Determine Hair Color Type

Young woman with brown hair wearing a shiny blue turtleneck
Photo: Ranta Images/Shutterstock
Q: I can't figure out if I'm a silver or gold. My hair is a really dark brown and I have blue eyes. When I put on jewelry silver stands out more yet when I am in the sun, my hair looks red. I'm considering coloring my hair, but I don't know what type of color to choose.
A: For every rule there is always the exception, which unfortunately means that some people will have a difficult time trying to determine their color type. In these cases, the safest bet is to try to stick to similar color families for hair color options.
Look closely at your hair in the sunlight using a mirror. Is the red you see a true red? Is it more of an orange? Maybe it is more of a purplish-red? Or perhaps it is somewhere in between? If you can identify the base color of your hair, you can make better color choices for a new hair color.
If you can't seem to discern your hair's base color, then take a trip to your local beauty supply shop and look in the hair color aisle. Usually, you will find a swatch collection or swatches of hair colors on the shelf edges. Look for the color swatch that most closely matches your hair's color and take a look at the color formula that corresponds to it and read what the level and base color is present in the color you chose. (Clairol brand hair colors are good for this purpose.)
Once you determine the hair's base color you can simply choose a new color that is compatible with the base color. You can go lighter or darker and stay within the base color range, or use a neutral base color in order to enhance your natural color.
See also:
Hair colors and coloring
Cool and warm hair colors
Hair colors and our color palette
The relation between our hair, skin and clothes color