How To Pick The Best Hair Color For Your Skin Tone

Are you wondering what hair color looks best with your skin tone? Read this article to explore all your options and figure out how to choose the best one.

By Katherine P. Haley
How To Pick The Best Hair Color For Your Skin Tone

The best hair color for your skin tone

So, you are wondering what the best hair color for your skin tone is. Well, the general rule is that the hair color you are born with looks the best with your skin tone, otherwise you wouldn't have been cooked up that way. However, it is fully understandable to not like your natural hair color or even to just want to change it up a bit. Now, you don't want to choose a hair color that looks unnatural, unless that is the goal, like if you want colored hair like pink, green, etc. If that is the case, then maybe you should check out an article about unnatural hair colors for ideas and inspirations.

There are many rules to pick the best hair color for your skin tone, which I will detail below. Read these rules, but remember, they are just general rules. Everyone is different so even if someone with the same skin tone as you looks good or not so good with a certain hair color, that does not mean you will or will not look good with that same hair color. Trial and error is totally okay when it comes to hair color because you can always dye your hair back (though it may cost a buck or two), but it is best to at least have a general idea of what colors will look good on you.

So, check out the rules below and hopefully they will do their best to guide you towards your next hair color. Good luck and have fun!

Your skin tone

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Before your figure out what hair color would go best with your skin tone, figure out what your skin tone is and what your skin undertone is. The skin tone is the general color and your skin undertone is what colors are hiding beneath the surface. There are three general options that combine both of these aspects, which are Deep, Warm, and Cool. (Or others say Warm, Neutral, and Cool, depending on perspective). A good and easy way to figure this out is to check out your veins on the back of your wrist. Make sure you use natural light as harsh, unnatural lights can distort your coloring and give you the wrong idea of you true skin tone. For natural light, go outside or sit by a window with no lights on (in the daylight, of course).

In the most simple way, when you look at the color of the veins on the back of your wrist, you can figure this out:

-If your veins have a purple tint, you have a deep skin tone.

-If your veins have a green tint, you have a warm skin tone.

-If your veins have a blue tint, you have a cool skin tone.

Also, do you have a pink undertone? Do you have a yellow undertone? Olive skin? Dark skin? All of this contributes to your skin tone. Reading the guide below will help you know what hair colors look good with different skin tones and even what season you most likely are. 

Seasons are typically assigned to skin tones. The seasons, as you probably already know, are summer, autumn, winter, and spring. Summers are typically people with deep and warm undertones. Autumns are typically people with warm undertones. Winters are typically people with deep and cool undertones. Springs are typically people with cool undertones. I'll go into more detail below about how to understand your color hair choices for your season and skin tone below.

Best hair colors for summers

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As mentioned above, summers have deep and warm skin tones. Celebrity examples of summers include Beyonce and Kate Hudson. Summers typically have olive, golden, or caramel skin tones. If they tan, when they do their skin typically takes on a bronze tone. Their eyes are often green, hazel, amber, or brown. Summers are fun in both look and style, which is why a fun hair color is the best choice for them. Check out your choices below.

Hair colors that are best with summer skin tones include olive, golden, and caramel golden blonde, caramel brown, champagne blonde, honey, or butter platinum blonde. These colors can really make you stand out and will make you look great. 

Hair colors to avoid are ashy brown or blonde, jet black, and blue or green based colors. These colors will wash you out or really contrast with your skin tone in a negative way.

Best hair colors for autumns

Like summer, autumn also includes warm skin tones. Autumns typically have olive skin tones and can easily tan. They can have pale skin, but still typically have that olive based skin tone. Their skin has a natural glow to it and their natural hair color is usually a shade of dark brown. Eye colors are usually golden brown or hazel, but this is a loose distinction. Celebrities that are autumns include Shay Mitchell and Eva Longoria. Autumns are a bit more serious than summers, but still love to look great! I mean, don't we all? This is why these hair colors listed below are the best for autumns: fun but equally as strong.

Hair colors that are best with autumn skin tones are milk chocolate, copper, caramel, rich auburn, beige blonde, honey blonde and golden brown. These colors bring a great contrast that really helps your features stand out.

Hair colors to stay away from include platinum blonde, ashy brown, and blue, green, and violet base colors. These hair colors look unnatural with your skin tone and, unless done really well, just are never the best choice for your hair color.

Best hair colors for winters


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As mentioned above, people who are winters typically have cool skin tones, though they can also have deep skin tones as well. Winters vary largely in terms of skin tone, which is why there is a vast amount of them. Winters typically have lighter skin for whatever ethnicity they are, and pinkish undertones. People with hazel eyes are not winters, but those with light blue and dark brown are. Winters usually do not tan well and are born with naturally black or darker hair color. There is typically a noticeable contrast between their natural hair color and skin tone, which makes them striking and noticeable.

Hair colors that are best with this skin tone are jewel-toned hair (blues and greens), really dark brown or black, jet black, platinum blonde, and dark, violet reds. These colors will make any winter stand out.

Hair colors that do not look the best with this skin tone are golden blonde, copper red, caramel or honey colors. These colors will do nothing for you and will make you regret getting them.

