How to Choose the Best Hair Color

Maria Menounos Long Layered Straight Hairstyles

As summer fades to fall and all of the beautiful colors it brings-you may be thinking of changing your hair color for the new season. Autumn is a great time for a change, with all of the warm hues to choose from, everything from Chestnut Brown, and Irish Auburn, to Golden Blonde and so many ideas in between! There are many decisions to be made, as to color application as well, you can go with subtle highlights-which can be mingled with lowlights for lots of definition or opt for bold streaks of vibrant color, or even “chunks” of color to frame your face and light up your eyes.

Some things to consider when choosing your hair color, first and most important, is your skin tone. While there a vast number of skin tones, there are two basic groups to consider when choosing the most flattering hair color, fashion colors and make-up colors for your personal color pallet. You are either warm or cool, and once you know that- it will be much easier to choose your most flattering colors. If your skin has a yellow or golden undertone-you have a warm skin tone. If you have blue or pink undertones-, your skin is a cool tone. Still unsure? Try this little trick, look at the veins that are visible on the underside of your wrist, if they are blue/green you are generally a warm tone-if they are blue/purple, you are generally a cool tone. In most cases, one wants their color to appear as natural as possible, as if they were born with it. In order for that to be accomplished, the skin tone must be considered. For instance, a naturally red haired person is usually very fair skinned, with blue, green or hazel eyes.

January Jones Medium Blonde Curly Hairstyle
January Jones Medium Blonde Curly Hairstyle /Getty Images

As a rule, if you are in the cool category-colors with cool overtones will look most natural on you. Therefore, if you are fair skinned and/or have pink undertones in your skin, which puts you in the cool category-you will want to stay with colors such as a pale blonde, with beige blonde highlights, light brown colors, or reds-such as light or medium auburn or strawberry-blonde as these colors will enhance, and brighten your coloring. You will want to stay away from the warm toned colors such as golden blonde, as they will make your skin appear yellow. You should also avoid very dark colors such as dark brown or black as they will tend to make you look harsh.

Kim Kardashian Long Black Straight Hairstyles
Kim Kardashian Long Black Straight Hairstyles /Getty Images

If you have medium to dark or olive coloring, which puts you in the warm category-colors with warm overtones will look most natural on you. This means you can wear the very dark colors such as dark chesnut brown and raven black. Medium to dark auburn, golden or honey blonde and medium to dark browns such as caramel or chocolate hues-will look very natural on you. It would be best for you to stay away from the very pale or cool colors, as they will tend to make you look pale and your color underwhelming.

There is always an exception to every rule, and the warm and cool rules are no different. There are instances such as with highlights like multidimensional looks, in which you might want to mix cool and warm color tones-however this is best left to a professional. They are well versed in color, and venturing into this sort of territory at home could lead to hair color disaster!

Maria Menounos Long Layered Straight Hairstyles
Maria Menounos Long Layered Straight Hairstyles /Getty Images

Here are some ideas for both warm and cool color tones; they should be helpful in updating your color for fall. If you have warm tones, and your current color is brown-go with chocolate browns with red, copper, or gold tones in your highlights, or if you want to keep your current color-try a dark red glaze, which allows your current color to show through the glaze. If you are currently a red head, the trend is copper, if you are having more fun as a blonde right now, add highlights of golden blonde or strawberry blonde for a fall update!

Natalie Dormer Shag Hairstyles
Natalie Dormer Shag Hairstyles / Bauer Griffin

If you have cool tones, and your hair is currently blonde try highlighting in a complimentary blonde such as light, platinum or ash blonde. If your hair is currently red, try highlighting in burgundy, mahogany and violet. If your locks are brown right now, compliment your color-with the addition of espresso, mocha or deep brown, these would be great shades for some lowlights!

As you have read, there are many decisions to be made-one last thing to consider is, that the general rule of thumb is not to go more than two shades lighter or darker than your natural color- for the most natural looking results. Please remember, if you are in doubt at all as to what hair color would best suit you-make sure you consult a professional. They have a great deal of valuable experience, and they will set you on the right path. Have a great time making yourself over for fall!

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