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

Sometimes deciding a good hair color for dark skin toned women or men can be a daunting task. The best hair color should be one that makes you stand out while uplifting your true character be it at summer, winter, fall or spring

The best hair colors for dark skin range from blonde, red, burgundy, purple, brown, silver and other light shades. These colors match seamlessly well with the dark skin tone. Black women who have been spotted in these hues not only stand out but also look stunningly beautiful.

Whether you have tan, brown, deep or light-medium- deep dark skin tone, an African American or simply a black, this guide is for you. Find out color charts, good color ideas with photos plus more tips for your new hairstyles and cuts.

Blonde Hair on Dark Skin

There are quite a number of blonde shades for dark skins with both short and long hair. Basing on numbers, it is the most sought hair color by dark-skinned netizens from all around the world. You may choose to go for the iconic platinum, the classic honey blonde or simply throw in a modern shade like nordic white.

Blonde hair color on dark skin

Depending on how much you are will to spend on achieving and keeping you hair, there’s at least one shade that will make you hair breathe new life. Following are some ideas for your inspiration.

Short Blonde Hair on Dark Skin tone
Blonde on short hair

Platinum Blonde

The adoration of platinum keeps to grow and grow. Platinum provides you a chance to not only lighten your hair but also your skin tone. This shade of blonde is so cutting-edge but still so chic as shown below

Platinum blonde on skin

If you want super white go for a pure-white platinum over an ashy-toned platinum, which can look too grey. Platinum, like silver is not is to achieve. Let a professional handle it for you.

Honey Blonde

This the perfect blonde shade for you if, all you want is a classic look. The honey hue will definitely warm up your complexion adding to it a sense of true beauty.

Honey Blonde black women
@Pitts Twins

Ash Blonde

Ashy is not a new kid in the street, it is as popular as honey and platinum. It has gray tint create an ash hue.

Ash Blonde
Baby Blonde
Baby blonde-Beyonce
Dark  blonde
Dark blonde

Red Hair Color for Dark Skin

You don’t have to be a native redhead to rock a red hue. The dark skin has a particular liking to red hair, especially if the red is of a deeper shade.

Red is perfect. It will give you the absolute contrast since red hair color shades can really add some glow into your skin tone.

Red hair color look good on African American women
Red hair colors look good on black women.

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:

Dark Red Hair Dark Skin

 Instead of choosing a bright shade of red you can try dark. Following are some ideas in photo

Dark red hair on Dark skin
Dark Red: Rihanna
Dark Red on Black skin
Dark Red on Gorgeous Black Girl

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.

Red Hair color Highlights Dark Skin
Red Highlights

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.

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.

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 can have too much blue in them and this might make you look green.

Following more ideas on red hair for your inspiration

True Red
True Red Keke
Full Bright Red on dark skin
raspberry red
Raspberry red

Brown Hair on Dark Skin

Brown is similar to black, ubiquitous with dark skins. It’s one of the best dyes to use with this skin tone because it’s bold and subtle at the same time. It also has a natural appearance, and it’s also very low in maintenance.

Brown hair on dark skin Ideas
Brown hair color

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?

Light and Ash Brown

Generally, you can try different shades, starting from light or ash brown.

Light and ash brown hair color dark skin
Dunn Jourdan (left) light brown hair and Ciara (right) Light ash brown

Honey Brown

Another popular shade of brown that looks awesome on dark-skinned women is honey brown. Below in a picture of Kelly Rowland in this shade.

Honey Brown Dark Skin
Kelly Rowland

Red Brown

Red brown is the variation of brown that you can try on if you have a dark skin tone. Below is how it looks like

Red Brown hair on dark skin
Red brown

Caramel browns will also look great on women and men of African American origin. Caramel is thought to be the mos natural color that is similar to the African American skin tone.

Caramel on dark, medium-light skin

Other darker shades such as auburn, espresso, and honey brown also go well with this skin tone.

For highlights, it may not bring out the hue as you would like it to. There’s also, bronze, a rusty brown with a touch of sheen. It’s very similar to the coffee color.

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.

