the perfect hair color for your skintone
Hair Color

The Right Combo: Finding The Perfect Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

Look Flawless with The Perfect Color

We see women everywhere with bold hair colors that look great on them, but we aren’t so sure about ourselves.

Maybe you wanted to try out blonde but did not know if it would work for you. It looks great on Beyonce, but how do you figure out if a color works well for you without actually doing anything to your hair?

There are many ways to determine what hair color best matches your skin tone.

Here is a guide on how to achieve that.

ciara blonde hair

Skin Surface Tone vs. Undertone

Many people confuse your skin complexion with your skin undertone, but they are entirely different things.

Your skin’s surface tone is the color that you can see on the surface of your skin, often described as light, medium, tan, deep, and so on. Your skin undertone is the color underneath the surface of your skin.

You may have the same complexion as someone, but that does not necessarily mean you have the same undertone. Your skin’s surface color can change, due to factors like sun exposure, which is why some of us are lighter during the fall and winter months and get darker during spring and summer.

Your skin’s undertone remains the same, although it can look like it has changed.

Here are three types of skin undertones you can have:

Cool Undertone:

People with cool undertones tend to have lighter skin.

However, darker-skinned women can have cool undertones as well. If you have cool toned skin, you have pink, red or bluish undertones.

Neutral Undertone:

People with neutral undertones can rock looks from both the cool and warm tone group.

If you are neutral, you have a mix of both warm and cool undertones. Your skin radiates pink and yellow hues.

Warm Undertone:

If you have a warmer toned skin, then you have peach, yellow, or golden undertones.

Your face has a natural slight yellow or bronze glow.

skin undertones

Use These Tests To Determine Your Skin Tone

The first step to lead you in the right direction is to learn whether or not your hair works well with cool tones or warm tones.

If you are neutral, your skin works well with both! Cool, warm and neutral tones are remarkable because just a little change can alter your look completely. Naturally, warm skin tones look best with warm hair colors, and cool skin tones look best with cool hair colors whereas neutral can rock either.

The key is for you to pick the color that best accentuates your natural features. How do you figure out if you have warm or cool skin? Here are some quick tests you can do to help you determine that!

You can probably already tell what category you fall under but here are a few tests to help you be sure of your undertones!

Under-Eye Skin Test

For this test what you want to do is stand in a place with natural light, preferably a window when it is sunny out, and use a mirror to look at your under eyes.

If the skin under your eyes a bit purple or blue you are a cool tone. However, if the skin under your eyes appear to be more of a yellowish color you are a warm tone. Not everyone has these colors underneath their eyes to help determine their skin tone but do not worry there are several more tests!

Hold a white piece of paper up to your face. Looking in a mirror, try to see how your skin looks in contrast to the white paper. Your skin tone is warm if your skin appears yellowish or sallow beside the white paper. If your skin seems pink, rosy, or blueish-red, then you have a cool skin tone.

When having a neutral skin tone, you can’t determine any cast of yellow, olive, or pink.

dewy skin

Sun and Skin Test

If your skin burns quickly in the sun, you are most likely a cool tone. And if your skin tans easily you are a warm tone.

If you have spent more than an hour in the sun you probably already know this answer, and it is not necessary to go out and complete this test! This test is not easy to determine if you are neutral as your skin can react either way.

Vein Test

You want to flip your wrist and look at your veins for this analysis.

You are a cool tone if your veins appear a bluish or purplish color. If your veins appear a green color, you are a warm tone.

You’re most likely neutral if you have both colors!

Eye and Hair Color

Your natural eye and hair color can help you determine your skin tone.

Usually, people with cool tones have eyes that are blue, grey, or green and have blonde, brown or black hair. Their hair typically has undertones colors of blue, silver, violet, or ash. Warm toned women usually have brown, amber, or hazel eyes with blonde, red, brown or black hair.

The undertones in their hair are most likely gold, red, orange, or yellow. Neutral skin tones mainly have hair and eye colors that have a mix of warm and cool tones. Those with neutrally toned skins have eye colors that typically are a combination of some sort, such as blue-green eyes with hints of copper, or eyes that can go from a warm-green to a cool blue.

This can also depend on what clothing or hair color they have.

