Posted by All-Nutrient Professional on Jul 26, 2016


Covering gray, adding highlights, brightening blondes or adding depth charges to brunettes are easy. But do your clients long to try out something platinum or dream themselves as a redhead? Or, maybe they want to try a “flavor” of a new shade by going warmer or cooler.

Start with this basic rule: If the skin has a pink or blue-based undertones, stick with ash or cool shades; if the skin has a yellow undertones, stay with warm shades. Aren’t sure? Hold a shirt or scarf that is orange up to the face, then try a blue one. Also check out yellow or green if you think your client has olive-toned skin. Which one clashes with the skin and which is closer to their natural skin tone?

Now, find their skin’s undertones below, then look for their eye color. You might find more haircolor options than you ever imagined!


If the underlying skin tone is close to neutral or creamy.

  • Dark eyes and creamy skin tones work best with dark-to=medium brunette or medium red. You can also cover gray with auburn shades that are medium to dark.
  • If the eyes are hazel, blue or green, anything from a light brunette to medium blonde will look good. Auburns or strawberry blonde will also look great if the natural haircolor is on the light side. In fact, almost any shade of red will be fabulous!
  • For blue or green eyes and naturally blonde hair, choose lighter-to-medium shades of blonde. If platinum is the desire, be sure it won’t wash out very light skin tones too much. (A few lowlights or subtly darker roots help avoid this).


If the underlying skin tone is warm or ruddy.

  • Dark brown, black or hazel eyes allow for black, medium brown or golden brown haircolor. Even wine or auburn will enrich these natural skin tones.
  • If the eyes are hazel, blue, or green, and their natural haircolor is light brown to medium blonde, light or golden highlights will be gorgeous, or choose medium brunettes that are on the warm side.
  • If the eyes are blue or green, and the hair is naturally blonde, stay with golden blondes and very light brunette shades. Vivid red tones and warm reds will also work well, especially if the hair is naturally on the warm or golden side. Avoid pale, cool blondes.


If the underlying skin tone is olive.

  • For brown eyes, opt for dark brown or rich brunette shades. To cover gray, get a slightly lighter brunette and add highlights.
  • If the eye color is hazel, blue or green, try light-to-medium brunette or consider a sandy shade for covering gray.
  • If the eyes are blue or green, chances are good their haircolor is already light. If this is the case, try light brunette or even blonde, just as long as it’s not pure platinum or super-light. To cover gray,  go lighter than natural, so gray hair looks like highlights, or deepen the gray and add highlights.


If the underlying skin tone is on the yellow side.

  • Dark or hazel eyes look great with shades from black to medium brown. Auburn, wine or aborigine also accentuate their natural coloring.
  • If the eyes are hazel, blue or green, light browns and medium blondes will also look good. Keep blondes on the ashy or sandy side; don’t ask for too much gold.
  • If the eyes are blue or green and the hair is naturally blonde, add neutral or sandy blonde shades, or opt for light brunettes without a lot of warmth. If the hair is naturally on the red or warm side, keep red shades subdued; don’t try anything too vibrant.

Naturally, there are always exceptions to rules, or exceptional clients who simply want the stark contrast of pale, cool skin, blue eyes and black hair. And then, there are fashionistas, who make pastels, green, blue, fuchsia and pink part of their color play. But even if your clients are one, sticking to the basic rules of warms and cools makes sense. When adding an opposite-skin-tone color to the mix, have pieces of it placed away from the face, not right next to it. This provides more contrasting color and your clients will look good, too.

Topics: haircolor