Not the easiest fashion color to pull off, green hair certainly requires some professional hair dyeing tips for getting and maintaining bright. We’ve got some expert tips on how you can dye your hair green, including a bleaching guide, as well as maintenance tips so you can keep your green hair looking vivid. Finally, we have some makeup and fashion tips so you can adapt your look to fit your green hair color.
In this article:
- Shades of Green Hair
- Dyeing Hair Green at Home
- How to Maintain Green Hair Color
- Your Makeup Routine for Green Hair
- Matching Outfits with Green Hair Color
Shades of Green Hair to Consider Getting
As with all hair colors, green hair exists on a spectrum with neutral, cool, and warm variations. There can also be lighter and darker versions of green hair, not to mention various combinations that can give the hair all kinds of different effects.
- True green, apple green or grass green hair is a bright, neutral green shade that is neither light nor dark. It is a striking, saturated color that really turns heads.
- Emerald can be a neutral green, though sometimes it can lean towards very slightly cool. What makes emerald green hair unique is that it is a jewel tone, which means that it is deep and vivid but also shiny.
- Forest green is similar to emerald green, although it is usually more neutral or very slightly warm. It is also a deep and vivid shade, but it can be a little more matte, so it doesn’t register as a jewel tone.
- Hunter green hair is a darker version of forest green. It’s a very deep, neutral green that is very flattering for most skin tones and can often be applied directly to medium brown hair.
- Mint green hair is a light, pastel variation on neutral green. It’s a very refreshing shade that pairs well with other pastels, as well as with other shades of green.
- Teal is a blue-green shade similar to turquoise but greener. It is deep and saturated, and it looks totally stunning when combined with a lot of other colors.
- Seafoam hair is a cool, light green, almost like a pastel shade of teal. It looks fantastic with blue tones, but it’s also very pretty on its own or with neutral green shades.
- Neon green, lime or chartreuse hair is a vivid, bright, yet light green shade that leans a little towards warm. It is on the verge of being a yellow, but it is still greener than it is yellow. It’s not an easy color to pull off alone, but as Billie Eilish proves, where there’s a will there’s a way!
- Olive green hair is a subdued warm green shade that is muted by the addition of brown. It’s also known as army green, and it works particularly well with earth tones. It’s often the color that shows up as a result of using semi-permanent green hair dye over naturally medium brown hair.
- Moss is like olive’s more vivacious color. It is a deep and rich warm green tone that brings to mind lush vegetation. It’s not the easiest color to pull off, but it’s nice when combined in streaks with other shades of green.
Expert Tips on Dyeing Hair Green at Home
Green is definitely a fashion hair color, which means it can take a little bit more work to make it really stick. Fashion pigments have the easiest time hanging on to hair that has been bleached since the bleaching process removes pigment from the hair and makes it easier for dyes to “stick.”
This means that even if you have naturally light hair, a green hair dye will dye your hair at first, but it will fade very quickly even if you follow our maintenance tips. That can be great if you’re nervous about switching to green hair, but if you know that you want it to last, then it is better to bleach it no matter the hair color you’re starting with.
Be aware that most green hair dyes are semi-permanent, and that they will work like a quick-fading tint on hair that is light brown or medium brown. For very vivid or pastel green hair colors, bleach is pretty much a must.
Before you start either the bleaching or the green dyeing process, make sure to perform a strand test since green can be unpredictable. This will also allow you to ensure that the bleach won’t irritate the skin. You should also give your hair some extra fortification in preparation for the dyeing, especially if you’ll be bleaching it first, by using deep conditioning hair masks.
You can mix a few different semi-permanent green hair dye formulas if you’re interested in achieving a particular tone. Green hair dye mixed with a bit of yellow hair dye will give you a very warm chartreuse, while mixing green with a bit of blue will give you more of a teal. Adding black hair dye will make your green hair color darker and more muted, while some brands even make pastel mixers so you can make your own seafoam or mint.
Step 1: Bleaching Your Hair for Vivid or Pastel Green Hair
For a super vivid green hair color, bleach your hair first. Here is our quick bleaching guide.
