Hair Color & Skin Tone

Hair color for a lighter or darker skin tone
Photo: Hteam/Shutterstock
Q: Does a certain hair color make your skin tone look darker or lighter? I have a medium golden skin tone and have black hair. I really want my skin tone to stand out.
Which color should I use to make my skin tone look lighter or darker? I wanted to go for a much lighter color then black, hopefully no problem?

A: Lightening your hair color will generally make your skin tone look darker by default, but bear in mind that given the coloration you describe, you will not be able to easily lighten your hair too much, before you move out of the "natural" spectrum for your hair color.
Try to remember that the color of your hair comes as a result of the melanin pigment in the hair. The more melanin in the hair, the darker the color will be. Conversely, when you want to lighten the hair, you must disperse more melanin to reach a lighter color.
And the more melanin you must disperse from the hair shaft, the harsher the process will be on the hair. I generally try to discourage clients from lightening their hair color more than 3 to 5 levels at most. Instead, try breaking up the color using highlights and lowlights.
You might also consider using a more moderate lift in level, but add some warmth to the hair color. A spicy reddish tone will give a lift in the lightness level, make the skin tone darker and warmer and will add extra "oomph" to the look as a whole.
It's not possible for me to make specific color recommendations, without being able to evaluate your hair in person. However, these tips should serve you well in deciding what course of action to take with your color.
I would like to suggest you consult your local salon for their professional opinion on what options you have available, rather than attempting to make a dramatic change (lightening) on your own in your hair's natural color and risk doing damage that will be difficult to overcome.
See also:
Choosing the right hair color for your skin tone and eye color
How to match hair color and make-up
Cold and warm hair colors
Seasonal hair color choices