If you’re forever changing your hair colour in search of the perfect flattering shade, you’ve come to the right place…

The right hair colour should complement your skin colour – but the wrong colour can make you look washed out.

Light vs dark

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? How do you know whether you should have light or dark hair? Fortunately there’s a logical process to get to the answer.

The depth (which is just a fancier word for darkness) of your hair colour will offset different features in different ways, depending on the level of contrast involved.

Dark hair against dark skin (and icy blonde hair against fair skin) is striking because of the lack of contrast – you can compare it to wearing a floor length gown in one solid colour.

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Dark hair against pale skin (and vice versa) can also be very striking when paired with the right features. Ever wondered why some dark haired pale girls look like bottle brunettes from a mile away while others look like walking Snow White dolls? Eyebrows, eyelashes, eye colour and the overall shape and size of your features play a large role.

Read more: Fabulous ways to wear a scarf in your hair

Warm vs cool

Now that you’ve given the depth of your hair colour some thought, the next thing you should be considering is undertone. It’s most flattering if you match the undertone in your hair colour to that of your skin – cool for cool, warm for warm.

In order to do that, you’ll first need to decide whether you have cool or warm toned skin.

Look at the skin on your wrist and/or underneath your eyes and pay close attention to the small veins and capillaries (wrist) and general shade (under eye area).

If it looks mostly green and yellow, you have a warm skin tone. If it’s mostly blue and purple, you have a cool skin tone.

Still struggling? See whether gold (warm) or silver (cool) jewellery suits you best, or apply a heavy handed swipe of pink (cool) blush to one cheek and bronzer or terracotta coloured blush (warm) to the other. If you don’t see a clear result, you probably have a neutral undertone.

When you ask for cool toned hair colour, use descriptive words like silver, grey, ashy and platinum. If you’re after warm tones, use words like golden, sandy, beige, reddish.

Read more: 4 ways to keep your natural hair looking fabulous


If you’re considering a big change, bear in mind that dyeing your hair one solid colour is not the only way to make an impact. Talk to your stylist about different techniques to find the one best suited to you.