You will need:
- Developer (20 volume)
- Mixing bowl
- Hair dye brush
- Destroyable shirt
- Hair clips
- Sulfate-free shampoo and conditioner
The bleaching process:
- Start out by preparing your bleach mixture in a bowl, using one-part bleach powder and one-part developer. Mix it with your hair dyeing brush.
- Next, put on a loose top you don’t mind wrecking with bleach, and then separate your hair into 3-4 sections and clip them up. Your hair should be dry to start out.
- Put on your disposable gloves to protect your hands, and apply petroleum jelly to the perimeter of your hair if you have sensitive skin.
- Select a small clump of hair from the section you would like to start with, and apply the bleach to it with the hair dyeing brush, starting about an inch away from your scalp and roots and pulling it down to the ends. If you start applying the bleach at the roots, they will process faster than the rest of your hair and end up looking significantly lighter.
- Apply bleach in the same manner to that entire section of hair and then clip it up very loosely. Move on to the next section, bleaching in the same way.
- Once you’ve covered all sections of hair with bleach, quickly apply some to your roots.
- Check on the hair every 10 minutes to see if it has gotten down to the lightness level you desire. Don’t leave the bleach on for more than 35 minutes – if it’s still too dark, wash it out anyway and wait a few days to bleach again.
- To wash the bleach out, hop in the shower and shampoo your hair with a sulfate-free shampoo.
- Once you’re done, if your hair is light enough, you can move on to dyeing it green with a semi-permanent dye immediately.
Step 2: Using Green Hair Dye
Whether you’ve bleached your hair first or are using green hair dye just for a tint, here is our step-by-step guide for dyeing your hair green.
You will need:
- Semi-permanent green hair dye
- Hair dyeing brush
- Petroleum jelly
- Destroyable shirt
- Multiple hair clips
- Shower cap
The dyeing process:
- Start by sectioning your hair off into 3 or 4 sections (or more if your hair is very thick) and clipping it up and applying petroleum jelly along the perimeter of your hairline. Green hair dye can seriously stain the skin, so this step is essential.
- Put on your disposable gloves and a shirt that you don’t mind damaging with green hair dye.
- Dip your brush directly into the green hair dye container or squeeze the dye into a mixing bowl and then dip the brush in there.
- Unclip the section of hair you would like to start with and separate out from it a smaller clump of hair.
- Starting as close to the roots as you would like to go, brush the green hair dye over the hair, pulling it from the top down to the ends, and then massage it in a bit with your gloved fingers in order to get a thorough coating over each strand of hair.
- Move on to the next clump of hair, and once you’ve dyed the entire section, clip it back up and move on to the next section.
- Continue dyeing your entire head following the same process.
- Once all of your hair is covered in dye and clipped up, put on a shower cap and allow it to process for 30-45 minutes.
- As the time has passed, hop in the shower to rinse out the dye, but don’t use any shampoo. You won’t need to condition your hair either since green hair dyes are usually formulated to be conditioning on their own.
- Once your hair has been rinsed clear of dye, get out of the shower and towel-dry your hair, preferably with a dark towel.
- Check your hair to ensure it’s been dyed evenly, and make any corrections if necessary.
How to Maintain the Vividness of Your Green Hair Color
Green hair color is not very sticky, so it fades very quickly. Trying to maintain it will require some effort on your part, so here are our tips to make it a little easier.
- Hot water opens up the cuticles in the hair and pulls out the color as well as proteins, making the hair dry and weak while also causing your green hair dye to fade. Because of this, we suggest sticking to lukewarm showers.
- Avoid harsh, sulfate-based shampoo since their powerful cleaning abilities pull the dye out of the hair. Gentle, sulfate-free shampoo won’t cause your hair to fade as much.
- Even better than sulfate-free shampoos are color depositing shampoos that will help to refresh your green hair dye. Punky Colour’s 3-in-1 Color Depositing Shampoo + Conditioner that you can buy on Amazon is one of the few formulas that offer a boost to green hair dye, and you can even choose from teal or alpine green.
- Even if you use a color-refreshing shampoo, you will still want to bring shampooing to a minimum. You can give yourself an extra day or two in between shampooing with the help of a dry shampoo, which will take away any excess oils from your hair.
