How to Choose the Right Hair Color for You – Easy Step-by-Step Guide.

Are you itching to switch up your hair color and try something new but can’t seem to make up your mind? Do you get overwhelmed by the hundreds of shades and tones of hair colors available in the market? Don’t worry, you’re not alone.

Choosing the right hue for you is not just a matter of picking your favorite trending hair color. It can be a daunting decision, especially if you’re unsure about what shade will complement your skin tone and facial features.

With the right guidance, you can find a perfect hair color that accentuates your best features.

And that’s why we’re here! Here’s a simple step-by-step guide to help you choose the perfect hair color for you.

Expert Insights

“Colors don’t suit hair, they suits people. And even then it suits people who have confidence.”

Jennifer Wright, Stylist at Supercuts

Step #1: Understand Your Undertones

Know your skin undertones - a women applying make up that suits her undertones

The first step in selecting your ideal hair color is to understand your skin’s undertones.

These are the colors underneath the surface of your skin and they play a crucial role in determining which hair color – make up and even clothes colors – will look most natural and appealing on you.

Here’s a simple trick: look at the veins on your wrist. If they appear blue or purple, you have cool undertones. If they seem green, you have warm undertones.

If it’s hard to tell, you might have neutral undertones!

At a Snip: The right hair color complements your skin’s undertones, enhancing your natural glow.

do you you have warm or cool undertones infographic" If you have cool undertones:

Your skin tone is pink or pale.

You blush easily!

Jewel and pastel colors are so your thing.

The color yellow washes you out and does not look good on you.

You have blue not green veins in your wrist.

Pearls and silver jewellery look awesome on you.

If you have warm undertones:

You have red or golden tones in your natural hair.

Your complexion is golden, tan or olive.

You might have freckles.

You have green not blue veins in your wrist.

You suit bright or rich shades better.

Gold jewellery looks awesome on you.

What’s the difference between undertones and skin tones?

Undertone is the subtle natural color below your skin’s surface. While skin tone refers to your skin color, undertone refers to the shade within that color

Master Class

Step #2 Consider Your Skin Tone

how to pick the right hair color for your skin tone - women with different skin tones

Your skin tone, whether fair, medium, olive, or deep, has a significant influence on which hair color will suit you best.

People with cool skin tones often shine with hair colors like ash blonde, cool brown, or jet black.

On the other hand, if you have a warm skin tone, you might find that golden blondes, rich reds, or honey browns complement you beautifully.

If your skin tends to lean more towards pink or red, stick to cool hair colors, and if it leans towards yellow or gold, warm hair colors will do the trick.

At a Snip: Choose a hair color that harmonizes with your skin tone for a naturally stunning look.

SKIN TONES infographic 1

Step #3: Eye Color: The Window to Your Perfect Hair Shade

choose the right hair color for your eye color - woman with blue eyes

Your eyes can be a fantastic guide in choosing your hair color.

Certain hair colors can make your eye color pop and enhance their beauty.

If you have blue eyes, warm brown or copper shades can make them more striking. Green or hazel eyes are often complemented by rich reds or auburn shades.

Expert Insights

“Always choose a hair color that is two shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. Don’t stick to the trends because what looks good on others might not work for you.”

Step Into Styles, Fashion Designer & Fashion Blogger

Watch and learn: How to choose the best hair color for your skin tone.

Here’s a great video we always refer to that explains more about color theory and why certain hair colors match best with certain skin tones and eye colors.

At a Snip: Pick a hair color that makes your eye color pop for an irresistibly captivating look.

Step#4: Consider Your Face Shape and Features

how to choose the right hair color for your face shape - girls with heart shape face

Your face shape can influence how different hair colors look on you.

A well-chosen hair color can accentuate your best features and even alter how your face shape is perceived.

If you have a round face, avoid hair colors that will make your face appear wider. Instead, go for colors that create an elongated illusion, like highlights.

If you have a square face, opt for softer, rounder hair colors and avoid blocky highlights. You want your hair to complement your face shape, not exaggerate it.

