Find the Best Hair Color for Your Skin Tone

Jennifer Lopez, Lupita Nyongo and Amy Adams displaying a range of skin tones
Photo: Getty (3)

Sussing out your next hair color is no easy feat — especially when there are 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 be aware of your complexion's undertone — whether it be neutral, cool, or warm — when choosing a color. This will help narrow down which specific hair color shades will work best with your skin tone.

Sounds confusing, right? Well, it doesn't have to be. Thanks to our comprehensive hair color guide, choosing your next shade has never been easier.

Here, we've broken down the best shades for every complexion with celebrity references.

Keep scrolling to find the most flattering hair color for your skin tone. But keep in mind, the best hair color for you is always the one you want — period.

01 of 06

Dark Skin

Lupita Nyongo and Yvonne Orji displaying dark and warm skin tones
Getty Images

Creating contrast between your hair and your complexion is always a good idea — whether that means going lighter or darker, explains celebrity hair colorist Sharon Dorram. "If your hair color is too close to your skin tone, your features will disappear," she says. Deep, dark tones of espresso and inky black look striking next to complexions like Lupita Nyong'o's. If you have a warm undertone like Yvonne Orji's, opt for maple brown, mahogany, toffee, and other rich, warm colors to bring out the apricot tones in your skin.

02 of 06

Color Maintenance

L'Oreal Paris's EverCreme Sulfate Free Nourishing Butter

Darker strands look best when they reflect light, says Los Angeles hairstylist Kim Kimble. Stick with products that are free of sulfates, detergents can strip hair of its natural oil. Kimble recommends a treatment like L'Oreal Paris's EverCreme Sulfate Free Nourishing Butter.

03 of 06

Medium and Olive Skin

Alexa Chung and Shay Mitchell with medium and olive skin tones
Neilson Barnard/Getty; Emma McIntyre/Getty

This skin tone can stand up to the intensity of a deep, rich brown or another earthy color. "Add some strategically placed highlights in a subtle gold or honey if you want to create depth," suggests Robinson. Try toasty shades like chestnut brown, auburn, and cinnamon to balance greenish tints in complexions with cool undertones like Alexa Chung's. Deep brown, mocha, and violet-based colors will enhance the natural warm undertones of complexions like Shay Mitchell's. Tawny blonde, golden caramel, or copper pick up the buttery tones all work for this undertone as well.

04 of 06

Color Maintenance

Bumble and bumble While You Sleep Overnight Damage Repair Masque

Any amount of styling damage can make brown hair look dry, brassy, 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.

05 of 06

Fair Skin

Elizabeth Olsen and Julianne Hough with fair skin tones
Steve Granitz/WireImage; Bennett Raglin/WireImage

"The lighter your skin tone, the paler you can go with your hair," says celebrity colorist Rita Hazan, who works with stars like 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.

06 of 06

Color Maintenance

Sachajuan's Silver Shampoo

Most blonde tones start to fade two weeks after they've been applied, according to 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.

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