how to find your undertones (& what it means for your hair)

how to find your undertones (& what it means for your hair)

It’s no secret that our skin tone and hair color are inextricably linked. The under tones of our skin are often mirrored in our natural hair color. For example, if you have warm tones in your skin, it’s likely that your hair will have yellow, orange or red undertones. The same rules apply for those of us with cool undertones and even neutral tones (yes, that is a thing). 

While this all sounds like more of “deep dive” into hair color theory than you may be needing, your undertones play a HUGE role in determining not only which shade will look best on you. It also helps your colorist to know which color after care will work best to keep your tones fresh. 

3 ways to find your undertones  

There are many different ways to determine whether or not you have warm, cool, or natural undertones. One of the easiest is to look at your eye color: 

  • Brown, amber, or hazel eyes= warm undertones
  • Blue, green, gray, or violet eyes = cool undertones

Keep in mind that this is a quick and easy method for determining your base undertone. If you want to get REALLY into it, you can start looking at different shapes and shades in the iris of your eye. This can help you find which specific color palette will look best on you, overall. 

A second. Simple way to find your base undertone is to hold a piece of blank white paper up to your face. You can also put on a pure white t-shirt, as long as it’s plain and pure white.  

  • If your skin looks slightly blue-ish, and you like how it looks next to white, you likely have cool undertones.  
  • If your skin looks more yellow and you don’t like how it looks next to white, you probably have warmer undertones 

 Finally, you can take a look at your jewelry collection. If you have lots of gold and/or rose gold jewelry and love how it looks on you, you are pulling warm. If you prefer silver, white gold, or platinum, you have cooler undertones in your skin.  

How your hair color impacts your undertones 

The undertone of the hair color that you choose, will either highlight or downplay your skin undertones. If you have a ruddy complexion that you are looking to counterbalance, it is best to choose a hair color with cool undertones. This will visually neutralize the appearance of rosiness in your skin. 

The same effect can be applied if you want to “warm up” a naturally pale complexion. Choosing a new hair color with warm undertones can help to bring out rosiness in the skin. Want to highlight a naturally warm skin tone? You can bring out those gorgeous rosy, yellow, and orange skin tones with traditionally warm hair colors like copper, bronze and gold. 

Olive tones, while traditionally considered on the warm side, often have a green undertone. This can be neutralized with a warm hair color that will help to highlight the natural warmth in your skin tone.