Watch and learn: How to choose the right hair color to compliment your face

Here’s an awesome video that goes into more detail about how different hair colors – and cuts – can work for different face shapes.

At a Snip: Choose a hair color that flatters your face shape and enhances your best features.

Step #5: Reflecting Your Personal Style and Preferences

choosing the right hair color for your personality - stylish woman

At the end of the day, your hair color should reflect who you are.

Think about your personal style and how a hair color could complement it. Are you bold and adventurous, or do you prefer a more classic look?

Don’t be afraid to experiment with different shades to find what truly represents you.

Expert Insights

“A lot of the time people come in with a hair color they’ve seen on Instagram that’s totally wrong for their style. I talk them out of it by suggesting something close that’s more ‘them.’ and I know they will love.”

Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

Which Hair Color Suits Me?

At a Snip: Your hair, your rules – pick a color that truly represents you.

Step #6: Maintenance and Commitment

woman washing and caring for hair color

Consider how much time and effort you’re willing to invest in maintaining your hair color. Some colors require more frequent touch-ups and special care to maintain their vibrancy.

Be realistic about your commitment to upkeep when choosing your color.

Suggested Reference: [Article] “The Real Cost of Hair Color Maintenance” – an article breaking down the time and financial investment required for various hair colors.

Hair color care top tips:

  1. Use Color-Safe Products: This one’s a no-brainer! Switch to shampoos and conditioners that are specifically designed for colored hair. They’re gentler and help to keep your color from fading. Remember, the right products can make a world of difference.
  2. Cool It Down: Hot showers might feel heavenly, but they’re not so great for your hair color. Hot water can strip away the color and moisture. So, turn down the temperature a notch when washing your hair. Trust me, your hair will thank you!
  3. Keep it Hydrated: Colored hair can get dry, so pamper it with regular deep conditioning treatments. Whether it’s a leave-in conditioner, a hair mask, or a visit to your favorite salon for a professional treatment, keeping your hair hydrated is key to maintaining its health and color.
  4. Sun and Chlorine, Not the Best Friends: If you’re planning to spend time in the sun or take a dip in the pool, protect your hair. Use products with UV protection and try to cover your hair when out in the sun. And for those pool days, wet your hair with fresh water and apply a leave-in conditioner before taking the plunge.
  5. Less Heat Styling: Heat styling tools are not the best pals for colored hair. If you must use them, make sure to apply a heat protectant beforehand. But try to embrace your hair’s natural texture as much as possible to keep the color vibrant.
  6. Wait Before the First Wash: After coloring your hair, try to wait a couple of days before washing it. This allows the color to set in properly.
  7. Touch-ups and Trims: Regular trims and touch-ups are essential to keep your color looking fresh and your hair healthy. Split ends and faded colors are not a great look, so make sure to schedule regular appointments with your hairstylist.
  8. Gentle Styling Products: Look for styling products that are alcohol-free as they are less likely to strip color from your hair. The gentler, the better.
  9. Avoid Over-Washing: Washing your hair too often can fade your color faster. Try to limit it to a few times a week and use dry shampoo in between washes if needed.
  10. Embrace Color-Safe Styling: Experiment with hairstyles that don’t require much manipulation or products that can fade your color. Sometimes, a simple braid or a loose bun can be just as stunning!

At a Snip: Choose a color that fits your lifestyle and the amount of care you’re willing to invest in.

Step #7: Get Some Professional Advice

hair salon professional consultation

While it’s great to have an idea of what you want, consulting a professional hairstylist or colorist can make a world of difference.

They can provide personalized advice based on your skin tone, eye color, and even lifestyle.

Plus, they can introduce you to color techniques like balayage, ombre, or highlights that might suit you.

At a Snip: Leverage the expertise of a professional for a hair color that’s uniquely you.

Step #8: Experiment and Trust Your Instincts

hair color experimenting having fun

Remember, hair color is not permanent. It’s okay to experiment and find what works best for you. Trust your instincts and don’t be afraid to try something new. After all, it’s a journey to discover your best self!

One of the MOST IMPORTANT THINGS you must do before trying out any new hair color is a strand test.

