Trying to pick the right hair color can be a daunting task.
Most hair colors fall into either 'warm' or 'cool' families:
Warm: You're likely a 'warm' if you have golden, olive, or dark skin and brown or dark eyes (most Latinas, Asians, and African Americans fall into this category). In addition, if your skin tans easily and the veins in your inner wrists are green, you are a warm.
Cool: You're a 'cool' if you have fair skin and blue or green eyes. You burn before you tan and the veins in your wrists run blue. If you're confused because you sometimes burn, sometimes tan, you likely skew warm.
Here is another way to determine your skin tone that I feel is a bit more accurate:
Stand in front of a mirror and hold a swatch of gold fabric in one hand and a swatch of silver fabric in the other.
Take turns holding the different fabrics up to your face.
If the gold material complements your face, but the silver material makes you look washed out then you have a warm skin tone.
If the silver material makes you look bright and vibrant but the gold material gives your skin a sick appearance then you have a cool skin tone.
If you look good in both then your skin tone is neutral.
Now that you figured out if you are a "warm" or a "cool", choosing the correct shade is VERY important.
Warm: If you have a warm skin tone, choose golden shades such as caramel and bronze in a darker shade than your skin. Avoid jet-black hair, which will wash you out. If you do choose a golden shade, don't go too light or your hair could turn orange. Sally’s Beauty Supply has GREAT products to prepare your hair for color and to eliminate brassiness if you plan on doing it at home.
Cool: If you have a cool skin tone, avoid colors that will highlight the ruddiness of your skin: Gold, auburn and copper. Ash blondes and cool browns work best.