Darker In Winter? A Look at Seasonal Color Choices
As the Fall season settles in for those of us in the northern hemisphere, the question on many
womenís minds is whether to try and maintain their summer hair color, let it revert to a natural fall and winter coloration, or make
an all-at-once transition to a flattering seasonal color choice.
For many individuals, the color of the hair shifts during the summer months, getting lighter with
sun exposure and the effects of such things as swimming pools and seawater. Just how much the color changes depends on how much the
hair is exposed to such factors and the specific traits of the hair Ė porosity and texture being key among these.
The natural color of the hair also plays a part in the seasonal color changes that take place, as
different colors of hair will shift in different ways when exposed to the seasonal lightening factors. Hair in the blonde spectrum will
tend to get blonder and paler, brightening to a yellow-gold tone, while darker hair colors most often lighten to reddish and orange
tones when lightening takes place. Sometimes these natural color shifts arenít as pleasing as we hope, which is why many have taken to
having their hair lightened (or doing it themselves) at the beginning of the spring or summer months.
Of course, the trend of changing the hair color according to the seasons has at least one benefit:
during the winter months, since most people spend the majority of their time indoors, and the periods of daylight are significantly
shorter, people grow paler and the hair returns to its natural hue since there isnít as much sun exposure. Of course, during the
summer months the skin grows darker from tanning and the hair lightens. The resulting changes in skin and hair color are complimentary.
Lighter hair compliments tanned skin, and darker hair colors are complimentary to fairer skin tones.
Choosing the Right Color for Your Seasonal Transition
Itís important to choose your hair color carefully when you are planning to lighten the hair for
Spring/Summer or darken it for the Fall/Winter. As a hair professional, it is very disturbing to me to see women who alter their hair
color too far from what would be a naturally occurring color.
When looking to lighten your hair for Spring and Summer, try to keep your change to within 3 light levels
of your hairís natural color. The less drastically you lighten the color of your hair the less likely you are to damage the hair
as much. The dramatic lightening processes that are sometimes resorted to not only remove the color of the hair, but destroy the hairís integrity and make the hair more porous.
Conversely, when you are looking to return to a darker shade for the winter months, aim for your
hairís natural color or slightly lighter, as this will often be the most flattering option. When you darken your hair beyond your
natural color you can cause your skin to appear too pale, and can make any lines and wrinkles appear more noticeable. In fact, for
older women, itís advisable to focus on keeping the hair lighter in order to minimize the look of wrinkles and lines.
One option to keep in mind is to adjust the hairís color by adjusting the tone of the hair as
opposed to lightening or darkening the hair. Try using a demi-permanent color (which are traditionally more gentle to the hair) to
add a touch of warmth or to tone down a sun-bleached blonde for the winter months. This will leave your hair looking healthier and
keep you happier with the result in the long run.