From Caramel to Mocha: The Most Flattering Hair Colors for Olive Skin

Updated 04/15/19

Changing up your hair color is a great way to express your personal style while highlighting some of your best features. It can bring out your eyes, the shape your cheekbones, and make your skin glow. The only problem with dying your hair is figuring out what color to dye it. 

Those with olive skin tones especially can have difficulty finding the perfect hair color shade. We spoke with three top colorists and asked them to share the most flattering hair colors for olive skin tones. From caramel to mocha, we came up with a comprehensive list of the best hair colors for olive skin. 

Ariel Hauck


L.A. colorist Ariel Hauck says that platinum looks amazing with olive skin, but it must be icy and cool-toned. "If done correctly, this color on olive skin tones is stunning and definitely a statement."

One thing to remember: If you do go platinum, you'll have to commit. "It will be very high-maintenance and you will have to go in often for upkeep," says Hauck. 

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Colorist Rita Hazan (whose clientele includes Beyoncé) recommends honey tones for olive skin because honey is neutral. “So if you want to go lighter, this color is a great balance," says Hazan. 

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"Olive complexions should avoid ash tones, as the cool tones of the skin paired with cool hair can look very flat and dull and washed-out," says colorist George Papanikolas, who colors Jenna Dewan-Tatum and Adriana Lima's hair.

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According to Papanikolas, caramel tones are extremely flattering on olive skin. "Caramel in a warmer tone is a beautiful way to illuminate an olive complexion," he says. "Caramels have golden undertones, which balance out the green tones of the skin, creating a beautiful sun-kissed end result."

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Hauck agrees, saying, "Caramel highlights will always be a safe zone for people with olive skin. It's always sexy and always complements light or dark eyes." 

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"Chestnut or chocolate colors have warm tones to them to counteract the cool undertones in olive skin to give it a glowing look," Hazan says. 

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Not ready for all-over chestnut tones? Add face-framing chestnut highlights instead like Penelope Cruz. 

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"Mocha is a balanced neutral shade of warm and cool and complements most skin tones, but especially olive complexions," Papanikolas says.

Ariel Hauck

Cool-Blonde Highlights

Not a fan of warmer hair tones? Hauck says cool-blonde highlights are a good option and especially complement lighter eyes. 

If you're not sure which color will work for you, read up on best hair colors for your skin tone

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