Best Hair Color for Dark Skin Tone, Ideas for Black Women

What is the best hair color for dark skin? Sometimes deciding a good hair color for dark skin toned women can be a difficult task. But did you know that you can wear blonde, red, ombre and most of the brown hair colors? Here are the hair color chart, ideas for dark sin, including darker and lighter shades and hues that would look perfect African Americans

You cannot play down the effect of brunette hair colors on any dark skin woman. But is that supposed to be the end when trying out different styles, cuts and highlights? Definitely not. Talking about flattering hair color ideas, I have been getting far too many questions concerning coloring ideas for medium to dark skin.

Brown hair colors for dark skinnned girls
Brown hair on dark complexion

So, today, I have decided to do a whole guide on what colors of hair to wear if you have a dark complexion or are an African American woman or man. So, here’s a breakdown of nice hair colors for dark skin tones, that I think, will look great when done correctly.

Good Hair Color Ideas for Dark Skin(African American) Women and Men

As you already know from our basic hair color ideas, the choice of a good hair color for any skin tone will depend on various factors, including the undertones of your skin, your eye color and much more. Purpose is also important as I have come to learn. Some people look for ideas that will make them look crazy. You must have seen some women in neon yellow or pink, or even blue hair weaves and dyes. So, what are the best hair colors for dark skin tones?


Apart from considering the undertones in your skin and eye color, medium skinned and black women have a very wide range to choose from. Browns are definitely the largest range that is preferred, then black and some shades of blonde. Blonde is always good for yellow undertones. Red hair is also great and so is burgundy hair color. Let’s break down the options and ideas you have.

Red Hair Color for Dark Skin (and Burgundy

Red is perfect. It will give you the absolute contrast since red hair color shades can really add some glow into your skin tone. One thing you should know is that red is a color and not just a level. Therefore, to determine the best red hair color for dark skin tone, you need to understand the right level of red to go with. You should ask how dark, how warm, cool or light you want it and if it will be suitable for a black skin. So, what red hair colors should you go for if you have a dark skin tone? Here are tips for you:

Red hair colors look good on black women
Red hair colors look good on black women. Photo credit: Judy Eddy/
  • Subtle dark auburn reds and bright cherry red: Almost every other shade in between these will look great on you. These will complement your skin tone and make it outstanding.
  • Lightening is important: if you are planning to do a full hair coloring so that you end up as a dark skin redhead, you should start with hair lightening in order to get the right hue you are looking for.
  • Red hair highlights: These are definitely the low maintenance choice if you want to have red hair. Without working too hard to color all your hair, highlights will add some kick to your locks as well and will still look great.
  • Burgundy shades in dark shades, ombre, wine and plum are all a rich red color that has some blue undertones in it.

When you decide to do highlights using red hair colors, ensure that you use a brown-based shade. This will always add some richness to your hair and give you a more natural look. Remember that this way, you will be working with your natural hair’s underlying pigments of brown and will help it last even longer than when you are just applying a red hair dye to dark hair.

REMEMBER: While red hair can be worn on medium skin tones to dark skin tones, black women should be careful with it. Naturally, a dark skin tone as you already know looks gorgeous with chestnut brown to medium auburn shades. Those rich red hues on a dark skin, however, “have too much blue in them and will make you look green.” YouBeauty (See sources below.)

Blonde Hair Colors for Dark Skin:Dark, Strawberry and Golden Blonde

Can black women wear blonde hair colors? I have seen some look great in strawberry blonde highlights, but is it possible to wear blonde out-rightly and look good? Celebrities with dark skin tone have worn blonde hair colors and match them well with good lipstick colors. The result, a stunning and eye-catching look. So, which blonde shade is the best for women with medium skin tones?

African Americans are generally categorized as people of medium skin tone. Now, since your skin has more pigment to it, or color, it is fine to add color to your hair and a few shades of blonde, when done well, will be a good idea. Deborah Dunham of You Beauty suggests the following blonde hair colors for medium skin tones:

Tyra banks blonde hair dark skin
Tyra banks blonde hair
  • Golden blonde hue
  • Beige blonde
  • Light blonde

As you would imagine, trying out orange-based tones might make you look a little washed out. The same goes for ash blonde dyes.

