How to Choose the Best Shade of Brunette for Your Skin Tone

Updated 12/02/17

Of all the hair color shades, we like to think that brunette might be the most universal. Experts seem to agree as well. "Anyone can wear brunette if they want to," says Reyad Fritas, a celebrity colorist at Frédéric Fekkai Fifth Avenue Salon."The technology behind the color today allows us to do so."

While we would never pit one hair shade against another, there's something about being a brunette that defines your features a little bit more. "Brunette will make your eyes and skin tone pop more than any other hair color," Fritas says. 

But don't confuse being brunette with having black hair; he says they're two very different things. "Black is an artificial color; very dark brown is the darkest shade," he says. 

And how should one take care of brunette hair? He says to avoid the sun because it will oxidize the color to a red or brassy tone. He likes to use color care shampoo and conditioners, like the Brilliant Ones from The One by Frédéric Fekkai. 

We asked him to break it down even further for us and to tell us how to choose the right shade of brunette since your skin tone plays a big part in what shade you should go for. Scroll down to see what he say the best shade of brunette is for your skin tone. 

Pale To Fair Skin


The fairer your skin, the darker you should go according to Fritas. "For someone with pale to fair skin, a very dark brunette is best because it creates a very dramatic look," he says. For inspiration, he says to look to Rooney Mara or old school Katy Perry. 

Fair To Medium Skin


For those with fair to medium skin, Fritas says the goal is to get a warm brown tone. "Natural medium brown with some warmth is ideal. A few highlights to break up the color also works great. Medium skin tones have some yellowness that needs to be balanced with a warmer color," he says. He suggests Penelope Cruz or Marion Cotillard as celeb inspo. 

Medium To Dark Skin


You'll want to stay on the cooler side of brunette if you have medium to dark skin. "Very dark brown is best for someone with medium to dark skin because it looks the most natural. It should not have any warmth," Fritas says. While he recommends looking to the Kardashians, they change their hair so often that we decided to pull someone like Jourdan Dunn for inspiration. 

Dark to deep


For dark to deep skin tones, Fritas suggests the same thing as those with medium to dark skin: Look for the brunette tone that is most natural and go very dark brown. Our hair inspo is Viola Davis. 

Next up, check out the highlighter for every skin tone.

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