How to Pick the Right Hair Colour for Your Skin Tone

Hair Colours for Different Skin Tones – Hush Hair Salon, Birmingham

Deciding between blonde, brown, and red is tough enough without considering the spectrum of tones that exist within those hues. And then you have to think about how those shades work with your complexion?

But understanding the nuances of tone can actually make the difference between choosing a good hair color and your most flattering one ever—and with a little crash course, it’s actually not that hard to figure out. It’s all about placement, saturation, and what undertones in your skin you’d like to emphasize. The decision you and your colorists have to make is which color you would like to bring out in your face.

But it helps when you have a basic knowledge of what cool vs. warm hair shades actually look like as well as an understanding of your skin’s coloring to begin with. Consider this your foolproof guide to all of the above.

Before taking your pick of hair colors, you need to ID your skin’s undertones. Most people fall into one of three categories: warm, cool, and neutral. Figuring out where your complexion lies can seem confusing, but there are a few tricks:

1. Look for specific colors. Cool-toned skin has pink and olive undertones, while warm-toned skin has yellow and gold. Got a combo of any of the above? You’re probably neutral.

2. Match yourself with a celeb. When you’re looking for A-list color inspiration, try to pick out people with similar skin and eye coloring to your own. It’ll give you a much better idea of how the hue will actually look on you in the end.

3. Check your wrist… You’ll see the pinks, reds, blues, greens, and yellows there. This includes your veins, which are a great indicator of tone. If your veins are blue or purple, you’re likely cool-toned. If they are green, you are warm.

4. …Or your eyes. If you have a lot of gold specks in your eyes, usually your undertones are warm. If you have a lot of blues and greens, then you are usually cool.

The rule of thumb for a hair color that will flatter your complexion: Pick a tone that’s opposite from your skin’s undertones. So, those with warm undertones might opt for a cooler color, and vice versa. The degree to which this matters varies from hair color to hair color, but it’s a good guideline to remember. And if you have neutral skin, you’re a lucky minority—everything looks good on you.

Now that you’re well-versed on your skin coloring, it’s time to get schooled on different hair colors.

Cool Blondes at HUSH Hairdressers, Birmingham

83Shades include: Platinum, ice, silver, ash, sand, beige, champagne.

Who it’s best for: Cool blond shades are great on porcelain-skinned gals with reddish undertones, since those icy hues tend to neutralize redness. If you have blue or gray eyes, cool, ashy blondes work well.





Warm Blondes at HUSH Hair Salon,  Birmingham

15Shades include: Gold, caramel, amber, honey, butterscotch.

Who it’s best for: Fair skin with cool undertones looks better with warmtones: strawberry blonds, copper, honey, and gold. These hues tend to be better for those with olive skin, as ashy blonds can wash you out. Same goes for those with deep skin: If you want to go light, we recommend a caramel blond for a high-impact look.

On the other hand, those with very warm skin should avoid a color that’s too yellow for the same reason—cooler blonds will probably work better on you.


Cool Brown Hair Shades

74Shades include: Dark chocolate, chestnut, dark auburn, mocha

Who it’s best for: It’s pretty hard to go wrong with brown in general, since it’s almost universally flattering. But cooler tones can look particularly striking on those with warm skin, as it helps make yellow undertones look more creamy. For girls with deeper skin, lightening from black to deep, mocha brown (ideally with multi-tonal highlights) can have a gorgeous, soft effect.




Strawberry Red & Rust Hair Colours

kp-innosense-beauty-3-webShades include: Strawberry blonde, copper, amber, rust, russet

Who it’s best for: Strawberry blondes are great on fair and neutral skin tones. Tell your colorist to mix cool and warm tones to achieve a creamy yet warm color with a hint of golden copper.

We also recommend a light, warm red to counteract cool tones in pale skin (think: Emma Stone).

These hues tend to make deep skin look green, so choose a cooler, brown-tinged auburn instead if you’re hankering to go red (think: Rihanna).


Warm Browns & Brunette Hair Colours

23Shades include: Caramel, honey, golden brown, amber, mahogany, cinnamon, bronde

Who it’s best for:  We recommend this color range for those with medium skin, though he advises picking a shade that contrasts with your complexion in order to avoid looking washed out. Caramel browns fit best with skin tones on the lighter side of olive, with a bit more yellow and green tones to them. This color looks really beautiful on a base or roots that are naturally dark.



Cool Black Hair Colour Shades

81Shades include: True black, espresso, blue-black, licorice

Who it’s best for: In the world of hair color, black isn’t a one-note option—different tones and highlights add subtle variety.

A cooler shade like this can read a little harsh on those with fair, cool-toned skin, but for those with warmer or neutral undertones, it has a dramatic, porcelain effect on the complexion. (The same applies to olive skin.)




Warm Black & Brunette Hair Colours

86Shades include: dark mocha, brown-black

Who it’s best for: Cool blacks look great on deep skin, but adding chocolatey tones is also a flattering way to warm it up. And those with fair, cool skin who really want to go dark should opt for a hue in this tonal range rather than something cooler, as mentioned before.





Pastel Hair Colours

14Shades include: Whatever your heart desires

Who it’s best for: For rainbow-colored locks, the only real rule is to let your imagination run wild. That being said, there are some pointers to keep in mind. Darker skin tends to look washed out if paired with paler shades, while saturated hues enhance deeper skin tones. For tan skin, you can go for more vibrant and saturated tones: Jewel tones like ruby, fuchsia, magenta, etc. Blue hair looks particularly flattering on those with golden complexions. But the most important thing to remember about candy-colored hues: They tend to fade fast, so make sure you’re using color-protecting products to extend that shelf life as long as possible.


Which hair colour are you craving after reading this guide?


Hush Hair is one of Birmingham’s leading contemporary hair and beauty salon, whether you are looking to reinvent your style or perhaps create an edgy, hot off the catwalk look, our expert hairdressers provide an unparalleled bespoke salon experience.

HUSH Hair is a 100% independent Birmingham business that employs only the best hairdressers and salon assistants in Birmingham.