Dear Scott: I just moved here from the north. I am in my 50-somethings, and I heard that you should go lighter with your hair color as you get older? Is this true? I have gray hair right now, and I am thinking of coloring it. I would like to try being blonde and find out if they truly have more fun. I had my colors done years ago, and they said that I am a winter, and I think that blonde is a summer. I am afraid dark hair would be too dark for me now that I am older. I would like to try the blonde, but I am afraid of having blonde hair since it was always dark when I was younger. What should I do?

 Answer: Years ago women went to have their colors read. This was a process where color swatches were matched to your skin. Then you were put into seasonal category to define what colors should be worn for makeup, clothing and hair.

The process is flawed by the many new methods of makeup and hair coloring choices available. You are not stuck in winter forever. Now that you are in the south, all you need is a simple change in your makeup to warm you right up. In fact, women that were dark in hair color seem to make the best blondes as they age.

Gray hair is actually a natural way of having lighter hair as you get older. This may be the reason that Grandma started the rumor that you should wear lighter hair as you get older. In some cases the myth applies, but many women look great with darker hair at any age.

While it is true that lighter hair can sometimes wash out your complexion making you appear younger, it is not true for everyone. If the color of hair is similar to the color of your skin, the hair will appear to disappear. This will give the face the impression of a picture without a frame.

There are many options for you since your hair has already turned gray. The amount of light-to-dark-gray color ratio will make a difference with how to color your hair and what the best shades will be. Lighter hair can sometimes make you look sallow or make your skin look red and blotchy. Dark hair can sometimes bring out features that would otherwise go unnoticed.

One option is to do both. A darker base color with a 3D effect of light tones will balance out your winter-summer fears. Another is to try dishwater blonde or a dirty blonde color. The cool tones make a calmer, more natural-looking blonde for the first timer.

Replacing the “pepper” back into the salt-and-pepper can also revitalize your appearance. Adding dark color with foils will help turn back the clock for the color shy client. Adding more “salt” will give a platinum blonde effect that is also very flattering and an easy introduction to hair color.

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