Do you ever wonder why your BFF can rock a shade of gorgeous shade of warm, honey blonde hair to perfection while you look rubbish with anything other than a silvery, Nordic hue, even though you both have fair skin? The answer, my friend, lies in the undertones of your respective skins. Confused? Read on.
Skin tone 101
Your skin’s surface tone is easy – it’s the colour you’d put in your personal ad (fair, medium, dark), but your skin also has an undertone, which can be classified as cool, warm or neutral. And this is the main factor in determining what colours work for you, in makeup, clothes, and hair colour. Somewhat confusingly, dark skins can have cool undertones, and porcelain skins can have warm tones.
If you’re ‘Cool’ you have pink, red or blueish undertones. You look best in pure white rather than cream shirts, and suit silver jewellery over gold. The veins on your wrist look more blue than green. Think Amanda Seyfried.
If you’re ‘Warm’ you have yellow, peach or golden undertones. You look best in off-white or beige, and gold jewellery is your jam. Look at the veins on your wrist – they will have a greenish tinge. Think Jessica Biel.
If you’re ‘Neutral’ you have areas of both cool and warm undertones, and you look good in both silver and gold. Think Natalie Portman.
How to choose your hair colour according to skin tone
Now you’ve got your skin tone sorted, here’s how to ace your hair colour, according to Chantelle Cowcher, Director of Telleish Hair Studio in Port Melbourne.
“Cooler skin tones look best with warm hair colours like chestnut browns, golden-hued blondes, rich honey browns, and orange reds. The best celeb to do this well is Jennifer Lopez!!! That girl nails her tone! A fave blonde of ours is Lauren Conrad, an example of a cool skin with a honey warm blonde – PERFECTION!”
According to Cowcher, ‘cool’ girls should be careful when opting for a cool hair colour, citing Scarlett Johansson’s experiment with platinum as an example of this. She adds that the colour washed her out, blurring her facial features. “The first thing you see is her hair, when it should be her face. Hair should be an accessory; it needs to complement you, not be the only feature you see,” Cowcher says.
For warm skin undertones, Cowcher favours both warm and cool hair tones. “I actually love using soft buttery/warm honey, and soft delicate copper on warm skin tones,” she says. Isla Fisher and Jennifer Aniston are examples of ‘warm’ girls getting it right.
“A bad example of warm on warm is Blake Lively when she was rich bright copper. It made her look extremely tanned in a bad way!” says Cowcher.
As for neutral girls. Well, you’re lucky and look good with most shades.
Cowcher insists it’s also important to consider eye colour when choosing your hair colour, as eyes will really pop with the right shade (eg blue eyes look the business with copper toned hair).