30 Hair Colors That Are Perfect For Olive Skin

Like all trend cycles, the colors we dye our hair and how we do so go in and out of style. While some claim that there are hair color trends that suit everyone, there are definitely certain shades that look better on some of us than others. We've all seen the TikTok filters that claim they'll tell us what we need to know about our color analysis. Still, sometimes, finding out what colors complement our natural palettes and make us look and feel our best is easier said than done. 

This is especially true when choosing our hair color. For those of us with olive skin, it can feel overwhelming trying to find a shade that will flatter us when we're ready for an updated look. Can we pull off blonde? Which bright colors work best for us and which will wash us out? How can we add more dimensional shades to our natural hair color? Luckily, while these questions seem difficult to answer, there are actually some rules to live by when it comes to choosing a hair color. 

If you aren't sure whether you have olive skin, you can check by taking a close look at the veins on your neck, face, or wrist. If they have a greenish tint, you have olive undertones. If you have an olive skin tone, this also means that you have warm undertones. Luckily, if you've got olive skin, we're ready to show you just how many hair colors will work for you. 

Dirty platinum blonde

For folks with olive skin, it can feel intimidating or even like a big no-no to consider going super light with your hair color. In reality, though, light blonde can be just as beautiful as it is eye-catching with olive skin. Just work with your colorist to make sure you get the perfect tone for you, whether it's dirty or pure platinum. Likewise, purple shampoo is your friend if you try this color while regular maintenance will be an absolute must too. 

Dark with contrasting money pieces

If you want to incorporate just a little bleach blonde into your look without completely stripping the color from your entire head, a couple of light money pieces are the perfect solution. As celebrity colorist Laura Gibson told Byrdie, "The money piece is a trend that's here to stay. It brightens the face and works with any hair color. It can be soft or bold, so it's customizable for all, and makes any color look more interesting." Plus, in this case, it allows for a more subtle change in color than going full blonde. 


Not everyone can pull off a fully black head of hair, but with olive skin, you have a complexion that can really complement super dark locks. If your hair is naturally medium or dark brown, why not try going for the darkest of dark colors? Most people consider adding more dimension and lightness to their color when they're ready to make a change but going for fully black locks will make your features pop and give your face the perfect dramatic backdrop. 

Blonde highlights

Lighten up your locks with extra light highlights and plenty of depth. Most of us have had the urge to throw caution to the wind and go fully platinum at least once in our lives. If you're ready to try platinum on for size, experiment with a higher dimensional mix of shades on a lighter brown base. This technique will give your hair a range of hues, rather than just solid blonde. This is an especially smart way to add a bit of lightness to curly, textured hair. 

Fully bleached

If you're looking to really make a statement, this is the way to do it. Bleach looks especially cute with short hair — think a buzz cut, a pixie, or even a choppy French bob. Serving your blonde 'do up with a bit more edginess makes the look work even more so you may have to update your fashion game too. Meanwhile, leaving your brows their natural color will anchor this boldest of shades, so the blonde doesn't wash you out either. 

Warm honey blonde

Honey blonde is another great way to incorporate a lighter tone into your look if you've got olive skin. It coordinates perfectly with the beautiful warmth of your complexion and adds a bit of brightness to your face, too. This shade with ever so slightly deeper roots and lighter ends will give you a fresh, updated color palette without making you look sickly pale. Wear your locks wavy or in big, bouncy curls to really show it off. 

Mocha highlights

If you want to add a subtle bit of highlight to your hair, a perfect match is mocha. As top colorist George Papanikolas explained to Byrdie: "Mocha is a balanced neutral shade of warm and cool and complements most skin tones, but especially olive complexions." Garnier celebrity hair colorist Nikki Lee described mocha hair as " a beautiful, rich, chocolatey brunette color that can complement many different skin tones," in conversation with Bustle. Furthermore, the subtle, warmer highlights here add just a little bit of dimension that will make your hair stand out. 

Dark with auburn highlights

Adding some blonde balayage or highlights to naturally darker hair is one of the go-to ways to instantly refresh your locks. That said, swapping out the blonde for a warm, caramel brown or auburn is a more modern way to do this that will neatly complement your skin's warm undertones. According to Dani Everson, hairstylist and owner of Clementine's Salon, "Olive skin tones look great with warm brown hair colors," as she told Hair.com. This is a way to get that effect with loads of dimension and interest. 

