How to Choose the Right Hair Colour That Suits Your Skin Tone

Plus, a review of AUBE International Hair Salon with head stylist Steve Lee.
how to choose hair colour
Image credit: Unsplash/ Mert Kahveci

It was a sunny Thursday morning when I made my way to AUBE International Hair Salon in Jalan Telawi, Bangsar, to have my hair colour refreshed and treatment done. However, I walked away with more than just great hair—I also got firsthand education from head stylist Steve Lee himself.

Founded in 2009 in Japan, AUBE has salons all over the world including the USA, Canada, Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Vietnam, and Singapore. Now, you can find them along the streets of Jalan Telawi in Bangsar. If you’re looking for a selection of world-class Japanese hair services, add this salon to your list.

AUBE International Hair Salon in Bangsar.

Colour Me Pretty

We’ve all been down that road: we see a gorgeous hair colour inspo on Pinterest, we bring it to our trusty hair salon, and we spend eight hours in the chair, only to discover that shade is all wrong for our skin tone. It’s a tale only too often told, but unless you’ve done a personal colour test, a lot of it is a matter of luck.

However, luck was on our side when I went to AUBE Hair Salon. I came to Lee with two inches of roots, bleached hair that had gone brassy, and hay-dry ends. I asked for a recommendation, and he suggested an ash colour to counteract the brassiness and give life to my natural roots. He also said that the ash colour would be more suited for my skin tone (Note: I have light-medium skin tone with yellow undertones) as it would even out my warm undertones, but avoided going too light as it would wash me out.

The ashy colour turned out great when layered with my existing hair colour. I looked refreshed and my skin tone glowed radiantly. This led me to ask him for his opinion on how others can select the right colours that would match their skin tones. The answer, I found, lies in the secret of skin undertones.

AUBE Hair Salon is spacious and bright with light wood and grey colour scheme.

Brown Hair

“Brown is a very versatile colour. It suits most skin tones, but those with darker skin tones should avoid brown shades with red or copper undertones. It will clash with their skin tones and make them look muddy instead of radiant. If they have warmer skin undertones, however, brown hair with red and copper undertones would look great on them. They should avoid an ashy base, because if you don’t have the right skin tone, ash-based colours may end up making you look pale,” advises Lee.

Red Hair

“Dark skin tones should go for reddish brown hair colour. Fair-skinned people can go for bright red or rose red—basically, they can go with any red shades, as fair skin tones are suited to any red colour. Medium skin tones can go with a medium-brown with a reddish reflection and a bit of a copper base.”

Colourful Hair

One may think that colourful hair like purples, oranges, greens, and blues may be even more difficult to pull off. But Lee begs to differ. “These types of colour depend on their personality. Any skin tone can go with that. People who love bright colours won’t care. Of course, you’ll need to enhance the hair colour with your dressing and your makeup. Your outfit has to be nicer to bring out the personality of the hair colour. It’s a fun colour, which goes with every skin tone.”

aube hair salon
The hair wash station, with automatic reclining seats imported from Japan.

The Hair Treatment

After washing off the hair colour, we went on with the hair treatment, which would bring life back to my severely chemical-induced hair. I was given the Milbon Cronna treatment, which is specifically for coloured hair. Sitting reclined on the automatic hair wash seat, I’m struck by how comfortable it is—and I later find out that most of the gizmos in AUBE Hair Salon are imported from Japan, keeping up with the technology that the land of the rising sun is clearly known for.

While in the hair wash station, an assistant applies the Milbon Cronna treatment onto my hair, and leaves it for approximately 20 minutes while a gentle steam envelopes the sink and my hair to allow for better treatment penetration.

While my hair felt extremely soft and glossy after the entire process (whose doesn’t after a regular salon visit?), the real test was the next time I shampooed my hair. Real ones know that how your hair feels in a post-treatment wash is the ultimate testament to how effective the treatment actually was. Safe to say, it passed the test and my hair felt lovely and silky to the touch.

AUBE International Hair Salon Bangsar

Address: 12, Jalan Telawi, Bangsar, 59100 Kuala Lumpur