But what about the specifics? What is the right blonde color for dark skin tones? Try not to move beyond two shades from the natural hair color. The best ideas here would be to go for dark blonde dyes, then work them out with golden highlights. You can also try on caramel highlights for a more appealing look.

What to Avoid: Try to avoid those tones and hues of blonde that have too much white, orange or platinum. If you try platinum blonde or those with white and orange undertones, you will look very unnatural.

If you want to go baby blonde like Beyoncé does sometimes (see pictures), you might want to try doing a darker base first. This will be good if the blonde on a dark skin appears to look a little weird. So, to balance the effect, ask your colorist to balance it with darker roots, and then do butter or cream highlights.

Ombre Hair Color for Dark Skin Tones

Ombre is quite big, and it comes with just so many options to choose from. It is ridiculously cheap to maintain and you can try many cheap hair color shades within its range. You could go with highlights as opposed to a solid color on your natural hair. When you go for highlights of ombre on a dark skin tone, according to Latest Hairstyles, it is “great to create a lot of texture with in the ends of your hair and it looks amazing curled!”

Generally, a dark skin tone will naturally look best with deep chocolate brown and caramel ombre highlights. Try it on especially if you do have hair with a good texture – thick or medium and curly. Remember, it can be difficult to keep naturally curly hair looking ombre because it tends to end up two-toned. Therefore, instead of just trying it for the best hair color for dark skin, think of doing highlights as your secret technique.

Light Hair Colors for Dark Skin

Beyonce blonde hair dye on black skin
Blonde is a statement even for dark skin

Mostly, I would recommend that you go for light hair colors for your dark skin if you have warm undertones. You can also choose lighter shades if you want to add some great radiance to your skin. If you are thinking of letting your undertones speak for themselves, then a lighter shade will always do the trick.

  • If you have dark brown eyes, then a lighter shade will work best for you too. This will help your eyes pop and visible. If you try on black hair, your eyes will be seriously downplayed, and will affect your overall outlook.
  • Lighter highlights on brown skin or on yellow undertones will be great if you do not want to do a completely lightened hue. For example, you can do light blonde highlights on darker roots.

Dark Skin and Brown Eyes

When it comes to trying out hair color ideas for different skin tones, the question of eye colors will always pop up. We have generally seen the best hair color for brown eyes. So, this time, what is the best hair color for dark skin and brown eyes? It is factual that African Americans or black men and women mostly have brown eyes or dark brown eyes. A few have hazel eyes, but it is almost not possible to come across green eye colors and blue eye colors on people who are dark skinned.

So, what hair color looks good with light brown eyes and dark skin? Here, you can go with dark and intense colors to some shades of red and even blonde as we have already seen. If you want to go with a black hair dye, ensure you add some shine in order to avoid the dull and dry look that black hair can sometimes give.

You can also look sultry and sensational when you wear some shades of red. Not only will this enhance your eye color and make them pop or stand out but also complement the undertones in your skin. You could also consider going brunette, as this is just the perfect hair color for dark skin, and almost most other skin tones such as olive, light and tan complexion.

What is the Best Brunette, Brown Hair Color for Dark Skin?

Espresso brown for dark skin
Espresso brown for dark skin

Can you pick the perfect shade of brown hair dye for your complexion? There is a wide range of this hue, and you can start from light to golden reds, but which one will look cute for a dark skin tone? Generally, you can try different shades, starting from honey brown, golden brown, light and dark brown. Caramel browns will also look great on women and men of African American origin.

You simply want to select a rich shade of brunette and that will include toffee, espresso, honey, golden brown and much more to suit your hair. Highlights of light brown will also do great if you want to brighten up your looks, perhaps to match your clothes or outfits.

