Blond vs. brunette: the ultimate hair colour battle

Two of the most popular hair colour trends are blond and its darker version brown (or brunette) hair. Which one should you try? We explain how to know if a hair colour will suit your skin tone, and how to get the best hair colour result that you will love!

Blond vs. brunette hair colour: What's the perfect shade for you?

To know if a hair shade will look good on you or not, it’s all about the undertones to your skin, not the colour. Some of us have warm undertones to our skin, some have cool tones. And some of us lie in the middle. So, will you be turning brunette or becoming blonde? 

Are you ready to choose between blond and brunette hair colour?

What’s the difference between blond vs. brunette hair colour? We don’t mean which colour you prefer, but the real, scientific difference between the two. The answer: darker hair (brown and black) contains more of the pigment melanin. Because it contains less melanin, natural blondes have finer hair than natural brunettes, but often have more of it per cm² on the scalp.  

This explains why going blond to brown hair is relatively easy, while going from brunette to blond is harder for very dark hair colours, as the melanin needs to be removed as much as possible before the new colour is applied over the top. 

How to know which blond or brunette hair colour suits you best

Here’s how to know what undertones you have and what hair colour (blond vs. brunette) will suit you.

You’re warm-toned if: you suit gold more than silver, your veins appear green, and you look good in orange, yellow and olive green.

Warm tones suit: honey brown, golden blond, chestnut and deep auburn (anything with a little warmth to it.)

You’re cool-toned if: you’re more of a silver person, your veins have a bluish tinge to them, and you really suit blue, violet and other cooler tones.

Cool tones suit: ash blond, ash brown, strawberry blond and platinum hair (avoid shades with yellow and orange tones).

If you recognise yourself in both the warm and cool categories, this probably means that you have a neutral, or combination, tones to your skin. And that’s good news: you can rock any blond and brunette hair colour, perhaps even reds, blacks and bright colors!

Both blond and brunette: the ombre

Still uncertain about whether you want blond or brunette hair? There are a lot of factors to consider when going blond or brunette. So why not opt for a two-in-one look? An ombre is a way of transitioning from a darker shade to a lighter one (creating a brown to blond hair effect), meaning you can be both a blonde and a brunette!

Get the best of both with a balayage

If you’re a fan of both blond and brunette hair colours, another alternative is to ask your colourist about using a balayage technique on your hair. This involves expertly applying lighter and darker shades at strategic places along the hair: lighter blond shades where the sun would naturally hit, and darker ones to give body and depth to the hair.

Image credits: Getty Images - JGI/Jamie Grill