Our Expert Guide to the Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

Are you wanting to update your hair color but don’t know which shade to go for? It can be a big decision – choosing the right hair color can be the difference between making you look radiant and glowing, and making you look tired and washed out.

To find the right hair color for your complexion, you’ll need to consider your own skin tone and also the tones in the hair color shade. Below we explain how you can find the best hair color for your skin tone and give you some hair color ideas to suit your complexion.

Don’t forget, you should always take care of your dyed hair with a regular hair gloss treatment to keep your color vibrant and your hair shiny.

Color theory: matching your skin tone and hair color

Generally, we like to think there are no rules when it comes to your beauty preferences. But if you’re looking to find the best hair color to match your skin tone, you can follow the rules of color theory.

Color theory uses the color wheel to create and correct colors. It’s why we use purple shampoo to banish brassy tones from blonde hair – purple is opposite yellow on the color wheel, so adding purple will neutralize the yellow-orange tones.

The color wheel also includes the undertones of the shades. There are three types of undertones – warm, neutral, and cool. Red is a warm colour and on the color wheel, it is opposite green, which is a cool tone. Mixing red and green will therefore create a neutral tone. Your hair color tone and skin tone should match – cool tone shades, for example, usually won’t suit those with warmer skin tones.

When choosing a hair color for your skin tone, you should work with your hair colorist, who should already know about color theory. They will know to consider your natural hair color and the hair color you want to achieve, and they will refer to the color wheel to successfully reach your desired shade.

How to find your skin tone

If you’re unsure what your own skin undertone is, there are a few things you can do to help work it out.

One trick to determining your skin tone is to look at the veins in your wrist. If your veins look blue or purple, you probably have cool-toned skin. If they look green, you’ll likely have warm-toned skin. If your veins look to match the color of your skin, you probably have neutral undertones.

Another way to work out your skin undertones is to compare jewelry. Silver jewelry will look better against cool-toned skin, whereas gold jewelry will look better against warm tones. If both look great on you, you probably have a neutral skin tone.

Best hair color for cool-toned skin

The best hair color for those with cool skin tones will also incorporate cool tones. You’ll want to add balance to your complexion and minimize any redness. The best hair colors for cool tones include shades like strawberry blonde, pearl, and platinum. Warmer shades such as gold or caramel might make you look pinker in your complexion, so it’s best to avoid these.

If you have cool-toned skin and don’t want to go blonde, look for a rich brunette shade that has a purple or even blue tinge. A midnight blue-black shade can be really flattering for those with cool undertones in their skin.

If you have cool-toned skin and you want red hair, go for shades that incorporate purple or auburn tones. Going too orange with your red hair color will risk making you look washed out, so you should try to avoid shades that have too much orange.

If you fancy a fantasy color for your hair, there’s still plenty of choice if you have a cool skin tone. Pastel pink shades are perfect for those with cooler tones in their skin. Or if you prefer something more vibrant, you can go for a vivid violet or magenta to complement the cooler tones in your skin.

Best hair color for warm-toned skin

Those with warmer skin tones will have more yellow and orange undertones. So, blonde shades like honey and caramel can be really flattering and help to balance your complexion. You should avoid cool-blonde shades like platinum, as these can make you look washed out.

If you want to go brunette with warm-toned skin, avoid brown shades that have a blue tint. Instead, go for dark mahogany or mocha shades, or even combine honey tones with brunette for a multi-dimensional color.

If you have warm undertones in your skin and want to dye your hair red, it’s best to stick with shades that have a more orange tint, such as copper or rusty red. Those with darker skin and warm undertones can look gorgeous with a bold, fire-engine red – think Rhianna in her Loud era.

The best fantasy hair colors for warm-toned skin include pastel blues and purples, as well as jewel-toned blues and purples. Plum and ruby shades can be incredibly flattering on those with darker skin tones that incorporate warm undertones.

Best hair color for neutral-toned skin

If you have a neutral skin tone, you’re in luck. Both warm and cool-toned hair colors can look great on you. When you’re choosing a hair color for neutral-toned skin, you should also consider your eye color, so you can find a shade that really makes your eyes pop.

Warmer hair colors are often more youthful looking, but cooler hair colors can look especially striking and dramatic. Speak with your hair colorist to find the right shade for your specific skin color.