Alternative hair colours… what hair colour looks best on you?

alternative hair colour - rainbow hair colour

Rainbow hair colour stylist and guru Anya Goy talks about how to choose alternative hair dye colours that are right for you!

As a professional hair stylist, Anya Goy was recently asked by a customer if Audrey Kitching’s current hair colour (pink with white streaks) would suite her darker bronze skin tone. Which got her thinking… The rules for which NATURAL hair colours suite different skin tones are well established. For example, if you have fair skin and light blonde eyebrows, then black hair colour will make you look washed-out, like death warmed up (which might be the look some of you are going for). However, the rules for UN-NATURAL, alternative hair colours are unwritten. So what’s a girl to do?

Although there are no rules, I’d like to share with you some guidelines that I use when recommending funky, vibrant, alternative colours to my clients. Don’t think of this as ‘set-in-stone’ law, but more as a guide. Because at the end of the day, alternative hair is about being an individual, unique and yourself, and therefore is a very personal decision. This guide will simply give you some things to consider when making your choice.

1.) Unlike natural hair colour, which needs to work with skin tones, alternative hair colour is more about matching your outfit and look.

So to find what works for you, first look at your wardrobe! Ask yourself what your favourite item of clothing is. What colours do you love to wear? This is a question I always like to ask my customers, as it helps to narrow down the choice, and give me and idea of the sort of look they like to go for.

If you colour your hair blue, I’m not saying that you have to wear blue everyday. Thats just silly. But you will want colourful outfits that would match blue hair. For example, it won’t work if you like the hippie look with more natural earth tones but dye your hair candy floss pink. Brown corduroy flares definitely wouldn’t work with Audrey Kitching pink hair. If you like the hippie look, dark pine green dreads would look better – or maybe even rainbow hair, to match your rainbow tie-dyed t-shirts. You seen what I mean?

2.) Look at your make-up.

When you have a night out and creat a facial work of art, what colours do you tend to favour? If you have an all-black wardrobe, maybe this will help you to decide what would suite your hair. What are your favourite eyeshadow or eyeliner colours? Or favourite lipstick? For example, if your favourite lipstick is turquoise, why not make this your hair colour? Or if you want to mix streaks of different hair colours, stick to aquatic colours, such as blues, greens and purples, as this will complement your makeup. And don’t forget your eyes – if you naturally have very strong coloured eyes, such as green, or bright blue, use a hair colour that will complement. Fire engine red hair can look amazing with bright green eyes. Even if you like to use coloured contact lenses, again, choose complementary hair colours.

3.) Consider your accessories! From piercings and tattoos to tight, jewelry and funky glasses!

If you have a colourful bracelet that never leaves your wrist, go for multicoloured hair! How about a statement pair of funky vintage glasses? Why not add some red streaks to your hair, too? If you have a colourful tattoo, you could match your hair colour to it. Especially if it’s on your neck, behind your ear or on your chest or shoulders, as these areas are more visible with your hair.

4.) Think about which colours work together and which don’t.

If you like pastel, girly colours in your outfit, stick to baby blue instead of a dark blueberry shade. And use colours that work together, like baby blue, pearly pinks and snowy white. Or if you like hot colours, try red, orange and yellow together. (I once did this combination on a client with a Mohawk, we started with yellow at the roots fading into orange and red tips on the ends. Looked like flames coming out of his head when it was all styled up! Very cool.)

Other colours that look great together are aquatic tones, such as blues, greens and purples. Or for good contrasting colour combinations, try green and dark pink, or purple and yellow, or bright blue and orange. Some colours I personally wouldn’t put together are red, pink and purple, they are too similar and don’t complement each other. Another colour to avoid would be yellow on its own, as this can just look like a bad bleach job! Orange is also tricky as a hair colour. If you do want your hair orange all over, keep it as dark and vibrant as you can, so it looks intentional. Keep it topped up, because as it fades, again it can look like you just tried to bleach your hair from black to blonde in one go. Not a good look.

5.) Don’t be scared to mix your dye to get the right colour for you.

Unlike natural hair colour, alternative colours (such as Special Effects, Manic Panic, Stargazer, Crazy Color, Fudge & Directions) can all be mixed together just like you would with paint. So experiment! It’s great fun and you can come up with some amazing colours, including a shade that is totally unique to you. Some of the most beautiful dye jobs I’ve done have come though mixing and experimenting. The more you play around with colour, the more you will understand what works best together, and what works best for you.

So there you have it! Anya Goy’s guide to alternative hair colour suitability. I hope it has helped give you some things to consider before you pick your next bottle of dye off the shelf. Remember – it’s not about following rules, it’s about being true to yourself.

Main photo: (Anya’s site, check out her amazing rainbow haircolour book!)