We’ve been talking a lot about our favorite hair colors. While it’s easy to scroll through Instagram and choose a shade that you think is perfect for you, there are plenty of factors to consider before committing to a hair color change. This includes the maintenance, the cost, and most importantly, whether your desired hue will flatter your skin tone. Too often, the world is divided into fair skin tones and dark skin tones, with no mention of the girls who are right in the middle. That’s right, olive-skinned girls, this one’s for you!
If you’re wondering about the best hair color for olive skin tone, we’ve tapped some of the country’s top hair stylists around to get their expertise on what look you might want to try on your next visit to the salon. Remember, at the end of the day, when it comes to picking a hair color for olive skin tone, that’s completely up to you and what makes you feel the most confident and comfortable.
Is olive skin warm or cool?
When trying to decide the best hair color for an olive skin tone, the first thing you’ll need to determine is whether or not your skin color has a warm or a cool undertone. Malone says olive skin can actually look like a range of tones, but as a general guideline, it incorporates both cool and warm tones—although some olive-skinned people lean strongly in one direction.
“If you’re wondering how to determine whether you’re cool or warm, take a look at the inside of your wrist and inspect the color of your veins,” Malone says. “If they’re blue or purple, you have cool undertones; if they’re green, you have warm undertones.”
Having a little of both undertones is actually a blessing. It means there are more colors that will play nicely with your complexion. You probably make your stylist’s day each time you come in for color.
What Hair Colors Go With Olive Skin?
When choosing the best hair color for olive skin, use your undertone as a guide. If you have olive skin that leans cooler, choose cool-toned hair colors like platinum blonde, ash brown, and cool-toned pastels like blue and purple. For those with warmer complexions, shades like honey blonde, chocolate brown, and fantasy shades like pink and orange will be most flattering.
“Olive skin tones look great with warm brown hair colors,” Everson says. “Platinum blonde, chocolate or caramel, rich ash brown,”says Tranese Lewis at Sunstone Spa in Southern California.
When it comes to fantasy hair colors for olive skin, pink and orange will be most flattering.
What Hair Colors Are Not Good For Olive Skin
While in the hands of a professional colorist, it’s safe to say that just about any hair color can work for olive skin. However, there are some hues that may not be as flattering for those with this complexion.
When prompted with a question about what hair colors wash out olive skin, here’s what our experts had to say.
“Avoid neutral colors like beige because they wash out the complexion making olive skin tone appear dull,” says Lewis.
Dani Everson, hairstylist and owner of Clementine's Salon, chimes in and says, “When trying to go too ashy, they tend to look sallow and tone out the skin.”
Does gray look good on olive skin?
You might think that the moody undertones in gray hair would wash out olive skin tones. A talented colorist, however, can create a customized shade that fits perfectly with olive complexions.
The Best Hair Colors For Olive Skin To Try Now
Now that you know some of the best hair colors for olive skin, from honey blonde to chocolate brown, we’ve curated a list of hair color ideas for olive skin that you may want to consider during your next salon appointment.
Platinum blonde is often considered one of the best hair colors for olive skin and brown eyes. With slight hues of warmth, this off-white hue complements darker complexions, and features. After your stylist transforms your hair, opt for a shampoo like Redken All Soft Argan-Oil Enriched Shampoo for Dry Hair that adds moisture to dry, brittle hair with its argan oil-infused formula.
Channel your inner mermaid with a pink mane that’ll look like you just stepped out of a movie. When styling your new hair, make sure to use the lowest setting and a heat protectant like Redken Extreme Playsafe Heat Protection And Damage Repair Hair Treatment to prevent heat damage.
Add a pop of color to your mane with a bright fiery orange. Throw in some butterfly clips, and barrettes and you’re all set.
Black hair is a commitment, so if you opt for this dark hue, then you should know it won’t come out easily. Treat your newly dyed mane to the Redken All Soft Mega Deep Conditioning Treatment Mask, which leaves your hair moisturized and soft for up to three washes.
Gray hair is trending now more than ever and is a great hair color for olive skin. One might think gray would wash you out, but in this case, it does the opposite—it allows for your eyes and facial features to really pop.
This deep, bluish-toned red color is a staple for those with olive skin—think of your favorite reality stars. To keep your hair shiny in between appointments, use a finishing spray such as Redken Shine Flash Hair Spray for a glass-like shine.
