Whether you were born with it or have been working on your tan, golden brown skin always looks better with certain hair colors. We’ll show you the best hair color for tan skin so you can glow like you mean it!
What’s the Best Hair Color for Tan Skin?
- For a natural look, go with golden, copper, or bronze tones
- For high-contrast looks, try champagne or platinum blonde, black
- Try highlights, balayage, or ombre for a subtle lift
You don’t just want a color that looks pretty good with a tan. You want the best hair color for tan skin, and we’re here to help!
Whether you’re working with your natural year-round glow or one you’ve achieved with the help of the sun or sunless tanner, tanned skin always looks better and healthier when you’re rocking the right hair color.
Maybe you want a natural look that’s breezy and looks like it’s been gradually lightened by the sun. You might prefer a high-contrast look that makes your bronzed skin pop, or maybe dark tones that bring out the depth of your tan are more your speed.
Whatever your goals for your hair color, there’s a shade out there that will check all your boxes! We’ve compiled a list of the top shades for tan skin that are going to boost your bronzed goddess status and bring your tan to life.
If you’re into natural-looking color, sticking with warm tones will be your best bet. Colors with golden, copper, or bronze undertones are always going to look amazing with a tan.
Think golden and strawberry blonde, copper and auburn red, and light to medium golden brown or warm bronze. Looking for a high-contrast color that puts your tan in the spotlight?
Then you need to go to the extremes – very light blonde (platinum or pale golden blonde), silver, or black. Any of these high-contrast shades will juxtapose the bronze color of your skin in a really stark but gorgeous way!
If you’re not looking to completely change your color but want to make your current shade a better fit for your tan skin, go with a more subtle shift. Try highlights, balayage, or ombre color to subtly (or boldly!) lift your current shade and make your bronzed skin pop.
The colors you’ll see next will highlight or contrast the golden brown tones in your skin, put the focus on your complexion and eyes, and give your tan skin a healthy, glowing look. Check ‘em out!
Best Hair Color for Tan Skin: Our 18 Favorite Shades
Elevate your status as a bronzed goddess when you rock any of the following best hair colors for tan skin! You’ll see our top color picks from bubbly blondes and warm golds to fiery coppers and rich brown to black.
1. Pale Champagne Blonde
Bubbly and light like platinum, this pale champagne blonde color is just perfect for tan skin when you want a high-contrast look. The color has a slightly peachy undertone so it takes on a warm look that complements bronze skin nicely.
2. Sultry Jet Black
Impossibly deep and dark, this jet black color makes a great contrast with tan skin, no matter the skin tone. It’s a neutral color so warm- and cool-toned skin can rock it when you want a color that really makes your tan skin pop.
3. Light Golden Blonde
Borrow the golden tones from your tan and go with a light golden blonde for a high-contrast color that still seems to “fit.” This bright shade will stand out without looking stark or out of place against a warm, bronze tan.
4. Fiery Medium Copper
This radiant color bridges the gap between copper and auburn so perfectly! It’s stunning on tan skin, especially with the shimmering dimension and fiery warmth in the undertones. Try it all-over or with soft golden or strawberry blonde highlights for more brightness.
5. Medium Golden Blonde
Not too light or dark, this medium blonde is just right for tanned skin and mirrors the same warm, golden tones in a good tan. This color creates minimal contrast with your complexion so it has a more natural look.
6. Flaxen Strawberry Blonde
Underlying red and golden tones in this light, summery blonde color make it totally perfect for tan skin. We’re calling it flaxen strawberry blonde because it’s a touch more golden than typical strawberry blonde – amp up the coppery tones for a redder look.
7. Copper and Golden Blonde Ombre
This unique color combo starts out copper at the roots and gradually lightens to a rich golden blonde at the ends. Ombre color gives you the chance to play with multiple flattering tones for tan skin if you don’t like a traditional highlighted look.
8. Light Golden Brown With Face-Framing Highlights
All-over light golden brown looks amazing with a tan, but a few golden blonde highlights around the face can make a huge difference in how warm and flattering it is. Try adding more highlights off the roots for a bolder look.
9. Cool Platinum Blonde
For a cool-toned look that creates a stark contrast with tanned skin, it’s hard to beat bright platinum blonde. This shade has a silvery sheen that makes it stand out from warm-toned tan skin in a good way.
10. Golden Honey Blonde Balayage
This honey-sweetened color mirrors the golden tones in tan skin for an almost-natural look. Balayage color application leaves the results subtle enough to look sun-lightened but this color definitely stands out! Go slightly lighter around the face to really flatter your bronzed color.
11. Chocolate With Caramel and Golden Brown
Sounds yummy, right? This delectable color is ideal for tan skin because it features a range of warm undertones. Gold, toasty caramel, and bronzed brown keep the brown and dark blonde shades from being boring or too one-dimensional to pair with tan skin.
