Hair Colors and our Color Palette

Group of women with different hair colors
We've discussed the basics of color and how to choose a color compatible with your hair's base color, and we've talked about the different types of hair color products available. Now, let's talk about choosing the right haircolor for you and give you some hair color ideas.
Your stylist (or salon professional) can give you virtually any color you desire (with some limitations), but just because someone can do a thing doesn't mean they should. A good haircolor professional will advise you against colors that are unflattering, and can warn you about the risks to your hair of lightening the natural color too far.
But many people decide that color is something they can take into their own hands without realizing that some colors are just not suitable for them, or should never be tried. Here are a couple of simple rules:
You cannot go from one extreme of hair color to another.
Black hair (level 1) cannot be lightened to Lightest Blonde (level 10). Most people who try to do so end up severely damaging their hair. You have to remember that the chemical reaction of hair lighteners to disperse the pigment in the hair takes a tremendous toll on the condition of healthy hair.
When you try to lift the hair's natural color too far, the result is often far less satisfying than imagined. Conversely, trying to go from a naturally pale blonde to black hair will result in a very flat, very unnatural looking color.
Darker haircolors make the complexion appear more wan and pale.
Many of us have seen persons who've decided to color their graying hair in order to look younger only to have the opposite results. For most of us, as we age, our hair color (and skin tone) typically gets naturally lighter (regardless of gray) and the color we had naturally in our twenties may be far too dark when we're fifty.
By coloring the hair with a too-dark haircolor we only succeed in making ourselves look pale and emphasizing any age lines and wrinkles we may have. When your goal is to cover gray hair, you should always aim for a color several shades lighter than the natural color of your non-gray hair.
We all have a "color palette" that is appropriate for us, based on our skin tone, eye color, and natural hair color. For decades, these color palettes were broken down into "seasons". The soft colors of Spring, the cool tones of the Winter, warm golden Summer hues, and Autumn's rich earthy tones were arranged to help women look their best and choose colors that would flatter them.
Today, we use a simpler standard: Silver and Gold. These are easily determined by using jewelry of the appropriate metal placed against the skin (typically earrings). The 'type' you are, is the one that stands out the best on you. If the silver jewelry shines brighter against your skin than the gold, you are Silver. If the reverse is true, you are Gold. The opposite will always appear a little lackluster by comparison.
Silver people look best in cooler tones: blues and violets and some greens, and can easily have natural hair colors ranging from black to platinum. The base colors of a Silver's hair are usually in the blue and violet range. For Golds a warmer, richer palette flatters: reds, oranges, browns, burgundy, and some darker greens, and their natural hair colors range from pale golden blondes to rich dark auburn and brown. The Gold type has base colors of hair ranging from red to orange. People who were Spring and Winter palettes in the old system are usually Silvers, while Autumn and Summer people are usually Golds.
By paying attention to the right colors for you, and remembering the above rules of hair coloring, you can better choose a flattering haircolor, and avoid tragic mistakes. As always, seeking the advice of a professional is the best option, but if you're going to do it on your own, at least be informed and be careful.
Stacy - Hair Stylist     ©