What Hair Color Goes With My Skin Tone?

This model's red-blonde is perfect for her light warm skin tone.

Photo: Polka Dot Images/Polka Dot/Getty Images

Choosing the wrong hair color is an understandable error; after all, the strawberry blonde model on the front of the box looks so fab -- and with a name like "Tempting True Red," how could it possibly be a mistake? Don't let some honey-tongued harpy lure you into a fashion faux pas. Before you commit to a potentially cringe-worthy color, consider your skin tone.

Know Your Place

Every shade of skin, from porcelain white to ebony, has hints of blue, pink or golden yellow. Those underlying tones ultimately decide which colors can hang with you and what shades to kick out of the options. To find your skin tone, turn your hand palm side up and look at the veins that line your wrist. If they seem a little green around the gills, you've got warm skin. Blue or purple veins belong to cool skin tones. Unsure where your skin fits in? Try draping gold and silver bracelets across your wrist. Gold instantly brightens up a warm skin tone; cool tones sparkle in silver.

Ice Ice Baby

Cool-toned ladies such as Courtney Cox, Halle Berry and Salma Hayek need muted ash-based hair colors to play up their skin's subtle icy elegance. Try understated shades such as light ash blonde, deep ash blonde, violet blonde, soft pearl ash, light ash brown, medium ash brown and intense dark ash. Or for contrasting hues, go for true black, blue-black or platinum blonde. Stay away from red or golden-based hair colors, or your skin will look sadder than Lindsay Lohan's mugshot. And Lindsay Lohan's dad's mugshot... and Lindsay Lohan's ex-girlfriend's mug shot.... On second thought, just stay away from Lindsay Lohan.

Hot-Blooded Beauty

Those red and golden shades that were banned from the cool table have their place; the lively hues fit right in with warm-skinned beauties. Think of celebs such as Julia Roberts and Mary J. Blige. Choose hair colors such as warm copper gold, flame red, deep autumn chestnut, light beige blonde, strawberry blonde or medium golden caramel. Rich hues like soft velvet blonde and luscious mocha brown will brighten up your sunny skin tones.


Torn between two equally alluring hair colors? For best results, stay within three shades of your natural hue. If you usually flaunt lighter hair and eyes, lean toward the brighter end of your skin tone's spectrum. Naturally darker features? You'll turn heads in deeper shades.

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