Choosing the right hair color to compliment your golden, warm/neutral olive complexion will help you avoid your skin tone clashing with the wrong shade.
Find the best hair color for olive skin, tips for determining your skin tone depth, and see how different shades look on your complexion in our jam-packed hair color guide!
What’s the Best Hair Color for Olive Skin?
- Olive skin has a warm/neutral golden green undertone
- Avoid cool-toned hair colors that make olive skin look sallow
- Look for dimensional, vibrant colors with warm or neutral undertones
If you’re rocking the much-envied olive skin tone, choosing the right hair color will really boost your natural glowiness. Your skin has a built-in glow with a subtle golden-brown tint and hints of warm green or yellow undertones beneath the surface.
But while your undertones give you a gorgeously sun-kissed glow, picking flattering hair colors when you have olive skin can be a challenge because of these distinctive undertones.
You’ve probably noticed that certain colors – like bright orange-reds, ultra-cool ash blondes, and jet black – clash with your skin tone, wash you out, or make your skin look more green or yellowish.
In general, people with olive skin should look for warm or neutral colors that won’t clash with faint golden green undertones. It’s best to avoid ash colors with silvery undertones and other very cool-toned shades like smoky gray, violet-heavy hues, true reds with blue undertones, and copper-toned colors.
What you want is bright, dimensional color with hints of warmth or neutral mixes of warm and cool colors that will flatter your olive complexion.
Hair colors that are golden, reddish brown, caramel, or honey-toned are absolutely dreamy on olive skin tones. Surprisingly, cool platinum blonde can be a gorgeous shade for olive-toned ladies – it just has to be done right (more on that in a bit).
We’re going to take a close-up look at the best hair color for olive skin so you can see how big a difference the right shade and tone can make for you.
We’ll talk about the unique undertones and traits of olive skin, how to make sure this is truly your skin tone, the colors and shades that work well on olive skin, and show you our favorite examples of the best hair color for olive skin on a range of complexions from light olive to medium-deep olive.
Ready to dive in? Scroll on, sister!
What Is Olive Skin?
The olive skin tone is characterized by a light golden brown to medium brown depth with notable green, yellow, or greenish-yellow undertones. Olive skin typically looks golden and tan, even when the skin color depth is actually quite fair.
When it comes to sun exposure, olive skin usually tans quite easily because there’s a little more melanin – skin pigment – present in this type of complexion.
Lighter olive skin tones sometimes burn before tanning, but all olive skin tones are able to tan. Olive skin tones are most common in people from the Mediterranean, the Middle East, parts of Southern Asia, and Latin America.
Since the green/yellow undertones in olive skin are so prominent, it’s really important to carefully consider your hair color choice to avoid getting colors that accidentally clash with your golden, warm-neutral skin.
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How to Tell If You Have Olive Skin
To make sure the hair color advice in this guide is spot-on for your skin tone, it pays to make sure you’re actually dealing with olive undertones. Here are a few indicators to help you determine if your skin is truly considered “olive.”
- Creamy off-white looks way better on you than bright, pure white.
- Pastel colors really wash you out, making your skin look greenish or grayish.
- Color matching foundation is hard – it’s often too pink, too orange, or too ashy.
- Your veins look faintly green or you can’t see them through your skin.
- You might burn first, but you always gradually tan to a nice golden brown.
If several of these statements apply to you, you probably have olive skin! Keep scrolling to see your options as we explore the best hair colors for olive skin next.
The 10 Best Hair Color for Olive Skin
Pairing gorgeous colors with olive skin is easy to do when you keep the rules in mind. Steer clear of orange-red tones (like copper), flat white-blondes, and cool-toned ash colors to make your skin sparkle.
Stick to warm and neutral shades with plenty of dimension (highlights, lowlights, shadow roots, and balayage are your friends) and you’ll be, well, golden. Check out 10 examples of the best hair color for olive skin!
1. Prismatic Platinum Blonde
Cool platinum blonde breaks the color “rules” for olive skin, but it can be super flattering when it’s all-over color topped with a little light pink toner for dimension. Skip flat, one-dimensional white blonde on this skin tone and opt for prismatic platinum color for a bright blonde burst!
2. Golden Caramel Blonde
Deep golden tones and subtle honey blonde highlights sparkle in a caramel blonde shade that’s ideal on olive skin. This toasty color keeps things warm and dimensional without venturing into brunette territory, so it’s great for trying out blonde!
3. Medium Honey Blonde With Espresso Root Melt
This golden honey color is as rich as blonde can get with tons of shine. The deep brown espresso root maintains a neutral undertone while the honey blonde takes over with flattering warmth that perfectly suits an olive skin tone.
Read Next: Warm Honey Highlights on Brown Hair Ideas
4. Dark Golden Wheat Blonde
Wheat blondes have a golden yellow undertone, which is deep and bronze-y enough to offset the natural green/yellow undertones in olive skin.
Be careful with the shade here – you don’t want to go too light. Deep golden blondes play well with your skin tone, but bright golden tones can give your skin a yellowish tint.
