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What skin tone does purple hair suit?

What skin tone does purple hair suit?

When deciding to dye your hair a fun color like purple, an important consideration is what skin tone it will best complement. While purple hair can look great on many different complexions, some skin tones make it pop more than others. Understanding how different undertones interact with different shades of purple hair can help you pick the ideal purple hue to flatter your complexion. This article will break down what undertones pair best with different purple hair colors and provide style tips to make your new purple ‘do shine.

What Are Undertones?

Your skin’s undertone refers to the color that comes through from underneath the surface. There are three main categories of undertones:

  • Warm – yellow, peach, or golden undertones
  • Cool – pink, red, or blue undertones
  • Neutral – a balance of warm and cool undertones

You can determine your undertone by looking at the veins on your wrist. If they appear greenish, you likely have warm undertones. If they look bluish or purple, you probably have cool undertones. If it’s difficult to tell if your veins are green or blue, you most likely have a neutral skin tone.

Your undertone will interact differently with different shades of purple hair dye. Warm undertones tend to look best with warmer purples that have more red or gold tones. Cool undertones complement cooler purples with blue tones. Neutral undertones are versatile and can work with a wide range of purple shades.

Best Purple Hair Colors for Warm Undertones

If you have warm yellow, peach, or golden undertones, you’ll want to stick with purple shades that have warmth to them. Here are some of the best purple hair color options for warm undertones:

  • Plum – A rich, deep purple with strong red undertones. Plum hair looks striking against golden skin.
  • Eggplant – A darker purple with a subtle warmth. The brownish tones in eggplant purple flatter warm complexions.
  • Lilac – A light pastel purple with a touch of pink. The softness of lilac complements peach undertones.
  • Violet – A mid-tone purple with red undertones. Looks vibrant against yellow skin tones.
  • Grape – A bold, vivid purple with strong red tones. Grape hair color pops on warm complexions.

Warmer purples with touches of red, pink, or gold will make your skin glow. Stay away from cooler blues and greens for the most flattering look.

Best Purple Hair Colors for Cool Undertones

If your skin has pink, red, or blue undertones, you’ll look best with cooler shades of purple hair that echo the tones in your complexion. Some top choices include:

  • Lavender – A light pastel purple with soft blue undertones. Lavender hair complements fair skin with pink tones.
  • Periwinkle – A bluish, muted purple. Periwinkle hair looks whimsical against cool skin.
  • Orchid – A medium purple with blue tones. The coolness of orchid purple hair accentuates cool complexions.
  • Wisteria – A light, delicate purplish-blue. Wisteria hair looks ethereal with cool pink undertones.
  • Amethyst – A jewel-toned purple with hints of blue. Amethyst hair makes blue undertones pop.

Stick with purple shades that have subtle blue, violet, or silver tones for the most harmonious look against cool skin. Avoid warm reds, peaches, and golds, which can clash.

Best Purple Hair Colors for Neutral Undertones

If your skin has a balance of warm and cool undertones, you have a lot of versatility when it comes to purple hair colors! Here are some top shades for neutral complexions:

  • Lilac – The soft pinkish tone of lilac flatters neutral skin.
  • Medium purple – A rich purple right in the middle of the spectrum. Medium purple hair complements neutral tones.
  • Violet – The hint of red warmth in violet works well with neutral undertones.
  • Eggplant – Subtle warmth balances out the cool tones in eggplant purple.
  • Orchid – Neutralizes pink or yellow tones in neutral skin.

With neutral undertones, you have the freedom to choose both warm and cool purple shades. Experiment to find the shades you love best!

Tips for Making Purple Hair Pop

Here are some tips to make your new purple hair really stand out against your skin tone:

  • Add highlights and lowlights. Lighter pieces brighten up the look. Darker pieces add depth.
  • Use a gloss or toner. These enhance the vibrancy of the color.
  • Try ombre or sombre. Fade your purple hair color into your natural roots.
  • Use a purple shampoo. This helps maintain the color between salon visits.
  • Style flipped out ends. Flipping hair outward shows off more of the color.

Enhance your new purple locks by using products specifically formulated for color-treated hair. Also protect your hair from UV and heat damage which can fade the color faster.

How Lightness and Darkness Affects Purple Hair

The lightness or darkness of your base hair color will also impact how purple hair color shows up. Here’s how different shades work with different base colors:

Base Hair Color Best Purple Shades
Platinum/White Blonde Pastel purples like lilac, lavender, wisteria
Golden Blonde Warmer purples like plum, eggplant, grape
Light Brown Medium purples like violet, orchid, amethyst
Dark Brown/Black Deepest purples, may need lightening first

In general, the lighter your base, the more vibrant and intense the purple color will appear. On darker bases, some purple shades can look more subtle, muted, or reddish. It’s best to lighten very dark hair first to achieve a true bright purple.

Skin Tone Considerations for Different Purple Shades

Here’s a more in-depth look at how some specific purple shades complement different skin tone undertones:

Lilac Purple Hair

Lilac is the lightest pastel purple shade. With its pinkish undertone, it looks best on:

  • Fair skin with cool pink undertones
  • Warm skin tones like peach or golden
  • Neutral medium to tan skin

Avoid lilac on very warm or very dark complexions, where it can look washed out.

Lavender Purple Hair

With its light purple-gray tone, lavender flatters:

  • Fair or porcelain skin with cool pink or red undertones
  • Neutral medium skin tones

Lavender may not show up well on darker or very warm skin.

Wisteria Purple Hair

This soft, delicate purplish-blue looks beautiful on:

  • Fair cool-toned skin
  • Neutral medium skin

Wisteria purple hair can make warm or dark complexions look washed out.

Violet Purple Hair

Violet has hints of reddish warmth making it ideal for:

  • Warm yellow, gold, or peach undertones
  • Neutral skin tones

Violet may not complement cool pink or very fair skin.

Eggplant Purple Hair

Eggplant is a darker purple with subtle warmth ideal for:

  • Warm undertones like olive, golden, or peach skin
  • Neutral medium complexions

Eggplant can accentuate redness on very fair skin.

Plum Purple Hair

Plum is a rich, deep purple with strong red tones that looks best on:

  • Warm undertones like olive, peach, yellow, and golden brown skin
  • Neutral medium to tan skin

Plum may be too warm for fair or pink undertones.

Grape Purple Hair

This bold, vivid purple with red undertones suits:

  • Warm undertones like olive, peach and golden brown skin
  • Neutral medium to tan skin

Grape purple can overwhelm cool pink skin.

Periwinkle Purple Hair

Periwinkle is a muted bluish purple that flatters:

  • Fair skin with pink undertones
  • Neutral light to medium complexions

Periwinkle may not show up well on warm or darker skin tones.

Orchid Purple Hair

Orchid has blue tones making it ideal for:

  • Cool pink and red undertones
  • Neutral medium skin tones

Orchid can clash with warm yellow and peach undertones.

Amethyst Purple Hair

This jewel-toned purple with blue hints complements:

  • Cool pink and red undertones
  • Some neutral medium skin tones

Amethyst is probably too cool for warm complexions.


While purple hair has universal appeal, some shades work better with certain undertones than others. The best approach is to analyze your skin color – whether you have warm, cool, or neutral undertones. Warm complexions look great with red or gold based purples like plum, violet, and eggplant. Cool complexions shine with blue-toned purples like periwinkle, orchid, and amethyst. Neutral skin gives you flexibility to experiment with both warm and cool shades! Consult your colorist to pick the perfect shade of purple to make your complexion glow.