Sussing out your next hair colour is no easy feat. There's a few factors that go into determining which shades will be the most flattering for your complexion. Along with your skin tone, it's also equally important to know your complexion's undertone. This will help narrow down which specific hair colour shades will work best with your skin tone.
Sounds confusing, right? It doesn't have to be. Thanks to our comprehensive hair colour guide, choosing your next shade has never been easier. We've broken down the best shades for every complexion with celebrity references.
Keep scrolling to find out the most flattering hair colour for your skin tone.
1. Determine Your Skin Tone: Deep
• People with deep skin tones like Kerry Washington will usually have dark brown eyes.
• Your skin looks healthiest in brightly hued clothing, like royal purple or green.
• The darker your skin tone is, the easier you can pull off more intense colours on your lips. Plums, reds and deep burgundies look great with your skin.
• The veins on your wrist have a purple tint.
• You can pull off both silver and gold jewellery.
2. Determine Your Skin Tone: Warm
• Warm skin tones like Jennifer Lopez's are usually accompanied by green, hazel, amber, or warm brown eyes.
• Your skin looks healthiest in off-white or beige.
• Coral, terracotta red, and chocolate brown lipsticks are more flattering than pinks or blue-based reds.
• The veins on your wrist have a greenish tint.
• Gold jewellery looks best on you.
3. Determine Your Skin Tone: Cool
• People with cool skin tones like Amy Adams usually have eyes that are blue, grey, greenish-blue with grey flecks, or a deep brown that borders on black.
• Your skin looks healthiest in pure white shirts.
• Pink or blue-based red lipsticks are more flattering than corals, terracotta reds, and chocolate browns.
• The veins on your wrist have a blue tint.
• Silver jewellery looks best on you.
4. Find Your Shade: Fair Skin
"The lighter your skin tone, the paler you can go with your hair," says celebrity colourist Rita Hazan, who works with Beyoncé and Jessica Simpson. Fair complexions with warm undertones like Elizabeth Olsen's look best against hues of butterscotch, strawberry blonde, and honey. These shades play up the peachiness of your skin and cast a soft glow on your face. If you have a cool undertone like Julianne Hough, look for blue-based colors like platinum, flaxen, and champagne blonde to flatter your ivory complexion.
5. Maintain Your Shade: Fair Skin
Most blonde tones start to fade two weeks after they've been applied, says celebrity colorist Marie Robinson, who works with Scarlett Johansson. To keep your hue as vibrant as possible, use a shampoo that's formulated with purple pigment like Sachajuan's Silver Shampoo to counteract any brassy tones.
Available at Feelunique | £20
6. Find Your Shade: Medium Skin
Not only can this versatile complexion carry a wide spectrum of shades, but it also provides a beautiful backdrop for high-contrast highlights. People with cool undertones like Cameron Diaz should stick to ashy tones like sand, wheat blonde, or walnut brown to counteract any hint of redness in your complexion. Tawny blonde, golden caramel, or copper pick up the buttery tones and prevent sallowness in warm undertones like Mandy Moore's.
7. Maintain Your Shade: Medium Skin
The lighter you go, the more prone your hair is to brassiness, says New York City colorist Sharon Dorram. Lather up with Aveda's Color Conserve Shampoo. The plant-based formula cleanses hair while keeping your tone intact. Also invest in a shower-head filter to remove mineral buildup, which can alter your colour. Also invest in a shower-head filter to remove mineral buildup, which can alter your colour - we love the Vitaclean HQ Vitamin C Filtered Shower Head (£60; vitacleanhq.com).
Available at John Lewis | £19.50
8. Find Your Shade: Olive Skin
This skin tone can stand up to the intensity of a deep, rich brown, or an earthy colour. "Add some strategically placed highlights in a subtle gold or honey if you want to create depth," suggests Robinson. To balance greenish tints in complexions with cool undertones like Alexa Chung's, try toasty hues like chestnut brown, auburn, and cinnamon. Ebony brown, mocha, and violet-based colors will enhance the natural warm undertones of complexions like Shay Mitchell's.
9. Maintain Your Shade: Olive Skin
Any amount of styling damage can make brown hair look dry and drab, so seal in plenty of moisture with a weekly color-preserving, strand-repairing mask like Bumble and bumble's While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque. It nourishes and mends damage from coloring and heat-styling.
Available at Sephora | £40
10. Find Your Shade: Dark Skin
The whole idea here is to create contrast between your hair and your complexion-whether that means going lighter or darker, explains Dorram. "If your hair color is too close to your skin tone, your features will disappear." Deep, dark tones of espresso and inky black look striking next to blue-based complexions like Lupita Nyong'o's. If you have a warm undertone like Beyoncé's, opt for maple brown, mahogany, toffee, and other rich, warm colors to bring out the apricot tones in your skin.
11. Maintain Your Shade: Dark Skin
Darker strands look best when they reflect light, says Los Angeles hairstylist Kimberly Kimble. Stick with products that are free of sulphates, as detergents can strip hair of its natural oil. We love the Shea Moisture Raw Shea Butter Deep Treatment Masque for restoring dried out and processed hair.
Available at Boots | £13