Deep skin tones benefit from specific shades of hair color that bring out the underlying golden, bronze, or silvery undertones in the skin. Find the best hair color for dark skin with our photo guide and discover 20 gorgeous shades to flatter your complexion!
What’s the Best Hair Color for Dark Skin?
- Match shades to your undertones (warm, cool, neutral)
- Opt for all-over color or trendy balayage, ombre, or highlights
- Get creative and consider fun fantasy colors
Looking for the best hair color for dark skin? There are a ton of options out there from the brightest blonde to the richest ebony. But which shades and colors are going to flatter and complement deep skin tones best?
Finding a new hair color that suits dark skin tones can be treated almost like a science. You already know your skin tone — deep — and once you’re familiar with your skin’s undertone, things will really start to come together.
All skin tones, from fair to deep, have a faint but visible undertone that subtly tints the overall color of the skin. Your undertone can be warm, cool, or neutral depending on the color of the tones visible through your skin.
That’s why there’s no single best hair color for dark skin — it’s all about those undertones! The colors that look amazing on warm dark skin are different from the shades that flatter cool or neutral dark skin tones.
- Dark skin with warm undertones shows a faint golden or peachy tint. Hair colors that will suit warm-toned dark skin best are going to mirror those undertones and come from the “warm” side of the color wheel. Shades of blonde, brown, red, and black with warm gold, red, orange, bronze, or pink undertones will always look amazing on warm-toned dark skin.
- Dark skin with cool undertones shows a subtle pinkish, reddish, or bluish tint. Hair colors that work well on cool-toned dark skin come from the “cool” side of the color wheel and have underlying tones of silvery ash, violet, blue, or green. Ash blondes and browns, cool mochas, violet-toned brunette shades, and blue-black are all examples that look great on cool-toned dark skin.
- Dark skin with neutral undertones shows an olive or slightly yellow undertone, or a mix of warm and cool undertones. Hair colors that look great on neutral-toned dark skin have a much wider range thanks to the mixed undertones. Neutral black, silver, and white-blonde shades are always good picks, but almost any mix of warm and cool tones will flatter neutral-toned dark skin.
Your hair color application — all over or with trendy balayage, ombre, or highlighting techniques – can elevate the look and help it further complement your skin tone. You might like a high-contrast, bold look by going blonde or jet black all-over.
Or maybe a pretty blonde balayage, red color with highlights, or subtle ombre look is more your style! Keeping the full color spectrum in mind can widen your color options with dark skin.
You don’t have to choose shades that are considered natural to get a really flattering result! Consider some of the fun fantasy colors — especially vibrant brights and sophisticated jewel tones — to shake things up and put your rich complexion in the spotlight.
Hair Color for Dark Skin: 20 Shades We Love
In our search for the best hair color for dark skin, we discovered 20 shades that take the top spots. Find gorgeous color options for all shades of dark skin, from creamy caramel to rich ebony. See which shades suit different undertones from warm to neutral below!
1. Cool Brown With Warm Honey Balayage
A cool brown root melt gradually transitions into an unexpected warm honey blonde through the midshaft to ends. This unique cool/warm color pairing is perfect for neutral dark skin tones that have a mix of warm and cool undertones.
2. Pure Ebony
Don’t sleep on the power and allure of pure ebony hair color for dark skin. It lends a beautiful richness and depth that contrasts so nicely with deeper skin tones and highlights your eyes. It’s a bold black color that’s neutral in tone so it can suit dark skin with warm, cool, or neutral undertones.
3. Bold Violet Ombre
Using a punchy, bold color in the ends that gradually fades out into your base color at the midshaft is a great way to play with vivid colors.
Vibrant violet is a stunning shade on dark skin with a cool or neutral undertone, but it can also do well with warm-toned dark skin in an ombre look like this!
4. Dark Chestnut Brown
Rich auburn tones take a basic brunette shade to new heights in a dark chestnut brown. This is a great hair color for dark skin with a warm or neutral undertone thanks to the red tint in the shade. Try it with a root smudge or use colored extensions to make maintenance a cinch.
5. Off-Root Medium Golden Blonde Highlights
Medium and dark blondes make such a pretty pairing with rich brunette hair color, especially when they highlight natural coils and curls! This warm shade of medium blonde goes well with a neutral espresso or dark chocolate base color and is perfect on warm dark skin tones.
6. Sapphire Ribbon Balayage
Ribbon balayage weaves thick chunky color up close to the roots with a more traditional balayage pattern down through the ends. Use a bold sapphire blue to perfectly complement cool-toned dark skin, or wear it with neutral or warm skin for a pretty contrast!
7. Dark Mocha With Taupe Blonde Accent
A cool-toned dark mocha brown color makes a great base shade for cool or neutral dark skin, but you don’t have to stop there! Add a taupe blonde accent to inject a little warmth and brightness into the style around the face.
8. Wheat Blonde With Root Smudge
A dusty wheat blonde is a great way to rock a lighter blonde on dark skin without creating too stark of a contrast. If you like a more subtle color, you’ll love the way wheat blonde flatters the golden undertones in warm-toned dark skin.
9. Radiant Magenta
With bright pink-red magenta, dark skin tones get an instant sparkle that is so flattering on all undertones (warm, cool, and neutral).
