The best fall hair shades for your skin tone

Oct 15, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. ET

Fall is the season for rich, gorgeous hair colors. Chestnut, auburn, caramel: What shade suits you? Before you answer that question, it's important to consider how it will complement (or clash) with your skin tone.

Woman with strawberry blonde hair in the fall

In the hair color world, fall is the time to go from summer lights to autumn riches. If you're in the market for a fabulous new 'do, here are a few tips to think about before taking the plunge.

Don't go too drastic

While some may insist on a big hair color change come fall, it is a typical rule of thumb to stay within three shades of your natural hue. Indianapolis-based hair stylist Laura Piercefield is a fan of this theory: "I'm not a big believer in changing your color drastically each season, but in making small changes with your color to switch up your style." she advises. "It's much easier on your hair and makes the color look more natural and believable."

Know your skin tone

This can make or break your color. Some colors are designed for cool skin tones, while others are meant for warmer skin tones. "The key is choosing complementary tones for your complexion. Not choosing the color itself," Laura warns.

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How to find your skin tone

So, are you a warm tone or cool tone? Here's how to find out, along with the best shades for your complexion:

Cool tones

Amy Adams -- strawberry blonde hair
  • Color of veins on wrist: Blue
  • Undertones in skin: Pink, blue, olive
  • Colors you look best in: Black, white, blue, gray
  • Lipstick shades: Pink and blue-based shades of red
  • Jewelry: Silver
  • Hair color synopsis: Stick with cool, ashy, blue-based shades which can complement fair complexions.
  • Blond: Flax, Champagne, beige
  • Red: Strawberry, terracotta, burgundy
  • Brown: Walnut, cinnamon, espresso

Warm tones

Jessica Alba

  • Color of veins on wrist: Green
  • Undertones in skin: Peach, yellow, gold, red
  • Colors you look best in: Brown, cream, orange, gold
  • Lipstick shades: Corals and browns
  • Jewelry: Gold
  • Hair color synopsis: Warm, golden-based shades play up peachy, gold tones in the skin.
  • Blonde: Caramel, honey, butterscotch
  • Red: Auburn, deep copper, deep ruby
  • Brown: Toffee, chestnut, chocolate

More hair tips

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8 Celeb-inspired 'dos perfect for your big day
How to make your own ponytail holders

Photo credits: Brian To/, Brian To/