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How Do I Choose the Best Hair Color for Medium Skin?

By Donna Johnson
Updated: Feb 23, 2024

Many factors, such as personal preference, your eye color and the natural color of your hair, may come into play when choosing a hair color. Your skin tone should also be considered when picking a dye shade. Hair color for medium skin tones, for example, typically should be in the warm or neutral shades.

Before choosing hair color, you should determine what your skin tone actually is. Your ethnic background is the first factor to consider in identifying medium skin. The medium category covers a wide variety of shades, including tan, beige, and olive. Hispanic and Asian people usually have medium skin, as do people from the Middle East or the areas around the Mediterranean Sea. Caucasians with darker skin and light-skinned people of African descent may also have this skin tone.

Next, choose the color family you would prefer. Hair color that goes well with medium skin may be in the blonde, brown, black or red groups. Both the blonde and brown families offer shades in warm and neutral. The natural colors in the red family, such as auburn, are considered warm, while those with undertones of purple or burgundy are cool and unsuitable for medium skin tones.

When making the choice between neutral and warm hair colors, consider the color of your eyes. Generally, people with dark eyes look best with warm hair dye shades. Those with light eyes, such as green or blue, should usually choose cooler hair color. If you have both light eyes and medium skin, however, you should choose a neutral hair dye to complement both of these features.

Consider the natural color of your hair as well. Because of the damage it may cause to your hair, dying your hair significantly lighter, such as a move from dark brown to a light blonde color, is not typically recommended. These changes typically require your hair to be stripped of color before the dye is applied, a process that may weaken it and lead to breakage and hair loss. Changing your hair color to black, on the other hand, should be done gradually over time. This is because the darker the shade, the more difficult it is to reverse the color without damaging your hair if you are unhappy with the results.

No matter whether you choose a warm or neutral hair color for medium skin, you should always stay within two shades of your natural color. By doing so, you are more likely to end up with a final look that is more natural and flattering to your skin. The process of changing your hair color a little is also generally far less damaging than more drastic dye jobs.

WiseGeek is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By mobilian33 — On Oct 20, 2014

I think a contrast in color looks good on some people. I have seen dark complexion women with blond hair. Of course, that's not the color they were born with, and everyone knows that's not the color they were born with, but the contrast in their skin color and the hair color makes them stand out, and as I said, this looks good on some people.

By Feryll — On Oct 20, 2014

@Laotionne - You should tell your father that hair color for men has come a long way in the last few years. I can remember seeing older guys with hair that was clearly dyed. The color was simply too dark, or it was a color not found in nature. Today, the men's color market is as big as ever and companies have all types of colors and shades, and the chemical don't over color like the old products did.

By Laotionne — On Oct 19, 2014

When my father's hair began to turn grey, he let it go for a long time. Then one day he decided that he wanted to turn back the years and reclaim his youth. He started coloring his hair with my mother's hair coloring. When my mother used the coloring it looked fine, and most importantly her hair looked natural.

The first time I walked into my parents' house and saw my father with the hair coloring in his hair I couldn't help but burst out laughing. His hair looked like someone had spray painted his head. Fortunately, he eventually gave up the fight against aging and accepted his grey hair. We were all so happy when he did.

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