Blonde celebrity inspo: The importance of skin tone when going blonde
When it comes to hair colour, skin tone is an important piece of the puzzle. After all, genetics predict both features naturally, so if you’re altering that hue, it’s maintaining that balance between shades will ensure a look that feels right. For this reason, colourists pay close attention to the skin undertones of their clients when customizing colour formulas and application techniques. Plus, blonde celebrity inspo can help you match the best blonde for you, especially if the photo matches your skintone.
“It is important to know the basics of tone and colour, and colour theory in order to create a look with intention and deliver optimal hair colour results.” says Christine Thompson, celebrity colourist and co-owner of Spoke & Weal in New York City.
While there’s certainly no right or wrong, since every shade is unique, Thompson says the key to mastering the right hue is to opt for rich tones rather than cool. “These rich tones will look beautiful and natural on almost everyone.”
To help make sure you choose just the right blonde for you from the hundreds out there, we asked top stylists to share the best shades for each skin tone. And when you do land on the right shade, you’ll want these tips to make your hair colour last longer.
If you have fair skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Gwen Stefani
Is your skin light as porcelain? New York-based stylist Deycke Heidorn, whose work has appeared in Harper’s Bazaar and Vogue, says it’s perfect for a fairy tale light pastel blonde.
“Going light blonde requires the highest level of hair bleaching,” she says. “This might sound unhealthy for your hair, but colour companies have created amazing products to prevent the hair from breaking while bleaching it.”
For clients with this colour of skin, Heidorn mixes Bond Builders (intensely nourishing ingredients) with the colour products to protect your hair. And a must for upkeep is for her clients to use a solid purple shampoo on the reg once they leave the salon to keep the hair colour from turning brassy. Here are other hair colour mistakes you need to stop making.
If you have light skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Taylor Swift
“Those with light skin generally fall in the ‘cool’ category and can wear more ashy toned blondes and browns.” says Giselle, celebrity colourist at Pierre Michel Salon in New York City.
“In other words, no golden blondes or butterscotch browns.” Think champagne or Scandinavian blonde.
Those who have a hard time pulling off this coolness when it comes to blonde colouring are those with warmer, or olive-type skin. For those clients, Giselle suggests going warmer. “It gives them a more youthful appearance.” (More on that later!). Find out how to keep your blonde locks cool and icy looking, instead of brassy and dry.
If you have medium skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Jennifer Lawrence
Those with medium skin have the best of both worlds—they can flirt between warm and cool tones and both will look very natural. “Medium skin women can generally wear more shades than anyone, but nothing too extreme.” says Giselle.
Heidorn agrees, noting that warmer blonde tones like gold might make someone’s hair appear brassy. “A natural medium blonde base with cold and ash highlights will give you a fresh appearance.” she says.
To achieve this ideal hue, she recommends hair painting and baby lights. “This way, the lighter shades blend more naturally.” Going blonde can be tough on your hair – this is how you hydrate your hair to avoid it getting damaged.
If you have warm skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Cameron Diaz
If you have warm skin, you can stick with an analogous colour scheme, says Thompson. “Gold, soft gold, golden beige, neutral blondes all would work best and easiest.”
If you do move outside these undertones, she recommends considering root, eyebrow and makeup applications that can help complete and connect the look. Do be careful with colder and ashy tones, as Heidorn warns that they may be too much of a contrast for your skin and may appear unnatural.
If you have olive skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Jennifer Lopez
If your skin tone is more Mediterranean, or olive, Thompson recommends proceeding with an analogous palette (a range around that olive tone), which would be soft gold, warm beige, soft copper.
“If you go with a cool or violet red, this could bring out the green in their skin in a way that is unflattering.” she says. “The analogous colour range is a safe, easy, natural place to stay.”
If you do go outside of this range, she recommends against incorporating a great deal of colour contrast.
“The more of a contrast you have in the undertone or depth of the blonde, this causes more contrast to come out in other areas which can bring out imperfections in the skin.” You should also consider your skin tone when selecting makeup shades. Here’s best lipstick for any skin tone.
If you have tan skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Sofia Vergara
If your hair is naturally medium to dark brown, and you consider going blonde, Heidorn suggests a mix of darker and lighter blonde tones.
“This technique uses two or more warmer blond tones that are painted mainly into the lengths of your hair.” she says. “Using different shades will add dimension and volume. Leaving your roots natural, the warmer shades in your lengths will create a gorgeous frame for your face.”
If you have dark skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Rihanna
“When your skin and hair is darker, going blonde is a fashion statement,” says Heidorn. “You can go from platinum to a golden hue – almost anything.”
She does warn against basic highlights or balayage for women with a dark skin tone, since these techniques won’t have the impact and may look messy when the hair colour is dark. “You need an overall, even colour change,” she adds.
Whatever colour you choose to go with, keep your roots natural. “Save about two inches of hair growth and have your colourist lighten your hair in your desired blonde towards lengths and ends,” she says. “This way, your re-growth will naturally blend in.” Learn what else your stylist won’t tell you.
If you have deep skin, your celebrity blonde inspo is: Mary J. Blige
“Deeper skin tones work best with a deeper base colour, especially around the face.” says Chelsea Smith, master colourist for Madison Reed.
Balayage or ombré blonde are her go-tos for clients with this skin tone.
“For warmer undertones, honey, sable, and caramels work best and for cooler undertones, I lean more towards baby blonde pieces in front.” Next, learn how different eye makeup shades can make your eye colour pop.
Originally published as How to Find the Right Blonde Hair Color for Your Skin Tone on ReadersDigest.com.