If you have cool undertones, forget warm, golden shades – you’ll look amazing in cool tone hair colors. Mirroring your skin’s undertone with your hair color is the best way to flatter your complexion with a hue that truly suits you.
See our list of the best cool tone hair colors in this guide, along with tips for picking out the shades that work well for your skin tone and eye color.
We’ll study how the color of your undertones helps determine the colors and shades that will look flattering on you. Plus, see trendy examples of cool tone hair colors in icy, pastel, and dark hues that are oh-so complimentary for your undertones!
What Are Cool Tone Hair Colors?
- Feature cool blue, violet, silver, or green undertones
- Include shades from all colors: Blonde, red, brown, and black
- Look best on skin with blue or pink undertones
Cool tone hair colors are shades with cool undertones – they are totally absent of warm or neutral undertones. Cool tone colors are easy to spot once you know what you’re looking for.
These shades don’t have the glowing undertones you’ll see in warm hair colors, like gold, copper, rose gold, bronze, or peach.
Instead, they have undertones from the cool end of the color spectrum, like blue, purple/violet, gray/silver, and green (found in ash tones). Every hair color (blonde, red, brown, and black) has a few cool-toned shades in its spectrum of hues.
Some of the most popular cool tone hair colors include:
- Blonde: Platinum, ash, and champagne blonde with ash or beige undertones
- Red: Crimson, rose red, and auburn with blue or pink undertones
- Brown: Ash, beige, mushroom, and black-brown with ash, beige, or gray undertones
- Black: True black, violet black, and blue black with violet, blue, or black undertones
Rocking cool tone hair colors is a must if your skin has cool undertones. We’ll cover this in more detail in the next section!
Understanding Cool Undertones
Before you start picking out the best cool tone hair colors to try, it helps to deepen your understanding of cool undertones and how to identify them in your skin. Undertones aren’t the same thing as your skin tone.
Your skin tone tells you how light or dark your skin color is (fair/light, medium, or deep). Your undertones tell you what subtle tint underlies your skin color and is described in terms of how cool or warm those undertone colors are.
- Cool undertones have underlying blue or pink tones in the skin color. It doesn’t mean your skin will “look” blue or pink – just that these subtle tints give your skin tone an overall cool shade. You can have cool undertones whether your skin tone is fair/light, medium, or deep.
- Warm undertones have underlying golden, peach, or brown tones in the skin color. Like cool undertones, any skin tone (fair/light, medium, or deep) can have warm undertones.
- Neutral undertones have underlying yellow tones or an equal balance of cool and warm tones in the skin color. Like cool and warm undertones, any skin tone (fair/light, medium, or deep) can have neutral undertones.
So, how do you know which undertones you have? Undertones aren’t always obvious at first glance. Luckily, there are a few tricks you can use to easily identify your undertones to make color matching a cinch!
Try the White T-Shirt Test
The first test you can do to figure out how cool or warm your undertones are is the white t-shirt test. Pop on a solid, true white shirt and stand in front of a mirror in natural lighting.
Alternatively, you can hold a sheet of pure white computer paper up to your face and analyze your undertones. Then, look for one of the following results:
- True white will make cool undertones pop – you might be able to better see any underlying blue, red, or pink tones in your skin while wearing pure white.
- If the white shirt or paper makes your skin look a little yellow, you probably have warm undertones.
- If you don’t see much of an undertone at all next to pure white, you may have neutral undertones.
Use Jewelry to Determine Undertones
Different metals are complimentary to cool, warm, and neutral undertones. You can see this in action by gathering a few pieces of different jewelry metals (we recommend necklaces or bracelets) to compare how they look against your skin.
- Silver, white platinum, and white gold jewelry looks best on cool undertones. If yellow gold seems to look a little off against your skin, you probably have cool undertones.
- Yellow gold, rose gold, copper, and brass jewelry looks best on warm undertones. If pale silver and white jewelry metals seem to clash with your skin, you probably have warm undertones.
- All jewelry metals look great on neutral undertones since they feature a mix of both warm and cool undertones. If you can’t choose which color metal looks best on you, you probably have neutral undertones.
Analyze Your Eye Color
Your eye color can give you helpful hints about your undertone warmth or coolness. Stand in front of a mirror in natural lighting to get the most accurate eye color analysis.
- Blue, green, gray, and pale brown eyes usually indicate cool undertones.
