Blame it on the crispness of the autumn air or the dryness of the summer season, but as the seasons shift, so does your temptation to change your hair color. “As we switch our wardrobe to richer colors, we naturally think of also changing our hair color,” explains Beth Minardi, the creator of Beth Minardi Signature Shades and the Color Director of Samuel Shriqui Salon in New York.
But before you decide to go under the dye, Minardi reminds how important it is to take in several factors. Not only is “less is a more” a smart rule of thumb toward hair color, but your eye color is an essential element, too.
“You don’t need to make a major change to your hair color to shake things up. Little enhancements can still make a big difference in your look,” Minardi says. “The tone of the eye helps decide the tone of the hair. Because hair color is the makeup you don’t take off, most women want to flatter their natural palette.”
Preview the best shades to test out, depending on the pair of oculars you’re rocking.
Best Hair Colors for Blue Eyes
For eyes that mirror the shade of the sky, your main goal is to give your peepers as much pop as possible. That’s why Minardi explains that much like your skin and hair, your eyes either work better with warm or cool tones. When paired against a cooler blond, like champagne or ivory, or a rose-beige or crimson tone, you’ll notice your eyes become more dramatic and pronounced. She also adds that blue-eyed folks should consider their age as a determining factor too, noting, “If you’re young and have no bags under your eyes, wine and burgundy will look beautiful.”
When you’re selecting your shade for your once-a-year refresh, Minardi notes that those with blue eyes should avoid auburn since instead of working with your eye color, it will actually fight against it. The same goes with a brighter shade of blonde. “Though blonde hair and blue eyes are often thought of as a pair, a strong golden blonde will fight blue eyes, creating a jarring effect. Bright orange and yellow confetti shades will also fight the gorgeous softness of blue eyes and are best avoided,” she says.
Best Hair Colors for Green Eyes
The rarest of eye colors—green—is often striking enough on their own, regardless of your hair shade. But for an even more captivating look while you’re touring pumpkin patches and picking apples, Minardi explains complementary shades provide a natural, next-level look. “I love to use russet, amber, copper, a medium butterscotch or chocolate brown,” she says. “While very different from one another, these shades enhance and bring out the lovely warm undertones in green eyes.”
Though it might not seem like a far stretch from recommended eye colors, Minardi notes black, dark ash brown, ivory white or crimson colors can be challenging to your color palette, giving you a washed-out, dried-out look that’s not the most flattering.
Best Hair Colors for Brown Eyes
While brown is a blanket name for a color, it doesn’t fully articulate the various warm and cool temperatures it offers. Instead of nicknaming yourself “brown,” snap a selfie in the sunlight when you’re admiring the leaves and see how light or dark your eyes are. The way they shine under Vitamin D rays will give you insight on how you should morph your hair color this season.
If you’re more on the cooler side, she suggests an autumn-almost-ashy blonde, or if you’re brave, a salt-and-pepper look, mixing silver and silver-white. If you’re a richer shade, she advises playing up your natural undertones with a complementing medium golden brown, amber, copper, butterscotch blonde or medium almond shade. And hey, if you don’t want to take the gamble on an all-over hair color, Minardi says this eye color is ideal for something more subtle with soft highlights in these tones.
If you have a dark eye color, just make sure you don’t go to the darkest brunette, as it will not accentuate the softness of your eyes and instead make them look less pronounced and harsh.
Best Hair Colors for Amber Eyes
When you first think of the name of this eye color, you might find yourself rattling along to an old ’80s song that talks about the color of energy. “For light brown and amber eyes, you want colors with a warm burst of sunlight. Think copper-y red or dark golden auburn, butterscotch or golden highlights, shades like sand or candlelit and warm tawny bases to help the eyes stand out,” she says.
Darker shades that shy away from the natural glimmer of the great outdoors, like black, burgundy or the deepest brown aren’t recommended. “Those extremely cool colors will look harsh against the natural warm tones. Those tones would not be found with light brown or amber eyes in nature,” she says.
Best Hair Colors for Hazel Eyes
The two greatest perks of having hazel eyes, according to Minardi? They’re not only the most interesting, but they’re the most forgiving, allowing you the creative freedom to experiment with both warm and cool shades. Your only rule to follow is the one that limits extremes, keeping to the basic selection of medium, rich tones. These could be auburn or warm honey brown colors, tones of red or even darker blondes. Just stick to the middle. “With hazel eyes, you want to avoid super-light or super-dark tones. Either will fight the natural pigments in your eyes. You still have multiple options that will look natural and beautiful,” she says.