Best Highlights for Your Hair Color and Skin Tone

Choosing your next hair color can completely transform your entire look—and that’s not always a good thing. Whether you’re darkening or lightening your hair, it’s important to decide on a hue that complements your best features, rather than wash out your complexion. While it may be tempting to show your stylist your favorite looks on Pinterest, a color combination that looks amazing online might not have that same effect on you in person. To make your next decision a little easier, here’s a guide to the best highlights for your hair color and skin tone.

The first step in determining your ideal hair color and highlights is to figure out your skin’s undertone.

Cool: Your undertones look pink, red, or blue. Silver jewelry tends to look better than gold on your skin.

Warm: Most of your undertones are yellow or gold. You likely tan rather than burn in the summer and look best in gold jewelry.

Neutral: You have a mixture of pink, yellow, and blue undertones and can wear both silver and gold jewelry.

Light Cool

Celebrity Matches: Elizabeth Olsen and Hanne Gaby Odiele

Highlight Ideas: If you have light cool undertones, you are likely pale with a porcelain complexion. To enhance your light features, opt for solid platinum blonde as your base color or ash blonde highlights. Many women with cool undertones look great as blondes and may have even had ashy blonde hair growing up.

Dark Cool

Celebrity Matches: Ciara, Zoe Saldana, Zooey Deschanel, and Jamie Chung

Highlight Ideas: Those with dark cool undertones tend to have snow white skin, an olive complexion, or darker skin tones. Your natural hair color is likely rich and dark with no red or orange undertones. Luckily, you have plenty of options when it comes to choosing the best highlights for your skin. Ash-toned highlights will brighten your complexion and enhance dull skin. Added tip: stay away from reddish highlights to keep your skin looking fresh and healthy.

Light Warm

Celebrity Matches: Jessica Chastain, Amy Adams, and Nicole Kidman

Highlight Ideas: Women with light warm undertones tend to have red or strawberry blonde hair and fair to pale skin. Your skin likely looks peachy or rosy, and you look amazing in bright, bold colors. When it comes to choosing a hair color, you look best with a warm base like red or golden blonde. Golden highlights or a balayage will enhance your natural features, while cool tones can wash you out.

Dark Warm

Celebrity Matches: Emma Stone and Bryce Dallas Howard

Highlight Ideas: If you have a creamy white complexion, without freckles, and you tend to burn easily in the sun, you likely have dark warm undertones. Your natural hair color may be auburn, copper, or brown with reddish undertones. To brighten your features, stick to deep red and auburn base colors and rich caramel highlights.

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