Skin tones: how bold can I go with my hair colour?


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The Chapel, Sevenoaks

Bold, striking hair colours have been a fashion statement for years now; made popular by celebrities, beauty bloggers, and Instagram stars. If you have a bright or ‘edgy’ hair colour in mind, you're probably contemplating whether it will match well your skin tone. There are so many points of reference online on matching hair colour to skin tone if you're going for a more traditional colour choice, such as blonde or dark brown. However, if you see yourself with something more eye-catching, it can be hard to find help. With this in mind, we’ve put together some tips to help you discover which less conventional colours go with which skin tones.

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Michelle Start's Grand National Final entry to L'Oreal's Colour Trophy 2016. Would this soft pastel blue suit you?

Fair Skin

If you have a lighter skin tone, it’s key to choose a colour which doesn’t threaten to overpower or wash out your delicate hue. The choice of shade also depends on whether you have cool or warm-toned skin. The perfect test for this is using some sparkling jewellery. Test your skin with silver jewellery first, if it makes your face brighter, you have more of a cool tone. However, if gold jewellery makes your skin look healthy and radiant, you are more likely to be warm-toned. Another great way to determine which camp you might sit in is whether you usually tan well in the sun, or typically tend to burn. When it comes to your hair, we’d recommend choosing a shade that contrasts with your skin tone, to bring some life to it. Nearly all colours have cool and warm shades – there are cool and warm-toned pinks and cool warm-toned blues.

In our experience, we have found that neon colours can overwhelm fair skin, but if you’re looking for an equally as striking look why not try pastel? Silver-toned pastels and greys will suit those with a pale, warm-toned complexion best. Nevertheless, if you are cooled-toned and want pastel hair, you can opt for brighter, ‘bubblegum’ shades that really pops.

Whilst pale skin does tend to be flattered by lighter hair tones, it’s worth remembering that colour is flexible. For example, those with pale, warm-toned skin can suit dark, cool-toned shades; as they can make the skin look flawless. Definitely take your haircut into consideration too. If you have very short, straight hair, it might be an idea to stick to one block colour, as highlights or multi-colours can look stripey.

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Beautiful red hair by Jamie from The Chapel, Tunbridge Wells

Medium Skin

If you have medium skin, you’re one of the lucky ones, as this is said to be one of the most versatile complexions. You still might feel conflicted by the cool versus warm skin tone battle but don’t let it cloud your judgement too much. If you have pink tones to your skin, you might fancy going for a light-hued blend of red, auburn red might be a fabulous choice. Unicorn lovers with medium skin rejoice! Pastels can work well on medium skin too but the shade and saturation that will suit you will depend on the tone of your skin and your personal preference of course. 

Perhaps you have a more golden, tanned complexion; blues and purples might be your answer to a more eccentric look. Generally, the more tanned your skin, the more saturated and vibrant your hair colour, the bolder you will look. If you have warm undertones, jewel colours such as emerald will really make your complexion glow, especially if you have green eyes to match.

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A truly bold colour for the dark brunette shades from our Salon International stage in 2015

Olive-Toned Skin

What sets olive skin out from the rest, is the interesting natural green pigment which contains a number of neutral undertones. Olive skin can be a cool, warm or special combination of both! Olive skin is traditionally matched with dark hair and intense, earthy tones such as plum and mahogany. This doesn’t mean to say you have to stay within this boundary. Try something contrasting and experiment with lighter or bright shades such as blondes, greys and pinks.

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Thank you to the gorgeous kienyabooker for the photo, check her Instagram profile for more:

Dark Skin

Those with dark skin tend to have naturally dark hair and often tend to steer clear of lighter shades after assuming they won’t suit them. Assume no more! Although dark skin does look great with really saturated colours such as oil slick dark tones, mahogany's and numerous blue shades, there are other brighter and lighter shades that can really flatter your complexion. The trick is to choose a shade that really contrasts such as a pretty pastel purple shades which can really brighten your complexion.

Those with straight hair and dark skin may prefer block colours; whereas those with curly hair can get away with mixing different tones without it looking too harsh. There are, however, no rules and regulations regarding colouring and hair styles. Whatever you feel will express yourself is what you should go for.

Making a decision on what hair colour to go for can be a daunting one so here at The Chapel, we have a creative workshop setup that allows you to try on wigs and look at colour charts. It’s important to experiment before taking the plunge with the hair dye. Break the norms and express yourself with your hair colour.

Whilst it’s true that certain skin tones are more suited to some bolder colour choices than others, do not feel restricted. Here at The Chapel, we believe that your hair colour should make you feel alive. Your hair is an extension of your spirit, so if you are really feeling a particular shade, no matter what your skin tone, don’t exclude it. So get in touch with one our expert stylist to see how we can make it work for you.

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