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How Do I Choose the Best Shades of Red Hair with Olive Skin?

Kathleen Howard
Kathleen Howard

While it is possible to wear red hair with olive skin, choosing the right shade is of the utmost importance. The wrong shade of red hair coloring will appear unnatural and give the skin a sallow appearance. To choose the best red hair color for olive skin, you must first determine whether your complexion has warm or cool undertones. You also need to choose a shade based on your natural hair color and the depth of your skin tone.

Olive skin will have either warm or cool undertones. A warm skin tone is one that appears yellow or golden. Cool skin tones have a more blueish or pink appearance. A quick way to determine your skin tone is to look at the veins in your wrist. Green veins indicate warmth, while blue veins mean that you have cool undertones.

Natural redheads are typically fair skinned.
Natural redheads are typically fair skinned.

If you have a warm skin tone, you will want to choose warm shades of red. When choosing hair color, look for shades of auburn with copper or red hair undertones. Bright coppers can also match warm olive skin tones, as long as the color is not too light for the skin. Wearing warm shades of red hair with olive skin will brighten your complexion and bring out your natural golden undertones.

Olive skin may have either warm or cool undertones.
Olive skin may have either warm or cool undertones.

People with cool undertones look better in cooler red shades. To find a cool shade of red, look for colors that have the words violet or burgundy in their name. For more dramatic color, you can also try a dark copper hair color. These shades will enhance a cool complexion much better than warmer shades of red.

Generally speaking, olive skin tones tend to look better with darker hair. While olive skin and red hair can look great, it is important to choose a shade that is close to the color of your natural hair. To make red hair with olive skin look natural, choose a color that is no more than two shades lighter than your natural hair color. This is especially true if your coloring is very dark, as a light strawberry blond will not flatter a dark olive skin tone.

Red is one of the more difficult hair colors to achieve and maintain. If you need help figuring out how to match red hair with olive skin, consult a professional colorist. A professional will be able to help you identify the warm or cool tones in your skin and choose a shade to flatter these undertones.

Discussion Comments

I don't think bright reds (gingers?) look good on olive skin. Bright reds look better on pale, white skin. I like auburn tones on people with olive skin. It's closer to brown than red, and looks very natural. A darker brown with auburn or dark red highlights also looks good.

@fBoyle-- Skin undertones are really very important for choosing the right hair color. Another way to tell if you have a warm or cool undertone is to see which type of jewelry looks best on you. If you look better with silver jewelry, than you have a cool undertone. If you look better with gold jewelry, you have a warm undertone.

Some people have a neutral undertone and you may as well. This means that both cool and warm red tones will look good on you. You can basically pull off any red hair color.


I can't tell whether my skin has a cool or warm undertone. My veins look neither too green nor blue. I have medium olive skin and I want a dark red tone for my hair. Do you think it will look good?

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    • Natural redheads are typically fair skinned.
      By: Mat Hayward
      Natural redheads are typically fair skinned.
    • Olive skin may have either warm or cool undertones.
      By: micromonkey
      Olive skin may have either warm or cool undertones.