How To Choose The Right Hair Color For Your Skin Undertone

Take the drama out of finding the perfect color.

Selena, Beyoncé, Zöe
Photo Credit: Getty, Ivy Park, Wire Image

Choosing a new hair color can be hard. Whether you’re getting extensions or braids, adding temporary color for a special event, or looking for a more permanent hue, you want to make a good impression. 

[SEE ALSO: 5 Tips To Keep Your Hair Color Fresh]

Of course, you want to select your dream color – but that’s just half the battle. You also want to make sure that it looks good on you. That means finding a shade that not only complements your skin tone, but also your skin undertones. 

Your skin tone is the actual shade and tone of your skin, the color that we immediately see, which can range from fair to dark.  But your skin undertones are the notes of color that appear beneath the surface of your skin.

In general, most people’s undertones fall into one of three zones: warm, cool or neutral. Knowing which zone your skin is in can help determine what will really accentuate your natural look. 

Beyoncé x warm undertone
Photo courtesy Ivy Park


Warm undertones generally appear as a greenish, yellow or red color under the surface of the skin. If your skin has been described as having a golden look, or you have an olive complexion, you likely have warm undertones.

For people with warm undertones, your ideal hair colors will likely range from dark brown to dark blonde. Within that spectrum, shades of scarlet red, cinnamon brown, amber, and honey gold will flatter you beautifully. The key is to keep it toasty and golden. 

Zöe Kravitz
Photo Credit: Wire Image


Whether you are fair or dark, if your skin has a bluish undertone, you’ll fall into the cool category, and you’ll want to go with that same range for your hair colors. 

Jet black, blue-black, and deep browns will flatter you, as will light blondes with the same cool undertones. You could even pull off a stark white (think Zoe Kravitz’s super short blonde pixie, circa 2017) if you’re feeling particularly bold. 

Selena Gomez
Selena Gomez // Photo Credit: Getty


If you can’t immediately identify warm or cool tones in your skin, you may have more neutral undertones, which means you fall somewhere in the middle. Likewise, your perfect hair color will fall in the middle of the color spectrum. Anything too bright or vibrant can overwhelm your natural look, so try softer colors or go for highlights like bronde (a mix of brown and blonde), strawberry blonde, brick red, deep auburn or espresso hues.

Experimenting with hair color allows you to show off a different side of yourself, or create statement-making looks. Working within the color family that best complements your skin’s undertones will help you to choose a standout color every time!