How to Determine the Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

By Susan McFarland

When contemplating a new hair color, consider a color that will enhance your complexion and not overwhelm or wash out your skin tone. The right hair color can bring out your sparkling eyes and healthy skin. A hair color on a celebrity or your best friend may not look as good on you because of your different skin tones. Determining skin tone before choosing a hair color will help you select the perfect hair color.

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Determining skin tone helps when selecting a new hair color

Determine Skin Tone

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Determine Skin Tone

Step 1

Hold a piece of gold jewelry and a piece of silver jewelry against your skin. Whichever stands out the most or appears the brightest against your skin determines whether you are cool or warm skin toned.

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Warm tones

Step 2

If the gold jewelry was the brightest against your skin, you are considered "warm" and hair colors with bases of red, red-orange, orange, yellow and gold best suit your skin tone.

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Cool tones

Step 3

For silver types, best hair color choices are cool tones such as those with bases of blue, blue-violet, violet, green and neutral.

Select Hair Color

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Red hair looks best on warm skin tones

Step 4

Warm skin tones should avoid too much ash in hair color to avoid appearing pale and washed out. Colors that work best are light honey blondes, medium strawberry and golden blondes, warm chocolate browns, ginger or orange based reds and dark browns with a hint of rust or cinnamon.

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Cool skin tones can wear dark brown hair

Step 5

Cool skin tones should avoid hair color with too much added yellow or the hair and skin will begin to blend. Colors that work best are light ash-blondes, coffee, fawn medium blondes, flat browns, wine, mahogany, burgundy-reds, eggplant, cool dark browns and blue/green blacks.

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Those who are naturally a light blonde should not suddenly change to a dark color or or it will look abnormal

Step 6

Those who are naturally a light blonde should not suddenly change to a dark color or or it will look abnormal. The same is true for lightening hair. Staying within a few shades lighter or darker of your natural shade will look the most natural.