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What colors look good on dishwater blonde?

Selecting the most flattering hair color for your unique complexion and tone can be tricky, especially if you have dishwater blonde locks. With subtle hints of gray and brown mixed into faded blonde, dishwater hair color suits those with neutral or olive skin tones best. Finding shades that brighten your complexion without looking too brassy or muddy can make all the difference. In this comprehensive guide, learn insider tips on choosing the most complementary shades for dishwater blond hair.

What is Dishwater Blonde Hair?

Dishwater blonde is a neutral blonde hair color with subtle tones of gray, brown, and faded blonde mixed together. The result is a mousy, muted shade that lacks vibrancy and can cause the complexion to look washed out or drab.

This understated blonde hue occurs naturally over time as brighter blonde tones fade and mix with gray hairs. It may also be the result of color-treated hair that has not been properly toned. The term “dishwater” refers to the dreary, dull color of dirty dishwater, which aptly describes this lackluster blonde shade.

Although dishwater blond lacks brilliance, when paired with the right colors it can take on a softer, more naturally pretty look. Finding shades that liven up your face and make your eyes sparkle is key when working with this neutral hue.

Best Color Palette for Dishwater Blonde Hair

Choosing colors that complement your skin’s undertone is key for dishwater blondes. Cool, neutral, or olive complexions pair best with this muted hair color. Clear winter, soft summer, light summer, and soft autumn color palettes tend to be most harmonious with neutral and ashy dishwater blonde locks.

Here is an overview of the best color palettes for dishwater blonde hair:

Color Palette Undertone Suggested Colors
Clear Winter Cool Icy blues, true reds, magentas, cherry red, emerald green, royal blue, bright white
Soft Summer Cool Mauve, seafoam green, cornflower blue, rose brown, faded blue, lavender, pale gray
Light Summer Cool Powder blue, blush pink, mossy green, lavender, light gray, nude pink, pale yellow
Soft Autumn Warm neutral Mustard, terracotta, sage green, tan, soft rose, mocha, muted navy

Aim for colors in the same depth and intensity as your dishwater strands to create harmony. For example, lighter jewel tones, muted cool pastels, and earthy neutrals tend to complement this hair color beautifully.

Best Clothing Colors for Dishwater Blonde Hair

Clothing colors near your face should be chosen with special care when you have dishwater blonde hair. Your hair color will closely interact with the hues you wear. The right clothing shades can impart a vibrant glow or wash you out.

Here are some of the best clothing colors to try with dishwater blonde hair:

  • Periwinkle: This gentle blue-purple shade brings out golden highlights in dishwater blonde hair. It flatters fair, cool skin.
  • Seafoam Green: Minty cool pastels like seafoam complement neutral and olive complexions. They liven the face without competing with muted locks.
  • Salmon: For warm neutral dishwater blondes, a bright salmon pink top color adds a lively pop of color. Amber highlights are accentuated.
  • Burnt Orange: This earthy orange with reddish undertones enhances a warm skin tone. It also picks up hints of red and gold in the hair.
  • Forest Green: Deep greens like forest or olive pair beautifully with dishwater blonde. This color combo is especially lovely on those with hazel eyes.
  • Plum: Light dusty plums and lilac-tinged purples flatter cool skin with pink undertones. Both the hair and complexion are enhanced.

Aim for rich, muted tones or soft pastels in your clothing colors. Bright neons and other intense shades tend to overwhelm dishwater blonde hair.

Best Makeup Colors for Dishwater Blonde Hair

Like your clothing, makeup colors worn near the face should be carefully chosen to complement your hair. The right lipstick, blush, and eye makeup shades can make dishwater blond hair come alive.

Here are some of the most flattering makeup colors to try with dishwater blonde hair:

Makeup Product Best Colors
Lipstick Mauve, cranberry, pinky nude, brownish red, salmony pink
Blush Soft rose, mauve pink, peach, apricot
Eyeshadow Taupe, silver, soft purple, navy, olive green
Eyeliner Brown, gray, forest green, navy blue
Mascara Black, dark brown, navy

The most flattering lipstick shades will pick up on the subtle hints of pink, red, and brown in your hair. Blush in warm peach or pink tones imparts a natural glow. Eyeshadow in contrasting shades makes eyes pop.

