A Pro’s Guide to the Perfect Hair Colors for Your Skin Tone

woman with long and strong hair - Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone
woman with long and strong hair - Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone
woman with long and strong hair - Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone

Dante Kim

May 10th, 2024

Choosing the right hair color for your skin tone can be a tricky task, but it's crucial for achieving a flattering look. From warm to cool hair colors, the plethora of skin tone colors can make the decision more overwhelming. In this blog, we'll break down the process of choosing hair colors that match your skin tone, focusing on warm and cool hair colors that can make you shine. Let's dive in!

Table of Contents


What Are Skin Undertones & Their Importance in Hair Color Selection


woman with white shade hair - Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone


Skin undertones are the subtle hues beneath the surface of your skin that determine whether you have cool, warm, or neutral undertones. These undertones remain constant regardless of tanning or other surface changes and play a vital role in choosing the perfect hair color that complements your skin tone. It is important to match hair color to undertones to enhance natural features and prevent colors from appearing washed out or clashing with your skin tone.

  • Cool Undertones: Pink, red, or blue hues

  • Warm Undertones: Yellow, peach, or golden hues

  • Neutral Undertones: A mix of both cool and warm tones or a muted undertone. 


Simple Ways to Identify Undertones

1. Check your veins


Purple and blue veins indicate cool undertones, green veins indicate warm undertones, and a combination of both signals neutral undertones. 

2. The paper test


By holding a white piece of paper to your face, you can determine your undertone. Yellow or orange hints indicate warm undertones, while blueish, red, or pink hues suggest cool undertones. If you see a bit of both, you have neutral undertones.

3. The window test


Stand near a window and observe the skin beneath your eyes. Yellowish-green tones indicate warm undertones, while purple or blue undertones suggest cool undertones. 

4. The blusher test


Apply pink blush to one cheek and peach blush to the other. If the pink blush brings out pink tones, you have cool undertones. If the peach blush enhances yellow-gold tones, you have warm undertones.

5. Try on some jewelry


Cool undertones suit silver jewelry, warm undertones prefer gold jewelry, and those who look good in both are likely to have neutral undertones.

6. Tanning tendencies


If you tan easily, you likely have warm undertones. Skin that burns easily or turns pink in the sun indicates cool undertones. Neutral undertones are characterized by the ability to tan with pink tones appearing.

Unlock Your Colors and Transform Your Style


WhatColors helps you find what colors to wear based on your skin tone. Discover your season with our patented color match technology to get the perfect colors that enhance your natural beauty. Avoid colors that are a definite no and explore the best nail colors with our WhatColors Nail Color Generator. 

Unlock your colors and transform your style for free today with WhatColors’ AI Personal Color Analysis app. Download our app for free today on the App Store or Google Play store.

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How to Choose the Best Hair Colors for Your Skin Tone


woman with scramblled hair - Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone


Selecting the most suitable hair color for your skin tone is imperative to enhance your overall appearance. A perfect hair color can make your skin look radiant and glow effortlessly, while a mismatched shade can make it look dull and washed out. Here's a breakdown of the best hair colors for each undertone, so you can make an informed decision based on your skin tone.

Deep Skin with Warm Undertones: Best Shades and Tips 


The ideal shades to try for deep skin with warm undertones are caramel, golden brown, and butterscotch. These warm browns and caramels can accentuate your skin's natural depth and glow. If your hair is already blonde, tone with hues of caramel for a perfect match. To use a good conditioner for curly or coily hair to maintain both the color and texture.

Deep Skin with Cool Undertones: Best Shades and Tips 


For deep skin with cool undertones, dark mocha, brown-black, and deep black are the best shades to try. Cool-toned hair colors such as rich brown, black, burgundy, or cool auburn can create a stunning contrast with your deep skin tone. Avoid warm-toned hair colors that may look too orange against your cool-toned skin.

Deep Skin with Neutral Undertones: Best Shades and Tips 


Neutral undertones rock every color, and for deep skin with neutral undertones, auburn red, reddish-brown, and chestnut are the best shades to try. Opt for colors that look rich and vibrant, such as auburn red or chestnut brown to add warmth and glow to your skin.

Medium Skin with Warm Undertones: Best Shades and Tips 


Dark chocolate, chestnut, dark auburn, and mocha are the best shades to try for medium skin with warm undertones. Brown tones, especially cooler shades, can make yellow undertones look creamier, offering a striking look. Lightening from black to deep mocha brown with multi-tonal highlights can create a soft and gorgeous effect for those with deep skin.

Medium Skin with Cool Undertones: Best Shades and Tips


Caramel, honey, golden brown, amber, mahogany, and cinnamon are the best shades to try for medium skin with cool undertones. These shades contrast with your complexion to avoid looking washed out. Caramel browns fit best with lighter olive skin tones and add beauty to dark roots or base.