Dark with cool brunette balayage

If your hair is naturally super dark, consider adding some cool brown balayage to give it more dimension. Not only will this add a bit of depth to your hair color without making any substantial changes, but it will be one of the most low-maintenance color choices too. As your roots grow out, you won't have to worry about getting them touched up ASAP. Instead, you can let more of your natural color grow in and enjoy some effortlessly dimensional color. 

Chocolate brown with highlighted ends

For another look that will allow you to embrace your natural color while creating plenty of depth and brightness, add some warm, rich balayage. Chocolate and chestnut browns are on the warmer side, so they'll be more likely to make your warm-toned skin look glowy than a cooler brown, and they notably also won't leave your hair looking dull or flat. You can start the color transition higher or lower on your strands, depending on how light you want to go with your look. 

Face-framing blonde

Face-framing highlights are a great way to bring some brightness to your face and add a little bit of spice to your hair color. These days, they're more than just a strip of slightly lighter hair surrounding your face too. Founder of Not Another Salon in London, Sophia Hilton, informed Glamour: "Face frames are getting larger and larger. I would even go as far as to say they aren't face frames anymore. They've evolved to being five inches thick in some cases." Don't be afraid to go a bit bigger and lighter with face-framing highlights as a result, and you'll be super on-trend. 

Lavender with dark roots

If you're ready for a bold new hair color and are bored by the natural-looking options available, you may want to opt for something bright and edgy. In-demand colorist Ariel Hauck suggested to Byrdie that "a baby pink or purple would suit this skin tone best." These colors are whimsical and fun, and while they can look amazing if you're ready to bleach your whole head and go for a light, pretty color all over, dark roots showing through can give the shade a bit of effortless edginess without being too in-your-face.  

Pink and purple highlights

While baby pink or lavender may add a splash of fun and whimsy to your look, if you want to take things a step further, why not hot pink and bold purple, instead? And, why not put them together? This head of hair is wild and eye-catching, yet it works to add brightness and a bit of edginess to the model's look. One of the things that makes this unusual color combination work so well is that these warm, bold shades exist on a dark base that makes the colors mesh perfectly with an olive complexion. 

Dark brown roots with light brown strands

One common theme you'll see throughout our list is the benefit of keeping your roots their natural color and building another shade on top as you gradually move toward the ends. This can be a good idea even if you only want to go for a shade of brown that's slightly lighter than your own. Further, letting your roots show through while pairing them with a lighter color can ensure that the shade you choose will complement your complexion. This is a great color choice for box braids like these ones, in particular. 

Deep red highlights

Red hair is notoriously difficult to pull off for folks who aren't naturally blessed with crimson locks. It can be especially challenging to make this color work if you have skin that's a bit on the tanner side. A great way to get around this and live out your redheaded dreams is to keep a darker brown at your roots or even as lowlights. This grounds your color and adds depth without making you look like the red is totally out of place amidst the rest of your natural palette. 

Fire engine red with dark lowlights

If you're gonna go red, why not go all the way? A deep, bright red is actually often easier to work with than a subtler, more natural-looking red. Bright, cherry red is not as jarring as a shade that looks like it could grow out of someone's head but just doesn't jibe with your skin tone. Cherry red also looks best on folks with olive skin tones when there's lots of dimension and a darker base at the roots. 

Light Copper

Copper is another great way to go red if you have olive skin. This color gives a more subdued, monochrome feel to your overall palette, while still adding plenty of interest to your look. Since warm colors tend to look best on warm skin tones, this is a great option if you're looking to lighten up your hair a bit but don't want to go blonde. With a copper hue, it will pop especially well if you have light eyes. 

Deep red streaks

If you want to get the fiery, bold look that red hair can bring, but you're not ready to take the plunge to go full redhead, consider layering some streaks with your natural color. This look pairs a deep, dark cherry red hue with the model's natural, light brown hair color. A look like this allows you to have the best of both worlds: You can make a bold fashion statement while still being able to return to a more natural, subdued vibe. It all depends on how you choose to style it.  

Dark with blonde balayage

Want honey blonde hair but don't think it will suit you? Plenty of people feel the same way, and that's one of the reasons balayage has grown so popular in recent years. Blonde balayage on dark hair is another great way to have a little bit of fun with your color while still sticking to a tried-and-true hue that you know works for you. Opt for a saturated honey blonde like this one to make sure that the color is still on the warmer side and that your balayage is subtle and not too drastic. 