Jewelry test

Think about whether you look better in silver or gold jewelry.

It should not be which you like more, but which type of jewelry makes you look more radiant, glowing, and awake. If you look better in silver jewelry, then you most likely have a cool undertone. If you look better in gold jewelry, then you most likely have a warm undertone. For those that look great in both, your undertone is most likely neutral.

Which color looks best on you? Warm toned women, the colors that fit them best are yellows, oranges, browns, yellow-greens, ivory, and warm reds. Cool toned women’s best colors are blues, greens, pinks, purples, blue-greens, magentas, and real “blue-based” reds.

For neutral undertones colors that fall in the middle of the color spectrum work best. Some examples are light peach, dusty pinks, soft rose, peony pink, placid blue, jade green, cameo green.

Gold Silver

Celebrity Matchup

If you are still confused about whether you are a warm or cool skin tone, a great way to determine this would be matching your skin color to other celebrities.

Not only will this help you figure out if you are warm or cool, looking at the colors that the star with your matching skin tone wears can also give you an idea of what colors look great on you too because we all know these celebrity women are always looking great.

Here are a few skin tone examples and celebrities that fit into the category.

#1 Porcelain

If you are of a pale complexion, then your skin tones fall near porcelain! This color is an apparent cool skin tone. Celebrities that have this skin tone include Anne Hathaway, Emma Stone, Amanda Seyfried, and Adele. People with porcelain skin mainly have blue undertones.

makeup

#2 Fair

If you are still of a lighter complexion, but your skin can tan and become a bit golden, then you have fair skin. People with fair skin tend to have a neutral undertone. A few celebrities with fair skin are Rita Ora, Blake Lively, and Ashley Benson.

#3 Olive

People with an olive skin color have a light but warm complexion with some yellow undertone. Some people with olive skin may have a warm or cool undertone. Celebrities with an olive skin tone include Kim Kardashian, Eva Longoria, Vanessa Anne Hudgens, and Mila Kunis.

#4 Medium

A medium skin complexion classifies lighter skinned black women. They have a warm undertone with colors ranging from yellow, gold, and brown. Celebrities with this medium skin tone are Beyonce, Rihanna, Kerry Washington and Ciara.

#5 Dark

Darker skin complexions classify brown and darker skinned black women. They also have a warm undertone with the same colors ranging from a hint of yellow, gold, and brown. Celebrities with this complexion include Lupita Nyongo, Viola Davis, Naomi Campbell, and Jennifer Hudson.

It is essential to keep in mind that people of darker shades can have a neutral or cool undertone and people of lighter tones can have a warm undertone.

That is why it is crucial to not only go off of your skin color but also complete the undertone tests to find out your right match.

Now that you know you skin category and have figured out your undertones, it is time to decide what hair colors work the best for you.

naomi campbell kim kardashian long hair

Tips to Guide You to Your Perfect Shade

Getting professional help is usually the best idea if you are coloring for the first time or are trying a unique color (oranges, purples, pinks).

Whether you want to seek professional help or do it at home is your choice, but it is essential to know some tips to help you on your journey.Here are a few tips to help your hair and guide you to the color that you so desire.

#1

If you have never dyed your hair before, it is essential to know that the color that shows up on the box is the color that will reflect on your hair.

#2

Use a sulfate free shampoo. This step is crucial as it will lengthen the life of your permanent hair dye and will not strip the color out like other shampoos.

#3

Do not use heat styling tools often. Not using too much heat helps to control and prevent further damage.

#4

Use a heat protectant. If you can’t help but use heat often or use heat at all, putting a heat protectant on before styling your hair will also help prevent damage.

Best-Heat-Protectant-for-Natural-Hair

#5

Invest in a shower filter. A shower filter will prevent fading and discoloration from the buildup of minerals and chlorine that are present in city water.

#6

If your hair color does not look right, do not dye on top of it. Doing this will not get you the color on the box but a mix of the two colors. Save yourself the time and damage and invest in a product that will remove the color or seek professional advice.

#7

Deep condition often. A deep conditioner will help to repair any damage that has been done to your hair and keep it moisturized. Remember, sulfate free!

#8

Before swimming, rub coconut oil through your hair. It creates a barrier between your hair and the salt and chlorine which helps to prevent damage and color loss.

