If you have been dyeing your hair every shade of the rainbow and are still not satisfied with your hair colour, or wondered why your new hair colour just doesn’t look great even though your favourite celebrity is rocking it, here’s a likely explanation – your hair colour does not match your skin undertone!
The term ‘skin undertone’ may be unfamiliar to you, but don’t panic just yet – skin undertones are simply the colours that lie beneath the skin. Undertones cast a shadow beneath your skin colour, and this shadow has a distinct colour that never changes.
Need a little help figuring out your skin undertone? No problem! Take our quiz and answer a few simple questions to find out now:
Now that you’ve identified your skin undertone, it is much easier to determine which hair colours look best on you.
We asked hair expert, Den Ng (Director of PREP Luxe), to share his best tips on how you can find a hair colour based on your skin undertone.
If you have warm skin undertones:
Many Asians make the wrong assumption that they have warm skin undertones due to their more yellow and tanned skin, which is why you may see many people in the region sporting warm brown or even red hair, but only a few of them can really rock the look.
The truth is, copper and caramel tones only work on those with warm skin undertones. According to Den, you should opt for any colour with a red undertone such as auburn, warm honey beige blonde, caramel brown or yellowish tones – these will help to bring out the healthy radiance in your skin.
On the other hand, ash-like colours with a blue or green base should be avoided as they bring out too much orange in one’s skin and does not give the healthy glow achieved with copper/caramel toned hair. If you’ve been wanting to try platinum blonde, we’re afraid you’ll have to give it a miss!
If you have cool skin undertones:
If you think that cool skin undertones should be balanced with warm hair colours, we are sorry to tell you that it doesn’t quite work that way.
Den suggests that people with cool skin undertones avoid colours that are too warm, i.e. hues with an orange/yellow base like copper, auburn and orange.
On the bright side, you’re able to choose from a variety of colours like dark brown, ash brown, ash and platinum blonde, burgundy or anything with violet hues work. These have been very popular in recent years, and you are part of the privileged group that can sport these colours without looking washed-out and dull – congratulations! In fact, these recommended shades will minimise the red, pink, and blue undertones of your skin so that you look even healthier.
If you have neutral skin undertones:
Although having a neutral skin tone may feel like you’ve hit the genetic jackpot, here is a tip from Den: neutral skin tones, also known as olive skin tones, should go for more neutral browns such as a dark or light toffee brown.
The colour effects of platinum blonde may not be as drastic on you compared to those with cooler undertones, but cool colours can still make your skin look a little dull and pale.
On the other hand, neutral browns can help your face to look dewier – now, who doesn’t want a dewy complexion, right?
What should I do if I dyed my hair a colour that doesn’t fit my skin undertone?
Now that you know what to look out for in terms of hair colours and skin undertones, we are sure some of you may be wondering what to do with your fresh dye job that is not suitable for your skin undertone. For instance, is there a way to fix your mistake without changing your hair colour?
In the unfortunate situation where you have had a previous colour disaster, Den’s advice is to always opt for a trusted salon to carry out a colour correction process for you.
You can also consider using supplementary makeup shades to balance out hair colours as another way to bring colour equilibrium to your entire look. For example, if your hair colour makes you look too washed-out, you can use a healthy blush colour to add life back into your complexion. You can also use a colour-correcting concealer to balance out the areas on your face that look too orange.
For instance, although Sana of Korean girl group TWICE has warm undertones, she still manages to pull off a cool-toned hair colour with her lip and cheek makeup – this helps to add more colour to an otherwise dull complexion.
That being said, prevention is always better than cure, so be sure to get a good consultation with a professional stylist to help you choose the right colours to complement your skin undertones and match your lifestyle.