How To Match Your Hair Color To Your Skin Tone

Last updated on : December 17 2022

models with different skin and hair colors

How to work out your best hair color

Choosing the right color for your hair can be a bit of a challenge. 

One of the factors you have to consider is how it will go with your natural skin tones. You want a hair shade that compliments your natural complexion, not puts it in the worst possible light.

For example, lots of ladies want to go blonde, but unfortunately, blonde doesn't suit all skin complexions. And many assume that to match your hair color with your skin tone, you select a hair tint that's the opposite of your skin tone. 

It all sounds a bit tricky, but it doesn't need to be. Follow our comprehensive guide to matching your hair color with your skin tone, and select your next shade in a breeze. 

Work out your skin's undertone.

Match your hair shade to your skin tones 

Read on to find out more. And check out our inspiration for this article, for hair-related tips. On everything from best thinning shears to how to prevent split ends.

Work out your skin's undertone.

The first thing you have to work out is your skin's natural undertone. As with different hair colors, your skin has warm or cool undertones – or deep ones. These shouldn't be confused with your skins' first tone, which is either fair, medium, olive or dark.  

Here are some pointers to help you work out your undertone.

Deep skin undertones

Individuals with a 'deep' skin undertone tend to have dark brown eyes.

Their skin looks healthiest wearing clothes with bright hues (green, royal purple). The darker their skin undertone, the better they look wearing intensely colored lipsticks like plum and deep burgundy — also gold or silver-colored jewelry works. 

Another tip: examine the color of the veins in your wrist – they should have a purple-colored tint.

Warm skin undertones

Warm skin undertones (think Jennifer Lopez) have peach, golden and yellow-colored flavors. And generally speaking, they have green, amber, hazel or warm brown eyes.

Warm skin undertones go well with lipsticks that are terracotta red, coral or chocolate brown colored rather than pinks or bluish reds – and with gold-colored jewelry.

Meanwhile, the veins on your wrist will be of a yellow or greenish hue.

Cool skin undertones

The undertones of cool tone skin tend to be pink, red, or blue.

Those with a cool skin undertone frequently have eyes colored blue, greenish-blue, gray, or deep brown bordering on black. Pink and bluish-red colored lipsticks look better with this skin tone than other colors. Silver jewelry looks the most flattering. 

The veins on your wrist will tend to be a blue-colored tint.

    Match your hair shade to your skin tones

    Your ideal hair shade is the best match for your primary skin tone (fair, medium, olive or dark) and it's undertone (cool and warm or deep).

    Fair skin

    model with fair skin and blonde hair

    Generally speaking, the lighter the tone of your skin, the paler your hair color should be. 

    Fair skin with warm or deep undertones

    If you have a fair complexion with a warm undertone, choose hues of honey, butterscotch, caramel, copper red, or strawberry blonde. They accentuate your skin's peachiness while casting a soft glow around your entire face. This combination brings out your skin's natural glowing warmth

    If you have deep or warm undertones, avoid overly violet or blue-based colors. They create an unseemly color clash with your natural skin tone.

    Fair skin with cool undertones

    For cool undertones matched with a fair complexion, avoid hair shades that are too warm. Opt instead for blue-based tints like platinum, baby or champagne blonde. 

    Have you seen Michelle Williams? She has an incredibly fresh and pale complexion. Icy, light blonde shades work perfectly on someone like her (they also provide a lovely contrast with her brown colored eyes). 

    What if you prefer darker hair shades to paler ones? Consider dark reds and violets, or jewel-like colors like deep, dark brown and jet black.

    Take note - pale hair colors fade.

    A word of warning for pale hair colors - many blonde shades tend to fade a few weeks after application. To keep your tint looking maximally vibrant, make use of shampoo specially formulated with purple-colored pigments to offset the brassy tones.

    Medium skin

    model with medium skin and ash blonde hair

    Medium skin is a versatile complexion compatible with a wide array of different hair shades. The only thing you need to avoid are the extremes. 

    Medium skin with cool undertones

    If your hair is naturally blonde, then stick to ashy-colored hair tones like wheat blonde, beige, walnut brown, or sandy colored hues. These will counteract the redness of your complexion. 

    Taylor Swift is an excellent example of someone with medium skin and cool undertones. She looks great with ashy blonde type hair colors (which also go well with her fresh, blue colored eyes). 

    If you have red hair, then go for something like an Auburn or cinnamon-colored hue.

    Medium skin with warm or deep undertones

    For medium skin combined with warm undertones, look to a golden caramel, copper, butterscotch, or tawny blonde. 

