If you choose to color your hair, then it is no exaggeration to say that it will be the most impactful color decision you make in regards to your appearance and personal image. (Good news! If you choose not to color your hair at all, the color will always fit perfectly with your natural harmony – though be advised this may not be the same as fitting with your personal preference.) Our hair surrounds our faces, and, as my mentor Christine Scaman once said, it’s the hat you always wear. This means that through the principles of simultaneous contrast, your hair color will affect your skin and eyes’ perceived color and vitality, not to mention your eye whites, teeth, and even your facial bone structure.
While it should go without saying that it’s “just hair” and you can dye it whatever color you like, that’s completely different from saying that it doesn’t matter. Indeed, in practice, I find that for many of my clients their battle to get the right hair color is the eye of their personal image storms, the nexus around which all of their wardrobe struggles revolve. If the hair color isn’t harmonious, it will alter the skin tone, which usually results in altered foundation color, which results in altered color cosmetic choices, which then may require a shift in garment colors, and round and round it goes. And so, a seemingly carefree decision to get highlights for summer turns into the opening of Pandora’s box.
It is with this in mind that many women seek out a Personal Color Analysis, and rightly so. Understanding your own innate color properties can be a massive shortcut to finding a hair color you can live with and feel good about. However, it’s not always clear even once the season result has been determined what that color should look like. After all, season palettes, while full of beautiful colors and neutrals, can be hard to translate into hair colors (not just for consumers, but for hair professionals as well).
Here, a few visuals can go a long way. While we can never be sure we will all see the same thing on various screens, establishing a ballpark provides a much narrower target. In this series, I’ve collected such examples for you to help you find the shortcut to the best hair color choice for you. Much can be said about how and why these examples work for each individual season but at the end of the day a picture may communicate much more directly with your stylist. I highly recommend consulting with your analyst before your salon appointment to create an individual strategy that’s right for you. (I do also consult with my members about hair color among other things on our weekly calls in The Society of Extraordinary Style if you’re struggling to find a path forward)
As a note, the examples offered here are for the most part intended for the person who, like most of the clients I work with, wishes her hair to resemble natural hair. There’s nothing wrong with whatever outcome you desire for your hair, but you may not find helpful pointers for other approaches here.
I wish you the best of luck on your hair color journey. If the suggestions here don’t work for you, feel free to choose another path, knowing there is no wrong decision. In the immortal words of Diana Vreeland, “There’s only one good life, and that’s the life you know you want and you make it yourself”.