Ash brown on dark skin
Ash Brown: Tyra Banks

Otherwise, you will end up with too much yellow or more of an orange tinge which is definitely not good.

Choosing the best brown shade can be just as hectic as choosing you next lipstick, sometimes they all look good, but not all of them look great on you.

Burgundy Hair on Dark Skin

 Burgundy is a dark shade of brownish red that has a touch of purple to it. It is more of a cool color making it one of the best shades to wear during winter.

Burgundy hair on dark skin
Burgundy is incredibly cute on dark skin

Burgundy hue is good for the dark skin tone because not only does it complement the skin, but they add a touch of sheen to the hair.

Burgundy on Dark skin

The bold tones of a beautiful burgundy come with great framing and contrast for cuties with a dark skin tone. There are quite a number of shades including;

  •  Cabarnet, a deep redder
  • Claret, reddish color with hints of brown
  • Cordovan, has more brown pigments than true burgundy
  • Cranberry, has pink notes

Purple Hair on Dark Skin

Although it is a popular color for youths, clowns and Halloween, purple is the color you need right now to upgrade you look. One of the amazing things about it is that it looks nice for almost any skin tone. Shades of purple are fashionable, stunningly beautiful. easy to achieve.

Owing to the fact that you may need to bleach your hair first to obtain a perfect and long-lasting purple hair, it is still worth it. Following are purple-haired dark skins for your inspiration.

Purple ohair on dark skin
Purple Braids: Justine Skye
Reddish Purple
Reddish Purple: Lupita
Purple Hair Idea
Justine Skye

Silver Hair on Dark Skin

Silver hair color is one of the best for beauties with dark complexions. When done right, it can give you an ultramodern look. It versatile and complements a great many different styles and outfits.

Silver Hair on Dark skin
Silver on dark skin

However, Silver grey hair is probably one of the most difficult colors to get and maintain. The procedure to get silver is also known to be very damaging especially when done with the right person.

If none of the downsides bother you, you can still rock in this color just like the angels below

Silver Hair with highlights on Dark complexion
Beautiful silver on dark skin tone
Silver Grey with beads
Silver grey

Ombre Hair Dark Skin

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.

Ombre Hair Dark skin tone
Ombre on Dark Complexion

Ombre introduces variety of highlights as opposed to a solid color on your natural hair. When you go for highlights of ombre on a dark skin tone, create a lot of texture in the ends of your hair to make it curly.

Ombre hair with highlights on Black women

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.

More Light Hair Colors for Dark Skin

In addition to silver grey and blonde, there are more light hair colors that look good on dark skin .They include lilac, yellow and pastels.

light hair colors dark skin stones
Light hair colors

You can also choose lighter shades if you want to add some great radiance to your skin especially during summer.

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.

Following are more light hair ideas for dark skins.

Lilac Hair Color on Dark skin

lilac is one of the most recent trend in hair coloring industry. Its popularity is spreading quite fast. Being a light color, the results speak for themselves when done correctly on dark skin tone. Have a look at pics below.

Lilac and light violet hair color on dark skin
Lilac / light violet

Pastel Hair Colors

If you are not into blonde, pastel is the way to go.  If your favorite shades are light blue and pale pink, you should definitely try out pastels.

Pastel hair color
Pastel colors

Yellow Hair on Dark Skin

If you want to grab to maximum attention…like the ripe bananas in your local groceries, yellow hair is the way to go. This hue is attractive and it displays some sense of energy.

Thought not as common as the other colors in our list, shades of bright, neon, deep or mustard yellow can look cute on black girls.

Yellow Hair Color on Dark skin
Yellow on Black girls

Copper Hair Color for African American Hair

 A lot of celebrities like Rihanna & SZA have been seen rocking in this vibrant color. According to Kasey, a Maryland-based hair colorist, copper brings warmth to your hair. This hair color is made up of the primary color red and yellow with a bit of blue.

Rihanna on copper red
Copper Rihanna

Many hair colorists describe copper hair as the sassier sister to auburn and as the brighter and bubblier sister to burgundy. It’s a rich tone that comes with a bit of a zing, like a copper penny.

