There’s no better way to welcome in a new season than to experiment with a new hair color. Sure, you can go with any sultry brunette color or honey blonde shade, but to get your ideal hue, that will perfectly compliment your complexion, it’s high time to learn about your undertone.
For the uninitiated: skintones refer to the surface color of your skin, whereas undertones are the subtle hue beneath the surface of your skin that never changes. There are three main types of undertones: cool undertones, warm undertones, and neutral undertones. In general, warm undertones appear peachy or golden; cool undertones have blue and pink splashes to it; and neutral undertones are a balance between the two. Determining which undertone you are will get you one step closer to your perfect color.
So before you make your next hair appointment or start gathering inspo photos for your next color transformation, you should get clarity on the exact hues that work for you—making it paramount to keep cool undertone skin in mind.
Ahead, you’ll learn about warm and cool undertones, what color-safe products to incorporate in your routine, and what hair colors for cool undertones will be optimal for your skin tone. And if you suspect you’re on the cooler side, we’ve already gathered 20 inspo photos of hair colors for cool undertones, so you don’t have to.
How Do I Know If I Have Cool Undertones?
There are a couple of ways to determine if you have cool undertones. The quickest shortcut is by looking at your veins. Simply flip your wrist in natural light and if your veins appear blue or purple, you have cool undertones. Secondly, if you tend to sunburn easily, you likely have less melanin in your skin—making you a cool undertone.
How Do I Know If My Hair Color Is Warm Or Cool?
Now that you know you’re cool undertone, how do you know if your hair color is warm or cool? Warm colors generally add warmth and depth to a face (think: red, orange, and gold tones). One might get blonde, auburn, caramel, copper, or dark brown if they are choosing from warm colors. On the other hand, cool colors like platinum blonde, jet black, and ash brown have blue, violet and green undertones that would compliment a cooler complexion.
Do Warm Hair Colors Look Good On Cool Skin?
Short answer: You can certainly bring in inspiration from a variety of colors, warm or cool, and a well-seasoned stylist should be able to adapt the color to flatter your cool undertone. That being said, make sure your stylist is highly vetted out for the job as warm hair colors without manipulation can wash out your natural color complexion.
What Colors Should Cool Skin Tones Avoid?
Cool vs. warm undertones will have separate lists of non-complementary hues. This brings us to our next point, with cooler undertones, there is a pink or blue undertone to your complexion. Meaning, the hair color you select should help minimize any redness in your skin. If you prefer warm or golden colors, you can opt for golden brown or deep red to assist in counter-balancing the pink hue.
What Colors Look Best On Cool Skin Tones?
Now that you are aware you have a cool undertone, let the fun begin. As a general foundation, it’s good to stick to cooler shades here (ash or platinum blondes, light brunette, or mocha ) and slightly manipulate warm shades, shall you so choose.
Below, find a handful of shades that will compliment cooler undertones.
The Best Hair Colors For Cool Undertones
This is a great cool undertone for fair skin as icy platinum blonde or a softer baby blonde will flatter your porcelain complexion.
Cool undertones are free to experiment with bold colors and several blue hues. A great one to try is a muted sapphire blue. The glossy color will help highlight the undertones in cool complexions.
Ideal for medium skin tone wearers, sandy or beige blondes (butterscotch or honey) will be your go-to color. As for a maintenance tip, Redken Color Extend Blondage Color Depositing Honey Beige Mask is great for all honey tones.
The wine-enthused color is perfect for fair, medium, and darker skin tones with cool undertones.
Fair skin with cool undertones will enjoy strawberry blonde, a combination of pink, red, and gold.
For those with fair to medium skin and cool undertones, fiery red will look good with your complexion. For maintenance, opt for Biolage Professional Red Poppy Color Depositing Conditioner to add dimension and vibrancy to your classic red.
A wonderful blonde option for those that don’t want to commit to full platinum, ash blonde is still vibrant, sans the golden highlights.
A beautiful hybrid of brown and gray, taupe is a great earth tone shade. It’s low-maintenance and works well on cool undertones.
Beloved by A-list celebrities, pearl has been trending for multiple seasons. The iridescent shade of white has subtle hints of peach, pink, and silver throughout.
For those looking for a fun dark hair style, why not try eggplant, a deep purple color? The slight red undertones will add great depth to cool complexions.
No need to shy away from jet black with cool undertones, just make sure to add in blue undertones to the black to avoid being washed out. Pro tip: Redken Shine Flash Hair Spray is a good tool to keep on hand for salon-shine finish.
It can be hard nailing a red hair color on fair complexions with cool undertones as you walk a fine line in washing out your complexion. But red velvet allows your skin tone to stand out by adding some warmth to your overall look.
Here, silver-blonde meets beige blonde for a wonderful lived-in color where perfect roots are not the quest. Be sure to keep up with your salon touch-ups with this one.
The soft shade of purple, lavender is a great choice for cool undertones. It really highlights the blue and pink undertones found in cool complexions to make skin glow.
Rose gold-colored hair—the combination of metallic pink, orange, and blonde hues—perfectly compliments cool undertone skin. The pink shade helps to balance out the golden warmth in your complexion.
Cool skin with blue/cool undertones can opt for a warmer blonde, as going too light will wash out your face. Be sure to try Kérastase Blond Absolu Cicaflash Conditioner for instant hydration and revival.
Warmer than the traditional blonde, wheat blonde has a subtle brassiness to it. It’s a great low-maintenance cool undertone color to add to your inspiration board.
Brunette hair shades, in general, tend to have orange undertones that don’t work super well with cool undertones. However, a sandy brown, a brunette that incorporates brown and blonde hues throughout, looks great on all skin tones — especially cool undertones.
Have a complexion with cool undertones and want to try one of these hair shades for yourself? Discover the best professional products to preserve and extend your new color on Hair.com.