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How to Choose Hair Color

Whether coloring your hair professionally or at home, choose the right haircolor to complement your skin tone. Be it all-over color, highlights, or lowlights, the right shade will make your look come to life.


  • Step 1: Decide on professional salon, or do it yourself Decide whether you're going to use a professional salon or an at-home coloring kit. Base your decision on whether you are covering gray, highlighting a natural hair color, or using hair color to completely change your image.
  • TIP: Plan your commitment to hair coloring. Temporary hair colors wash out quickly, semi-permanent products typically last for a couple of months, and permanent dyes will need to be grown out or require frequent root touchups.
  • Step 2: Use shade selector and color wheel Get out your color shade selector and color wheel. Use a mirror to decide if you have a cool or warm complexion based on your skin tone, eye color, and natural hair color. Remember, the results on the box or swatch are only an approximation of the color.
  • TIP: Cool complexions typically have deep brown or ash-colored hair, with dark brown or dark blue eye color and a medium to olive complexion. Warm complexions feature golden brown, green-blue to hazel eye color, with golden brown to strawberry blonde hair color and a fair to peachy complexion.
  • Step 3: Examine wardrobe Examine your wardrobe to get a feel of what hair color would suit you. Green, blue, and violet are cool shades. Warm hues are reds, oranges, and yellows.
  • Step 4: try highlights or lowlights Try highlights or lowlights if you're not ready to commit to all-over hair color. Add caramel highlights for a sunkissed look; copper highlights are great for warm complexions; and chunky lowlights add dimension and a modern flair.
  • Step 5: Experiment Experiment with your look. Go for the black Goth look you've always craved or see if blondes really do have more fun. Opt for a fiery red hue to match your fiery personality. Temporary dyes make experimenting a cinch -- after all, it's only color.
  • FACT: Records from around 3400 B.C.E. indicate Ancient Egyptians used henna to dye their hair red.

You Will Need

  • Hair stylist or packaged hair coloring
  • Shade selector
  • Color wheel
  • Mirror
  • Selected items from your wardrobe

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