Touted as one of the best hair colors for olive skin, opt for a vibrant red velvet hue when dyeing your hair. Your colorist will be able to create the desired shade in the salon, and you’ll leave feeling super confident.
The reddish-brown hue is traditional, whimsical, and practical. If you need any more convincing, it’s also the best hair color for olive skin.
Add a touch of warmth to your mane with a honey blonde color. This hair color for olive skin tones can be achieved with the help of your hairstylist on your next trip to the salon.
This show-stopping neon green is a color perfect for those summer music festivals and raves. Help improve the look and feel of your strands with the Matrix Total Results Miracle Creator Nourishing Strengthening Mask that instantly nourishes, revitalizes, and strengthens hair in just 60 seconds.
Caramel highlights are a staple, no matter what skin tone you have. Ask your colorist for caramel highlights to add brightness and dimension to your mane while illuminating your complexion.
Cream blonde is the perfect blend of warm and cool, which makes it particularly flattering for medium olive skin tones. Be sure to add a purple shampoo and conditioner system like Pureology Strength Cure Best Blonde Purple Shampoo and Conditioner to your routine to keep your blonde shade brass-free between salon appointments.
When in doubt, go dark! Chocolate brown hair is a deliciously sweet shade that makes olive skin look even more opulent.
Milk chocolate hair color is the perfect choice if you want a little cocoa in your life without going too dark. This rich light brown hue has golden undertones that can balance out warmth in olive skin.
Glass hair—otherwise known as a shiny, swingy lob—and espresso hair color are a match literally made in salon heaven. Try them both and watch your skin tone take center stage. Use a shine-boosting product like Redken Shine Flash Hair Spray to smooth frizz and give your look a glass-like shine finish.
Whether you’re enjoying the breezy fall weather or embracing the warmth of spring, there’s no bad time to make the most of warm, earthy shades like chestnut. This light brown hue with a hint of red will look like it grew right out of your scalp, but be way better than your natural base color ever could.
Don’t shy away from bright colors! If you’re looking to go red, this fiery and vibrant crimson shade will perfectly complement green undertones in olive skin.
Warm-up your look with the addition of subtle honey highlights—always a win in our books! On cool olive skin, honey will illuminate all your best features.
Keep your look fresh with navy hair, a blue that’s totally fashion-forward and fades beautifully. If you’re not committed to maintaining the look of your roots, ask your stylist for a balayage or ombre application!
Cool Blonde Balayage
If you’re searching for the perfect hair color for light olive skin, look no further than cool blonde balayage. This bright, ashy hue is the perfect balayage hair color for olive skin with cooler undertones.
Can’t choose between blonde and brunette? Enjoy a little of both with bronde hair color. This blonde and brunette hybrid is one of those shades that flatters any skin tone, but is particularly gorgeous when paired with warm olive skin.
Keep your bronde hue brass-free between salon appointments with Redken Color Extend Brownlights Shampoo and Conditioner. This blue toning system helps get rid of brassiness in highlighted, balayaged, and natural brown hair.
If you have olive skin, you have the luxury of always looking sunkissed. So why shouldn’t your hair color have the same vibe? Opt for a beachy blonde shade to emphasize your skin’s natural glow. You can also apply a few spritzes of texturizing spray like Matrix Total Results Miss Mess Texturizing Spray throughout your mane to complete your beachy look with effortless volume and texture.
When it comes to all-around flattering hair colors, medium brown is at the top of our list. Falling directly between light and dark brown, this shade is a safe choice for any skin tone.
Dark Brown With Subtle Highlights
Searching for a subtle change with lots of impact? Soft caramel highlights on dark brown hair can do wonders for adding brightness to olive skin.
Not all of us are brave enough to go full-on red, which is why we love shades like cinnamon. This reddish-brown hue allows you to subtly lean into red hair without committing to the real thing. Ask your colorist for a cinnamon balayage for an effortless, low-maintenance hue.
Like we said before, gray hair can be flattering on olive skin tones (with a few simple tweaks). Keep your roots dark instead of opting for a full head of gray hair to help balance out the hue with your skin tone.
While nearly black hair can overpower a lot of complexions, this shade looks stunning paired with olive skin.
If you have olive skin with warm undertones, you’ll love how the vibrancy of violet hair color pairs with your complexion.
Green hair and olive skin are an unexpected combination, but one that you definitely won’t regret committing to.
Interested in trying a new hair color? Use our salon locator to book an appointment at a salon near you.