That’s because this hot shade of pink with rich red tint has both warm and cool undertones to play up all dark complexions and bring out your best features.
10. Dazzling White Platinum
If you want the richest contrast with dark skin, you’ve gotta go white platinum! This prismatic shade highlights and accentuates cool-toned and neutral dark skin nicely. It’s not ideal on warm-toned dark skin, but you can go with a pale golden blonde for a similar contrast effect.
11. Pale Butter Blonde
Using colored extensions makes trying different hard-to-achieve shades easy so you can find the best hair color for dark skin without subjecting your hair to bleach. This pale buttery blonde color is excellent on warm-toned dark skin and creates a striking contrast with the darker roots.
12. Medium Golden Blonde
Long braids in a medium shade of golden blonde flatter warm-toned dark skin so perfectly! Bring out the faint golden hues in your rich brown skin with this subdued shade of blonde that shines like gold.
13. Sparkling Emerald Green
Fans of fantasy shades will love how sparkling emerald green looks next to cool and neutral-toned dark skin tones from caramel to ebony. This gemstone color looks even more dazzling in braids that weave and bind the hair in pretty patterns.
14. Two-Toned Brown and Platinum
Let your natural color dominate the front with bright, prismatic platinum in the back for a beautiful two-toned look on dark skin.
This is a look that will work for warm, cool, and neutral undertones thanks to the platinum being recessed and not placed directly at the front hairline.
15. Medium Golden Brown
On warm-toned dark skin with that gorgeous-but-subtle gold undertone, you really can’t go wrong with a rich and toasty medium golden brown. This shade has enough depth to create some contrast and in braids, every bend reflects those shimmering golden tones.
16. Subtle Cobalt Ombre
Love unique fantasy colors that stand out? Try a cool cobalt blue ombre with braids, coily texture, or relaxed strands for a look that’s amazing on dark skin. Cool-toned and neutral dark skin tones will be accentuated and look flawless with this rich-yet-subtle shade of blue.
17. Copper With Golden Blonde Highlights
Loud, bold copper color all over grabs your attention and does a great job complementing the underlying peachy or golden tones in warm-toned dark skin.
Brighten up the look with scattered golden blonde highlights that don’t quite extend into the roots for easier maintenance.
18. Butterscotch Blonde Highlights in Chocolate Brown
Warm-toned dark skin looks amazing with toasty butterscotch blonde highlights woven into a darker chocolate brown base. Chocolate brown has the same golden undertones as butterscotch blonde, and they all play off the rich undertones in warm-toned dark skin.
19. Bright Multi-Toned Carnelian
A dark shadow root anchors a bold, rich color like carnelian red-orange on dark skin tones so nicely. Take things to the next level by rocking your natural coily texture to accentuate the different shades and tones in this fun, colorful look.
20. Dark Golden Brown
Deep brown with golden undertones perfectly suits dark skin with the same underlying warm, golden tint. This color adds depth and looks great with all shades of deep skin, but won’t be a great fit for cool-toned dark skin tones. Try it with highlights for extra dimension!
Things to Consider
Getting the best hair color for dark skin means getting to know your undertones, considering maintenance, and finding ways to “try on” the shades you’re considering before you actually commit. Here’s what you should think about before you opt for your new favorite color!
- Get to know your undertones. Don’t guess — determine your undertones before you choose a color to ensure the most flattering result. Does yellow gold or silver look better on you? If it’s gold, you’re warm-toned. If it’s silver, you’re cool-toned. And if both look equally flattering on your skin, you may be neutral-toned. Pick your colors accordingly!
- Think about color upkeep. Maintaining a new color can make or break how you feel about it. If it’s pretty easy upkeep with minimal maintenance, you might love it even more! But if it’s a lot of upkeep you weren’t expecting, your feelings can quickly turn sour. Blondes are always harder to maintain on dark hair, but red shades can also require a lot of color refreshes and touch-ups to stay vibrant. Brown and black shades are the longest-lasting.
- Consider extensions or wigs to try new shades. If you’re not 100% sure about committing to a new color, you can always experiment with colored extensions or a wig. You’ll be able to see how the color looks with your skin tone without bleaching, dying, or damaging your hair in the process. It’s also easy to switch up your color more often with either of these methods!
- Try on new colors and styles online. Our virtual hairstyle try-on tool allows you to use your webcam to try on different hair colors and hairstyles online instantly. You’ll be able to see your selections in real time so you can get a sense of how you’ll look with each shade and style before you take the leap!
- Take care of your new color. If you’re going to actually bleach or dye your natural hair, you’ve got to take steps to keep the color fresh and prevent premature fading. A gentle sulfate-free shampoo is a must since traditional shampoos will quickly strip and fade color. Washing less often helps and keeping your hair moisturized will keep your color looking vibrant.
What’s Your Favorite Hair Color for Dark Skin?
You’ve seen our top picks for the best hair color for dark skin – which shades are your faves? As long as you try to choose colors that match your skin’s undertone (warm, cool, or neutral) and have an acceptable level of maintenance for you, you’re going to love the way a new color transforms your look.
With the right color and maybe a new hairstyle to top it off, you’ll be prouder than ever to show off your melanin-rich complexion. Now that you know exactly what to look for, you might even land on a new color that looks and feels like your signature shade!