Young pretty blonde woman sitting at cafe in evening time
Image: Shutterstock/Ann Haritonenko

How To Pick Hair Color For Your Skin Tone

Thinking of shaking up your hair color? Maybe you want to try a mocha hue, a bold red or a sleek blonde. Whatever the case, before you go running to the hair dye isle or salon, there are several points to keep in mind when choosing the right hair color for you.

Know Your Skin Tone

Start by figuring out what your skin tone actually is. The easiest way is to look at your veins on the inside of your wrists. Blue veins mean you’re cool-toned and greenish veins mean you are warm-toned.

If your veins aren’t very prominent, put a white t-shirt by your face and look in the mirror. If your skin looks bluer, you’re cool-toned. Have shades of yellow? You’re warm-toned.

There are other indicators, as well. If you tan, you’re warm. If you burn, you’re cool. If you look best with silver jewelry, you’re cool. If you feel more accented with gold jewelry, you’re warm. If you can wear both gold and silver, or don’t fit the categories above perfectly, you’re neutral.

Which Colors Go With Which Skin Tone?

Now that you know your skin tone, what does that mean? You may hear differing opinions here, but trust us, go with an opposite hair color to your skin tone. That means cool skin tones should choose warm tones and warm tones should choose cool tones.

Choosing a warm shade with a warm tone will cause the two tones to compete against each other. For instance, having yellow tones in blonde hair with yellow tones in the skin will cause the tones to clash. You’d think they’d go together, but it makes the look very busy. A pale, platinum blond in that situation would balance out the whole look.

Similarly, pale blonde on cool skin will wash out someone’s whole appearance. Warm copper hair on a tanned complexion will make the golden skin and red hair compete horribly, while warm copper on cool skin will add warmth and life to an appearance. In this case, opposites attract.

And if you have a neutral skin tone? You get to wear everything, you lucky duck.

Eyes Are Windows To Your Hair Color

Eyes play into skin tone, as well. There are all sorts of rules for determining your skin tone based on your eye color, but we’ll keep it simple here. Choosing a hair color that matches your eye color will give you a more natural look. For instance, match brown eyes with brown hair for a natural, subtle style. Blue eyes were made for blonde hair and green eyes for red hair.

If you’re going for a wild, unnatural and stark look, veer away from your eye color’s hair match. For instance, pair dark hair with blue eyes or dark eyes with bright blonde hair to make your eyes pop.