Experts Agree: These Are the 11 Best Hair Colors For Dark Skin Tones
Choosing the right hair color for Black and brown skin tones is almost as tricky as finding the perfect foundation shade. You'll want to consider a few things: your skin's undertones, the seasonal change, and lighting. These are all key factors in getting it just right. Much like with nailing foundation, the nuances of dark skin make hair color equally tricky to perfect. That's why we asked hair-color experts to share exactly what are the hair-color shades that work best for brown skin.
Again, the search for finding your perfect hair color starts by looking at your skin's undertones. Hairstylist Noel Reid-Killings tells POPSUGAR that as a general rule, ashy, cool-brown, chestnut, and chocolate tones work well on dark skin tones.
While you can still wear blond or even vibrant rainbow shades, dark colors are always a safe choice to make hair look thick and healthy. If you want to roll with a new color trend, shades like turquoise, emerald, and hunter green are on the rise and also happen to be winning options for dark complexions. Read on to see how some of our favorite celebrities with deep skin wear a spectrum colors and found their perfect hair-color shades for brown skin.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Auburn
The Hair Color: Auburn
As Seen On: Zendaya
Color Notes: Warm copper tones have been trending for months, but Zendaya's dark auburn twist on the look strikes the perfect contrast against her warm undertones.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Blond Highlights
The Hair Color: Dimensional highlights
As Seen On: Ciara
Color Notes: Cool tones work well with dark complexions. "Warm tones can blend into the skin too much," Reid-Killings says. If you want to do a warmer hair-color shade for brown skin, Reid-Killings suggests getting balayage or lowlights to add dimension.
Browns, chestnuts, and chocolate colors work well as long as they have cool undertones. These darker shades can make your hair look thicker and healthier.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Purple
The Hair Color: Purple
As Seen On: Justine Skye
Color Notes: If you're a fan of a jewel-toned hair colors, look no further than "The Purple Unicorn" herself, Justine Skye. Purple is a fantastic hair color for dark skin tones, especially if you want to step away from the traditional browns and blonds. Tish Celestine, the stylist and colorist who helped Skye perfect her signature shade, has said that it is still her most requested color to date.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Soft Ombré
The Hair Color: Chestnut Soft Ombré
As Seen On: Gabrielle Union
Color Notes: If you're looking for a more subtle color upgrade, try a soft ombré (sombré) in a warm chestnut brown. The darker roots and lighter tips help frame the face, making it a perfect hair color for brown skin tones that adds just enough of a contrast.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Platinum Blond
The Hair Color: Platinum Blond
As Seen On: Monica Brown
Color Notes: According to Celestine, "Light blond to platinum blond does work on dark skin in shorter styles. That's the rule." Since textured hair tends to be more fragile and dries out a lot faster, getting to this level of light takes a lot of processing that can compromise longer ends. But the fact stands: platinum blond is a fantastic hair-color shade for brown skin. If you don't want to commit, try a wig.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Red Highlights
The Hair Color: Red Highlights
As Seen On: Priyanka Chopra
Color Notes: Dark skin tones with neutral undertones — meaning not too warm, not too cool — make for the perfect candidates to a multidimensional red highlights. You don't want to overdo it, so be sure to work with your colorist to ensure you get face-framing money pieces with a few additional streaks woven throughout to find your perfect red hair color for dark skin.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Jet Black
The Hair Color: Jet black
As Seen On: Janelle Monáe
Color Notes: Jet black may look quite stark on fair skin tones, but on dark skin, it appears rich and gives hair the look of being healthy. If you need an easy hair color for brown skin, you can't go wrong with this one.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Caramel Blond
The Hair Color: Caramel Blond
As Seen On: Beyoncé
Color Notes: Beyoncé's perfectly distributed high and lowlights are a perfect contrast to her warm hair-color base that's a few shades darker than her skin tone. Consider playing with a similar dimension to land on your perfect hair-color shade for you skin tone.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Blue
The Hair Color: Navy blue
As Seen On: Danielle Brooks
Color Notes: Although it's ever so subtle, Danielle Brooks's blue bob is a soft way to break into more vibrant colors without worrying about too much maintenance or commitment. It's another low-maintenance jewel tone that would make a fantastic hair color for dark skin.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Mahogany
The Hair Color: Mahogany
As Seen On: Taraji P. Henson
Color Notes: If you're going to go red, stick with a more vibrant variation like Henson has here. It's still a bit more on the brown side, but the red pops enough so that the brown doesn't just blend into her skin tone.
Best Hair Color For Brown Skin: Lilac
The Hair Color: Light lilac
As Seen On: Keke Palmer
Color Notes: Deep jewel tones (think amethyst and emerald) work best on dark skin, as the colors complement a rich complexion. "Pastels can sometimes make for too harsh of a contrast or wash you out," Reid-Killings says. "It's important to pay attention to your skin's undertones. Those are the colors you want to bring out. If you have warm undertones, you want to aim for blues and purples as they contrast nicely," she adds. Tip for finding the best hair colors for dark skin: avoid colors that are similar to your undertones, as the look could wash you out.