Does Your Season Change When Your Hair Color Changes?

by Shannon Manion

The short answer to this question is no, but it’s more complicated than that. Before we get started answering the hair color question, you may be wondering what this season stuff is all about. Well, it is basically the theory that each person’s natural coloring fits into a season, which then determines what other colors will look best on them. When wearing colors that are harmonious with your natural coloring, you will shine and feel more confident. Your best colors can be found by completing a personal color analysis.  Once someone knows their season, the question then becomes, “Will my season change if I change my hair color?” Again the answer is no, but it’s not quite that simple.

Your season, and more importantly your sub-season, is made up of so many different elements to include: the value of your coloring (dark or light), your color quality (intense, bright, muted, toasted or shaded), your color temperature (warm, neutral, or cool), and even your personality. Hair color plays a role, but only as one element to assess your overall temperature. It plays a bigger role in how you wear your colors and that’s where it gets complicated.

First off, as long as you had an accurate analysis, your season never changes. You are a Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. What changes when you change your hair, is how you wear your colors and which colors within your season (or sub-season) are best for you. If your hair change is so drastic that the colors in your season no longer work for you, then you might want to consider whether that change was one you should have made. Just saying!

How Changing your Hair, Changes How you Wear Color

First Example: Okay, so let’s say that your change was fairly subtle. Believe it or not, it does still have an effect. I’m a prime example of this. For the past year, I’ve been struggling with what to do with my hair as I’ve become quite gray (like 85%). Should I embrace the gray or cover it up? While pondering this question, I was dying it myself. I chose a color that accurately matched my eyebrows. The problem was that it wasn’t very bright. After a friend of mine told me firmly that I needed to do something with my hair, I went to a hairdresser who brought me back to a bright blonde.

The interesting part is that during this year of hair struggles, I’ve also struggled with my clothing. The reason has to do with color contrast. When my hair became neutral (gray is neutral and so is the blonde color I was dying it), I became less of a color dominated person. This means that I could handle less color. As a formerly color dominant person (blue eyes, yellow hair, and pink skin), I was able to comfortably wear two or three colors at the same time. When my hair changed to neutral, and I put on foundation, I became one color and multiple colors no longer looked good on me. If that sounds a bit confusing, read this post on personal color harmony.

This fairly subtle change resulted in a change in my “best” casual neutral too. Casual neutrals tend to be a lighter neutral – a version of tan or gray. With my self-dyed neutral hair, my best casual neutral was a grayed taupe (right), but my brighter hair change resulted in my best being closer to beige (left). Having a custom fan, I was able to easily change out the swatch. Both swatches are from Spring color palettes, and the change isn’t huge, but it has resulted in which neutral blazer or cardigan works best on me and that does make a difference!

Second Example: Another way that hair color affects how you wear clothes is with value contrast. My beautiful jewel-toned Summer client used to have dark hair and light skin, so she looked amazing when wearing high contrast clothing. Think black and white together. She also could rock an all neutral look. Now that she is fully gray, she no longer has high contrast. She now needs medium colors mixed with dark or light. Her best color scheme is neutral plus a color. It was great to see her light up as she noticed the difference when we were doing her closet. She’d always been a fairly natural beauty and was thinking that she might need to start wearing more makeup. Once she started wearing color (and her specific colors) she didn’t need makeup, because she literally glowed!

By the way, your value contrast can also change with a tan. So, how you wear your colors in summer versus winter can change as you become more or less contrasted. Blondes tend to increase their contrast while brunettes decrease their contrast. Same as with hair, your season doesn’t change, but how you wear your colors will. Since value and color contrast are such an important part of feeling great in your colors, it is included in my custom color analysis services.

Your Turn! What are some of your struggles when it comes to color and hair?

About Shannon

I’m Shannon Manion, a color and style consultant, military spouse, and recovering shopaholic – always buying, but never having anything to wear. Color Curate is all about helping you become effortlessly confident – comfortable with how you look and what you’re wearing each and every day. Visit my website to learn more about Color Curate and my passion for helping others curate their best image through personal color analysis.

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