Go for an ashy bronze brown if you want your hair to glisten. This will be great if you have a bronze skin. Create a deep brown base or an ashy brown one. This will help downplay the gold tones on your skin (if you have golden undertones) and create some balance. Otherwise, you will end up with too much yellow or more of an orange tinge which is definitely not good.

Hair color ideas for dark skin tone
Quite a good idea for style and color.

Espresso or a deep coffee brown is a good hair color for dark skin women (see Joan Small’s photo), gliding and becoming lighter from the ear can really look great on a black complexion. Ensure you stay within two shades of your base color as this will it look real and easy to maintain.

Highlights for Dark Skin Tones

Always try highlights if you want to be even more flattering. For example, if you dye your hair brown, bronze, light red or auburn, consider trying blonde highlights. If you went with black hair or a deep brown shade, choose medium brown highlights. One tip to remember is that your highlights should concentrate around the face and the area on the top of your head in order to produce more realistic and the most flattering looks.

African American Hair Color  Chart


Below is chart showing ideas for various skin tones in addition to dark

best hair color for skin tone chart
best hair color for skin tone chart


Hair Color Ideas for Dark skin Gallery


Best hair color for african american women
Brunette or brown hair colors for African American girls.



  1. This site / writing can’t be serious. There is not a single dark-skinned person shown on here.
    This MUST have been written by a white person bc white ppl see all black ppl as dark, even when their skin is as light as Beyoncé’s.

    1. amen. Women like Lupita Nyon’go and Alex Wek are dark skin, not these people they show here. Beyonce is light as crap

  2. Gabrielle Union, Lupita, Towanda Braxton, Kelly Roland…

    DARK SKINNED CHICAS okay! Whoppi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, These people that were used for this article do not qualify as dark, not even a little bit, they are almost white.

  3. Hello!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gabrielle Union, Lupita, Towanda Braxton, Kelly Roland…

    DARK SKINNED CHICAS okay! Whoppi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey, These people that were used for this article do not qualify as dark, not even a little bit, they are almost white.

  4. It totally shows dark skin colored chicas. If you want to look for those with dark as *** skin tones and suitable looks for that, well then search up looks for them.

    1. @Miriam. No it does not and that is what the article misled people to believe that there would be medium to dark skin examples shown.

  5. Do you people know the catergorisation of the various skin tones us brown skimned people? Dark skin is the correct term used for brown skinned women whether you are African, African American, West Indian or Indian! There are three main skin tones amongst us brown skinned women which are the following: light brown, medium brown and dark brown. These skin tones comes in various shades. Especially meduim brown skin tones. Gabriel Union, Opera Winfery and the other ladies name are not dark skinned! They are medium brown neither light brown or dark brown! Grace Jones and Alec Wek are all dark skinned and any other person with their skin tones. I am guessing that you people are African Americans! Sadly you people have been brain washed beyond repair!

    1. That may be so in your culture. I typed in hair color for dark skin women thinking the women would match my complexion. I guess women my color would have to type in Black Skin even though I am the real brown one. I cannot take a white washed world.

    2. First, you must have lost your mind. Who the hell are you calling “you people”. Second, Opra and Gabriel could be considered medium or dark brown (especially Opra). Third, the article said hair colors for dark skinned women. None were featured. Finally, your picture must be a joke. Can’t be serious.

  6. You people??!! Who died and made you an expert in complexions? You need to learn to keep your stupid opinions to yourself, do you have any idea how small minded your comment is? The fact that you call us “you people ” shows me that you know nothing about us, want to talk about brainwashed? ?? Don’t make me laugh because you race has been brainwashed for years… at least we are always true to ourself you actually think you are white! !! Here’s a tip: go back to school to check your spelling it’s absolutely rubbish! !!

