A Guide to Choosing the Right Hair Colour for Your Skin Tone

Not sure which hair colour to opt for? Here’s some expert advice to makeup your mind

It's a New Year and getting a makeover to start afresh seems like a fun thing to do. And the easiest way to get a makeover is to change your hair colour but don’t just go for any colour. Choose one that complements your skin tone. Samay Dutta, Director, Noir, a luxury salon, says, “Your skin colour is the most important factor to consider before you colour your hair. While the choice of the right hair colour can enhance your appearance, a bad pairing of skin and hair colour can ruin your entire look and can make you look unnatural. That is why it’s important to choose the right colour because what looks good on Caucasian women might not look good on us.”

How do you determine your skin tone?

The first step to choosing a hair colour is to determine your skin tone. You need to know whether your skin tone is warm or cool. “A simple trick to finding your skin tone is: if you turn red under the sun, then yours is a cool tone and if you tan under the sun, then you have a warm skin tone,” says Samay.

hair colour

Another way to check your correct skin tone is to look at your wrist closely in normal sunlight. “If the veins in your wrists look green, you are warm-toned. If they look blue, you are cool-toned. But sometimes, you cannot tell whether the veins are blue or green. In that case, you may have a neutral skin tone, which gives you an olive complexion,” adds Samay.

Hair colours for different skin tones

Samay lists some hair colours that you can try this season:

Natural hair colours

All shades of brown and burgundy, auburn, intense violet, highlights of  red are natural colours that are suitable for most Indian skin tones. “But if you have pale skin, stay away from all gold hair shades and ash browns, advises Samay. And if you have a tendency to get red in the sun avoid red hair colour.


kriti sanon

Brown may be considered dull in fashion circles, but brown, the hair colour, has a variety of shades available to suit all kinds of Indian skin. If you are warm-toned, shades like chocolate brown and ash brown will suit you the most. And if you have a cool skin tone, mahogany and chestnut would look best on you.


mouni roy

Red comes in a lot of shades and is very tricky to play with. You need to be careful in choosing the correct shade for you. If you are light-skinned, you can try light red or copper red. For olive skin tones, choose blue-based reds which are darker.

Brighter hair colours


These colours are for women, who like to experiment. There are a number of adventurous colours like green, purple, blue and pink out there. As with red, you need to be careful in choosing such colours. The best way to incorporate these colours is to use them as highlights or streaks.

Things to keep in mind

1. While you can follow hair trends, make sure that they complement your skin tone.

2. Select a colour that is either one or two shades lighter than your natural hair colour or darker.

3. Another way is to choose a colour that matches the colour of your eyes.

So book that salon appointment and unleash the hair power!


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