Understanding the nuances of tone can mean the difference between choosing a good hair color and your most flattering tone EVER! This can seem a little intimidating but don't worry, it is not as difficult as you think and with our little crash course you will have it down in no time. All you need to know is your skin tone, eye color, and your natural hair color.
After determining these key factors most people can be put into four simple categories. We like to define them as Summer, Spring, Fall, and Winter. Below we will explain how to find what season is your best fit. To make this an easier concept to grasp, the ladies at Parlour did a seasonal makeover, demonstrating examples of what the different seasons look like.
First things first, let's look at your skin tone. We start with determining if you fall under a neutral, warm, or a cool skin tone also know as an undertone. This is different than your complexion which is the shade of your skin (light, medium, and dark). An easy way for you to determine which category you fall under is to look at your veins on your wrist. Hold your arm up to natural light and check the color of the vein. Does it appear green, blue or purple? If you can't tell if its green or blue, you most likely have a neutral skin tone. If your veins appear green, you have a warm complexion, and if your veins appear blue or purple, you have a cool complexion.
Hopefully that was easy enough, but just incase you're still unsure the next thing we look at is your eye color. Your eye color can also be a key to your undertones (if your veins didn't do the trick). Lighter eyes like blue and pale brown usually mean you have cool undertones, while gold flecks usually indicate warm undertones. Eye color not only helps us determine your skin tone and also helps us decide what tones we want to emphasize. The rule of thumb with hair color that will flatter your skin tone, is to pick a tone that's opposite from your skin undertone. So those with warm undertones might opt for a cooler color and vise versa.
So let's put all of this information together, look at some real life examples and then help you to determine what hair color would be your best choice!
Our Summer category consists of people who look best with lighter blonde hair shades including: Platinum, ice, silver, ash, sand, beige, champagne.
Who is this best for: Cool blonde shades are great with porcelain skin gals with reddish skin tones, since icy hues tend to neutralize redness. Also if you have blue or grey eyes, cool ashy blonde works well.
Kirby has a cool, fair skin tone, and blue eyes. She fits beautifully into the Summer Category. We chose to use a golden blonde to neutralize her cooler skin tone. The golden blonde highlights will also pop out her blue eyes, because of the contrast. She is fair, and has light hair naturally so this would also direct us to pick Summer in that the light highlights would be what her hair would do naturally.
Winter ladies are darker jewel based colored. Hair shades include: true black, espresso, blue-black, licorice.
Who is is best for: In the world of hair color black isn't a one note- different tones and highlights add subtle variety. A cooler shade like this can read a little harsh on those with fair, cool toned skin, but those with warmer or neutral undertones, it has a dramatic, porcelain effect; the same with olive skin.
Carly also has a fair cool skin (with some gorgeous naturally rosy cheeks), and green eyes but her hair is naturally dark, so we put her into the Winter Category. The darker jewel tone is a more vibrant version of what her natural would be. The darker tones will also help bring out the porcelain in her skin, because of her rosy cheeks this will help keep her tone looking more neutral and keep her skin looking flawless. The darker frame will make her bright green eyes pop. We choose to glaze her ends with a warmer lighter brown to help keep the over all look feeling softer and more natural.
Our Fall friends are shades usually in the brown family. Hair shades include: Carmel, Honey, Golden brown, Amber, and Cinnamon. Or can go more dark chocolate, chestnut, mocha
Who it is best for: Great for people with Medium Skin complexions, though we advise you to pick a shade that contrasts with your complexion in order not to look washed out. Carmel browns fit best with Olive, with a bit more yellow undertones to them. It's pretty hard to go wrong with brown in general, since it is almost universally flattering. Brunettes Look beautiful on a natural hair color that is naturally dark. But cooler tones can look particularly striking with warm skin tones, as they help yellow undertones look creamier. Brunettes are ideally multidimensional with highlights.
Whitney also has a fair neutral skin tone, brown hair, and hazel eyes. We would put her in the Fall Category. Since she is more of a traditional brunette she looks best with dimension. She has natural brown hair so those highlights tend to look best with some gold. The gold highlight will also reflect the gold in her eyes bringing them to life, keeping her look feeling very natural and sunkissed.
Our Spring Gals are the warmer blondes to subtle reds. Hair shades include: Golden blonde, Strawberry blonde, copper, amber, rust.
Who this is best for: Great for fair to cool and neutral skin tones. A light, warm red to contrast cool skin tones in pale skin (think Emma Stone). These hues tend to make deep skin tones look green.
True Reds are in a bit of a category of their own. Hues like- true dark red, dark auburn, burgundy.
Who it is best for: It may sound counter-intuitive, but red is actually a very flattering option for those with ruddy undertones. If you have pale skin with red in it, it makes you glow rather then trying to fight it. Warm peachy complexions will also see their skin pop with cooler auburn reds. Caution to those who have olive skin tones as it can make your skin have a green contrast.
Serina has a medium neutral skin tone and brown eyes, with dark natural hair. She is unique because all off her flexible features she can fit in many categories she is what we call a Season Hopper. Since she has neutral skin and neutral eyes she has more options in picking her perfect color, she can wear warm and cool. Going darker in her hair color would push her in the direction of looking more natural. In her case we choose to go the opposite direction and did a Vivid look.
Now we know this is was a lot of information but we hoped we helped you determine which colors would flatter you best! If you have any questions or want to more, come in to the Salon so we can help! We would love to offer you a personalized color consultation! Call and book yours today!