For the first post in my new series, Stylish at 50, I thought I would answer a question I often get asked; “Should I go grey?”
Stylish at 50 is going to be a regular feature on the blog, starting today. It will cover everything style related and maybe some other topics, for those of us over 50. It is an idea that has been brewing in my head since the Spring when I started on a new plan to get more healthy, lose some weight and re-evaluate my own personal style. I know that for a lot of my readers, 50 has arrived and with it some uninvited changes (not just The Change) Some are finding those natural highlights in their hair, others are noticing the weight is harder to shift and their bodies are changing shape. And some are struggling with how to care for their skin and keep those lines at bay and what makeup is flattering for their colouring.
Fifty is a time when we think we have got it all figured out, then suddenly everything changes and we can easily lose our confidence. You might be wondering what suits me now? How do I make sure I don’t look like the proverbial mutton? How do I dress this new shape? Should I change the colours I wear? And of course the one I started with, should I go grey? These are all topics I will be discussing in this series so that you feel armed with information.
This should be a time when we are enjoying life, after all many of us will have worked for years, brought up a family and may now be looking after ageing parents. I hope that with this series you will gain confidence in what works for you. As with everything I do there won’t be any rules, you make your own informed choices, what I will be doing is guiding you and cheering you on in the background.
So back to the original question…
Should I Go Grey? Cool Skin Tone
I think there is a misconception that going grey will make you look older. But grey hair can be incredibly striking and some women choose to dye their hair silver grey just because they love the colour.
Colour is a consideration here and for those with a cool skin tone, go grey whenever you want to because it will suit you. That isn’t to say that if you have a warm skin tone you shouldn’t go grey if you want to, but I would suggest that you might want to think about lightening your hair and blending the grey in. I will explain this more further down.
First though, if you are unsure whether your skin tone is warm or cool there are a couple of ways of finding out. If you have been colour analysed using the seasons, Spring and Autumn are warm skin toned and Summer and Winter are cool skin toned. If you are still unsure, check out my Your Best Colours page. Or alternatively, if you want more help, choose my Colour Dossier service.
The lady above would have been a Winter before her hair was grey. Or in the terminology I use, because of her dark brown eyes, I am assuming that she also had dark hair and would have been a Dominant Deep with Secondary of Cool; Deep and Cool. Because of her cool skin tone and dark eyes, she looks fabulous with this mixture of silver and charcoal grey hair. She would now be classed as Cool and Bright. She will look stunning in cool, bright colours with contrast. For example, Charcoal Grey with Fuchsia or this season’s Ultra Violet with an Icy Lilac.
The lady above would probably have been a Summer, or in my terminology Soft Dominant with a Secondary of Cool or if she was always very blond, she could have been a Light Dominant with a Secondary of Cool. In either case the icy colour of her hair looks gorgeous with her cool skin tone. I would now class her as Cool and Soft. She would look beautiful in the lighter icy colours from the cool palette. For example a Silver Grey mixed with this season’s Mellow Rose or Crocus Petal.
Should I Go Grey? Warm Skin Tone
Liz on the other hand has a warm skin tone. She would have been an Autumn (or Soft and Warm) with her soft brown eyes and light brown hair. Rather than going a cool grey which would jar with her warm skin tone, Liz has gone lighter to a light warm blonde. I would now class her as Light and Warm. See how stunning this soft Peach dress, which is a perfect colour for her, looks.
In seasonal terminology I was an Autumn and until my thirties always had blonde highlights. After having my children may hair got much darker and I stopped having colour put in which made me Deep and Warm. Since the grey has started to come through, I have gone back to having warm golden highlights which work with my warm skin tone, rather than cool grey. I still tend to wear colours from the Deep Warm palette because my eyes are so dark, but I mix in colours from the Soft Warm palette too.
For those of us with a warm skin tone, staying away from grey does involve more time and of course cost. If that isn’t something you want to do, then embrace the grey, but opt for the Soft colour palette and include some warmer toned colours to work with your skin tone.
If you order the Colour Dossier, let me know if you are considering going grey and I will give you recommendations for hair colour, which colours to wear and makeup suggestions. If you have already had a Colour Dossier from me in the past, you can order the update service and let me know you are going or have gone grey.
I hope you found this post useful. If there is anything you would like to see in the Stylish at 50 series just let me know.