Have you ever colored your hair a shade that looked great on a friend, but looks terrible on you? That is probably because you both have very different skin tones. A person’s skin tone dictates what color clothing, makeup, even nail polish shades look best on them. It all ties into one another. Since Autumn will be here soon, God willing, what better time to try out a vibrant hair color and change up your whole look. Here is a general guideline to help you the next time you’re choosing a color:

Natural Hair Tone: Instead of thinking about the hair “color” you were born with, think about the “tone” you were born with. Was it warm brown or cool brown? Was it honey blonde or strawberry blonde? If you’re unsure, pull out some old photographs of you as a child. This is going to be your starting point.

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  • Warm Tones: Warm toned hair has reflective earth tone shades of umber, copper, auburn, gold, and honey. When in the sun, this hair tone will get more of these shades.
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  • Cool Tones: Cool tones are ashy, jewel shades. They don’t have the same vibrancy or reflective strands. This hair tone has shades of tawny, taupe, and khaki. When in the sun, this hair tone will lighten, but stay in the cool color family.
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  • Neutral Tones: Neutral toned hair will have an ashy, jewel base. When in the sun, this hair tone will get warm, copper or honey blonde highlights.

Skin tones can change over time, especially when it’s been exposed to sun and sun damage. That being said, finding your current skin tone is important when choosing a hair color because you don’t what the two to clash. Here is a simple guide to help determine your skin tone.

The Formula: Once you’ve established your “born with” hair tone and skin undertones, it’s time to put together which colors would look best for you. This is in hair tone/skin tone format:

Match your childhood hair tone (cool, warm, neutral) and your current  skin tone.

The Cools: 

  • Cool/Cool: Cool, blue based colors looks best. Platinum blonde, fiery red, or dark brunette
  • Cool/Warm: Cool toned bases with warm, multidimensional highlights.
  • Cool/Neutral: Cool or warm tones. Chestnut browns, and almonds are very flattering.

The Warms:

  • Warm/Cool: Warm tones help to contrast the cool, skin undertones. Warm blonde, auburn, warm brown/black, fiery red
  • Warm/Warm: Warm toned cinnamon, brown with auburn highlights, golden blonde,, caramel, brown/golden ombre
  • Warm/Neutral: Ashy brown with warm highlights

The Neutrals:

  • Neutral/Cool: Chocolate browns, walnut, mocha browns with light, warm highlights.
  • Neutral/Warm: Neutral browns, blondes, and reds with highlights
  • Neutral/Neutral: You can pull off anything. Every color will look great as long as it’s rich and dimensional. This is why Linda Evangelista could wear any hair color!

Salon Help: When making a drastic hair color change, consult with a salon color specialist. They will choose colors that look best with your skin/hair tone. You can then take that information and do it yourself for cost savings.

Bonus: When changing your hair color, make sure to also change up your makeup colors as well. Cool hair shades such as platinum blondes look best with cool makeup shades. Reds look best with warm shades and so on.

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