Choosing a Wig Color: Skin Shades, Eye Colors, and Tone Families

in Mar 20, 2018
Harper Synthetic Wig - Henry Margu Wigs

For first-time wig buyers and wig buying experts, choosing a wig color is exciting!

You get to experiment with your hair in a temporary, consequence-free way.

Want to grow 12 inches of hair overnight? Buy a long hair wig. Have an itch for a retro, 80s look? Get a curly wig.

There are thousands of wig looks, and if you are someone who likes to refresh their hairdo with the seasons, you will never get bored.

But no matter the length or style you choose, finding the right color wig is always the most challenging part of the wig buying process.

Today, everyone is free to color their hair however they want, but that doesn't mean the should. Picking a flattering color is the best way to guarantee an overall gorgeous appearance, and doing that takes more work than just holding up a color ring to your face in the mirror.

Here are a few basic tips from the Ultimate Looks cosmetologists to help you zero in on the best shade for you.


Change Your Hair Color

...just not too much

Any cosmetologist worth their styling fee will tell you it’s best to adopt a new hair color that’s only either two shades lighter or two shades darker than your natural hair color. This rule applies to people dying their hair and wig wearers alike.

When you decide on a dramatically different new color, the odds are higher that you will be unhappy with your purchase. Particularly if you’re spending a lot of money on a high-quality human hair wig, making sure that you love it is critical.

First-time wig buyers should be especially careful with drastic color changes. It’s more important to find a comfortable wig in a style you like before you start experimenting with colors.

If you’re set on a bold color (go you!) buy two wigs; one closer to your natural color and one in the new, dramatic color.

This way, you will still have something to wear if you decide fire engine red maybe wasn’t the right choice...


Fiery Heat Defiant Wig - Jon Renau

Matching Your Hair Color to Your Skin

Find a shade that matches you

The most important consideration when picking a new hair color is skin tone. Choosing the wrong color can lead to a washed out look or a harsh, extreme appearance.

To find a wig color that matches your skin tone, you first need to figure out which color family your skin tone falls into. There are two basic types: warm tones and cool tones.

To figure out which family your skin color falls into, go to your bathroom and turn on all of the lights.

Next, wash all the makeup off your face. You don’t want to color match to your foundation - you want to color match to you!

Then, grab some solid colored t-shirts in a couple of different hues: red, yellow, blue, and green. Stand in front of your mirror and hold the shirts up to your face, one at a time.

Does your skin look better against the blue and green shirts? You have cool toned skin.

Does your skin look better against the red and yellow shirts? You have warm toned skin.

Still not sure after doing your t-shirt test? Look at the veins on your wrist. People with cool toned skin have blue or purple veins, and people with warm toned skin have greenish veins.


Hair Colors For Warm Toned Skin

People with warm toned skin should pick a color in a cool tone to complement it. Think ashy blondes, cool browns, and brassy reds. If you choose a warm color, like golden blonde, you’ll look washed out or dull.

For people with pale warm toned skin, opt for a pale blonde or platinum hue. Silvery blonde colors look particularly great on these people. If you prefer a darker hue, choose a brunette shade in a cooler tone like a rich black-brown or fawn-colored light brown.

For people with medium to dark warm toned skin, go for a hair color that is two to three shades lighter or darker than your natural hair color. If your hair matches too closely to your skin tone, you’ll have an overall faded appearance.


Hair Colors for Cool Toned Skin


People with cool toned skin should do the opposite of their warm toned friends and pick a hair color that is rich and warm. At the beauty supply store or on your wig color ring, look for words like “warm,” “honey,” or “chocolate.”

If you have pale cool toned skin, avoid words like “silvery,” “champagne,” or “platinum.” Instead, opt for beachy golden blonde, orangey reds, or rich brown tones.

If you have medium to dark cool toned skin, pick a rich, chocolate hue. Stay away from stark black hues or pick something with warm highlights to add definition to your look.


Elizabeth Heat Defiant Synthetic Wig - Jon Renau

Picking a Wig Color to Match Your Eyes

Make your eyes POP

No matter what your natural eye color is, we all want to achieve the same thing - making our eyes stand out!

Just like with skin tones, choosing a wig color that contrasts with your eyes is essential.

For people with warm eyes - golden brown, yellow-green, green-blue, turquoise, hazel with gold or brown flecks - pick a cooler toned wig.

People with cool eyes - deep brown, black-brown, gray-blue, icy blue, dark blue, hazel with white, gray or blue flecks, or gray - should choose warm toned wigs.

However, if this conflicts with the color you chose based on your skin tone, go for that color instead.

It’s more important to have an overall cohesive look and not look washed out. Besides, with the right makeup, you can always make your eyes stand out ;)


Aging Beautifully

Choosing a hair color that goes with your stage in life

As we get older, lighter hair tends to be more flattering than darker shades.

Lighter, warm shades provide a softer, more natural appearance to paler skin tones. Many people are afraid to adopt a gray or color when they age, but those shades are often the most flattering!

Another thing to keep in mind is that if you’re going through chemotherapy treatments, your skin may start looking paler than usual. An easy way to compensate for that is to choose a wig that is two or three shades lighter than your natural color.

For example, if your hair is naturally stark black, a dark brown shade would be a good supplemental color.


Picking a Hair Color That Won’t Fade

If you live in the desert, maybe don’t pick a bright red or dark black wig

Women who live in sunny climates already know this, but it’s worth repeating: wigs and dyed hair fade in the sun, and very rich, dark colors fade the fastest.

If you live in a very sunny environment plan to buy a new wig more often, choose a human hair wig that can be re-dyed, or pick a lighter shade that won’t fade as quickly.


Blake Remy Human Hair Wig - Jon Renau

Still not sure which wig color to buy? That’s okay!

Remember, you aren’t permanently dying your hair, you’re just buying a wig! You can buy a new one (or re-dye it if it’s a human hair wig) whenever you want.

If you need some extra help choosing the right color for you, email us our call one of our on-staff licensed cosmetologists.

Remember, have fun experimenting with different wig colors. A new color is an opportunity to be a new you!

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