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Understanding Undertones: How to Choose the Best Color for Your Hair

The importance of undertones:

Most natural hair colors have warm-tones to begin with— meaning they lean at least slightly yellow, orange or brown. Even the platinum-blonde strands we show on our product pages are just a tiny bit yellow! That’s why we try and formulate our colors with this in mind, but…


Warm-toned hues are simplest to achieve on warm-toned shades. 

Consider the color wheel: the colors that combine best are the ones directly next to each other, and when you’re applying oVertone to your hair, you’re adding the pigments in our conditioners to the color already on your head! So, if you’re rocking a yellow blonde, brassy brown, or natural red (which usually leans orange), it’ll be a breeze to add any shade of pink, red, or orange to your hair! 

Pro Tip: Try Vibrant Red (bold red with a pink undertone), Ginger (coppery orange with a marigold undertone), or our new Strawberry Custom Color Kit (a combination of Ginger and Rose Gold for Brown Hair that creates a warm sunset pink)!

Want cool colors on warm hair?

Pigmented purples and blues are your new best friend! Back to the color wheel for a second: opposite colors on the wheel will cancel each other out when combined, creating a neutral tone — for a more in-depth look at how this works, check out this post

If you’re starting at a brassy, yellow blonde, reach for Extreme Purple! It only takes a little purple to cancel out the yellow tones in your hair, and Extreme Purple packs a ton of pigment — enough to tone and color. If your starting color is darker, try our brand-new Indigo for Brown Hair Custom Color Kit, which should work along the same lines. It’s our first Custom Color Kit designed with brown hair in mind, and as a combination of our Purple and Blue for Brown Hair Coloring Conditioners, it will take care of yellow or orange undertones in your hair! 

Truly cool-toned shades require a starting hair color that’s at least neutral — as in, no warm tones at all — and preferably lighter. Pastel Silver is a cool-toned shade overall, but it’s made with a mix of pigments and may add a green tint to brassy hair. Your best bet will be to start off with a Toning Conditioner before applying any shade of silver!

Pro-Tip: Our Vibrant Teal Coloring Conditioner is a little more forgiving on yellow-toned hair. They have a blue base, which makes them a versatile shade for blondes. Brassier blondes will get greener results. Neutral-toned platinum hair will result in a blue-hued teal. Either way, it’s sure to be a hit!

The 1 shade that does it all!

Want to just change up your color —  no toning, no planning, just a bright new shade? Extreme Magenta is the perfect choice for you. Formulated with plenty of warm and cool pigments, this go-to hue will show up (and look GOOD) on just about every starting shade.

Filed Under: hair care