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May 2024

What Color Should I Dye My Hair? 7 Tips for the Perfect Shade

By | Trends

Sometimes you just need a change.  

That’s not the only reason to mix it up with a fresh new color — maybe you’ve always wanted to know if you could pull off red hair, or maybe you just want to make sure that you’ve got the best blonde possible for your unique coloring (and personality). 

Whatever it is, we’ve got you.  

Here are seven ways to help you answer the question, “What color should I dye my hair?”  

  1. Decide on maintenance.
  2. Figure out your skin’s undertone.
  3. Consider your eye color.
  4. Look at your wardrobe.
  5. Factor in greys.
  6. Let celebrities do it first.
  7. Think about what you love about others. 

Decide on Maintenance

Before choosing which color to dye your hair, there’s a practical piece to address first.  

How much time do you want to dedicate to a new look? 

If you have dark black hair, lightening it to platinum blonde will be a significantly heavier commitment than going espresso brown at the beginning of the process and for maintenance. The more contrast there is between your natural hair color and your new choice, the more work it will be to keep it up.  

How much does it bother you when your roots start showing? Are you willing to buy specialty products like purple shampoo for blondes? Is your hair healthy now, and can you keep it protected from the sun or chlorine? 

Whatever the answer to these questions, you need to know what to expect. 

What color should I dye my hair if I need something low-maintenance? 

If you’ve never dyed your hair before, maybe start with a balayage or highlights that allow for a longer period between appointments. See how that complements your look and then jump in! 

With that settled, let’s get to the more technical tips. 

Figure out your skin’s undertone

As a general rule, warmer skin tones glow with hair colors that emphasize ‘warm’ browns, golds and reds. Cooler skin tones sparkle with icier, ashier shades. 

For some people, figuring out your undertone is easy. For others, it gets a little more complicated. Here’s how to start. 

The three most common undertones are cool, warm and neutral. You may have seen different makeup foundations labeled this way.  

  • Cool undertones — More pink and blue. 
  • Warm undertones — More yellow. 
  • Neutral undertones — A mix, which often ends up more peachy.  

Any skin tone can have any undertone — people at both the lightest and darkest ends of the spectrum might be classified as cool, warm or neutral. 

The quickest way to determine which category you fall into is to look at your wrist’s veins. Green veins usually point to warmer undertones and blue or purple veins suggest you may be cooler. If you’ve got both, you might be neutral.  

If you’re still unsure, that’s okay! Step two is to consider the jewelry and neutral clothing options you gravitate toward.  

  • Cool undertones — Silver jewelry and true white shirts. 
  • Warm undertones — Gold jewelry and off-white shirts.  
  • Neutral undertones — A mix of everything! 

If you can lock into your skin’s undertone, selecting which color to dye your hair can be a breeze. But that’s not the only way to figure out your best option. 

Consider your eye color

There are about a million eye colors in the world, and they’re all gorgeous regardless of your dye job. But certain shades may enhance your natural beauty — that’s color theory!  

The first thing to check is whether or not you have little flecks of gold or yellow in your irises. If so, chat with your stylist about integrating some honey, caramel or golden blonde into your look. Rich reds and chocolate browns will also intensify your gaze. 

Do your eyes have more gray in them? Boost this elegant hue with ashy blonde or a muted brown. Black hair can also amplify gray eyes. 

Many of us love our eyes — it makes sense to choose a hair color that will really make them pop.  

Look at your wardrobe

Color season analysis is trending, and that kind of thoughtful look into which colors look best on you can be useful when you’re thinking about changing your hair.  

Without getting too detailed, think about the palette you see when you open your closet. Do you choose brighter or softer colors? Do you like to keep things light and airy, or darker and more structured? 

Ask the same questions about your hair. If you love spring pastels, maybe you should go lighter. Is your wardrobe full of reds and oranges? Then make sure your favorite outfits won’t clash with copper locks. And if you’re constantly lint-rolling your black sweaters, it might be time to darken your ‘do. 

Factor in grays

Gray hair is natural. Lots of people make it look incredible — it was even a trend not too long ago for people without a silver strand in sight!  

Whether you embrace your grays or want to cover them up, you should consider them when you’re deciding on the best hair color for you. 

If you want to cover up your gray hair, highlights are a great place to start. The non-uniform nature of gray hairs means that they stick out and draw the eye. Highlights can mimic that across all your hair, giving you some wiggle room when they start to grow back in.  

For people who don’t want to cover their silver hair up completely, talk to your stylist about lighter locks. A toned champagne blonde, for example, is a stunning way to enhance your natural color.  

Let celebrities do it first

Celebrities have full teams of personal stylists, a higher-than-average need to look incredible, and access to resources lots of everyday people just don’t.  

That means you can see what it looks like when they take the plunge before even getting your toes wet. 

Some stars have made hair transformations into an art. Have you ever been told you have a celebrity lookalike? Singers and actors with similar coloring to you are a great place to start your hair journey.  

There are plenty of people who have tried just about every shade under the sun — check out some of the different looks from these icons and see if they strike a chord with you. 

Think about what you love on others

We’ve all seen someone and thought, “That’s such a great look, but I could never pull it off.”  

Sometimes that might even be true — confidence is a big part of the equation. But if you find yourself consistently complimenting a certain color on others, you might be surprised by what’s possible.  

Bring us your concerns. If you’re nostalgic over neon pink hair and adamant that you can’t have something that wild, maybe you’d like a cherry cola brown. If you’ve got raven black tresses in your dreams but you’re a natural blonde when you wake up, maybe lowlights or a shadow root could get you closer to your ideal. 

So … what color should I dye my hair?  

If you’ve gotten this far, be honest about your ability to maintain this color, factored in your natural coloring, peered into your own eyes, checked out your clothes, researched celebrities and imagined your favorite colors on strangers, you probably have a good idea what your best hair color is.  

Ask yourself if you aren’t sure what the right color is for you, or if you just aren’t confident that you have the right answer. In the end, it’s your hair! When you love your look, your confidence lights up a room more than color theory ever could. 

Our expert stylists will help you discover the color, cut and style that makes you feel best. Let’s figure it out — make an appointment at Stephanie Moss Salon to get started.