    An African woman

  7. I just got my life on this post. God Bless you Daniella Melanie Csamantha , for speaking for US!

    The Audacity to be a Neg**

  8. It is truly sad to see how you girls are ripping one another apart. I am a black Hispanic that lives in a Hispanic country and these are my observations
    1. Very few skin tones were used as an example for dark skin. Perhaps an example for very light, light, dark, and very dark would have been more appropriate.
    2. For the lady that called us “you people”… I can’t speak for others, but since this is all about colors, you have shown the entire world yours and you would better off not saying anything if you have nothing good to say out of self respect and desire to portrait a good image worldwide.
    3. For whomever wrote the article, critique is not always harmful, it helps you grow. Look into your information, make corrections, and post something more inclusive with the warranted apology for the omission.

  9. Please note that I used “you girls” not to offend, but for the person that used that type of expression to see the impact of such expression.

  10. By the way, I noticed spelling and grammar mistakes, sorry…typed too fast and did no proofreading, but I think I got the message across.


  11. Sometimes I laugh at people who get offended coz they are called light brown, dark brown or black. Gals, we have the most expensive colour on earth, be it light, or dark brown or black. As for being brainwashed, I don’t think that lady knows what it means, coz if she does, she would never have gone for sun bathing. what is it called? Tanning from white to what? Lol!!!!. Shout out to all my light, dark brown and black ladies!!!!!!!!! For black is beautiful.

  12. I think i’m blessed because am dark. For the lady that used the phrase ‘you people’ at least considered us as people unlike us who didn’t even consider her as anything!

  13. I find it so funny when some people get offended because they are called black. Honey, nothing is wrong with being black. Black is beautiful. We have the most versatile hair, the best body shape, the most beautiful skin tones, and we are just beautiful in general. We dont get sunburned, we dont need tans, we are perfect just they way we are and we should accept that. At the end of the day, it doesnt matter what skin color we are because we are all human and we are all equal. I may not know everything because I’m only 14 but I do know that being white doesnt make you more beautiful. Just accept who you are and understand that we are all beautiful in our own, unique way.

  14. I think Rather stay anonymous missed the point. No one is offended for being called ‘black.’ The discussion was about all women pictured here being considered ‘dark’ skinned, when indeed, none of them are dark skinned by ‘black standards.’ That is, we black women do not consider them dark skinned and it would be nice to see black women of all different hues in an article about hair color for ‘dark skin tones.’ Evidently the author of this article considers all back women dark skinned, that is not the reality, although I don’t believe she meant any harm. African-Indian Empress, what are you talking about?

  15. The white chic was right as far as the color goes but I still say she needs to shut the f-ck up. Your opinion is fine but the you people is very offensive and so is your brainwashed comment and I know you know it is. We should talk about your barbaric history. This is not aimed at all whites just the one on this post with her trying to be helpful but not and really wanting to say racist sh-t. As far as the so called black Mexican sweetie grow up and enter the real world. From a beautiful confident black woman and I wouldn’t have it any other way.

  16. Good article, but bad selection of women. These women are no where close to being dark skinned…

  17. From a hair coloring standpoint, the author of the article is mostly correct. The selection of examples (pictures) just didn’t necessarily match the information. We don’t just come in three skin tones either. The spectrum of melanin is much more extensive then this shows. It was a nice try though. I am what is known as red-boned and I don’t know about everyone else, but my family and I have been sunburned before and it is not fun.

  18. When writing an article it is considered good journalism to gather all of the facts. The author did not research the term “dark skinned”. All African American women cannot be placed in this category. The fact that the author wrote the article with ignorance and then responded with anger shows that the author is not even willing to learn more about the subject. She seems to only want to prove what she believes is correct.

  19. Beyoncé is consindered “dark skin”? Really? when I say dark skin, I mean dark dark skin, not brown skin? Somebody let someone who understand make these, not white people or lightskins.

  20. Great post! We will be linking to this particularly great post on our website.
    Keep up the great writing.

  21. Horrible article. You lost me at “? It is factual that African Americans or black men and women mostly have brown eyes or dark brown eyes. A few have hazel eyes, but it is almost not possible to come across green eye colors and blue eye colors on people who are dark skinned….” Um ever heard of Solomon’s Island..enough said…we are the only ethnicity to possess all ethnicities…that is FACTUAL.

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