Finding the Best Colour for Warm and Cool Skin Tones

With so many options, it can be hard to decide which hair colour to try next. The latest hair dye trend, or a shade that looks perfect on your favourite celebrity, can be a tempting option to try and recreate, but once you’ve finally picked a colour that you covet next comes the age old question, “will this even suit me?”. Whether you’re looking at a buttery blonde, rich copper, or multidimensional black, it can be difficult to know if your chosen hair colour will enhance your complexion or completely wash you out. Much like hair colours have different undertones, so does your skin, which can influence how flattering your new shade will look. Luckily there’s a few ways to predict how your skin tone will affect what hair colour suits you and how to find out which hue to opt for to flatter your undertones. No matter if you’ve got warm or cool skin tones, here’s exactly what you need to know when picking out a new hue.

Hair Colour 101: How to take your skin tone into consideration

Your skin’s undertone plays a huge role in which colours look best on you, be it your clothing, or lipstick and even your hair colour. You may find that some shades of red lipstick seem to clash with your complexion and hair colour is no different. Unlike easily removed lipstick, applying the wrong shade of hair dye is harder to correct. Feeling confident that you’ve found the shade can seem impossible, but not when you know what to look for.

Firstly, it’s important to determine exactly if you have warmer or cooler skin tones. While it’s not a fixed rule, usually if your natural hair is lighter, you’ll probably have cooler undertones, whereas if your hair is naturally darker you’re more likely to have warmer undertones.

To determine exactly what undertone you’re rocking there’s a simple way to find out. Flip your arm over so you can see your wrists and look at your veins. If they appear green, you have warm undertones. If they appear blue, you have cool ones. Where your veins appear a mix of blue and green, your undertone is neutral, and you will suit both warm and cool shades.

You can also determine your undertones by your skin. If your skin is more pink, red or blue those are cool undertones, whereas if you’re more peachy, golden or yellow then you have warm undertones.

Or if you’re neutral, your undertones are a balance of warm and cool tones, and you’ll suit a wider range of hair colours – lucky you!

What you need to know about colour theory and your hair colour

When trying to find the best hair colour for your skin tone, you’ll come across a wide range of blonde, brown, and red shades, all with different undertones—seriously, you’ve got a lot to choose from! 

Depending on the specific hair colour you choose, you may find that certain features pop more, or less, than with your previous shade, or that your wardrobe pairs differently with your new hue. To find the best hair colour to pair with your favourite colours, it’s important to take colour theory into consideration. Colours that are across from one another on the colour wheel are most complementary to each other. When colour theory comes into hair colour the principles remain the same. If you love to wear blue and have cool tones, a vibrant warm toned blonde will complement your wardrobe and your skin tone.

The best colours for your skin tone

Now that you have a better understanding of how your skin tone should play a role in choosing a shade of hair colour, it’s time to narrow down your options. Below, we share our favourite at home hair colours for your newest hue to once and for all eliminate the question, “what hair colour would suit me?”

The best hair colours for warm skin tones

Successfully identified yourself as having warm undertones? We’ve rounded up the best blonde, brown, and red hair colours for warm skin tones.

Blonde Hair Colours for Warm Undertones

If you have warm undertones and you’re searching for a blonde hue, cooler, less brassy shades suit you best, like the L’Oreal Paris Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 8.1 Ash Blonde. Think platinum, ash and champagne tones like Preference Permanent Hair Colour in 9.23 Light Rose GoldExcellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 9.1 Light Ash Blonde or try your hand at a platinum ombre with Preference Permanent Hair Colour in No4 Wild Ombre.

Brown Hair Colours for Warm Undertones

For brown hair colours that will suit your warm undertones, the same applies – look for cooler shades with ash undertones. We love Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 6.1 Light Ash Brown, Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour in 500 Medium Brown or Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour in 515 Chocolate Chestnut

Red Hair Colours for Warm Undertones

If you are looking for red hair colours for warm tones, we love Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 5.6 Rich Auburn or Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour in 645 Amber.

The best hair colours for cool skin tones

If your undertones lean cool, these are the shades of blonde, brown, and red hair best suited to you!

Blonde Hair Colours for Cool Undertones

If you have cool undertones and are looking for a shade of blonde you can up the warmth in your hair colour to complement your cooler skin tone – think rich caramel, gold and honey tones like Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour in 600 Light Brown or the golden hue of Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 8.3 Golden Blonde. Warm tones of blonde come in many different shades – for a deeper blonde try Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour in 700 Dark Blonde or try a warm platinum with Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 10 Very Light Blonde

Brown Hair Colours for Cool Undertones

If you have cool skin and want a brown hair colour look for warming tones of mahogany, chestnut and toffee. For rich brown hues, we love Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour in 600 Light Brown, Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 5 Natural Brown or Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 5.5 Mahogany Brown.

Red Hair Colours for Cool Undertones

If your skin has cool tones, and you’re looking for a red hair colour look for coppers, and golden ginger tones. We love Excellence Creme Permanent Hair Colour in 6.54 Light Copper Mahogany Brown, Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour 360 in Black Cherry or Casting Creme Gloss Semi-Permanent Hair Colour in 460 Strawberry Kiss.

Once you’ve found your perfect shade, ensure a perfect application with our guide to colouring hair at home, and our Hair Colour FAQs. To try your chosen hair colour before you apply, try our Virtual Try On technology for a preview of your hue.
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