Before anything else, we’d like to get one thing clear: At All Things Hair HQ, we’d never tell you to forego any hair color (or, for that matter, anything—full stop) solely on the basis of skin color. We admit however that there are certain shades that bring out the best in certain complexions, depending on your specific undertone. For darker skintones, these include intense, rich shades that either provide a gorgeous contrast against a deeper complexion or enhance the overall look with something that provides a lot of shine and dimension. Just as those with super pale complexions tend to look washed out with an unflattering shade of blonde, so it is with black and dark brown shades; the best hair color for dark skin has to match your undertones for a look that isn’t flat.
To better illustrate, we put together a short list of hair colors we think would look absolutely stunning on darker complexions for both warm and cool undertones. See which category you fall under and which shade you feel has your name written all over it for the coming season. Scroll on:
20 Hair Color Ideas for Dark Skin
Warm undertones, regardless of how light or dark your complexion is, generally fare better with gold jewelry and earthier shades. This means bronze makeup is a natural fit, you tan more evenly and should be on the lookout for the golden caramels and honeys whenever you go for highlights.
1. Bleached Yellow Blonde
An unapologetically yellow blonde brightens and flatters a warmer dark skin tone without washing it out.
2. Caramel Ombré
Flattering, expensive-looking and super sexy, medium brown ombre hair for dark skin is also really easy to maintain.
Higher contrast than an ombré, a grown-out chestnut brown with lighter highlights is edgy yet sensual at the same time.
4. Golden Ash Blonde
Golden blonde is a popular choice for warm undertones due to its dimension and natural sheen.
5. Caramel Ombré, pt. 2
Wear your ombré tighter to the root and with an afro for an even more on-trend twist.
6. Caramel and Honey Highlights
Multi-dimensional warm brown highlights work seamlessly on a dark, nut-brown base.
7. Bright Honey
There’s nothing sunnier and more cheerful than a full head of bright honey-yellow curls!
8. Jet Black
Traditionally used on cooler complexions, jet black actually works across the board and flatters even warm undertones. Ed’s tip: Use a gel serum, like Suave Professionals Luxe Style Infusion Curl Defining Gel Serum, for definition, separation and shine.
9. Graphic Red + Black
A synthetic red shade picks up but doesn’t wash out the natural warmth in your complexion.
A crisp, clean medium brown shade is a great canvass for fall’s darker palette.
NEUTRAL to COOL
Pinkish, purplish or bluish undertones characterize those under the neutral-to-cool family. You love the contrast of a bright white T-shirt, silver jewelry and pinkish makeup hues. As for hair color for dark skin under this family, choose shades tempered by some ashy tones and violet-reds.
11. Ash Blonde Highlights
Light beige-blonde highlights complement an ash brown base.
12. Bubblegum Blue + Pink
Want to experiment with color? Choose shades in the cooler spectrum, such as blues and cotton-candy pinks, and you’ll never go wrong.
A subtle wash of burgundy gives a touch of sophisticated dimension to black hair.
14. Deep Burgundy
Go for the full-on burgundy hue if you want a darker, more intense shot of violet-red on your mane.
Reddish violet hues are also a great alternative color on those with cool undertones, as they warm up your complexion without making you look too flushed.
16. Rooty Ash Blonde
A looser, smudgier ash blonde is a low-maintenance option for those who want to go lighter but also want to minimize the salon trips.
Ruddish hair colors such as rust balance out the blue in cooler dark skin tones.
18. Soft Black
The most neutral shade of black we’ve seen so far, and it’s especially soft and flattering against peach- and pink-undertoned gals.
19. Ash Brown
Don’t let the glint fool you; this sandy/ashy brown plays off a neutral-brown skin complexion and gives it a healthier-looking glow.
20. Silvery White
Whether natural or bottle-made, grays, whites and silvers look the most exceptional and seamless on those with cooler undertones. Don’t forget to use a purple shampoo, like Bed Head by TIGI Dumb Blonde Purple Toning Shampoo, to keep that ashy tone from washing out.