How to determine your skin tone
As with complexions, hair colors can either be warm or cool. “I have clients on a daily basis request a hair color they’ve seen on an actress or model that they just must have,” says Kari Hill, celebrity colorist for L’Oreal Paris. “The obstacle isn’t the coloring of their hair, it’s understanding whether or not the color is going to match their skin tone.” Cool-toned skin has pink, red, and blue undertones, while warm-toned skin has yellow, peach, and golden undertones. Wondering which one you are? An easy way to find out is with a “wrist test.” Simply flip over your wrist and look at the color of your veins. If they are blue or purple, you’re likely cool-toned. Green and yellow veins mean your skin is warm-toned. You may have heard that the golden rule when it comes to hair color is to select a shade that’s the opposite of your skin tone, but we’re here to tell you that actually may not be the case. “My advice is to find a color that brings you confidence, but also respects your complexion. Lots of women dream of being blonde but it’s doesn’t suit all complexions,” says Sophie Georgiou, colorist at Sharon Dorram Color at Sally Hershberger in NYC. Don’t miss the myths about hair you need to stop believing.
For fair skin with cool undertones
Fun fact: The paler your complexion, the lighter you can go with your hair color. “Cool blonde shades (like platinum and baby blonde) are great on porcelain skin,” says Georgiou. And you’ll want to avoid overly warm tones, like golds, coppers, and caramel, which can look unnatural. “Michelle Williams has a very pale cool complexion, so very light, icy blonde works perfectly on her. The reason I love this is because it also contrasts beautifully with her brown eye color. It shows that, contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to have blue eyes and also pale skin to wear this tone,” says Hill. Considering a deeper hue? Matt King, colorist at Fox & Jane in San Diego, suggests dark red violets and jewel-toned colors, such as rich true red, solid jet (blue) black, and dark deep brown. These are the 15 hair terms you need to know before your next salon visit.