More in  Hair Color 101
If your Eyes are:
Deep brown or black-brown
Gray blue or dark blue
Hazel with white, gray or blue flecks
Skin Tone:
Very dark brown
True olive (most Asians and Latinos)
Medium with no color in cheeks
Medium with faint pink cheeks
Medium with golden undertones
Pale with no color in cheeks
Pale with pink undertones
Brown or bronze when I tan
Natural Hair Color:
Blue black
Deepest coffee brown
Medium ash brown
Medium golden brown
Dishwater blonde
Salt and pepper
White
Hair color that Cool skin tones should avoid:

Naturally cool people should avoid gold, yellow, red and bronze tones in hair color. These warm tones have a tendency to make you look sallow and drawn.

Hair color that Cool tones look best with:

The best hair color shades for a cool toned person are shinny raven-wing blacks, cool ash browns, cool blondes in shades ranging from mink to platinum and icy white. Highlights should be wheat, honey, taupe or ash shades. Stick to neutral, ash and beige bases when choosing a hair color. You're also fortunate enough to be able to wear many exciting "unnatural" hair colors like lipstick reds, burgundies, and orchids, purples
If your Eyes are:
Golden brown
Green, green blue or turquoise 
Hazel with gold or brown flecks
Skin Tone:
Brown with pink undertone
Brown with golden undertone
Pale with peach or gold undertones
Freckled
Ruddy
Natural Hair Color:
Deep brown with gold or red highlights
Red
Strawberry blonde
Gray with a yellow cast
Natural golden blonde
Hair color that Warm skin tones should avoid:

You should avoid blue, violet, (beige) and ash based based hair colors which will  "wash out" your skin color.

Hair color that Warm tones look best with:

You'll find dark, warm browns, chestnuts, rich golden browns and auburn, warm gold and red highlights, and golden blond shades look best on you. Any color that has red-orange or gold base will look great on you. Highlighting is a great way to add warm tones to your hair. Highlight with golden blondes,copper streaks, golden brown shades.
     Look at the wheel. Let's say you have yellow under tones to your hair, and you want to cool it to an ash. You decide blue undertone ash toner will do, since it is a cool undertone. Well, by doing this you'll end up with green hair! As you can see, on the wheel that blue and yellow make green. If you want to cancel out whatever undertone you have, you should use the opposite color on the wheel. In other words, if you have brown hair with red highlights and you can't stand the red, then you would use the opposite color  on the wheel to neutralize the red. In this case, the neutralizing color would be green (ash).  If you need help with correcting a bad hair color, check out our Hair coloring Tips here....
Tones & Levels  
Another key factor is understanding tones and levels on color boxes. Tone refers to whether a hair color is warm or cool. The warm (golden) colors are red, orange and yellow. You may have noticed on some hair color boxes, there are references to "medium warm brown" or "natural golden blonde". This means the undertone of the color is warm - either red, orange, or yellow. These can be used to give hair a warmer look.
Tones on color boxes:
    G- Golden tone
     N- Neutral
     R- Red
     R-O- Red/Orange
     R-V- Red Violet
     V- Violet
     A- Ash
     B- Blue
Here's an  example of choosing a color:
You have golden blonde hair ( level 9 ) and you want to go darker to a light, medium, warm brown ( Level 7 ). Remember you have yellow and maybe orange in your natural hair pigment. So you would choose a neutral level 7 because neutrals have all 3 primary colors in them and almost always cancel out those bad colors like green or orange. My word of advice is, if you are a blonde, going darker, have a professional do it because blonde hair is a little tricky when it comes to going darker. Usually, one color application isn't enough because you will most likely come up green. The green will have to be neutralized. See a professional.   
Cool Category:
Warm Category:
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The cool (ash) colors are blue, green, and violet/purple (same thing). When the hair color names refer to "dark ash blonde" and so forth, it means they have a green, blue, or purple undertone. These you should be careful with. If you put a green or blue undertone hair color on a warm color (especially a gold/yellow color) hair, you will come out with green.
  Levels refer to the degree of lightness or darkness of a hair color with 1 being the lowest (black) and 12 being the highest (lightest blonde). For more information on hair color terminology, see our Hair color terms page here....
Few Guidelines to go by  when coloring your hair at home:
  • If you have artificial color in your hair (any color or tone) and you want to go lighter, doesn't matter how light, you will not accomplish this just by choosing a lighter shade. General rule of thumb in hair coloring is, hair color can't lift (or lighten) hair color. You can change the tone, but not the level (lightness) Go see a professional. See our Going Lighter section...
  • If you are going darker, choose a warm, golden tone or you might come out ashy.
  • If you grey is coming up too light, or the hair color is not covering the grey, let the color stay on your roots for at least 40 minutes or longer. Grey is very resistant and needs hair color to process longer.  Check out Hair Coloring Tips if your grey is not covering well
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HOME > HAIR COLOR HOME >> Choosing your Hair Color
Choosing your Hair color ... what shade works best on you?
You've finally decided to color your hair after seeing how great your friends' hair color looks on her. So you rush to the store, buy that exact hair color and do it yourself at home. Come to find out, the hair color looks all wrong on you and you hate it. I can't tell you how many times this has happened to me before I went to Cosmetology school. You ask yourself  "why did this happen". Here's why...
When you're choosing a hair color, it's not as simple as picking up a box and getting that exact hair color match. Many elements factor in when coloring your hair:
Your Skin tone, eye color, your natural and artificial hair color all play a big role in which hair color  shade will look great on you.
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First and most important when choosing the perfect hair color for you is to determine whether you fall into the WARM or COOL category. Why is this so important?  Think of it this way... Have you ever bought the wrong shade of makeup foundation. All of a sudden your skin looks orange. Or too ashy. You must have chosen a color that clashes with your natural skin tone. Just like when picking a foundation shade, you need to look at your skin tone to pick the right hair color that will compliment your tone not clash with it.
Are you in the cool or warm category?
If you are two or more of these, then you fall into the cool category.
Another good trick is to look at your clothing. Cools look better in Jewel Toned clothing: blues, greens, pinks, purples, blue-greens, magentas, and blue-based reds.
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If you are two or more of these, then you fall into the warm category.
Another good trick is to look at your clothing. Warms look better in Earth Toned clothing: yellows, oranges, browns, yellowish greens and orange-based reds.
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Moving on to Tones and Levels. ....
Understanding the Color Wheel
Now that you know whether you need a cool or warm tone and you understand tones and levels, you're ready for the next step. Understanding the natural pigment in your hair and adding artificial pigment (color product). This is where the color wheel comes into play.

Complimentary colors are colors opposite on the color wheel. Red-Green, Blue-Orange etc. What does this mean to you? Well, if you have golden blonde hair, your hair tone is either red, orange, or yellow warm tones. So if you put a cool colored tone on like ash. You're hair is most likely to turn green.
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If you're still unsure about your category, use color guides such as More Alive with Color. In More Alive with Color, you'll take quizzes that make it simple to choose the best colors that work for you in clothes, makeup, accessories and hair color.  .

Below we have simplified finding your skin tone into 2 main categories: