9. Black With Coffee

Black with coffee color hair highlight
Image: Instagram @purehairsalon

Looks like we’re not done with our dedications to beverages and foods yet. Exquisite coffee highlights are just what the doctor ordered for midnight black hair. Sigh!

10. Black With Copper

Black with copper color hair highlight
Image: Instagram @hairby_marisela

Be warned! Copper highlights are not for the faint-hearted, even though your daily encounters with women who seem to be getting them may tell you otherwise. They need thought; they need consideration, but most of all, they need a gorgeous head of jet-black hair to be sported with panache.

11. Balayage

Balayage hair highlight idea
Image: Instagram

A balayage is perfect for anyone who is looking for a smooth transition from dark to light hair. Unlike an ombre, it incorporates streaking from the mid-lengths of your hair. With a balayage, you can also opt for unnatural colors as the color of your roots are going to remain the same.

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The glamorous origins of balayage hair may be traced to the ultra-exclusive Carita Salon in Paris in the 1970s. It was a ground-breaking new method that separated colored hair from uncolored hair using strips of cotton, giving the hair that carefree, sun-kissed appearance.

What Is Permanent Hair Color?

Permanent hair colors are the box hair dyes that you often find at chemists and supermarkets. They stay in your hair forever, although the vibrancy of the color does fade. The only way to remove permanent hair color would be to grow it out and chop it off, or to bleach it out. However bleaching a permanent color out of your hair will cause more damage to your hair because of using a chemical process on top of a previous chemical process. Even if it’s been a long time. Be careful and make sure that you get this process done with a professional.

How Does Permanent Hair Color Work?

Permanent hair color can make your hair up to 2 tones lighter or darker than your current hair color, as opposed to semi-permanent hair color, which can only darken it.

The color penetrates your cuticles and colors your hair from the inside.

A permanent hair color stays in your hair permanently but you will see that it starts to lighten after 4-6 weeks of application.

What Are The Benefits Of Permanent Hair Coloring?

For starters, it helps women cover up their gray roots that threaten to make you look way older than you are.

It also comes in handy when you’re stuck in the middle of an existential crisis thinking about where your life is headed, so you color your hair in pretty colors and plaster a smile on your face. (What? You haven’t done this?)

On a more serious note, coloring your hair at home using a box dye can save the big bucks that you would be spending at a salon. However, it is always better to consult a colorist if you don’t know what you’re doing or don’t have any experience with dyeing your hair.

How To Use Permanent Hair Color?

Now here’s the part that will show you how easy it is to get your hair colored minus a nail-biting trip to the salon. You’ll need to go hair color shopping. So, go to a drug or beauty store you trust and pick a color that you want. Take advice and suggestions from friends or the staff if you must. The color is going to stay with you for pretty long, so it’s worth taking a second opinion.

  1. Make sure your hair is unwashed (for at least 12 hours) prior to application. The natural oils in the scalp will aid the coloring process as the chemicals will dry your hair up considerably.
  2. As per the instructions on the box that you receive, you will have to mix the developer and the coloring agent. Ensure that you’re wearing the gloves that come in the box to prevent staining, irritation, or allergies.
  3. Remember to always do a strand test first. This is a must! Take a tiny section of your hair (hold it up to see if you can see through it).
  4. Using the applicator, apply a bit of the solution that you have made on this section of the hair. Wait for about twenty minutes to check if you have any reactions like tingling or burning. If you do, hair coloring might not be a viable option for you.
  5. If nothing of that sort happens, proceed to divide your hair into fine sections and color each of them completely.
  6. Time yourself (as per the box) from the moment you’re done applying the color and then wash and condition it with the conditioner provided in the box.
  7. Dry your hair and style it as usual.

Voila! It’s that simple, really. From blah to wow in 1 hour flat! Remember, permanent hair color does not wash out completely. Your hair has to grow out of it. So, when you see that little growth of your natural hair color, you know it’s time for a touch-up or a new shade, if you must!

Word To The Wise: Though highlights may seem like the trend to follow, remember that the color you choose is what will define your look for the next six months or so. So, make an informed decision to avoid committing a major faux pas.

Infographic: Know All About Different Types Of Hair Color

Choosing a hair color based on skin tone can help you land the most flattering shade for your tresses. However, if it is your first tryst with hair dyes, and you aren’t sure if you would want to change your hair color permanently, you can opt for other kinds of hair dyes. Check out the infographic below for more information.

know all about different types of hair color (infographic)

Illustration: StyleCraze Design Team

Your skin color is determined by the melanin production in your body. You can check your wrists to figure out if you have warm or cool undertones. Warmer shades pair well with warmer skin tones, while cooler colors work well with cool skin tones. But you also need to consider your surface skin tone, such as fair, medium, dark, and olive tones. Other things to keep in mind include thinking about your the predominant colors in your wardrobe, your eye color, your makeup looks, and if you want a dash of color like highlights or a full color change.

Frequently Asked Questions

What hair color reduces redness in the face?

Choose soft or warm shades like golden, orange, or neutral tones to minimize the focus on facial redness..

Does blonde hair make you look older?

Yes, certain blonde shades like bleach blonde or monochromatic blonde might make you look older. Picking the wrong blonde shade for your skin tone can enhance fine lines, harsh lines, and wrinkles.

Which hair color suits pale skin and brown eyes?

Hair colors such as light blue ombre, lilac platinum blonde, golden blonde with peach highlights, or ash blonde suit a pale skin with brown eyes.

Key Takeaways

  • If you have a medium skin tone with warm undertones, try warm browns or blonde shades.
  • For fair skin, do not go for extremely dark shades. You can play around with browns, reds, blondes, and even some funky colors like purple.
  • Try warm tones of light brown shades if you have light pale skin.
  • Accentuate your dark skin with honey-blonde, red, or ash-blonde streaks.
best hair color for your skin tone

Image: Stable Diffusion/StyleCraze Design Team

Discover the key to finding the perfect hair color for your face in this video. You will gain insight into tones and learn valuable tips to help you select the ideal shade to enhance your unique features.

Personal Experience: Source

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Madison Dufour

Madison DufourBarber & Cosmetologist

Madison Dufour is a licensed and practicing barber and cosmetologist with 10 years of experience, as well as an entrepreneur running several hair businesses, including MadisonD Barbering and The Exquisite Find Hair Blog. After working behind the chair for several years, she felt the calling to start the non-profit Barber in a Bag that teaches basic hair cutting skills full bio

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