Medium Skin with Neutral Undertones: Best Shades and Tips


True black, espresso, blue-black, and licorice are the best shades to try for medium skin with neutral undertones. Neutral skin tones have the benefit of compatibility with most hair color tones. You can skew warm or cool based on your preference, but it's recommended to stay within two shades of your natural color to avoid harsh or brassy looks.

Fair Skin with Warm Undertones: Best Shades and Tips


Platinum, ice, silver, ash, sand, beige, and champagne are the best shades to try for fair skin with warm undertones. Cool blonde shades complement porcelain skin with blue, violet, or golden undertones by neutralizing redness. Shades that are too golden or yellow should be avoided, as cooler shades are more likely to enhance your appearance.

Fair Skin with Cool Undertones: Best Shades and Tips


Gold, caramel, amber, honey, and butterscotch are the best shades to try for fair skin with cool undertones. Warm tones like strawberry blonde, copper, honey, and gold work best for fair skin with cool undertones, avoiding ashy blonde hues that may wash you out.

Fair Skin with Neutral Undertones: Best Shades and Tips


Strawberry blonde, copper, amber, rust, and russet are the best shades to try for fair skin with neutral undertones. A mix of cool and warm tones can achieve a creamy yet warm color with a hint of golden copper, complementing pale skin. Light, warm shades of red are recommended to counteract cool tones in pale skin, providing a beautiful, dramatic effect on the complexion.

Fair Skin with Peach Undertones: Best Shades and Tips


True red, auburn, and burgundy are the best shades to try for fair skin with peach undertones. Red is an ideal undertone for peach and red undertones to create a glowing effect. Warm, peachy complexions also pop with cooler, auburn reds, while olive undertones should avoid red shades that can make the skin look green in contrast.

Pastel Hair: Best Shades and Tips


For pastel hair colors, the sky's the limit in terms of creativity. Darker skin tends to look washed out with paler shades, so opt for more vibrant and saturated tones like ruby, fuchsia, and magenta for tan skin. For fair skin, choose hues that complement your undertones to create a stunning look.

Shades to Avoid


Depending on your undertones, there are specific hair color shades to avoid. For warm undertones, steer clear of hair colors that are too warm or golden and opt for cooler, blue-toned, or ashy shades. If you have cool undertones, avoid shades that are too cool or ashy and choose warm, golden, or reddish tones to complement your skin. 

Those with neutral skin tones have the benefit of most shades working, but it's essential to check pictures of your desired shade on similar undertones to ensure a perfect match.

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10 Best Tips for Effective Hair Color Maintenance


woman thinking about Hair Colors For Your Skin Tone


1. Washing practices


It is essential to wash your hair less frequently to maintain the vibrancy of your hair color. Washing your hair too often can cause the color to fade quickly. To care for your color, only wash your hair two to three times a week. You can use dry shampoo to absorb oil from your roots when needed.

2. Conditioning


Jump straight to conditioner when washing your hair if you find it challenging to reduce your washing frequency. This practice will add softness, shine, and nourishment to your hair without washing away the color.

3. Right shampoo selection


Choose a color-protective shampoo that helps to maintain the vibrancy of your hair color. Look for shampoos with low sulfate content to minimize washing out the color from your hair.

4. Conditioning hair


After coloring your hair, it becomes more fragile, which can lead to fading. Using a quality conditioner with hydrating elements can form a protective barrier to prevent color fading.

5. Heat protection


Heat protection sprays can reduce heat damage to your hair caused by heat styling tools. It is essential to minimize your hair's exposure to heat styling to maintain your hair color.

6. Hair masks


Using hair masks twice a week for 5-10 minutes can provide your hair with additional nourishment, repair damage, increase shine, and make your hair color last longer.

7. Air drying


Avoid excessive heat from blow-dryers, straightening irons, and curling tongs to protect your hair color. Apply a quality hair oil to damp hair to nourish and add shine without compromising your hair color.

8. UV protection


Protect your hair color from UV light damage by using a UV filter finishing spray. Even in winter, UV light can affect your hair color, so incorporating UV protection into your routine can help maintain your color vibrancy.

9. Smart swimming


Chlorine from swimming pools can change your hair color and accelerate fading. To protect your hair color, apply a layer of conditioner before swimming to form a protective barrier against chemical damage.

10. Nutrition


A diet rich in omega-3 fatty acids from fish like salmon and mackerel can nourish your hair and make it shiny and strong. Adding walnuts to your diet can provide vitamin E to combat dry, brittle hair post-coloring.

Try AI Personal Color Analysis For Free Today


When it comes to finding the best hair color for your skin tone, there are a few key factors to consider. Not only does your skin tone play a significant role in determining which shades will flatter you the most, but your eye color and natural hair color also come into play. By determining your season based on your skin tone, eye color, and natural hair color, you can find the perfect hair color to enhance your features and complement your unique coloring. 

Unlock your ideal hair color with the help of WhatColors, a color analysis app that uses cutting-edge technology to provide personalized recommendations based on your individual characteristics.

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