Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone

By on January 17, 2014

As tempting as it can be to simply point to a box on the shelf and say ‘I want that color’ we should all know by now that it isn’t always that easy to change our hair color. We may think we know what we want but, in reality, what we want and what our skin tone wants can be two entirely different things. Perhaps bold and fiery reds are all the rage this season and you can’t wait to grab the bottle of dye or stroll into a salon and join the craze. Red is bold, it’s alive and fun and it would match your personality perfectly! If only changing your hair color were that simple…

As easy as it may be just to pick a color you like and go with it, if you do so without considering your skin tone you may find yourself looking washed out, tired and even aging. Choosing the wrong hair colour for your skin tone can have terrible effects on how you look so it’s important that you consider this before you choose a color. Knowing what colors will suit your skin tone can be hard though. We’re not hairdressers after all so how are we meant to know? I’ve been through this myself many a time so that’s why I’ve created a fool-proof guid to choosing your hair color and matching it to your skin tone.

As a general rule, you’re always better to choose a natural looking color. By natural I don’t just mean the hair color either, I mean natural for you. You want a color that will look natural on you when matched with your skin tone and even your eyes. Achieving this natural look will help you to stay looking young as well as refreshed.

Your skin tone is made up of pigment in your skin. The underlying tones of that pigment generally go unnoticed but they help to make up your overall skin color. Try looking at your veins under natural light – veins that appear greenish mean you will likely have a warm skin tone and veins that appear blue represent cool skin tones. You can also get an idea of what your skin tone is judging by your natural hair color. People who were born with dark hair such as black or brown will tend to have warm undertones in their skin. These undertones tend to be a mix of gold, brown and orange – earthly colors. People who are naturally fair-haired however will likely have cooler undertones which can be a mix of blue, pink and green. Before you decide on a hair color, working out if you have a cool or warm skin tone should be your first step.


Blonde Hair Color And Your Skin Tone

Blonde as we know comes in countless different shades meaning that people with both warm and cool skin tones can wear it depending on the shade they choose. Warmer colored sin mixes better with golden blondes and the pair together will produce a radiant glow. Cooler skin tones are better off with ash blonde or very light blonde, either color or a variation of them will sit nicely against the cool color of the skin creating a natural look.


Brown Hair Color And Your Skin Tone

Brown is another hair color that can be worn by people of varying skin tones. As with blonde, the trick is finding the correct shade of brown to match your skin tone. For those of  you with warm colored skin, honey brown will melt against your face beautifully and really bring out your natural beauty. For those of you with cool skin colors on the other hand you’re better of with a color to really set both your skin and hair off. Try going for auburn-brown to really bring out your features. Your hair will still look natural against your skin but it will be different enough to really stand out.


Black Hair Color And Your Skin Tone

Black is a hair color that most everyone dreams about at some point in their life yet very few can actually pull off. You’re probably thinking that it’s those of you with warm skin tones who could pull this off best, black is closer to your skin tone after all. If you’re thinking that however you’d be wrong. It’s those girls with cooler skin tones who are best suited for black hair. The contrasting colors in skin doesn’t make them look washed out like you might think, in fact it has the opposite effect. Both hair and skin really glow when you combine cool skin tones with black hair, giving you a Snow White effect. Since cool skin tones also have undertones of blue, pink and reds you could also try using a tinted black dye with one of these colors in to really set yourself apart from the crowd. I’ll admit, this takes away from your natural look but you’ll look so gorgeous it’s worth it.


Red Hair Color And Your Skin Tone

Red is another color that comes in countless different shades. You can have it fiery, verging on being orange, you can have it dark and mixed in with a bit of brown, you can have it as red as red can be if you want – the possibilities are endless. It’s just about the only hair color where those of you with warm or cool skin tones can get away with choosing the same shade of dye and everything turning out looking fab. Red hair against pale, cool skin tones really sets your look off and gives you a fiery edge whereas red hair on more earthly skin tones really plays on the warm colors in your pigment. If you choose the right shade of dye, red hair can look natural when worn on those of you with warm or cool skin. Feel free to experiment to your hearts desire and do so worry free with this one, ladies!


Grey Hair Color And Your Skin Tone

Don’t panic just because you’re starting to get a few silver locks here and there – your hair can still be dyed and look amazing just like everyone else’s. The same rules outlined above don’t work quite the same when your natural color is turning grey however. You can no longer choose a color thinking ‘I used to be blonde, that means naturally I still am blonde. My pigment is still made up of cool colors.’. Sorry, ladies, that no longer works. Whether growing grey is making your hair fairer or darker, it tends to make your skin tone darken so remember to reexamine your veins and redetermine your skin tone before applying color. If you still have cool skin tones, feel free to decorate yourself with all your usual colors but be sure to tone them down slightly. Use a slightly tamer shade of color. Remember, the same blacks and bleach blondes you may have loved before are now too extreme for your hair. They’ll no longer make you glow and will (gasp!) show up any wrinkles you’ve got appearing. For those of with warm skin tones, feel free to stick to your golden blondes and browns but, as with cool skin tones, tone them down slightly. Perhaps incorporate a slight touch of grey into your color either with a dye that uses that tone or with some highlights. You’re probably wondering why on Earth I’d suggest such a thing but trust me it will make growing old gracefully that much easier when (or if!) you decide to do it.

If you’re not yet going grey but are thinking about toying with the color, grey can still make you look amazing. Try using grey with highlights of blonde, purple, blue or brown to soften the blow however. This is best done for those of you with a cool skin tone though.


Any good stylist will be able to aid you in deciding what your skin tone is and should be able to recommend what will go best with it. While it is their job to do this and they are the expert, keep in mind what you want too. No doubt we’ve all been there – we’ve all walked into a salon knowing exactly what we want and have found ourselves leaving wearing a color or a cut the stylist chose and feeling a bit deflated even if it does look fab. Sometimes our feelings for what we want can outweigh our feelings about what looks good so remember that before taking the plunge.

If you’re still not sure on what color to go for, try using an online simulator to get an idea of what the color will look like on you before dye even goes anywhere near your hair. Remember though, the color the dye goes isn’t always the same as the picture on the box. It depends entirely on your current and natural hair color. If you’ve got a light hair color now then the color will likely turn out lighter and vice versa for darker colors. Having brown hair can also cause red colors to turn orange. If you’re worried about any of this, ask a stylists opinion on what color you should choose even if you’re using a DIY dye. Your hair will thank you for it.

Keep your eyes out for my next article, Highlights Vs Lowlights which will be full of more useful information on dying your hair based on your skin tone and current hair color.

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