When it comes to hair, understanding the difference between cool and warm undertones, and what works best for your complexion is key. If you’ve ever experienced a color job that either washed you out or appeared to add redness to your complexion, it was probably the result of not working with your undertones.
The good news is figuring out whether you have warm or cool undertones is simple; if you have a warmer skin tone, stick with warmer hair colors. Similarly, if you have a cool skin tone, stick with cool colors. Knowing how undertones work will ensure you select a hair color that's most complimentary.
How to determine your skin's undertones
Warm toned skin tends to have a yellow or golden hue. If your eyes are brown, dark brown, amber, or hazel and the veins on the inside of your wrist have a greenish tint, you have a warm skin tone. Gold jewelry will be most flattering.
On the other hand, people with a cool skin tone will have a pinkish hue. If you have blue, grey, or green eyes and the veins on the inside of your wrist have a blueish tint, you have a cool skin tone. Silver jewelry looks best on people with a cool skin tone.
If you think you are somewhere in between, you likely have a neutral undertone which means you have a wider array of shades to choose from.
When researching colors, play the name game. Whether you’re looking to color your hair at home or go to a salon, check the labels and boxes, or speak to your stylist about color keywords. Cool hair colors will usually include words or names like ash, platinum, or champagne whereas warm colors have names such as golden, bronze, or copper. As their names suggest, warm colors (golden blonde, copper brown) add color and warmth to the skin, whereas cool colors (platinum blonde, ash brown) can have a calming, cooling effect.
How to choose the right undertone if you have blonde hair
From Blake Lively to Hailey Baldwin, blonde encompasses a wide range of undertones that can play to a woman’s complexion when done correctly.
Blonde shades with cool undertones include:
These “cool” blonde hues typically have blue and green undertones to them and best suit light and fair skin tones. The blue and green undertones can also help neutralize skin with redness as it helps to balance the complexion.
For a natural-looking blonde that blends with cool undertones, our forthcoming Natural Blonde Luxy Hair extensions are perfect! A "winter" shade with cool, ash undertones, it blends well with many different shades of blonde that’s been sheltered from the sun’s rays. We especially love this shade for gals with fair skin a and light eyes though it can look stunning on medium skin tones, too!
If you're looking for a light-beige blonde shade with ash undertones, we recommend our Sandy Blonde shade. Daring and fashion-forward, it’s Ash Blonde’s cooler-toned sister.
A safe, chemical-free way to experiment with blonde hair without the commitment is with hair extensions. Look for quality extensions made with 100% Remy human hair such as Luxy Hair Extensions. As the name suggests, Remy human hair means you’re getting high-quality human hair that blends seamlessly with your natural hair. This is especially important when playing with color.
For a blonde shade with a cool, icy hue, we recommend Luxy Hair extensions in Seamless Platinum Blonde.
Blonde shades for warm undertones include:
These warm blondes have red, orange, and golden undertones to them so they look most flattering on fair skin tones with warm undertones and medium skin tones with golden, sun-kissed undertones. Think Gigi Hadid and Elizabeth Olsen; these warm blonde hues add color to the complexion and can play up that healthy peachy glow. If you’re looking to give your complexion a bit of a boost, choosing a blonde with warm undertones can help. You might even consider these tones for highlights to help warm up your complexion in a subtler way.
If you're craving something a bit more neutral, or you're not sure where on the undertone spectrum you fall, Bronde is for you! No need to choose between brown and blonde, or work and play—this shade lets you have it all! Versatile on many different skin tones, women with warm toned skin seeking a lighter hair color, and women with cooler skin tones wanting to go darker will adore this shade!
Another classic option for blondes is Dirty Blonde. This color is one of our most popular shades because it’s flattering on many different skin tones.
How to choose the right undertone if you have brown hair
With undertones, the same rules apply for warm and cool tones whether it’s for blondes or brunettes. The key is knowing which colors will give your skin a glow-up rather than making you look washed out.
Browns for cool undertones include:
Similar to cool blonde tones, these brown shades have more blue-ish, green, and violet undertones that balance out any redness in medium and fair skin tones. A lot of these tones also serve as a great base color for blonde or lighter highlights. In contrast, dark brown colors such as Walnut Brown or Dark Brown can also have a striking impact on lighter skin tones (think of Bella Hadid or Katie Holmes) that can make a statement look and play up eye color.
Looking to add length and volume to your cool brown hair? Our Dark Brown hair extensions are a multi-dimensional shade that pairs well with mid-tone brown hair colors.
Brown shades for warm undertones include:
These versatile warm colors have golden, copper undertones and add a nice candlelit warmth to the skin. Shay Mitchell is a great example of a golden, medium skin tone who can play with colors from Butterscotch to Chocolate Brown. The deeper hues such as Mocha Brown also look especially beautiful on women with medium or darker skin tones like Zendaya or supermodel Joan Smalls. Beyonce is another good example of a skin tone with warm, golden undertones that can easily pull off dark and golden shades for an expensive brunette hair look.
How to choose the right undertone if you have black hair
Black hair is most often mistaken as a solid color, but the undertones can range from blue to red. The beauty of black is its ability to be a statement color for women with a vast array of skin tones.
Black shades for cool undertones include:
- Jet Black
- Natural Black
- Dark Espresso
- Icy/Platinum Black
As a statement color, Jet Black can work on light and fair skin tones, but only if the skin has more of a rosy undertone rather than blue or green. If your skin has a blue undertone, Jet Black could make you look sickly. Jet Black is also stunning on dark, deep, and olive skin tones, meaning it can also support warmer undertones.
Our Jet Black hair extensions have a slight blue undertone for maximum shine, making them a perfect pairing for a range of skin tones.
Black shades for warm undertones include:
- Off Black
- Cherry Black
Like the name suggests our Off Black hair extensions are a natural, rich option for black hair with warm undertones. The versatility that black offers may inspire you to try a color you may have once dismissed as one dimensional and flat.
How to choose the right undertone if you have red hair
Red hair shares a lot of the same undertones and features as blonde hair and can also be a statement color that works for a range of skin tones.
Red shades for cool undertones include:
- Light Auburn
- Natural Red
Light Auburn is probably the shade you first think of when you picture red hair. It is the most natural looking red color with blue undertones and best suits cool, fair skin tones.
Red shades for warm undertones include:
- Reddish blonde
- Auburn Red
- Red Balayage
Emma Stone and Jessica Chastain have really mastered the warm red hues and compliment the look with similar color brows or copper color brows.
Give Natural Red hair extensions a try if you have warm toned skin with yellow, orange, or golden undertones. For a multi-dimensional look, our Red Balayage hair extensions are a great option. This beautiful red includes dirty blonde highlights for a sun kissed look.
Ultimately, it's important to keep in mind that undertones aren't entirely black and white! While the above guide is a good starting point, working with a professional will best determine which hair colors will best compliment your skin tone.
Have you ever had a major coloring mishap? Do you favor cool hair colors despite having a warm skin tone? Let us know in the comments below. We love hearing from you!