As I was scrolling through brow queen Anastasia Soare’s daughter’s Instagram, @norvina, I stumbled upon this photo of her in an electric purple hair color. The unicorn hue is enough to make you do a double take but it was her caption that made me save the picture. She wrote, “True story: I started dyeing my hair purple to color correct my skin tone. I have a lot of yellow/green in my skin tone. That color is so green and not a good look on me. I discovered that purple brightens me up and takes away the greenish hue.” Norvina’s words got me thinking about how, if at all, similar makeup color correction is to hair and skin color correction. So I thought who better to ask than an expert colorist—Megan Schipani, the Maryland-based colorist who concocts cool colors like blueberry blue, mulled wine, and more striking shades. Keep reading for Megan’s take on whether purple hair can even out your skin tone.
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“I think that all of the pink tones in that purple are what are balancing out [Norvina’s] green/yellow tones in her skin. Pink and red are opposite the color wheel of green and are often used to cancel out green unwanted tones in color corrections in the hair. It’s the same kind of thing for makeup—when you apply a green concealer to spot treat areas where you have trouble with redness because they cancel each other out. The same goes for purple canceling out yellow. So if you have a green or yellow undertone in your skin then pink or purple hair would definitely help minimize that and probably brighten your skin up. It’s the same concept as a purple shampoo brightening up your blonde. The purple cancels out any yellow or brassy tones and allows a true bright blonde to shine through. So if your goal is to minimize the green or yellow in your skin, having pink or purple hair around the face would definitely help for sure. It’s actually kind of brilliant. I never thought of explaining it that way I guess because I subconsciously do it in consultations every day just without saying it out loud but it makes total sense when you think about the color wheel.
It also depends on the intensity of the undertone and each person’s skin. The more intense the skin tone, the more intense the tone of pink or purple hair would be needed to counteract. And depending on whether the skin is more yellow or more green, you could decide if you want a purple or pink shade. I’m Italian and have slight olive undertones, and pink looks really good on me, but red is too harsh, so it just depends.”