- Hazel, rich brown, amber, and gold-flecked eyes indicate warm undertones.
- Cool eye colors with warm accents (gold, brown, hazel, etc.) may indicate neutral undertones.
Check Out Your Veins
Your vein color is also a good indicator of your undertone coolness or warmth. Roll up your sleeves and look at the color of the veins inside your wrist for the best analysis!
- Bluish or purple-tinted veins indicate cool undertones.
- Greenish veins indicate warm undertones.
- Bluish green veins indicate neutral undertones.
Which Cool Tone Hair Colors Will Suit You Best?
Now that you’ve done a few tests and are certain you have cool undertones, we can talk about the cool tone hair colors that will best suit your complexion!
Best Shades for Fair & Cool Skin
Platinum blonde, ash blonde, and champagne blonde are all great light-colored options for fair, cool-toned skin. These bright shades pick up the pinks and blues in your cool undertones and minimize the look of redness.
Light ash brown, light mushroom brown, and any light to medium cool brown color will look great on fair, cool-toned skin. Don’t go too dark with your brown color to avoid it looking harsh against your complexion.
Cool crimson red, dusty rose pink, and deep rose red are great red options for fair, cool skin. These rich colors will make your fair skin tone stand out and mirror some of your natural pinkish red undertones.
Black is a high-contrast color for fair, cool skin, but you might love the way it makes your skin appear to glow with porcelain tones! Try a rich violet-black or blue-black for the most flattering effect.
Best Shades for Medium & Cool Skin
Platinum blonde, ash blonde, and champagne blonde all look great on medium, cool-toned skin. Beige and pearly blondes are also pretty options for this skin tone/undertone combo.
Light and medium ash brown, medium and dark mushroom brown, and cool mahogany or espresso shades are perfect for medium skin tones with cool undertones. Since your skin tone is medium, you don’t really have to worry about going too dark with cool brunette shades.
Deep crimson red, deep auburn, cherry red, black cherry, and rose red colors are also good options for medium, cool-toned skin. With a slightly darker skin tone than fair/light, your complexion can handle deeper blue-toned and pink-toned reds that accentuate your cool undertones.
True black, violet black, and blue black shades are good options if you want to go super-dark with your cool hair color on medium, cool-toned skin.
Best Shades for Deep & Cool Skin
Platinum blonde, ash blonde, and champagne blonde will work well for cool, deep skin tones. These are high-contrast colors with dark skin, so only choose light, cool blondes if you want a color that pops and stands out.
Medium to dark ash brown, medium to dark mushroom brown, deep espresso, mahogany, cafe noir, and brown-black shades are excellent brunette shades for deep, cool skin. By choosing deeper shades of brunette, you enhance the cool richness of your skin tone.
Deep crimson red, deep auburn, black cherry, burgundy, and plum burgundy colors are great options in the red/violet family. Opt for more color saturation and vibrancy to really pull off shades of red with deep, cool skin.
True black, violet black, and blue black will all look amazing on deep, cool skin as well. These colors will enhance the depth and richness of your natural skin tone and appear very flattering on deep, cool skin.
Pro Tip: Skip the guessing and take our “What Hair Color Will Look Best on Me” quiz!
10 Trendy Cool Tone Hair Colors to Try
You now know which cool tone hair colors will look best on your specific skin tone with cool undertones, whether your skin is fair/light, medium, or deep. Check out some of our favorite trendy examples of cool tone hair colors to get inspired for your next flattering hue!
1. Pearly Champagne Blonde
Amazing on all skin tones with cool undertones, a pearly, iridescent champagne blonde features cool, silvery tones that will make your skin absolutely light up. Leave a darker shadow root for easier maintenance and a more natural look on naturally dark hair.
2. Silvery Ash Blonde and Brown Balayage
Sparkling silver tones in ash blonde and ash brown make the perfect pairing for a gorgeous balayage look. The deepest ash brown tones near the roots create a darker face-framing color while the silvery blonde midshaft to end zone brings a little brightness.
3. Shimmering Platinum Blonde
If you’ve dreamed of going platinum, now’s your chance! Cool undertones absolutely glow next to shimmering platinum strands, which do a great job reflecting your skin’s underlying pink or blue tones. This color will work for fair to deep cool skin, but be aware that it’s very high maintenance!