Best hair colors for springs

As mentioned above, springs have cool undertones. They usually have fair skin with pink or yellow undertones and their eyes are lighter shades of blue, green, hazel, and even golden brown. They can't necessarily not tan, but it is a task that would be more difficult for them than, let's say, a summer. Springs are usually born with ashy blonde or dirty blonde hair, as well as red hair. Spring celebrities include Isla Fisher and Gwyneth Paltrow. Springs are carefree and full of energy. They are ready to get out there and see the world, which is why they need hair colors that emphasize this fact. The hair colors detailed below are the best for any spring looking to explore her free spirit.

Hair colors that look best on springs are icy blonde, ashy blonde, ashy brown, light red, and platinum blonde. Blonde and spring really go together, but don't be afraid to try a light brown as well. Going too dark can wash you out, but the right shade can be perfect for you.

Hair colors to stay away from include honey blonde, golden brown, or really any hair color that has a golden base. These colors will do nothing for you and they will be colors you regret. Be safe and go with lighter blondes, reds, and browns for color. Anything golden will bring out unnatural undertones in your skin and will practically wash your features away.

Other hair colors that look good with different skin tones

People with deep skin tones often can't be assigned perfectly to a season category, so I'll give a couple or more hair colors that go well with darker skin tones. Hair that looks good is maple brown, mahogany, toffee, and other warm colors like inky black. These hair colors are great and really help you stand out and look stunning. They are some of the best hair colors for deep undertones to check out.

In terms of cool tones in general, the best hair colors to go for are those that fit in the category of ashy blonde, so this would include blonde hair colors such as platinum, ice, and champagne. Because of the blueness in your veins, hair with blue undertones also look really good on those with cool undertones. These are known as jewel tones and colors. Warm colors also look pretty good with cool undertones, so make sure to be on the lookout for hair colors that fit in this category. If you want the best hair color for your skin tone, you will have to do your research. You won't regret it when you walk out of the salon with your best hair color.

Neutral skin tones (which are pretty close to warm and cool, but not quite there in either direction) look really good with natural looking red hair. This is because often natural red heads can have neutral skin tones with pinky undertones. Neutral also looks really great with colors like light brown and dark blonde. These hair colors are great for anyone who thinks they are just a little in between warm and cool, but not either one of those skin tones.

Unnatural hair colors like blues, pinks, purples and so on look best with any skin tone, though your shade of these colors may differ. Pastel colors look better on cool skin tones (generally), though some, such as mint green, look really great on those with deep skin tones. Darker shades of these fun hair colors look really good on those with warm and deep skin tones, a dark violet color looking especially great with those with olive skin tones.

Other tips for choosing the best hair color for your skin tone

While there are many tips that go into choosing your ideal hair color, I'll give you a few to consider before you choose your next look. Hair color can be a big decision, because it really is something that people notice, and you of course want them to notice it as a good thing. So, check out these hair color tips below:

A good general tip to remember is that your hair color should not be the same shade as your skin tone. It can be a darker or lighter color, but it should not be the same color. When this happens, your features can become less noticeable and your skin and hair will blend together into one. Overall, when this happens, it looks unnatural, so be wary of this.

Another good tip is to always consider the state of your hair when you are considering dying it. Has your hair been damaged by years or bleaching and coloring? Then maybe it's best to transition back to your natural hair color or go for a hair color that doesn't need bleach. The more damaged your hair, the easier you will want to go on it. Give your hair a break and use a lot of conditioner if it is very damaged.

Another factor to consider when choosing your hair color is your age. While I do not think this factor is all that limiting, if it is something you will personally worry about, don't shove it under the rug. If you think that a platinium blonde hair dye is too light for you, then it might be. Whether or not it is, doubt can often make you feel self-conscious about your hair color. While it is easy to fix hair after it has been dyed, you don't want to waste money on a dye color that you will regret for whatever amount of time you have to keep the color. 

If you are going for a drastic change in color, go to a salon. Please. This will get you the best hair color you can get and will save you from staining your clothes (which is a plus!). However, if you have dyed your hair enough times that you are comfortable with the process or even if you have not and you feel confident in your abilities, go for the box dye job. These colors can be just as good as the ones you get in the salon. Just make sure to do your research beforehand and choose the best brand and color for you, which will not always be the cheapest.

After dying your hair, use color safe shampoo! This will help the color last longer and even make the color look more vibrant. It's also best to not wash dyed hair every day. Go for every other day or every two days or even every three if your hair can stand that without getting too oily. Whatever your hair can take is what you should do.

Before you go

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Dying your hair a new color can be stressful, which is understandable. Hair color can be a statement of who you are. Remember, a big thing to consider when choosing your hair color is whether or not you think this hair color matches you and your personality. Hair color is something that stands out and something that people notice, so choose a hair color that will give off the impression that you want to give. 

And remember, blonde, brunette, black, and red are not your only hair color options. You can go for blue, purple, green, or even rainbow if you want! It's up to you. Have fun with these hair colors and don't be afraid to get into some trial and error.

Hair is something that can be messed with. You can change it up whenever you want. Hair is one of the only things on your body that you can mess with and change without fear that the color or the cut will be forever permanent, so be liberal with your hair color choice! Don't be afraid for your hair to stand out. Good luck!