What Are the Best Hair Colors for Olive Skin? (with pictures)

Kay Paddock
Kay Paddock
Dark chocolate brown is a better hair color for people with olive skin than jet black hair.
Dark chocolate brown is a better hair color for people with olive skin than jet black hair.

When choosing between hair colors for olive skin, most experts recommend that the hair not be changed beyond a few shades from its natural color for the best look. Olive-skinned people generally have darker rather than lighter hair, so staying with dark shades usually provides the most natural appearance. Warmer colors may also blend with warm olive skin tones better than cooler colors, so deep red, gold and brown should probably be used instead of cooler medium brown or light blonde shades.

Warmer colors, such as deep red and gold, are better than cooler colors.
Warmer colors, such as deep red and gold, are better than cooler colors.

When choosing dark hair colors, it is important not to go too dark. Jet black, for instance, is considered a cooler tone than extremely dark brown. It lacks the warmth and rich depth of color that tends to work best with olive skin tones. Even a deep chocolate color that is close to black but not solid black will offer more warmth and probably blend better with olive skin colors.

Gold and brown colors work well with olive skin.
Gold and brown colors work well with olive skin.

Though darker colors are recommended, those who want to wear lighter shades should probably still choose warmer over cooler tones. A light honey shade may complement olive skin tones far more than a cooler platinum or sandy color, for instance. Any shades of red should typically be deeper and closer to rust or orange than cooler burgundy shades. It can also help to consider eye color. People with darker eyes may wish to gravitate toward darker colors, and those with lighter eyes may be able to look natural with slightly lighter hair.

Individuals with olive skin may have yellow and gold skin undertones.
Individuals with olive skin may have yellow and gold skin undertones.

There are so many different shades in each general color that care should be taken to find the right one for olive skin. Olive skin colors vary, so appropriate hair colors will as well. Skin with brown or yellow undertones is considered warm, while skin with pink or bluish undertones is considered cool. Most people with olive skin will have warm skin with yellow and gold undertones. The more of these undertones someone's skin has, the warmer their hair color should probably be to keep them looking balanced.

Hair colors for olive skin — or any skin tone — should look as natural as possible while avoiding the look of one solid color through the hair. Most of the best hair colors look wonderful together and work well as highlights. A darker base color with highlights in bronze, deep red or gold can give a natural look that complements the skin.

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Discussion Comments

gravois

My wife has very deep olive skin and for as long as I've known her she has worn her hair very dark but with a kind of auburn accent.

I love the way it looks. As a matter of fact it was the first thing I noticed about her when we met. She has thought about changing it a few times but I always beg her to keep it the same.

backdraft

I have a friend who has really beautiful olive skin. She often describes it as cafe con leche which I just love.

Unfortunately she got a wild hair to dye her hair blonde a few weeks back. Not just blonde, but the kind of bleach blonde that you associate with Alabama state cheerleaders in 1984. I don't know what she was thinking because, no surprise, it looks terrible. The hair color and skin tone don't match at all and it ends up highlighting the fakeness of her dye job. Thankfully its not permanent.

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    • Dark chocolate brown is a better hair color for people with olive skin than jet black hair.
      Dark chocolate brown is a better hair color for people with olive skin than jet black hair.
    • Warmer colors, such as deep red and gold, are better than cooler colors.
      Warmer colors, such as deep red and gold, are better than cooler colors.
    • Gold and brown colors work well with olive skin.
      Gold and brown colors work well with olive skin.
    • Individuals with olive skin may have yellow and gold skin undertones.
      Individuals with olive skin may have yellow and gold skin undertones.