Hair Hue That's Right For You
Hair Hue That's Right For You
Victoria Wurdinger
Revised Date: 7/15/06 - Original Publication Date: 12/24/2002

Introduction

Red or blonde, warm or cool? Which hair color is right for you? Here’s how to tell:

Angelina Jolie can go from blonde to black, but even she looks best in certain hair colors. Besides, most women just aren’t as daring as Angelina. If you want to know the very best hair color for you, start by determining whether you’re a “warm” or “cool.” 

(Photo from Clairol - Fall 2002 Collection - all right reserved).

To made a quick decision, use these quizzes from the professionals at Clairol: 

Say yes to four or more of the following, and you’re warm:

  • My skin color is golden brown, warm peach, pale or yellow with freckles.
  • When I sit in the sun I tan easily.
  • My Hair is naturally strawberry blonde, golden blonde, brown, red auburn or gray with yellow tones.
  • I prefer wearing cream and off-white colors.
  • I look better in gold.
  • Say yes to four or more of the following, and you’re cool:
  • My skin color is porcelain, pinkish, rosy, ruddy brown, olive or dark ebony
  • When I sit in the sun I burn easily. 
  • My hair is naturally ash blonde, light brown, deep brown, deep black, white or salt and pepper.
  • I prefer wearing pure snow-white
  • I look better in silver.

Of course, you can push “rules” or break them. If you want to go Madonna wild and be dramatic, the primary question to ask yourself is, "Do I have the lifestyle and the self image to handle such a change?" Remember, those touch-ups can cost a lot, even if you do them at home. To break rules just a bit, add warm highlights to cool hair or vice versa—just keep your natural tone dominant.

Even women who have cool undertones can benefit from the addition of a little red or gold, as long as it's in moderation. Think of warm highlights in a Level (amount of darkness or lightness) that’s close to your own.

According to Celebrity Hairdresser Robert Hallowell, to achieve true hue-perfection, consider your skin tone and your eye tone, and don’t stray too far away from your natural shade. Since most women want to brighten or enrich their natural hair color, he offers these detailed guidelines. Find your skin tone first, then check out the details. 

If your underlying skin tone is olive

 --And your hair color is between black and medium brown; your eyes are brown, black or hazel. To brighten your color, use a slightly richer shade that's darker than your own. 

--And your hair color is between light brown and medium blonde; your eye color is hazel, blue or green. Enrich your color with a deeper tone or highlight it.

--And your hair color is light blonde; your eye color is blue or green. Enrich your natural color with a similar shade in sandy tones.

--And your hair color is red; your eyes are hazel, green, blue or brown. Deepen your color and reduce the brightness of red.  

If your underlying skin tone is sallow (yellow).

--And your hair color is between black and medium brown; your eyes are brown, black or hazel. To brighten your color, use a warm-toned color like auburn, wine or aborigine to accentuate your natural color. Or, use golden or ash tones.

--And your hair color is between light brown and medium blonde; your eye color is hazel, blue or green. Enrich it with natural ash shades or highlight it in sandy tones.

--And your hair color is light blonde; your eye color is blue or green. To brighten your color, add light, sandy highlights.

--And your hair color is red; your eyes are hazel, green, blue or brown. To brighten your color, use a very intense red shade for vibrancy if you use cosmetics to warm up sallow skin. Otherwise, subdue your red.  

If your underlying skin tone is ruddy (warm):

--And your hair color is between black and medium brown; your eyes are brown, black or hazel. To brighten color, use a deep, golden brown tone or deep wine or auburn to enrich your natural tones.

--And your hair color is between light brown and medium blonde; your eye color is hazel, blue or green. To brighten your color, add golden or light blonde highlights.

--And your hair color is light blonde; your eye color is blue or green. To brighten your color, highlight it with lightest blonde tones.

--And your hair color is red; your eyes are hazel, green, blue or brown. To brighten your hair, add deep, vivid red tones from plum to auburn.  

If you’re neither to warm nor too cool, you might be able to wear most any color, but choosing one that enhances your eye tone is best. Bring out yellow flecks with golds and reds or enhance dark eyes with exotic effects like dark wine. Adjust your makeup to match, and your new hue will look all the better. 

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