One-tone honey brown hair

Dimensional and complex styles like highlights and balayage can certainly add brightness and interest to your hair. If that's not your style, however, that doesn't mean that you can't find a warm, beautiful color that will make your olive complexion shine. Honey brown hair is a great idea if you're looking for just one tone that's neither fully light nor dark. This color falls somewhere in the middle, but it won't wash you out or make your features look dull like many other hues in the light brown family. 

Subtle warm highlights

No matter what base hair color you're starting with, warm highlights are always a great way to complement the warm undertones your olive skin tone naturally has. Adding caramel highlights throughout your hair that fall somewhere between your natural shade and your skin tone will really make your features pop with just a subtle alteration to your natural color. Ensure some of your highlights are face-framing to bring some additional brightness and openness to your face. 

Auburn highlights

Another way to subtly go red is to add some auburn highlights or balayage to your naturally dark hair. This probably isn't your first instinct if you're looking for an update, but it can be a great way to switch to a warmer, complementary color while ensuring that the shade doesn't clash with your skin tone. Just make sure your roots are showing through and that there's a subtle transition from your natural color to the red hue. 

Warm brown sombre

If you haven't heard the term "sombre" before, it's actually a portmanteau for the phrase "soft ombre." Ombre hair is a popular way to add varied hues to your tresses. Sombre ensures that the transition from one color to the next is subtle and perfectly blended and that the shades themselves aren't too drastically different either. This look takes a deep, dark brown to a lighter, more copper brown. The transition is gradual while adding a bit of the lighter shade around the face allows for easier blending and more brightening. 


We've established that warm hair colors suit olive skin but bold reds and purples are definitely not off the table either. If you're looking for a fun and funky color that isn't quite as attention-grabbing and prone to clashing with outfits as bright purple or hot pink, try plum-colored hair on for size. This is a more subdued way of rocking bright, colorful locks that will suit your features perfectly. Plum hair looks best when it's paired with medium skin tones with warm undertones, so olive skin and plum hair are a match made in heaven. 

Caramel balayage

Caramel-colored balayage will seriously brighten up your locks. As colorist George Papanikolas told Byrdie, "Caramel in a warmer tone is a beautiful way to illuminate an olive complexion. Caramels naturally have golden undertones, which create a beautiful sun-kissed end result." That's basically what we're all aiming for when spring and summer roll around, so you may want to consider trying out a sunny caramel-colored balayage when the warmer months are finally underway or even shortly before, to get that sunshine feeling early. 

High-contrast balayage

While "sombre" hair is definitely in right now, two-toned hair with a bolder, more dramatic transition could be your next hairstyle if you want to do something a bit bolder. A high-contrast balayage will add dimension to your look and give you an updated, more youthful vibe than a more subtle color transition. If you have naturally dark locks, consider keeping your base and blending in a bright, warm blonde toward the ends. This look is a more playful, bolder take on the classic blonde balayage, and keeping your darker roots will ensure that the colors complement your skin tone. 

Pink money pieces

So, you love the idea of a money piece or face-framing highlights, but you want something a bit more fun. Enter the pink money piece. While a streak of bright color in your hair may seem totally 2003, there are plenty of modern ways to add a splash of surprising color to your look and bring your hair into the 2020s. We love these pink face-framing highlights, which allow your bold color choice and your face to share the spotlight. Mixing more subtle pink throughout the rest of the hair is equally chic and cool. 

Dirty blonde

Dirty blonde is a great choice if you want to add someone dimension to your hair without making too big of a statement. Opt for lots of cool blonde highlights mixed in with your natural shade for a color combination that is both unique and effortless. For a look like this, keep in mind that you can always add more highlights later, so you might want to consider starting with a bit of lightness and adding more over time until you have the perfect mix of light and dark to live out your dirty blonde dreams. 

Light brown on black

If you have naturally dark brown, almost black hair, it may feel as though no color could possibly suit you as well. Even if your natural hair color complements your olive skin perfectly, you can still have your cake and eat it too, by keeping your natural color while also switching things up and brightening up your overall look. Try some warm, lighter brown highlights mixed in with your natural, darker color. It will add some welcome depth and brightness to your usual color palette without straying too far from it. 

Subtle brown balayage

If you have naturally dark hair and olive skin, you don't have to make a major change to your locks to get an updated look. Adding balayage that's just a few shades lighter and a bit warmer than your natural color will give your hair depth without altering it too much. Where your balayage starts is all up to you, so beginning it further away from your roots will allow even more of your natural color to shine through while still giving you a dash of fresh color.