- Make sure to re-dye your hair regularly, since green hair color, like other fashion colors, tends to fade away very quickly. The great thing about fashion hair colors is that you can easily amp them up at home by yourself, and the semi-permanent dyes usually don’t damage the hair (quite the opposite). It’s with bleach, permanent hair colors, and major color changes that you need to be very careful.
- There are a few other things known to damage the hair or speed up fading, which you should try to avoid, like swimming in chlorinated water, exposing the hair to the sun, and using intense heat styling tools.
Your Makeup Routine for Your Green Hair
Green is a strong color, so here are our tips to help you adapt your makeup to work better with your green hair.
Once you dye your hair green, you will probably find that you need to up your foundation game. Since green is opposite the color red on the color wheel, green hair is not forgiving of any redness, blemish, or sensitivity – the colors clash, so even a small hormonal breakout will look worse next to green hair.
This means that if you don’t usually wear foundation, you might want to introduce one into your routine, while if you usually wear something with low coverage, you might want to go up a step or add a concealer to your makeup bag.
When it comes to highlight and contour, you don’t have to switch things up too much, although we do recommend staying away from contour or bronzer shades that have too much of a red or orange undertone since the green hair will emphasize it.
Blush & Lips
Matching your blush and lipstick to green hair can be a challenge, and requires some finesse. In general, we recommend keeping any makeup products that are traditionally on the red or pink spectrum like blush and lipstick minimal and subtle. Nude lipstick and well-blended blush in neutral berry or dusty rose shades will be easily flattering next to green hair on any skin tone.
If you want to get a little more conceptual, and your foundation game is really strong, you can ignore the rules a little bit and play with clashing colors – the result can be interesting, striking and beautiful because of the contrast, but only if your makeup application technique is precise.
Finally, cool shades of lipstick and blush like purples, mauves, fuchsias, magentas, and berries won’t clash as much against green hair, but they are less likely to flatter warm undertones, so you will still need to balance things carefully.
When it comes to eye makeup, you can have some fun! The typical neutral shades will always look good, of course, but really graphic shades of yellow, blue, and green can look awesome next to green hair.
Copper and purple eyeshadow or eyeliner shades might also work, but you’ll need to be careful to keep them pristine and to pair them well with the rest of your makeup. The only colors you will probably want to stay away from are reds, which are not traditional eye makeup colors anyway.
Where you might run into complications is with your eyebrow color. We recommend choosing a neutral eyebrow filling product that has either gray undertones or potentially yellow undertones if you’ve dyed your hair a warm green color like lime or olive. Make sure to stay away from eyebrow pencils or pomades in a brown shade that has any red undertones, as that will make your eyebrow seriously clash with your hair.
Matching Your Outfits with Your Green Hair Color
Getting your green hair to match your wardrobe is not necessarily the easiest project, but we will help you simplify with our tips based on the wisdom of the color wheel!
- Let’s start with the easiest and safest way of rocking green hair, which is with an all-black wardrobe. Black always looks amazing, and it has an aloof attitude that works well with fashion hair colors.
- Lighter neutrals like white and gray will also work, but they are often a little bit difficult to pull off for other reasons.
- Playing with a range of earth tones is guaranteed to look really special and a little boho-chic in combination with your green hair. Pairing different shades of brown, tan, and beige as well as shades of green that have the same undertone as your hair (teal or forest green for cool green hair and olive or emerald green for warm green hair) will make you feel like a magical woman of the forest.
- Another nice and easy way of rocking green hair is with an outfit that finishes an analog color scheme. Analogs are colors that are right next to each other on the color wheel, so for instance, if your hair is a cool green, the accompanying colors would teal and blue, while if your hair is warm green, the better colors might be lime and yellow (or olive and yellow to keep it muted). You can combine this kind of look with accessories in a neutral shade to break things up just a bit.
- Finally, if you love color, it might be best to experiment with split complementary color blocking. Split complementary color patterns heavily depend on the exact undertone of your green hair, so, for instance, neutral green hair pairs well with red-orange and blue, while warm green hair pairs well with blue-green and red.
- Cool purple often looks really lovely with cool and neutral green hair, if you’re looking for a new dress!
- Warm green, on the other hand, looks best with yellow or yellow-orange, if you’re looking for a colorful, monochromatic look.
Photos via @studio_wolf, Instagram