4. Dark Mushroom Brown With Ash Blonde Foils
Mushroom brown is sometimes described as truffle gray, which includes silvery ash tones in varying depths of cool brunette color. Here, a dark mushroom color dominates the base with brighter cool-toned ash blonde foils woven throughout.
5. Café Noir Brown-Black
A deep brown that borders on black is considered cafe noir, and this shade is absolutely ideal for cool, deep skin tones. It’s a sultry, intense shade that gives you the depth of black with the almost silvery undertone of ash brown.
6. Dark Ash Brown Champagne Blonde Balayage
Deep, silvery ash tones paired with brunette color make a great balayage base, especially for medium and deep skin tones. Transitioning into a brilliant, pearly champagne blonde from midshaft to ends, this trendy look is great for cool undertones.
7. Radiant Crimson Red
Crimson red is one of those unique cool-toned red shades that looks great on fair, medium, and deep skin tones with a cool undertone. This shade of red has bluish violet undertones that give the color an overall cool effect and richness that we love.
8. Dusty Rose Pink
Play up your cool, pink undertones with a dusty rose pink color that balances so well with a fair skin tone. This shade of pink has gray/silver undertones and is light enough to avoid looking too harsh on very fair skin.
9. Deep Auburn Red
Deep shades of auburn red are a perfect fit for cool undertones and work with skin tones from fair to deep. This rich, bold red color is balanced with brown and cooled down with blue and violet undertones.
10. Inky Blue Black
The mysterious depth of inky black gets balanced and toned with blue to lean more cool and less neutral in tone. We love how the blue undertones appear in the light, while the shadows reveal a deep and intense black hue.
This bold color works well on medium and deep skin tones with cool undertones, but fair-skinned women looking for a high-contrast color will love it, too!
Cool Tone Hair Color Tips & Things to Consider
Bringing your new cool hair color to life is so exciting! Once you’ve confirmed that your undertones are cool, looked at the best shades for your skin tone (fair/light, medium, or deep), and checked out some of the trendiest cool color options, you’re probably feeling ready to take the leap and book your color appointment. Not so fast!
Don’t make the call until you’ve read through these tips and things to consider.
- Make sure you’re cool-toned, not neutral. It’s hard to mix up cool and warm undertones, but many people have mistyped themselves as having cool undertones when their true undertone is neutral. If you just assumed you have cool undertones, use our 4 quick “tests” in this guide to make sure you’re not actually a neutral undertone with some cool characteristics.
- Consider the maintenance level. The cool tone hair colors you’re considered likely have different levels of maintenance to stay fresh and vibrant. Platinum blonde and radiant crimson are a pain to maintain, for example, while a deep ash brown or dark mushroom brown will be pretty low-maintenance. The more vibrant the color (or the more vivid tones it contains), the more touch-ups and toning sessions you’ll need to keep it looking great.
- Look for shades that won’t overwhelm your skin tone. While fair skin can easily rock vibrant and dark shades with beautiful results, you may or may not be into the high-contrast look these intense shades give you. Consider how you’ll look with a very dark color and think about how your makeup, brows, eye color, and favorite lip shades will work with your new hue.
- Switch to sulfate-free shampoo to prolong color. Once you dye your hair, you’ll be constantly fighting the fading process if you keep using a sulfate-formulated shampoo. Switch to a sulfate-free shampoo for colored hair to avoid stripping your new color prematurely and keep your cool hue vibrant for longer.
- Can’t decide on a color? Go multi-toned. There are almost endless ways to blend or mix and match cool colors for a unique, multi-toned look. Balayage, highlights, lowlights, ombre color, and underdye are just a few. If you just can’t narrow your choices down, pick 2 or 3 of your favorite cool-toned shades and work them all into your ‘do.
Cool hair colors are the best fit for women with cool pink or blue undertones. By skipping the gold, copper, and bronze-y colors in favor of icy, pastel, or deep shades on the cooler end of the color spectrum, your color will better suit your skin tone and eye color for a more cohesive look.
Keep these cool-toned colors in mind anytime you’re itching to dye your strands for a little change! While your skin tone (fair, medium, or deep) can change as you get tan or stay out of the sun, your undertones will never change.
That means you should be looking at cool-toned shades every time you dye. Luckily, there’s no shortage of gorgeous cool hair colors to try out along the way – from shimmering pale blondes to radiant true reds and silvery ash browns, you’ll have tons of options that will flatter and compliment your complexion. Happy coloring!