Dye Colors to Avoid with Dishwater Blonde Hair

Some hair dye colors are extremely difficult to pull off with a dishwater blonde base. Aggressively warm, light, or vivid shades often clash noticeably. Here are some hair color shades to avoid:

  • Icy Platinum Blonde: This ultra light shade washes out skin and clashes with the muted tones in dishwater blonde hair.
  • Butter Yellow: Golden shades like butter yellow look garish against neutral and olive skin. Violet tones left over from dishwater blonde also muddy the results.
  • Fire Engine Red: Going to the extreme warm end of the spectrum with a vivid red overwhelms the hair’s natural mutedness. The effect is jarring.
  • Jet Black: A harsh inky black paired with faded dishwater locks can look very uneven. More natural dark brown is easier to blend.
  • Ashy Platinum: This very cool and icy tone competes with the subtle warmth of dishwater blonde rather than complementing it.
  • Neon Orange: Bright almost fluorescent orange hair dye is hard to pull off for anyone. On dishwater blonde it can read as fake and garish.

Dishwater blonde hair is best enhanced with dye colors in the same muted depth. For example, try light mink brown, pale sand blonde, or taupe gray rather than intense shades.

Best Highlights for Dishwater Blonde Hair

Subtle highlights blended into dishwater blond hair can help give it dimension. The trick is choosing highlight shades that integrate naturally rather than look brassy or severe. Here are some highlight shades that work beautifully with dishwater locks:

  • Buttery Blonde: A shade lighter and warmer than your natural tone. Flatters light olive and neutral skin.
  • Beige Blonde: Adds warmth and brightens the complexion. Especially pretty on those with soft autumn coloring.
  • Rose Gold: Very soft pinkish blonde highlights counteract brassiness. Harmonizes with cool or pink undertones in the skin.
  • Ashy Blonde: A touch cooler and lighter than your natural tone. Brightens without being icy.
  • Champagne: Mimics the way dishwater blonde lightens in the sun. Warm withoutlooking brassy.
  • Mocha: For darker dishwater blondes, mocha brown highlights add dimension and warmth. Beautiful on olive complexions.

Keep highlights closely related to your natural color. Ask your colorist to incorporate them with a balayage or root stretch technique for the most natural look.

Examples of Dishwater Blonde with Best Colors

Seeing some real-life examples of dishwater blonde hair paired with flattering makeup and clothing colors can help you visualize the combinations. Here are a few dishwater blondes who chose colors harmonious with their complexion and hair tone:

Person Colors Worn
Reese Witherspoon Royal blue top brings out blue eyes. Lipstick picks up natural pink tones in skin and hair.
Jennifer Lawrence Burgundy top and lip flatter olive skin. Soft pink blush suits complexion and dishwater blonde locks.
Emma Stone Olive green jacket harmonizes with eyes. Peach blush and nude lips flatter skin tone.
Gigi Hadid Gray coat and white top brighten without competing with hair. Eyes and lips subtly defined.

Notice how wearing colors in the same muted depth as the hair creates harmony and enhances the complexion. Bright colors are avoided near the face which could overwhelm dishwater blonde locks.

Hair Care Tips for Dishwater Blonde

Caring properly for dishwater blond hair helps maximize its soft, pretty potential. Here are some top tips for maintaining and enhancing your dishwater locks:

  • Wash less frequently with a gentle color-safe shampoo and conditioner to retain shade.
  • Rinse with cool water instead of hot which can accelerate fading.
  • Use a purple shampoo once a week to neutralize brassiness and stay bright.
  • Apply a weekly nourishing hair mask to boost shine and condition.
  • Protect hair from sun exposure which can intensify dryness and fading.
  • Get a professional gloss or toner treatment to refresh color between salon visits.
  • Reduce use of hot styling tools that can dry out blonde hair over time.

With proper care, dishwater blonde hair can take on a luminous quality. Amp up the shine with hydrating products to offset the dullness this hair color can sometimes convey.


Finding your most flattering colors with dishwater blonde hair has everything to do with choosing the right tones and depths. The muted, neutral quality of this blonde shade means colors should be soft rather than vivid. Cool pastels, earthy neutrals, and jewel tones in lighter depths tend to complement dishwater locks beautifully. Stay away from competing shades like icy platinums and neon brights. With the right colors and proper care, dishwater blond hair can take on a shiny, dimensional look.