You don't want the hair color to make your features stand out in an unflattering manner, where the key is to try on colored wigs or do a 'patch test' before making a choice. That way, you can see how the color would suit you before going ahead. There are certain things that must be borne in mind when picking out a hair color; African-American women should remember that not all skin tones in this category are consistent, but vary in shades.
Those with light skin tones can opt for dark or light (not over-the-top) hair colors, where others who fall in the dark-chocolate category, should opt for darker shades only. Warm skin tones are versatile; the advantage of being able to carry off any hair color is a given. Darker skin tones do not have this advantage, where extra care should be taken in picking a shade that isn't unflattering.
Important things to keep in mind - face shape, skin tone (most importantly), and hairstyle. Also, avoid going with hair color options that have words like 'cool' or 'ashy' as part of the description.
For a Milk Chocolate or Black/Dark Chocolate Skin Tone
What's Hot: For women who fall into the dark skin tone category, choose hair colors in the dark / medium-light brown, burgundy, or jet black zone. These colors will not only complement your skin tone but will warm up your features without drawing attention to your hair in an uncomplimentary manner.
What's Not: Opting for vibrant reds, pinks, purples, blues, or whichever other clown colors that invade one's imagination, is a strict no-no. Not only are they shoddy in appearance, but they give off an unprofessional vibe where no one will take you seriously. Bright blond shades (like dirty blond or platinum) aren't advisable either, where maybe the teeniest hint of blond (like subtle highlights) mixed with a topcoat of deep brown can add a pleasing and not overdone look, to your tresses.
For a Pinkish Brown or Light Brown Skin Tone
What's Hot: The fun part is being able to experiment with almost every hair color on the market, that doesn't border on wacko (blinding colors of the rainbow, that is). The best colors for your tresses are dirty blond, orangish red, light brown, brownish red, dark brown, and plain black. Highlights are a fun option too, so don't be afraid to mix and match varied hues.
What's Not: Do not opt for bright colors in any hue unless they're in the brown, blond, or red (not siren red, please!) category. Warm tones of these shades will soften your facial features and give you the perfect coverage of your original roots begin to show. Choose darker shades if the sight of new roots in a month disturbs you; go with lighter shades if your roots aren't dark. The contrast will not be as jarring when you go with darker hair colors, where touch-ups can easily wait until after two months from when you last colored your hair.
Hair coloring is a tricky business, but once you get the hang of it, it's a piece of cake. Just be sure that if it's your first time or you want to try on a new shade, then keeping the parameters in mind of how to pick one, is not neglected.