When it comes to finding a hair color that suits your skin, one of the easiest things to do is consult a Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart. Lucky for you, we have one of these charts right here.
Have you ever seen someone else’s hair color and thought it looked amazing, only to dye your hair the same shade and realize it was a mistake? Chances are, this happened because your chosen hair color contrasted with your natural skin tone.
But what exactly is a skin tone?
And how do you know which hair colors match yours?
Understanding Your Skin Tone
Before referencing our Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart, we first need to break down the factors that go into your skin tone. Your skin tone refers to the overall color of your skin. But it’s not just about identifying the shade of beige, tan, or brown that matches your skin tone. To truly understand your skin tone and which hair colors will best suit you, you need to know two things: your complexion and your undertone.
While your complexion is much more obvious than your undertone, it is also much less important when it comes to following our Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart. So, let’s take a look at the different complexions and undertones
Complexion refers to the shade of your skin, on a scale from light to dark. Your complexion is determined by how much pigment your skin naturally produces. This also means that your skin’s complexion can change with age, sun exposure, and other environmental factors.
Identifying your complexion is as simple as looking in the mirror and deciding if your skin color is light, medium, or dark. In fact, you probably don’t even need to look in the mirror — you already know.
If you have a light complexion, your skin is probably fair and more prone to burning than tanning.
Most people with light complexions have roots in Northern Europe or parts of Asia.
Those with a light complexion can have both warm or cool undertones (more on undertones in a bit), but those with cool undertones tend to be paler than their warm-toned counterparts.
Those with a medium complexion often have a sun-kissed or olive tone to their skin. Most people with medium complexions have ancestors from Southern Europe, the Meditteranean, Asia, or the Middle East.
Some people will have a light complexion in winter (when they aren’t getting much sun exposure) and a medium complexion in the summer (when they have a natural tan).
If you have a dark complexion, sometimes called a deep complexion, then your skin produces lots of pigment year-round. While your skin tone can still change with the seasons, it’s not as dramatic as those with a light or medium complexion. If you have a dark complexion, you can probably trace your genetic line back to South America, Africa, Australia, or parts of Asia.
Because most makeup brands offer a disappointing number of dark shades, some people think that undertone isn’t a factor for those with a dark complexion. But your undertone is just as important as any other complexion when it comes to our Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart.
Undertone, on the other hand, refers to where your skin tone falls on a spectrum of warm-to-cool. When it comes to skin, warm undertones have a yellow tint and cool undertones have a pink tint. It’s also possible to have a 100-percent neutral undertone, which doesn’t lean yellow or pink.
If your skin leans extremely warm or cool, then you might be able to identify your undertone by simply looking at your skin under natural light. But if your skin is close to neutral, then identifying your undertone is a bit more difficult. Fortunately, there are several strategies to help find your undertone:
Which metals look best against your skin?
Common jewelry metals flatter certain undertones more than others. When one type of precious metal flatters your skin more than another, this can help you discover your undertone:
- Cool undertone: If you look best wearing silver or rose gold, then your skin probably has a cool undertone
- Warm undertone: If you look best wearing yellow gold, then your skin probably has a warm undertone
- Neutral undertone: If silver, rose gold, and yellow gold all look equally good against your skin, you probably have a neutral undertone
What color are the veins under your wrist?
Another quick trick to help identify your skin’s undertone involves looking at the visible veins under your wrist. The color of these veins can help you decide whether your skin is warm, cool, or neutral:
- Cool undertone: If the veins underneath your wrist skin appear blue or purple, then your skin probably has a cool undertone
- Warm undertone: If the veins underneath your wrist skin appear green, then your skin probably has a warm undertone
- Neutral undertone: If the veins underneath your wrist skin don’t have a distinct color to them, then your skin is probably neutral
Unfortunately, this method ultimately excludes most people with a dark complexion. If your skin is too dark to really see the veins underneath, we recommend sticking to the metal-matching method above.
The Best Hair Color for Skin Tone Chart
Now that you understand your skin’s complexion and undertone, let’s take a look at our Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart. This guide will help you match your skin tone to the hair colors that will be the most flattering.
