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The Secret to Making Your Hair Color Pop? It’s In Your Closet

This National Color Day, we asked a color expert to break down the best clothing shades to pair with your hair color for your most flattering look.

Have you ever made a bold jump in hair colors, only to find that the olive-hued blouse that once looked stunning against your chocolate brown strands now makes your newly-lightened crown appear brassy?

“When you change your hair color, you need to change up the shades you wear for fashion,” explains Jill Kirsh, color expert, author, and Hollywood’s Guru of Hue. “I get daily emails from women who have been coloring their hair a reddish-brown for years and have decided to go gray. Except they find that all the shades they’d worn for years that were glorious with their reddish-brown locks are horrible against their newly grayed crown.”

Just in time for National Color Day (October 22), we tapped the Hollywood color expert to break down everything you need to know to put your best foot forward after a transformational salon experience.

“Your hair frames your face, your eyes, your smile,” says Kirsh. “By leading with its color for your fashion and beauty choices, your features will pop, and your hair color will appear way more dimensional, vibrant, and fabulous.”

Keep scrolling to unlock the secrets to your most gorgeous look yet.

How do you know what color suits your hair?

Before you even consider overhauling your closet, you may be wondering what color will look good on your hair in the first place. The main factor you should account for should be your skin tone and undertones, as well as how much time you want to devote to aftercare and color touch-ups. Not sure where your skin tone falls? Check out our guide here.

Regardless of your complexion, a trained artist can custom formulate a shade that flatters your skin. That’s why it’s always recommended to book a salon consultation before making any drastic color changes.

Does your hair have to match your clothes?

You certainly aren’t required to coordinate your mane with your outfit choices, but knowing the shades that will make your mane pop can easily make your presence known and leave a lasting impression.

“When you wear a color that isn’t in sync with your hair’s hue, it dulls the hair’s color and washes out the brightness of the skin,” explains Kirsh. “It also communicates an overall fragmented and disjointed appearance to others. This, in turn, minimizes one’s presence and impact. It can also make your hair color look like a bad dye job, and everything is working against you looking your most put-together.”

What should I wear with my hair color?

Now, for the good stuff—Kirsh breaks down the best and worst colors to don based on four major hair hue categories.

Good hair day by @akobehairdesign_hornby

Warm Blonde

Opt for kelly green, aqua, daffodil, coral, and orchid. Love red? Warm blondes can’t go wrong with a pure tomato hue.

Explains Kirsh: “The bright warmth of these shades compliment the light warmth of this hair color and will draw the eye of the viewer right up to the face and accentuate one’s features.”

As for colors to avoid, try dialing down your use of burgundy, taupe, or pale pink.

“These cool shades work against the golden tone of the hair,” says the color expert. They can also cause warm highlights to appear brassy and even result in a grey cast on the skin, which is the opposite effect you want your clothing to have.

Good hair day by @luis_alvarez_images and @danielle.keasling

Cool-Toned, Ashy Blonde, or Gray

Pastels can be a tough color group to pull off, as they can wash out your hair and skin, but they surprisingly can pair beautifully with super-fair, cool-toned hair.

“Cool, ashy blondes and women with gray tresses are in the same color palette. We’re talking about a soft gray and a white, cool blonde,” says Kirsh. “Cool, dusty tones are in sync with lightness and cool tones of the hair. Some of the perfect shades with this hair color [include] dusty pink, periwinkle, rose red, mint, wine, and taupe.”

Clashing hues include a handful of earthy tones, such as olive, mustard, rust, and burnt orange.

Good hair day by @seolahair

Dark Brown, Black, Salt and Pepper, or Gray/Silver

If you have dark strands or hints of silver in your mane, vivid jewel tones will make you stand out from the crowd, or you can bring the drama with black and white.

“Some of the best shades for these hair hues are cobalt, fuchsia, royal purple, charcoal, and pure white or black,” says Kirsch. “That’s because these colors are crisp, cool, strong, and perfectly balanced with these various cool shades of hair. Leave behind lemon yellow, camel, rust, peach, tan, and beige.”

Good hair day by @litchicoiffure and @hairbyvilatourrr

Deep Honey Blonde, Golden Brown and Red Hair

“Deep honey blondes, warm brunettes, and redheads are amazing in olive, teal, goldenrod, rich earthy browns, eggplant, and champagne white,” notes Kirsh. “All these shades work beautifully against the backdrop of the rich warmth of these hair colors.”

Since cool and dusty pigments minimize the full depth of these hair shades, Kirsh recommends steering clear of pale gray, lavender, dusty rose, and pure white.

“The bottom line is that you can have fun changing up your hair color when you know the secret to make that new hair color work for you,” notes Kirsh. “It’s all about pulling it together by wearing the perfect shades for fashion and beauty for your hair color.”

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