Just a simple change in shade, tone and color can give you an instant makeover, and with the quality and range of dye's available today, can look completely natural or as out there as you like.

When deciding to go for the big change it is important to remember there are two simple rules when it comes to picking the best shade for your hair.

Rule #1: Staying Within Your Natural Color Range

Dark curly hair with copper red highlights
If you have dark hair and want to go lighter - go for it! Just remember that your hair will look better if you stay within 3 or 4 shades of your natural hair color rather than grabbing the peroxide and going for white blonde.

For fair hair going darker, the same rules apply. Any color too far away from your natural tone will simply look odd.

As a quick guide, going blonde:

  • Works best on naturally mousy blondes.
  • People with light brown to mid brown locks will look great with blonde highlights.
  • Redheads can also go blonde, but should do so with caution as blonde hair can look very harsh against their natural skin tone.

Opting for brunette shades is fine for blondes, as long as they don't go too dark.

  • Light or mid brown toned hair will blend fantastically with ash and golden brown tones.
  • If you have naturally dark hair already and don't want too drastic a change, splice your hair with rich browns and burgundy colors.

For a red-hot look:

  • Natural blondes should try pale chestnut tones.
  • Light to dark brown shades can spice it up with flame, auburn and chestnut.
  • Those with black hair will look especially fiery with mahogany highlights.

Rule #2: Matching With Your Skin Tone

Dark curly hair with copper red highlights
There are two basic types of skin tones - warm and cool.

People with warm skin have yellow or golden undertones and look good in gold jewelry. An easy way to tell if you have a warm tone is to see if the veins on the inside of your arms are tinged with green.

Cool skin has pinkish based or blue undertones and looks fabulous in silver jewelry, and will have blue tinged veins.

If you naturally have...

  • Dark or olive skin, try to stay with darker hair colors.
  • Yellow skin tones will look good with dark and rich colors, such as deep auburn.
  • Pale skin will match almost any color.
  • Pink skin is fantastic for neutral tones such as beige blonde and chocolate brown, but can look too pink with shades of red and gold.

Another easy way to know if a color will suit you is to match your eyes to your skin tone.

  • Pale skin and blue eyes will naturally suit blonde tones.
  • A medium skin tone with hazel eyes will look great with dark blonde and copper colors.
  • Darker skin with any eye color is perfect for pulling off dramatic shades of purple and mahogany.

Skin Tone Hair Color Matches


  • Gold
  • Honey
  • Caramel
  • Copper
  • Red
  • Mahogany
  • Strawberry blonde
  • Chocolate
  • Ginger
  • Orange based reds
  • Dark browns
  • Rust


  • Platinum
  • Ash-blonde
  • Cream
  • Sandy
  • Coffee
  • Jet black
  • Fawn
  • Mid-level blondes
  • Flat browns
  • Wine
  • Mahogany
  • Burgundy


Hair Color Tips