#9

Use a shampoo and conditioner specifically made for color treated hair. Using specific hair products will help preserve freshness and manage your hair the right way.

#10

Your hair health effects the color outcome. It is not a good idea to dye damaged hair. To get the best outcome, dye your hair when it is healthy.

washing hair

Hair Colors for Your Undertone

Now here is the fun part! Figuring out what colors look best on you so that you can add a little pop to your current style.

It is also important to know that if you want to dye your hair a shade that is not in your category you should go for it. As long as you are confident and feel great in the look then why not experiment?

Also, it is not about the color; it is about the specific shade. Blonde hair can look great on anyone; you just have to find out what exact shade of blonde works for you.

With that in mind, here are the hair colors that work best for your skin tone.

rita ora short blonde bob

Neutral-toned Colors

The benefit of having a neutral skin tone is that there is a range of colors that work for you.

Neutral skin tones can pull off virtually every hairstyle. So instead of talking about shades that look good on neutral tones, I’m going to state a few techniques that bring out the best in this complexion.

Some hair dyeing techniques that seem great in a neutral undertone are: ombre, highlights, balayage, lowlights, splashlights, and many more techniques look great with neutral undertones.

These styles help bring out the cool and warm undertones that a neutral tone has.

ombre beach waves

Warm-toned Colors

Women with peach, yellow, or golden undertones have many great colors they can rock as well.

Most women with warmer skin tones have naturally darker hair usually being brown or black. That doesn’t mean you can’t try a bold color! Vibrant colors look great on the warm toned skin as well.

The key is to choose a color that will not only compliment your skin but your eyes as well. You want to avoid colors with a harsh contrast to your skin. Some of those colors include jet black, white, blue or violet.

Here are a few different shades of colors you can rock:

Blonde

  • Strawberry blonde, light blonde, or golden blonde

Note: Golden blonde looks especially fantastic for the women with a darker complexion.

Red

  • Cinnamon red, rich copper red, and cherry cola red

Brown

  • Caramel brown, dark golden brown, espresso, and chocolate
chocolate brown hair

Cool-toned Colors

For my ladies with a pink, reddish or blue undertone, this is for you! Cool skin tones look best with cool hair colors!

Some keywords to help you find a shade of hair color that is cool and will work with your skin tone are “ash,” “platinum” and “champagne.” A plus to having cool toned hair is the tone of that cool color helps reduce brassiness!

The colors you want to avoid are yellow tones in hair, bronze undertones, and gold tones.

Here are some shades of different colors that work well with cool undertones:

Red

  • Cool red and cool red-brown

Blonde

  • Beige blonde, platinum blonde, and sandy blonde

Brown

  • Dark chocolate, brown with wheat highlights, light ash brown, and intense brown shades

Note: All black hair color work with cool toned skin.

platinum blonde hair vanessa hudgens

What hair color will you try to match your undertones?

It is important to remember that choosing the right shade for you should not be based on your skin complexion but rather on the undertones of your skin.

There are a variety of colors out there that compliment your skin. As I have said before you should remember that you can always try a color that does not fall in line with your undertones if you think it will look great on you. There is nothing wrong with trial and error.

Many hair colors that you would never imagine could work with a skin tone have been pulled off successfully. You should feel confident to switch up your hair color too. Any color can work for you it is all about finding the right shade!

So what’s the verdict? Are you brave enough to sport a new look?

About Maira Tarawallie

I am a student at the Ohio State University. International relations major and aspiring MUA. I love anything that has to do with hair and beauty!

One thought on “The Right Combo: Finding The Perfect Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

  1. Dominique Dykes says:

    You learn something new every day. I’ve never gone crazy with my hair color, I usually keep it on the same spectrum of my natural hair color which would be medium dark brown. I’ve always wanted to try different colors but they would all be dark colors (dark blue, burgundy, black) and I’ve just been scared to think they wouldn’t fit me. Right now I’m currently in class so I can’t use a mirror to check out my undertones lol, but I did check my wrist for my vein color and they are green! Which means I have a warm color. I’m excited about learning how to slay my hair since I know what colors would work best for me. Had I not read this article, I wouldn’t have had the slightest idea that this was even a thing. Good job!

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