5. Sun-Lightened Golden Brown
Golden undertones in any color are a sure bet for olive skin tones. This beautifully lightened golden brown features subtle sun-kissed dark blonde balayage for natural-looking color that really brightens and flatters an olive undertone.
6. Subtle Auburn Chestnut Brown
Olive-skinned women are often put-off by red shades because popular copper and true red colors are known to clash with olive skin. Try a subtle, warm reddish brown hue like auburn chestnut brown to play around with sexy red tones without looking like Annie!
7. Chocolate Brown With Face-Framing Light Golden Brown
Warm color, tons of dimension, and flattering undertones that make olive skin pop? Yes to all of the above! This trendy color is very complimentary on skin with green/yellow undertones and really highlights your natural glow.
8. Chocolate Brown to Honey Blonde Bold Balayage
This bold balayage packs a color punch and looks amazing on olive skin tones! A warm chocolate brown root gets a few honey blonde highlights to break up the rich color, then fades into those warm golden blonde tones from the midshaft to the ends. This is a great way to experiment with blonde if you’re not ready to go blonde all-over just yet!
9. Dimensional Deep Auburn
While olive skin tones don’t play well with bright coppery tones, the depth and richness of a dark auburn make a perfect match for a golden complexion with olive undertones. Plenty of warm, bold brown color mixes in with the red tones to keep this color from looking orange or brassy.
Read Next: Auburn Hair Color Ideas for 2022
10. Rich Espresso Brown
Neutral espresso has both warm and cool characteristics, making it a great option for olive skin tones. Play up the underlying warmth with very subtle chestnut brown highlights around the face, or go for slightly more golden brown tones if you’re not a fan of the reddish brown.
Tips and Things to Consider
Figuring out the best hair color for olive skin involves paying attention to your undertones – green and yellow – and the colors that compliment them according to color wheel hair theory.
The olive skin tone has a few unique characteristics that are important to understand so you can always pick flattering hair colors in the future. Here’s what you need to consider.
- Olive skin can be fair/light, medium, or medium-deep. Having olive undertones doesn’t really define the depth of your skin tone. While all olive skin has those characteristic green/yellow undertones, your overall skin tone may be fair/light, medium, or medium-deep. In general, the lighter your skin, the lighter your hair color can be. If you have medium or medium-deep olive skin, stick to medium-to-deep hair colors (dark blondes, medium to deep reds and browns) for the most complimentary effect.
- If your skin looks sallow, you’ve got the wrong hair color. If you’re seeing sallow – sickly pale yellow – tones in your skin, adjusting your hair color will brighten your complexion up. Heavy yellow undertones in your color can leave you looking yellowish and sallow, so try adding in deeper bronze, chestnut, or chocolate tones to balance things out.
- Make sure you’re wearing the right foundation. Choosing the best hair color for olive skin makes a huge difference in how your complexion looks, but the wrong foundation can destroy your best efforts. Experiment with different foundation undertones – olive skin often looks great with a sandy, beige, buff, or nude foundation without any pink or orange tint.
- Start prepping your hair for color now. It’s not too soon to start preparing your strands for your new color! Chemical processing can be super damaging, so start babying your hair with extra conditioning treatments, less heat styling, and added strengthening treatments with hydrolyzed protein to minimize damage when dye time comes.
- Ensure your new color lasts as long as possible. Switching to a sulfate-free shampoo for colored hair is a great first line of defense against color fading. Protecting strands from high-heat styling tools (heat protectant spray is a must) and washing less often will also preserve your new color longer. If you’re rocking a deep shade, color-depositing conditioner can help keep your color vibrant for months!
Best Hair Color for Olive Skin: Final Thoughts
So many colors work well with olive skin tones, from sparkling golden and honey blondes to radiant auburn and alluring chestnut, chocolate, and espresso brown shades.
For the most part, keeping your hair color warm while avoiding bold orange-red coppery tones will give you gorgeous results that make your olive skin shine. But which hair color from this list will work best for you?
Your preference should be the first consideration – are you itching to go golden blonde, try a warm or neutral brown, or experiment with dimensional auburn or reddish chestnut tones?
Once you’ve settled on a general color “family,” you can start narrowing things down by focusing on your skin tone depth. Your skin is olive, but are you fair, medium, or medium-deep in tone?
The fairer you are, the more you should stick with shades on the lighter end of your preferred color. The darker you are, the more medium and deep shades you can play around with. Let’s say you have a medium olive skin tone and prefer brown hair colors.
Your best options would be shades like milk chocolate, chestnut brown, and espresso brown. Dress up these shades with highlights or lighter balayage color for more dimension and fun!
If you’re a fair/light olive tone who prefers blonde shades, a pinkish platinum, honey blonde, or light to medium golden blonde would be perfect. A deeper shadow root, subtle highlights a shade or two lighter, or subtle lowlights a shade or two darker are great ways to shake up your blonde color.
Choosing the best hair color for olive skin can be a challenge, but it’s the best kind of challenge – the gorgeous, flattering hair color results will speak for themselves.
Doing your homework here really pays off! Follow the tips in this guide to achieve a beautiful color that compliments your olive skin and plays up your natural golden glow.