12. Pale Gold and Dark Chocolate Ribbon Balayage
Take a very light golden blonde ribbon balayage with a dark chocolate base and you’ve got a perfect color for tan skin! Sunny golden tones get slightly muted with a toner so you get all the shimmer with no brass. This look can flatter warm, cool, or neutral tan skin.
13. Dark Taupe Blonde and Light Brown
Shades of dark taupe blonde and light brown with golden undertones adorn this pretty color that looks amazing on tanned skin. The taupe blonde can be a neutral tone, but the golden light brown gives the color a warmer feel that brings out bronze tones in the skin.
14. Strawberry Blonde Balayage
If you love rich coppery tones but don’t want to go full-on red, a soft strawberry blonde balayage color would be perfect! This shade is golden with red undertones, so it’s warm enough to look great with tan skin. It’s balanced with some golden blonde highlights throughout to keep the color dimensional.
15. Dark Espresso Brown
Turn up the contrast on your tan with a super-dark espresso brown shade that brings a lot of depth. This deep color has a little warmth, but it’s actually a more neutral shade of brown. That lets your warm-toned tan take center stage.
16. Golden Butterscotch Blonde
Butterscotch blonde can be a medium to dark blonde shade with toasty caramel and some reddish undertones. It’s very similar to strawberry blonde but isn’t quite as saturated with those coppery undertones. Try it with tan skin for a beautifully bronzed effect.
17. Lightest Silver Blonde
Make a splash with ultra-high contrast light silver blonde on tan skin. The metallic nature of this shimmering color naturally highlights and shines a light on your tan for the boldest pop of color.
Read Next: How to Get Silver Hair in 2023
18. Gold and Bronze Ribbon Balayage
Gorgeous golden blonde and metallic bronze (light brown) color make this ribbon balayage look one of the best for tanned skin.
Shiny metallic tones flatter warm-toned tan skin really well and reflect back some of that bronzed, golden warmth in your complexion. Ribbons of color bring the golden blonde up into the roots for a more cohesive look.
Things to Consider
Choosing a great hair color for tan skin goes beyond picking out pretty shades that look good with a tan. You need to think about your hair’s health, your skin’s undertone, and color maintenance to be sure you’ll love the results.
Keep your favorite colors in mind while you read through these important things to consider!
- Pick shades that flatter your undertones. Your skin’s undertone can be warm, cool, or neutral – even with a tan. If you have warm undertones, warm colors that look golden, reddish, or bronzed will look best on you. Cool undertones are complemented by cool-toned shades that look icy, silvery, or ashy. Neutral undertones can wear most colors well, but mixing warm and cool shades is an easy way to flatter neutral-toned tans!
- Air dry whenever possible. The best hair colors for tan skin are typically golden, coppery, or bronze warm colors that really lend themselves to beautiful, casual styles. Keep your hair healthy by opting to air dry your hair whenever possible and rock your natural texture! Find products that help minimize frizz and help define your strand’s natural shape, whether it’s straight, wavy, curly, or coily. Your hair will thank you!
- Assess the overall health of your hair. How healthy or damaged is your mane right now? If it’s looking pretty damaged, you should wait to color or bleach it. If you’ve been working to fix damaged hair and have made some progress, try a gentle option like demi-permanent color or a few brightened highlights around your face. For healthy hair, the sky’s the limit – but make sure you take care of your strands post-color to keep them that way!
- Baby your strands post-color. Your color will always look better against your tan skin when your hair is healthy and thriving! Extra moisture, protein hair masks, less heat styling, and less shampooing overall will help your strands recuperate quickly. Switch to sulfate-free shampoo for colored hair to preserve your color as well.
- Protect your new color from damage. You might have a natural tan, but if you’re tanning in the sun or a tanning bed, you need to protect your hair to prevent damage. UV rays can lighten your color and continually damage your strands over time, so wear a hat when out in the sun or grab a UV-protective bonnet cap for the tanning bed. Swimming usually goes hand-in-hand with tanning, so make sure you’re keeping your hair up or wearing a swim cap to protect it from damaging chlorine, too!
What’s Your Favorite Hair Color for Tan Skin?
The best hair color for tan skin is actually a range of colors from the lightest platinum and champagne blonde to the darkest inky black. These high-contrast colors will definitely put your tan in the spotlight, but if you want the most flattering, natural-looking color, opt for medium warm shades.
Medium shades of golden and strawberry blonde, light to medium golden and bronze brown, and warm coppery shades are all great options for tan skin. Darker options that won’t have as stark a contrast as black include rich chocolate and dark chocolate browns with warm undertones.
Whether you rock a naturally tan skin color year-round or have fair skin that you like to bronze up seasonally, choosing flattering hair color shades that suit your skin color will make a huge difference. With the right color, your skin will take on a healthy glow with your natural undertones lighting up your skin from within!