Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

Hair color can change your whole appearance because it frames your face. “I think of color as an important accessory that enhances your unique beauty and facial features,” says Oded Gabay, celebrity hair stylist and owner of Lovella salons in New York. “You’ll know when you’ve found the right color for your individual skin tone because you’ll love it right at that moment and won’t need to get used to it.” The secret is to find a shade that enhances rather than detracts from your complexion. You don’t need to waste precious time and money testing out different shades. Instead, check out Gabay’s professional advice to find your perfect match.

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1. If your skin is: Pale with cool blue or green undertones

Try: Warm golden blonde

Why it works: “Many women with coloring like Nicole’s tend to go for ashy shades, but you don’t want your hair color to blend in with your skin tone because that will only wash you out,” says Gabay. “Golden shades are going to give you some extra warmth to make you look much more awake and refreshed.”

2. If your skin is: Medium with warm undertones

Try: Dark chocolate brown

Why it works: “Dark colors make her light eyes pop, but black would be much too harsh on woman with Zooey’s warm coloring,” says Gabay. “Dark chocolate brown with medium brown highlights placed on top of your head to frame your face will keep the color soft and brighten eyes.”

3. If your skin is: Pale with warm yellow undertones and freckles

Try: A golden red

Why it works: Pale skinned women should avoid hair color that looks too natural, and instead play up a contrast between their locks and their complexions. “It takes guts to try warm colors with pale skin, but red shades can really compliment freckles and yellow undertones,” says Gabay.

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4. If your skin is: Olive with warm undertones

Try: Darkest brown

Why it works: Strong, dark shades act like a canvas for your face by accentuating your features in ways that can be both good and bad, says Gabay. “If you have darkness under your eyes, very dark hair color will bring this out. If your lips or eyes are beautiful, dark hair will enhance these features as well.” Kim’s color is rich without being too harsh, because her warm dark hair is a few shades lighter than black to bring out the best of her olive complexion.

5. If your skin is: Medium with cool undertones

Try: Caramel

Why it works: Using a caramel shade can add extra warmth to medium complexions with cool undertones and help give skin a glow. What to avoid if you have this skin tone: Shades that are either too light (they can leave skin and eyes looking dull) or too dark (very dark shades can accentuate under-eye circles).

6. If your skin is: Dark with warm undertones

Try: Dark auburn brown

Why it works: Rich, dark shades with warm casts work best on this skin color because they enhance rather than clash with darker skin’s warm tones. Try infusing new life into boring black by opting for the deep tones of darkest auburn, suggests Gabay.

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