Deciding on a hair color is not as simple a choosing blonde, red, or brunette. Within these primary hair colors exists a myriad of shades and tones that look amazing on some people and not quite right on others. The difference between looking fabulous as an ash blonde or strawberry blonde depends on your skin tone, eye color and natural hair color.

Hair and skin tones are generally divided into warm and cool, and striking an appropriate balance is important in order to avoid looking washed-out, ruddy, or bland. As well, unless you are going for a costume effect, you want do not want your hair to appear false, and the wrong color can create that look. Dramatic changes in hair color should be avoided for this reason.

There are simple tricks to determine if you are a cool or warm-toned person. For instance, if you look at your veins and they have a bluish tint you are likely cool, and if they appear green then you are warm. Also, you can test your color with jewelry. Compare the vibrancy of gold and silver against your skin, and if the silver stands out the most then you are cool or warm if the gold looks best. 

Eye color can also help determine your tone. People with lighter eyes such as blue and green generally have warm complexes and dark-eyed people have cool complexions. If you are struggling to determine your skin tone, you can always consult with a local makeup artist or beautician for advice or send us your picture.

For a more thorough breakdown, check out our this guide our experts have assembled for you:

Skin Base: Light/Fair
Tone: Peach

Try 

  • vibrant, warmer tones
  • any reds
  • golden blondes with red or caramel highlights
  • warm coppers
  • browns with ginger or  warm red tones 

Avoid

  • ash tones 

Tip: You can have fun with vibrant tones because it make your skin wonderfully radiant.

Skin Base: Light/Fair
Tone: Pink

Try

  • ash tones
  • browns and blondes with warm tones
  • platinum, sandy, buttery and dark blonde shades 

Avoid

  • red tones
  • brown hair with excessive warm or red tones

Tip: Although most skin tones need to avoid ash tones, they actually soften your skin beautifully. 

Skin Base: Medium
Tone: Pink

Try

  • ash tones
  • cools reds
  • reds with caramel highlights
  • auburn reds
  • light and dark auburns
  • frosty or sand blondes
  • caramel browns

Avoid

  • vibrant colors
  • brassy or gold tones

Tip: Your best colors look great together. So choose a highlighted style, and you won’t have to pick just one color. 

Skin Base: Medium
Tone: Olive/Yellow

Try

  • warm reds and golds
  • vibrant or rich colors
  • fun colors like pumpkin red and butterscotch blonde
  • dark or ginger brown
  • highlighted colors
  • almost any color

Avoid

  • ash tones

Tip: Vibrant colors can spice up your look by allowing your skin tone to really radiate.

Skin Base: Medium
Tone: Neutral

Try

  • almost any color

Avoid

  • ash tones

Tip: You look amazing in almost any color, so enjoy reinventing your look when the mood strikes.

Skin Base: Dark
Tone: Red

Try

  • natural tones
  • warm and neutral tones
  • dark, medium, and light browns with reddish tints
  • honey ginger, medium reds, and auburn colors

Avoid

  • ash colors
  • brassy or gold tones

Tip: If you want to enhance your natural skin color, choose warm and neutral tones.

Skin Base: Dark
Tone: Olive

Try

  • almost any color

Avoid

  • ash tones

Tip: You have an ability to switch experiment with a variety of colors and always look fabulous, so have fun with your versatile complexion.