How Going Gray Will Affect Your Color Palette

Actress Lisa Lu

It's been months since I've seen my hairdresser and we've still got a few weeks to go before salons re-open here in San Francisco. But for those of you who have been delaying heading back to the salon while you decide if you'll go gray or go back to coloring those roots, here's how going gray may affect your color palette.

  1. It will not change your Seasonal Type.

The softening of your hair color goes right along with the softening of your skin and eye colors so the shade of gray or white that you end up with is going to be as harmonious with the rest of you as the hair color you were born with, and therefore, is still your most harmonious look. So you don't have to worry that the color won't suit you and it will not change your Season, although some of your colors may change.

2. It may change your contrast level.

For some women the switch to gray or white hair may alter their contrast level. For example a woman with medium contrast may find her contrast level to change to high contrast or low contrast. If your contrast level changes, the way you pair the colors on your palette may need to change as well.

Rita Moreno

3. It may change your formal, dark or casual neutral.

There's no definite rule here, we are all so unique, but some women who formerly wore black or brown as a formal or dark neutral (keyed to their hair color) may find it no longer connects to them in the same way and may switch to a shade of gray instead. Others will be able to keep their darker neutral but may switch out their casual neutral to match their gray hair. And still others will find that even though their hair is grayed, they still don't look their best wearing gray clothing. A palette re-check is definitely in order to sort out which neutrals should stay, which should go, and which ones can be added.

Emmy Lou Harris

4. It may change your color palette in general.

Some women find that their colors stay pretty much the same throughout their lifetime, but others find that as their coloring changes, their color palette may also need to change. For some women it softens with age and with others it can become more vibrant. It's always a good idea to revisit your color palette after letting your hair go gray to make sure it is still serving you as well as it did in the past.

5. It may change your visual impression.

Sometimes gray or white hair can give you a softer, more approachable look than you once had and sometimes it can make you appear more dramatic. How you choose to style your hair can mitigate or enhance your visual impression so do take that into consideration as you consider your hairstyle. Be sure you are still conveying the message you want to send about yourself to the world.

Of course knowing and wearing your best colors and contrast levels to complement your gray hair is key. If you are needing a palette update, let me know. Virtual color analysis is available at the moment with the hope of things opening up for in-person analysis over the next few months.

Did you go gray some time ago? How did that change affect your color palette? Others would benefit from hearing your experience so do share in the comments below.

Joan Kosmachuk

  • Black Instagram Icon
  • Black Pinterest Icon

©2020 by Stars from Above
Proudly created with