Copper hair color on Aafrican American
Copper hair on black girl
Copper on a dark skin girl

African American Hair Color Chart

Most beauty brands and companies have their own way to determine skin tone. As the charts(with 30 plus color ideas) below indicate, your skin can be fair, tan, medium, deep or dark depending on which company scaling chart you choose to use.

Which or above is the best? Of course, none is better than the other; all of them serve the same purpose.  All you need is to keenly look at the colors and find out if it will match your skin. Purpose is also important, avoid ideas that won’t meet your purpose

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

Tips to Determine your Perfect Hue

The dark skin tone has had multiple contradictions. Most of the ideas on this piece are based on African Americans…but dark skin is not limited to Africans or black people.

Beauty experts agree that dark skin typically means that your skin is a deep, rich brown color.

Generally, anyone not of European or white American descent is considered to have a dark skin; from the Asian olive skin, chocolate, tan, coffee, and black.

Something else to note is that darkness depends on the country where you live. For instance, in Africa, there are light-skinned as well as very dark-skinned individuals. European countries do also have both dark and light skinned folks…hence it’s pointless to argue over who is or isn’t dark.

If you are still not sure the exact shade you want to apply to your hair, here’s a quick guide on what you can do to help you decide further.

Know your Skin Undertone

Because you are a dark skin doesn’t wholly classify you to have a warm undertone. For example, there are many dark skin individuals who look great in silver, yet silver is meant to coincide with cool undertones. So if you’re unsure about this, take a quick test to know which undertone you have.

The common characteristics for warm undertones include; glowing skin, visible green veins, tans easily. For the cool undertones, however, they don’t tan easily, their veins aren’t as noticeable as they’re seen to have pink undertones, and they have pale skin.

Cool undertones could shade their hair ashy and platinum blonde, jet black, or violet red. Colors such as honey or caramel brown could appear dull. Warm undertones can rock rich Auburns, golden shades, butter and champagne blonde: platinum colors could look odd with them.

Calculate how much you’re Willing to Spend

The reason this is important is because some dyes or shades have high maintenance attached to them a good example is ash brown. Depending on your original hair color, you have to avoid some kinds of shampoo as they can fade the color or remove it altogether.

Using toning shampoo could also change the appearance of your hair as they can remove the blue, green, or orange undertones in your hair. Constant conditioning is also essential to maintain the sheen of your hair; otherwise, the dye could damage your hair. You may also need heat protectant and regular treatments that are costly.

If you can’t afford this kind of maintenance, you would instead stick to simple hair dyed that are known to need low maintenance.

Two-toned Colors & Highlights

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. 

Consider other Factors

Besides the costly side of things, you have to know whether the hair will suit you in terms of other factors – for example, your personality. Burgundy as read above looks impressive with dark skin but because your meek with yourself and you would rather not experiment, then maybe the jet black option is best.

Your age could also be a factor as we seem people change their undertone when they age. While you looked great in light blonde, now it only makes you look older.

Winter, Summer, Spring & Fall

There’s no perfect color that is tied to a certain season of the year. Trends keep evolving. All you need is to try any that you think may match your desires. Here some ideas

Winter is thought to be a season of contrasts hence darker browns, reds and cool toned blondes will definitely not disappoint you.

Summer is the sun and beach season. As you transition from spring, you can try, pink and purple blends, blonde shades with dark roots, bronde (blonde and brown) honey platinum or any light color.

As for fall/autumn, chestnut, rich auburns, honey brown, golden blonde, caramel tones, warm beige blonde did trend last year.

Finally, remember stick true to self… choosing the best shade for you can be nerve-wracking. If it’s not the price; it’s how it looks or how it should be maintained.

But they did say beauty is painful and if you want to slay you have to be willing to go through the pain. With the dark skin tone, you can never really tell how something looks like till you try it.

Gallary + More Hair Color Ideas for Dark Skins


  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. wow well said from a 14 year old, but yes i do agree more darker skinned people should have included.

  15. 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?

  16. 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.

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

  18. 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.

  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.

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