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Color update for new "silver" hair

by Mary

Hi Jane! I'm one of the many women who has decided to go natural gray with her hair color during the pandemic, and I'm loving it! However, I noticed that the colors I did wear don't all work with the new hair color. What colors (clothes/makeup) are best for someone with silver/gray hair? What should we avoid? Thank you!

Jane's answer: Mary, what a great question! And how good to hear you're loving your new, natural hair color! Think of all the time and money you'll save too ;D

However, as you've noticed, it does mean that not all the colors you used to wear will work with your new hair color. So, there is perhaps an initial investment in some new clothes. It will depend how different your current coloring is.

examples of silver-gray hair

Examples of silver-gray/white hair

Our coloring changes as we age

As we age it's not only our hair color that becomes grayer and cooler. Our skin and eyes also become cooler and lighter.

Our best colors are those that echo characteristics of our own skin, hair and eye. These characteristics are: temperature (how cool or warm), value (how light or dark), intensity (how clear or muted), and the contrast levels between our skin, hair and eyes.

All of these characteristics need to be re-looked at as we age and our coloring begins to change.

The biggest change will be if you originally had a warm skin under-tone. In which case you may now have a cool skin under-tone and your best colors will now be an entirely different category (cool-based rather than warm).

If you previously had a cool skin under-tone, now that your hair is silvery-gray your best colors may have changed to a slightly different color category. Or you may be in the same color category, but need to move to lighter colors in that category.

If you had dark hair before going silvery-gray, assuming you are now closer to white than pewter, the darkest colors that used to work will now be too dark for your coloring.

Your best colors

examples of cool muted colors

Examples of cool, muted colors

Your best colors will most likely be:
  • Cool (that is, blue-based) colors

  • Medium to medium-light or light

  • Muted or clear, dependent on how muted or glossy your skin is

  • With a medium-light to medium contrast level

However, even with silvery-gray hair there are a few different possibilities for your best color category.

How to determine your best range of colors

There will be some colors that you intuitively know look great on you.
However, to get the full range of colors that suit you best, without trial-and-error and costly mistakes it's best to have a color analysis from a qualified Image Consultant.

color analysis service

Understanding the colors that suit you best and how to wear them is one of the fundamentals of style. I recommend you engage an image consultant trained and experienced in color analysis to work out your best range.

I offer both in-person and online color analysis services (click the links for details).

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jane liddelow

"Your style makeover may require a few tweaks or a total re-think. Using a mix of science and art I show you how to discover your style and look great every day.

Hi, I'm Jane Liddelow, the Personal Image Consultant and Stylist responsible for this site. Find out more about me here."

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