A hair dye strand test involves applying color to a small section of your hair before committing to coloring your entire head. This test helps you:

  1. Check for Allergic Reactions: It’s important to ensure that you don’t have an adverse reaction to the dye, which could cause irritation or an allergic response.
  2. Preview the Color Result: The test lets you see how the dye interacts with your hair, giving you an idea of the final color outcome. This is particularly useful if you’re unsure how the dye will look on your natural hair color.
  3. Assess Hair Health Post-Dye: It provides a sneak peek into how your hair will respond to the dye in terms of texture and moisture.

Watch and learn: How to do a hair dye strand test

Here’s a great video that shows you how to siuccessfully so a strand test at home step by step.

At a Snip: Be bold, experiment, and always trust your style instincts.

Parting words

Choosing the right hair color is a fun and personal journey. With these tips, you’re well on your way to finding that dream shade that makes you feel fabulous. Remember, it’s all about what makes you feel most beautiful, inside and out!

Found your perfect shade? We’d love to see it! Tag us on Instagram @colouredhaircare or Facebook and share your hair dye success stories. Looking for more hair care tips? Check out How to Look After Colored Hair: 11 Expert Secrets For Long-Lasting Color.

Frequently Asked Questions About Choosing the Right Hair Color

Q1: How often should I change my hair color?

A: It depends on the type of color and your personal preference.

Permanent colors typically need a touch-up every 4-6 weeks due to hair growth, while semi-permanent colors can fade more quickly.

Always consider the health of your hair and consult with a professional before making frequent color changes.

Q2: Can I color my hair at home, or should I always go to a salon?

A: While at-home coloring kits are available, for complex colors, drastic changes, or the first time you’re trying a new color, it’s safer to visit a professional salon.

They have the expertise to ensure the color is applied evenly and can provide advice on what shades suit you best.

Q3: Will hair coloring damage my hair?

A: Hair coloring can cause some damage, but with the right care and quality products, it can be minimized.

Always use shampoos and conditioners for color-treated hair and consider regular deep conditioning treatments.

Q4: How do I know if a hair color will suit me?

A: The best way to gauge a hair color suits you is by considering your skin’s undertones, eye color, and natural hair color.

However, don’t be afraid to experiment – sometimes the unexpected shades turn out to be the most flattering!

Q5: Can I go from dark to blonde in one appointment?

A: Going from dark to blonde often requires multiple appointments to avoid excessive damage to your hair. It’s a process that should be done gradually and professionally.

Q6: Is it okay to color my hair if it’s already damaged?

A: If your hair is damaged, it’s best to consult with a professional stylist. They can assess your hair’s condition and recommend treatments to improve its health before coloring.

Q7: How can I maintain my hair color for longer?

A: To maintain your color, avoid frequent washing, use sulfate-free shampoos, protect your hair from the sun, and avoid high-heat styling tools.

Also, consider using color-enhancing products as recommended by your stylist.

This article was written and reviewed by:

  • Nicola Freeman, Creative Director & Content Lead
    Creative Director & Content Lead

    With over two decades of passionate hair dyeing experience, I've experimented with nearly every shade imaginable. My journey began long before blogging; as an award-winning copywriter in London and New York, I shaped narratives for iconic brands. However, when friends sought advice during lockdown for at-home hair dyeing, I realized my true calling. Beyond being your hair color expert, I'm a mom of two girls, wife to artist Tony, and an avid soccer player!

  • Enza Piazza, Hair Stylist & Color Consultant
    Hair Stylist & Color Consultant

    I’m Enza Piazza, your go-to hair stylist and color consultant with over 23 years of professional salon experience bringing vibrancy and life to hair of all hues. My Italian roots from sunny Sicily infuse passion into every snip and color, a passion that’s been recognized with top honor awards including bridal and party hair at the National Hairdressers Federation’s Championships. After training in Surrey, UK’s most prestigious salons including Head Master Academy, I embraced the entrepreneurial spirit and set up Enza Hair Styling, offering tailored hair care for 13 years, and treating each client like family. Away from the salon, I cherish moments as a proud Nonna to grandson Joseph and as a playful companion to my Jack Russell, Bo.