Different colors of hair gain popularity during different parts of the year. For example, salons use a lot more blonde color during the summer months than during the winter. As the temperature drops, however, deeper and darker colors will increase in popularity. One of the most popular winter colors for hair is plum. Plum is a beautiful color that works for almost anybody; the trick is finding the right shade.
Before you can pick the right shade, let’s talk about what makes a haircolor plum. Plum is a color that contains both red and blue pigments, often mixed with a brown base. The more brown that is in the color formula, the more natural the color will look. By increasing the amount of red and blue pigment in the formula, the color’s vibrancy is increased. If red is the dominant color in the formula, the shade of plum will appear warmer, and if blue is the dominant color in the formula, then it will appear cooler. If the blue and red pigments are nearly equal, then the plum color will be predominantly purple or violet. This becomes very important when matching a shade of haircolor to one’s skin tone.
Shades of plum tend to be on the darker side of the haircolor spectrum, from nearly black to medium brown. Since plum colors have a purplish tone to them, and since purple is a darker color, it is impossible to have a shade of plum that is light. This can make plum a tricky color for those with a milky and pale complexion who tend to shy away from darker colors. The good news, however, is that those who have a pale complexion can get away with a very vibrant shade of plum.
Cool shades of plum, where blue is the predominant color in the formula, are best suited for those with a cool complexion. How do you know if you have a cool skin tone? Those with cool skin tones tend to look best in black clothing and silver jewelry. So if you prefer silver over gold, than most likely you have a cool complexion. If your complexion has ever been referred to as “olive”, then you have a cool skin tone. Another easy way to find out if you have a cool skin tone is to simply look at the veins on the underside of your wrist. If your veins have a greenish-blue appearance, then you have a cool skin tone.
Warmer shades of plum have a greater amount of red pigment in the color formula, and these shades are best suited for those with warm skin tones. Those with warm skin tones tend to look better in gold jewelry, and they have skin that has a noticeable amount of red or pink pigmentation.
What if you are the type of person who looks good in both warm and cool colors? Or what if you can’t seem to pull of neither a warm or a cool color? Then you probably have a more neutral skin tone, and your best bet is a shade of plum that has plenty of brown in the color formula. For these types of clients, a colorist may mix a shade of plum with a neutral shade of brown to help “drab” the color, making it a better match for the skin complexion.