While our Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart is a super useful guide, it’s not the be-all-end-all of hair. If you have a hair colorist that you trust, any hair color can be made to suit your skin tone. But our suggestions below will help you find the most flattering color options for your skin tone.
Whether or not you believe blondes really do have more fun, this is a great hair color for any time of year. But finding the right blonde using our Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart is the key to nailing this bombshell look.
Cool blonde hair, whether it’s platinum or darker blonde, often has lavender or grey undertones. While super light, silver hair is currently on-trend, you can add cool undertones to any shade of blonde.
This hair color is best for those with a light, cool skin tone.
The lavender tones in this hair color help to offset the red or pink tones found in cool-toned skin.
Those with a darker complexion can definitely rock this color, too, though it might come off more silver than blonde. But if your skin is warm, we recommend steering clear of cool blondes because they will wash you out.
For those with a warmer undertone, or with a medium or dark complexion, warm blondes are the best option for your skin tone. These softer honey tones are also an excellent choice for balayage or other dramatic highlights.
Warm blondes are a great way to rock the blonde look without looking washed out or sickly. But if you have a cool skin tone, we recommend avoiding warm blonde colors because they can make your skin look overly red.
Red hair is considered one of the hardest colors to achieve with hair dye. But if done right, this hair color can be a showstopping look that flatters all different skin tones.
Cool red hair often has purple or mahogany undertones. Some people will describe this color as dark auburn or burgundy.
These cooler red shades look great on those with cool undertones and light or dark complexions. However, those with a medium skin tone will probably find that this hair color makes them appear yellow or jaundiced.
Warm red shades typically fall under the names strawberry blonde, copper, ginger, or rust. Most “true” reds are warm, too, but right now we’re just focusing on “natural” reds.
These warmer shades are hard to pull off for anyone who isn’t a natural redhead or strawberry blonde. As a result, most people who can pull off this hair color have a very light complexion. However, a skilled hair colorist can mix a warm red to match your skin tone if you have neutral or warm undertones.
Brunette hair can range from barely darker-than-blonde to almost-black. But all of these brown shades can add lush color to your hair when paired with the right skin tone.
Like cool blondes, cool brunette hair color often has purple, blue, or grey undertones throughout. Many people also choose to create a gradient of cool brunette to cool blonde for added color depth.
These brunette shades look great on anyone with cool undertones, regardless of their complexion shade.
The level of coolness that will flatter your skin is directly related to the level of pink in your skin tone. Again, those with warmer skin tones should avoid cool brunette shades because they can make your skin look yellow.
While cool-toned brunettes have silver or grey undertones, warm-toned brunettes have shades of gold. You can choose from light, medium, or dark brunette hair colors, but they all suit warmer skin tones perfectly.
If you are super fair or have a cooler undertone to your skin, then you should definitely steer clear of warm brunette colors. If you don’t, your new hair color will make you look flushed (and not in a good way). But warm brunettes are a gorgeous choice for yellow-leaning light complexions and most medium and dark complexions.
When it comes to unnatural hair colors, finding a color that suits your skin tone is as simple as referencing a color wheel.
If you have warm undertones, then warm colors like yellows, oranges, reds, fuchsias, and some purples will look stunning.
But if you have cooler undertones, then cool colors like greens, blues, pinks, and some purples are the colors to choose.
And if your undertone is neutral? Great news, because you can rock pretty much any fantasy hair color you can imagine.
Discover the Best Hair Color for You and Your Skin Today
Finding the right hair color for you doesn’t have to be a guessing game. With our Best Hair Color for Skin Tone chart, you can discover the colors that are guaranteed to suit your complexion and undertone.
If your skin has cool undertones, then you get to try out all of the sleek cool-toned hair colors that are currently on-trend. If your skin has warm undertones, then you get to flaunt some of the brightest and cheeriest warm-toned hair colors. And if your skin has neutral undertones, then you get to pick and choose what you like best from both sides.
No matter where you fall on the complexion or undertone spectrums, there are countless gorgeous hair colors out there that will flatter your skin tone. It’s all just a matter of following our handy guide.