Trying out a new hair colour feels like a gamble for most people; you may imagine a shade will look wonderful on you, then find out that it’s not very flattering, and be faced with either growing it out or applying yet more colouring to cover it up (risking damage to your hair, and further uncertain results). Is there any way to take some of the guess work out of this process?


Fortunately, yes, there is: By understanding which hair colours go best with your particular skin tone, you can make a much more educated choice about your next colouring.


Which Hair Colours Go With Which Skin Tones?


  • If you have a fair but reddish skin tone (e.g. you have naturally red or auburn hair), you need to stick with either copper/reddish hues or favour warm, dark shades. It’s important to avoid blonde shades, other than a deep strawberry blonde, as they will look “washed out” and almost grey on you. If you choose a darker shade, make sure it’s a “warm” tone (that it has a reddish/golden sheen) rather than a “cool” tone (a more blueish sheen, such as in the case of blue-black colouring).


  • If you have a more tan/olive skin tone (you were born with black or dark brown hair), your skin almost certainly has either golden or reddish undertones, and as such, you’re also in the warm hair colour family. Blonde shades, other than dark golden and strawberry blondes, will look “fake” on you and are best avoided (not to mention all the bleaching required to attain them will fry your hair). Your best shades are likely to be deep reds, rich browns, and black.


  • If you have a very dark skin tone, odds are your skin is very versatile in terms of which hair colours it will suit (just think how many colours mix well with black in terms of clothing). You can opt either for a natural look—dark brown or black—or go for obvious contrast and try bright reds or blondes (if you’re willing to risk all the bleaching required).


  • If you have a very pale skin tone (you were born blonde), you likely have cool undertones to your skin. Like people with very dark skin, people with very pale skin are versatile; you can stick with blonde shades, play with various browns, and if you find your natural colouring is a bit too washed-out, try a copper shade to liven it up. Just be aware that black will look very harsh on you (unless you’re going for the goth look, it’s probably not the best choice!), and bright reds will look obviously artificial.


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