The Best Hair Colors for Your Skin Tone

by Jessi Wilson

The Best Hair Colors for Your Skin Tone

Deciding on a new hair color can be daunting—there are so many to choose from—but the answer may be right in front of you. James Corbett, Clairol color director, says skin tones can be broken down into three basic categories (cool, warm and neutral). To determine yours, look at the inner part of your wrist and note the color of your veins. Got it? Now, check out our picks for the best hair colors for your skin tone.


Medium with Cool Undertones



Cameron Diaz always looks perfectly bronzed, but at the base of her complexion are cool undertones. Golden blonde and auburn colors best complement this skin tone.


Medium with Warm Undertones



Envied for her glowing skin, Jessica Alba is a prime example of a medium skin tone with warm undertones. We weren’t crazy about her golden blonde hair but think she looks great with a deep mocha brown.


Medium with Neutral Undertones



Demi Lovato is a chameleon who can pull off almost any hair color. For medium skin tones with neutral undertones, stick to darker hair colors that enhance your tanned skin.


Dark with Cool Undertones



We love how Gabrielle Union’s subtle ruby highlights bring out her skin’s blue undertones. Stick with hair colors and highlights that sway more toward the warm end of the color spectrum for a pretty contrast between your skin and your hair.


Dark with Warm Undertones



Kerry Washington’s dark hair with a cool blue tint complements her warm complexion flawlessly. Avoid darker colors with a golden tint that blend too much with your skin.


Dark with Neutral Undertones



We’ve seen Rihanna go crimson red and bluish black, and we have loved it all. For darker skin with neutral undertones, feel free to experiment with a variety of colors, but lean toward darker shades for a natural look.


Cool Undertones



If your veins look blue or purple, you have a cooler skin tone with blue or pink undertones like Anne Hathaway. “If you have a cool skin tone, you may burn easily in the sun or blush easily,” Corbett says, “and you look better in black and white and jewel-tone colors, such as blue, pink and purple.”

When looking for a hair-color hue, pick a warm shade to complement your skin. Corbett recommends trying golden or warm colors.