Don’t let gray hair make you feel drab and dowdy — some of the most fabulous women in the world sport gorgeous silver, white and gray manes. Diana Lewis Jewell, author of “Going Gray, Looking Great!” features on her website profiles of beautiful, powerful women whose locks run the gamut from iron gray to pure white. Her profiles include actress Diane Keaton, Dolce & Gabbana model Cindy Joseph and U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius, so if you’re going gray, you’re in great company. Jewell also points out that embracing your gray hair may mean changing your fashion palette and choosing colors that make the most of your skin, eyes and hair.
Re-evaluating Your Color Palette
Your hair surrounds your face. Its color affects your skin tone, both by its contrast and because of its proximity. When your hair color changes, that contrast is gone, and you may notice that your skin looks paler, darker or more sallow or that your eyes stand out more or are less noticeable. Don’t think of it as a loss. Gray hair can be a great liberator when it comes to fashion. All the fashion rules you’ve lived by — redheads shouldn’t wear pink, blondes should avoid wearing white, brunettes look dowdy in dark colors — no longer apply.
Consider Your Skin Tones
Choose colors that accent your skin tone, not your hair tone, suggests Jewell. Without your hair to shadow your face or play up sallow or blue undertones, your true skin tone will shine through. Instead of wearing colors that look good with your hair, pick those that play up or mute the predominate colors of your skin.
The Tried and True
Here’s the good news — most of your favorite colors will still look fabulous with gray hair. If you’re a fan of baby pastels, vibrant jewel tones or basic black, just keep on wearing them. In fact, if a color makes you feel fabulous, sexy and on top of the world, you’re going to look drop-dead gorgeous no matter what the “rules” say. Some colors, however, look especially good with nearly any color of gray hair. They include black, crisp white, red, navy, purple and, not surprisingly, gray. Experiment with shades of those basic colors to find the ones that make you look and feel your best.
Colors to Avoid
Brown and beige usually don’t flatter gray hair. The yellow undertones tend to bring out the yellow in your hair and make it look dull. Other colors that may not work well with gray hair include creamy tones of ivory and pale yellows. Veronique Henderson, author of “Color Me Younger,” suggests that women with gray hair and cool skin tones should banish anything with yellow undertones from their closets.
Wearing Rich Colors
Rich, deep, bright and vibrant colors all provide wonderful contrasts for gray hair in any shade. Experiment with different shades of your favorite colors to see what they do for your face, eyes and hair. Teal and aquamarine highlight blue or green eyes, for example, and provide a rich contrast for any shade of gray hair. Amethyst and royal purple brighten sallow skin tones and add a hint of shine to pewter or silver hair. Even if you choose to wear black, gray or navy blue, adding a flourish of color near your face will accent your hair and turn you into a fabulous fashion standout.