Between all the ombres, mocha browns, mocha blonds and rainbow varieties, it's hard to know which hair color is right for you. You know, the one that will make you feel like you finally have your life together.
It helps to have the expertise of a stylist, but even if you risk it with the boxed dye, the grocery isles have endless options too. The thing is, there really are no hard and fast rules anymore. You can do whatever you want, girl — whatever makes you feel best. There’s also been a lot of advancement in color technology, so even a bad color choice, is not as bad as it once was.
View this post on Instagram
Looking your absolute best isn’t just about the color either. Other factors come into play like placement and saturation. Let’s just say you aren’t feeling risky, though. You’d rather find a surefire way to look and feel your best. This quick little breakdown in the world of undertones will help you do just that.
Choosing the right color is ultimately all about your skin tone. More specifically, your skin undertones. This is the tone underneath your outermost layer skin that affects your overall hue. It’s a shade within your outer coloring.
There are 3 basic undertones; warm, cool and neutral, to keep it simple. So your job is to choose a dye that will match your undertone. The right color will make it look like you’re glowing and give you that extra something special.
How do I find my skin's undertone?
There are a bunch of different ways to figure this out, so to begin start with a clean face. Make sure you’ve removed any makeup that could be effecting your natural color.
Next, make sure you are in good light to get a good look at yourself. Follow the same rules you would for taking an awesome selfie and find some natural, daytime lighting. Choose a room with a large window — or you could even go outside.
Once you are in good light, notice how your skin looks or reacts to sunlight. If you turn pinkish or peachy, you most likely have cool undertones. If you look yellow, it indicates warmer ones. Now take a look at your veins. These could be veins from anywhere on the body. Face, wrist, anywhere. If they appear blue or purple you most likely have cool undertones. If they are more green/olive in hue, then you have warm ones. Blue/green means neutral.
@skincareanna Guess my undertone - let me know if you want a part 2 #skinundertones #coolundertone #warmundertone #beautytips ♬ original sound - Skincare Anna
If you still can't figure it out, try this instead. Get out a mirror or your selfie camera and look at your eyeballs. If you have flecks of gold or hazel, odds are you have warm undertones. For blue or gray flecks, you guessed it — you're a cool girl.
Here’s a third method if you want to be absolutely certain. This one is probably a bit more subjective, but also more fun! Go to your closet and look at your clothes. What colors looks great on you? Think about that sweater or dress you always get compliments on. If it’s blue, green or purple you may have cool undertones. If it’s a yellow, orange or peach, you’re a warm girl all day.
Now. if you look great in both, you may have a neutral tone. Be sure to try out the white shirt test too. Put on a white shirt and if your skin looks pink you probably have a cool undertone. More yellow? You got it - a warm undertone.
The final method is way less sciencey and it’s definitely a hack. Pick a celeb or two that you kind of look like. Check out how they color their hair and do what they do. It’s an indirect way to have a fancy, star stylist without the cost.
Now that you’ve figured out your skin’s undertone you are ready to choose a color. You want to pick a shade that is at least two shades lighter or darker than your skin to avoid looking washed out. Here’s the breakdown:
Blondes should go for other warm hues like golden beige, wheat, or buttery blond. If you want to go even lighter choose a blushy, pinkish-blond.
Brunettes with warm undertones should choose colors in the caramel, butterscotch, and clove family. Selena Gomez is a perfect example of a warm brunette girl.
Redheads should also opt for warm golden and coppery hues. Lucky for them copper is very in this season!
Rainbow colors like coral, rose gold, apricot and yellow will work if you are going for a scene or soft girl look. This doesn’t mean you can’t, or shouldn’t do greens or blues, just be careful about the placement. Keep the cool colors placed more toward the back of your head and let the warmer ones frame your face.
Blondes with cool undertones should choose cool shades like platinum, champagne, and silver hues. Purple shampoo will be your best friend to keep any hint of brassiness out, and if you are fair-skinned, these cool colors will also help to neutralize any redness on your face.
Brunettes with cool undertones should opt for dark chocolate and espresso hues. Megan Fox and Dakota Johnson are both brunettes with cool undertones. You’ll see them looking best in deep, gem-tone shades.
Redheads should also choose from colors in the gem-tone family, like the heavy hues of merlot, burgundy, or even subtle mocha.
Rainbow hair chics, should try to emulate Billie Eilish. Blue, green and purple will be easy to pull off, as will cool reds and pinks. Just like the warm tone girls, if you want rainbow colors that don’t match your undertone, just place those off-colors near the back of your head. That way you’ll get a range, but your best colors will frame your face for a natural looking glow.
Neutral girls obviously have the most flexibility when it comes to color selection with a bit of both warm and cool undertones. They can go for the wheatiest to the most platinum shades of blonde and still look hot. Angelina Jolie is a good example of a neutral brunette. Her hair has been every shade in the book and she always looks flawless. Neutral redheads will be the same, they can go from strawberry blonde one day to cabernet the next and always look pulled together. Red hues are sure to be hot this season too, so take advantage and experiment with all the variations!
So there you have it…or do you? See, once you’ve determined your skin’s undertone and the colors that look best with it, you are pretty much on your way to hair color perfection - but, there’s more.
You actually can get even more detailed with subsets within your undertone category. For instance, are you a fair-skinned queen with warm undertones or a dark-skinned one? In addition to warm, cool and neutral there are also pale, dark, and neutral (sometimes peachy too) skin shades. In this case, there will sometimes be exceptions to the rules.
In fact, some stylists recommend choosing a tone that is the opposite of our skin’s undertones. For example, say you have a warm undertone but fair or medium skin shade. In this case you could look stunning in cool platinum shades of blonde or even dark chocolate. Pale skin beauties with cool undertones could pull off warmer amber shades as well.
Okay, okay, that's basically the opposite of everything we just told you, but remember we said there aren't any hard and fast rules anymore? Follow the basics for a guideline, but never be afraid to experiment! Worst case scenario, you learn what never to do again, and best case scenario, you look mad hot.