Since the Circuit Breaker is over, some of us may be feeling the urge to tinker with our appearances. You can’t blame us, though. Now that salons are back in action with their full suite of services, it’s pretty much the perfect opportunity to switch up our look. And if your job doesn’t require you to interact with clients on video calls, who’s to stop you from getting a colourful makeover?
Here’s the problem: there are simply way too many options to choose from. For those who have been umming and ahhing about which shade to go with, we got you. But before we get straight into the colour recommendations, we’ll help you figure out your skin’s undertone. This will guide you to your most flattering hair hues, so you can look great IRL and on video calls.
How to determine your skin’s undertone
While it’s easy to know if your skin tone is fair, medium, or deep, undertones can be a little more tricky. There are three traditional undertones: warm, cool, and neutral. Undertones are colours that come through your skin from beneath the surface to affect its overall hue. It’s not about how light or dark your skin tone is. Even the fairest skin can have warm undertones, and darker skin can have cool ones.
Warm: If your skin skews yellow, peachy, or golden.
Cool: If your skin has hints of blueish or pink hues.
Neutral: If your skin has no obvious overtones of pink or yellow.
For those who still can’t identify their undertones, there’s a hack. Check your wrist. Your veins are a great indicator of undertones, so if they’re blue or purple, you’re cool-toned. And if they’re green, you’re warm-toned.
Depending on your complexion, the colour you wear can make your skin look bright and even or highlight your blemishes. So if you’re sporting a hair colour that compliments your skin tone and undertone, you can make your skin look better sans makeup.
Now that you know your skin’s undertone, it’s time to find you a hair colour!
Hair colours to flatter your skin tone and undertone
Fair skin with warm undertones
Recommended hair colours: Platinum, icy blonde, silver, ash, sand, champagne
Since cool-toned hues help to neutralise redness, cool blonde shades look great on porcelain-skinned complexions with reddish undertones. If you want to take brighten your overall look, try a full head of platinum blonde. It’ll give your hair a contemporary update and light up the room.
When in doubt, pick a tone that’s opposite from your skin’s undertones. For instance, those with warm undertones should opt for cool-toned colours and vice versa. If you have neutral undertones, you can pretty much experiment with any colour.
Fair skin with cool undertones
Recommended hair colours: gold, caramel, amber, honey, butterscotch
Remember what we said about selecting a hair colour that’s opposite from your skin’s natural undertones? The same applies here. For fair-skinned ladies with cool undertones, warm shades like amber, honey, and gold would look great against your complexion.
If you’re going for a bolder shade, make sure it has warm tones in the mix, such as violet-red or peach-brown. While you still can experiment with cool tones, bear in mind that those colours will wash you out, so it’s best to stick to warmer shades for a higher impact.
Fair skin with neutral undertones
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Recommended hair colours: strawberry blonde, copper, rust, rose-gold
If you have a neutral undertone, you’re in luck. You can play around with plenty of colours and they’ll still look good on you. For the perfect shade, however, you can ask your colourist to mix both cool and warm tones to achieve a balance.
Strawberry blonde looks particularly stunning on fair skin with neutral undertones. A luminous shade of rose gold really stands out too, so now’s your chance to jump on the trend.
Medium skin with warm undertones
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Recommended hair colours: dark chocolate, chestnut, dark auburn, mocha
Since it’s essentially universally flattering, it’s hard to go wrong with brown. However, a cool-toned brown can look gorgeous on medium skin with warmer undertones. A chestnut or mocha shade makes yellow undertones more even and less sallow. You can also opt for multi-tonal highlights or balayage to give it a soft, feminine effect.
Medium skin with cool undertones
Recommended hair colours: caramel, honey, golden brown, amber, mahogany, cinnamon
If you have medium skin with cool undertones, it’s best to pick a shade that contrasts with your complexion to avoid looking washed-out. For skin tones that lean a little more olive like actress Jamie Chung (above), a dark brown base with caramel highlights can do wonders. You can also up the saturation with a fire engine red or a darker crimson.
Medium skin with neutral undertones
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Recommended hair colours: ash grey, espresso, blue-black, licorice
You’re probably thinking about how boring your recommended hair colours are, but black isn’t a one-note option. Different tones and highlights can help to add a subtle variety.
A cooler grey can dull down fairer skin tones, but for those with medium skin and neutral undertones, it has a dramatic effect. Adding a blueish tinge to black hair can also give off a bit of intrigue when it catches the light.
Deep skin with warm undertones
Recommended hair colours: caramel, golden brown, butterscotch
Cool red browns or icy dark browns can really flatter the warm undertones in darker skin. If your skin is a close match to Beyonce’s, you can try dipping your ends in caramel or toning down a blonde hue with shades of gold. Blue hair looks particularly beautiful on those with golden complexions too, which explains why Queen Bey radiates in this royal blue outfit.
Deep skin with cool undertones
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Recommended hair colours: dark mocha, mahogany, brown-black, ruby, magenta
Black hair looks great on those with deeper skin tones, but it’ll look even better when you warm it up with chocolate-like tones. Shades of mahogany and copper can give your skin a sun-kissed glow too. For more vibrant shades, you can also spice it up with jewel tones like ruby, fuchsia, and magenta.
Deep skin with neutral undertones
Recommended hair colours: auburn red, reddish-brown, chestnut
Since those with neutral undertones can rock every colour, you can experiment with a light or dark colour. But what we would recommend is adding a bit of warmth to it, so shades like auburn red or chestnut brown would illuminate your skin tone.