    Blake Lively is a great role model for this combination. She sticks with golden hair tones no matter what. If she were to go for fresh or paler blondes, it would wash out the color of her skin. 

    If you prefer red hair, then copper or golden red-colored hues are your best bets here.

    Take note - watch for brassiness.

    Take note: the lighter your hair color when you have medium skin, the more your hair is prone to brassiness. Use color conserving shampoo regularly to keep your tones intact. And consider purchasing a filter to place over your shower head to eliminate mineral buildup – this too can detract from your color.

    Olive skin

    olive skin and vibrant hair

    Olive skin with cool undertones

    This tone of skin, coupled with cool undertones works well with earthy colors like deep, sumptuous chocolate browns, and brunettes. 

    To create extra depth, texture, and dimension, add a few streaks of gold or honey-colored highlights – not too many. Reddish-brown colors like cinnamon, autumn, and chestnut also look fantastic. 

    If you want a dark hue, on the other hand, then opt for a mocha or other warm blacks, which help negate any underlying pink tones and smooth out the appearance and color of your skin. 

    Bella Hadid's olive complexion looks fantastic when it's combined with her trademark fresh brown hair color.

    Olive skin with warm or deep undertones

    For olive complexions paired with warm undertones (think Jennifer Lopez), we suggest deep gold and caramel type hues. 

    Lopez's skin – and her golden-brown colored eyes – glow with warmth because she sticks to the hair colors dictated by her skin and her eyes. Ebony and mocha are two other fabulous options. 

    For the redheads, stick to the violet-colored reds – you want deep and vibrant colors that accentuate your skin's best features, remember. Surprisingly, Violet black colored hair creates a striking, exotic look, try it.

    Take note - don't style too much.

    To maintain your hair color of choice when you have olive-colored skin, be aware that too much styling will make your hair look drab and dry.

    Prevent and correct the damage by using a color-preserving hair mask product that locks in the moisture and nourishes your strands.

    Dark skin

    dark skin and contrasting hair

    With dark skin, the idea is to generate a nice contrast between your complexion and your hair color. It could mean going lighter, though going darker is an option as well. 

    You see, if your skin tone and hair color are too alike, then your features tend to disappear.

    Dark skin with cool undertones

    If you have a blue-based complexion, create a striking contrast by opting for dark-colored inky blacks and chocolate tones. 

    Think Viola Davis here. The light-catching factor of deep blacks also adds greater depth and dimension to your skin tone. Take a look at dark violet-colored shades, blue-black, and espresso hues as alternatives. 

    What if you want to make use of highlights? A general rule of thumb for dark complexions with cool undertones is that you should choose cool hues only, regardless of whether they're platinum blonde, bluish-red or violet-brown.   

    Dark skin with warm or deep undertones

    For a warm complexion combined with dark skin (think Beyonce here), go for vibrant, sunny hues like mahogany, maple brown, and toffee. These hair shades accentuate your skin's natural depth and radiance. 

    If you prefer a blonde hue, stick to caramel and toffee hair colors, if you want to go dark, opt for warm blacks. 

    For the redheads, a blue-red hair color tends to work best with a dark skin tone, surprisingly enough. It helps you balance the undertones while accentuating the warmth that you would like to see.

    Take note - don't go dull.

    One pointer for you: darker strands look the best when they are still able to reflect light, so choose hair care products that don't have any sulfates contained in them, as these will strip your hair of all its natural oils, leaving it dry and dull.

    Bonus Section - Natural ways to fade dark spots and lighten acne scars 

    Skin discoloration and scarring can be caused by various factors, including acne, sun exposure, and aging. 

    Many over-the-counter products can help to fade dark spots and lighten scars. And using the right ingredients in the proper concentrations can make a big difference. 

    Read our article 14 Valuable Tips To Fade Dark Spots And Lighten Acne Scars to understand more. By using the best products and paying attention to your diet, you can fade dark spots and lighten scars in no time.


    Matching your hair color to your skin tone is important because it helps your overall look appear more cohesive and harmonious. For example, if you have a warm skin tone, choosing a hair color that is also warm can help create a balanced look. On the other hand, if your hair color is very different from your skin tone, it can create a dissonant or unflattering look.

    That said, it's important to note that there is no one "right" hair color for everyone, and ultimately the best hair color for you will depend on your style and preferences. Some people prefer to go against the conventional wisdom and choose a hair color that contrasts with their skin tone, which can be a great way to express your individuality and creativity.

    Follow the guidelines above to avoid clashing, jarring colors, and to choose a hair color that brings out the best features of your radiant skin.

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