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The Ultimate Guide To Choosing The Perfect Hair Color

Your hair might be dead protein but it still is a vital part of your appearance. Something as small as a highlight or a light fringe can make you go from midweek overtime to weekend glam.

Yet, one color does not fit all when it comes to hair colors.

Why can’t you flaunt green highlights like your colleague does? 

We have a huge market for hair dyes and techniques but not all of them might suit you. 

After much effort, you might find that perfect shade, but at the cost of your will to experiment ever again. 

Choosing the right hair color and technique really does not have to be so difficult.

So lets a look at what suits you and what does not.

This analysis can be made based on two main factors:

  1. Skin undertone (differs from skin color)
  2. Hair type

By Skin Tone:

Owing to the diversity of skin tones presented by Indians, the Indian hair dye market has a palette of hair dyes that leaves us spoilt for choice. 

Mind your horses though, it is first very important to understand your skin tone before opting for any shade of hair dye. 

Once you are aware of your ‘undertones’ you can instantly filter out most of the shades that would not suit you.

There are three undertones most of us Indians are subject to:

  • Warm skin tone
  • Cool skin tone
  • Neutral skin tone

Recommended For You: Top 6 Safest Ways To Color Your Hair

Warm Skin Tone

red hair color

How do I know?

Take a close look at your wrist. If your nerves are a shade of green, you attribute to a warm skin tone.

Skins with warm skin tones also tend to tan rapidly under the sun. So if you just had an epiphany, continue reading. If you don't, skip to the next section.

People with warm undertones should naturally stick to warmer shades of hair colours. 

For instance, if you’re looking at shades from the brown family, warmer shades like copper and chocolate-brown rather than mahogany or walnut browns would suit you better.

Subtle shades of red and cooper are always a winner. 

Key pointers:

  • Shades like caramel, hot chocolate, chestnut and other deep and rich shades of brown are also do-able
  • If you’re feeling adventurous, highlights of warm golds, reds, cooper or even deep blondes can give your look the nudge you’re looking for.
  • Be mindful of colours like blue, violet, white, jet black. There’s a high chance they will give you a washed-out look

Cool Skin Tone

brown blonde hair colorWhen you look at your wrist, does your nerve-web look more inclined towards the shades of blue? 

How do I know?

Does your skin turn red when exposed to prolonged sunlight? If yes, then you have a cool undertone to your skin.

This means that you should stick to cooler shades. Shades close to mahogany and chestnut would be your safest bet. 

They blend the best with cool undertones and will bring out your complexion.

Key pointers:

  • Ideally, reds should be avoided, but if you must opt for Cool reds, like burgundy or Bordeaux
  • If you're feeling adventurous, go for cool shades such as wheat, honey or taupe, cool ash brown highlights
  • Avoid gold and bronze tones

Neutral Skin Tone

With a neutral undertone, you can pull off just as much as any hair dye you want. 

Pretty much any shade of brown can go well with a neutral skin tone. There’s plenty of room for experimentation. 

For example, if you have a medium to dark skin tone, you can go global with chocolate brown and add honey highlights to lift up the appearance of your hair and flatter your skin tone.

If there’s one thing you should be mindful of, that would be balancing the warm and cool tones in the overall look of your hair. 

You could avoid copper because it has too much orange and is higher on the warm side.

Common safe zone for all undertones:

  • The safest way to select a hair colour is to match with the colour of your eyes.
  • Always make sure that the colour you’re selecting is either one or two shades lighter than your natural hair colour.

Hair Type

Now that we filtered down from the plethora of colour shades available, to further filter it down it is important to determine the current mood of your hair. 

If you are planning to go for bold colours, it would be advisable to put your hair in the hands of an experienced colourist. 

A professional is most likely to recommend colour shades and dying techniques that not only make you look good but are also best suited for your hair.

Based on an interview on CNA lifestyle with Shawn Chia, associate director of Chez Vous: HideAway hair salon, following are some pointers to keep in mind:

  • If your tresses have incurred damage, avoid going for light shades. The complex chemical condition might put it in worse shape. Besides, damaged hair is more porous and might not retain colour compounds.
  • Dark and warm shades tend to last longer on naturally dark hair.
  • Keep bleach away from fine hair. Fine hair has thin shafts and can further cause thinning and ultimately lead to breakage.
  • For frizzy or curly hair, light colours tend to emphasize the unruly texture. For a healthier look, choose darker colours. Mix and match with lighter highlights.
  • If you have treated hair, wait for at least four to five weeks before dying your hair.


We are all unique in myriad ways and our needs vary accordingly.

Only a little bit of research can go a long way to understand your body, skin and hair.

Opting for ammonia and PPD free products like Atbro Safexx hair colour can help minimize damage altogether leaving enough room for unending experimentation.