Your Colouring and The Ageing Process


The ageing process changes many aspects of your life, from body, to lifestyle and how you approach style.  And then of course there is colouring too, which is the topic of the video in this post as Jill Chivers of Shop Your Wardrobe and I discuss how colouring changes with the ageing process (and show you the steps that you may take as part of your colouring changes).



Colouring Changes that May Happen with Age

Hair and Skin Colour Changes

Your hair may lighten as it greys and may even go white eventually.

This means, your hair is not as bright as it once was as it greys or loses its pigments.

You may choose to colour it, but will find that your skin colour along with your hair and that you need to reassess which colours suit the skin you have now (rather than the skin you used to have).  The “natural” colour your hair was at 20 is unlikely to suit you as well at the age of 50 as you no longer have the skin you had a 20.

Having lighter hair may mean that you need to lighten up your wardrobe (just as I have done since going from brunette to blonde – and you can read about my hair colour journey here).

Contrast Levels Change

You may lose your value contrast if your hair was once dark and becomes light.  This means you may move from a high value contrast to a medium or low one, so needing to change how you put your colours and outfits together.

For me this made me think really hard each morning when getting dressed, as my old ‘formula’ had to be replaced with a new one.

Your colour contrast may change too – particularly if you had a coloured hair and it ends up grey which is a neutral.

Find out more about contrast and understanding your contrast here.

Your Best Neutrals May Change

If you have had darker hair you will find that darker neutrals are best through your life, and suddenly as your hair lightens they just don’t harmonise as well.

As your hair becomes lighter you will find that lighter neutrals work better for you and you may need to rethink your neutral staples.

If you had brown hair, brown would have been a great neutral (a brown that is similar to your hair colour).

If you now have grey hair, then greys become a better neutral for you.

For me, as I changed into a light platinum blonde, white is now my new black.

Your Intensity Will Change

If you started off with brighter colouring, clearer skin and an intense hair colour such as a golden blonde, copper, black or darker brown, as you age and your hair goes grey your skin will also become softer and more muted and you will find that softer more smoky colours will suit you more.

In the video I show you the progression you may take from brighter colours to more muted.

This is why it’s worth getting a new colour analysis every 10 years or if you make a radical hair colour change as this will influence the colours that suit you now (rather than what suited you in the past).

If you need help in discovering the colours that suit you today, this is one part of my 7 Steps to Style program which will give you all the tools and information you need to keep developing and improving your style into the decades to come. Find out more here.

Discover your colours and style with the best, most comprehensive online style program

More Tips on Colour and Ageing

How Your Colouring Changes as You Age

Style and Taste at Every Age – Quality

There is No Age Limit to Style

How Does Your Colouring Change As You Age?

How to Choose a Hair Colour as You Age

Going Blonde – Choosing the Right Shade

Understanding Undertone and Ageing – Warm to Cool

Your Colouring and The Ageing Process


I'm not sure if it's for you but how would you feel if you learned all about the colours and styles of clothing that suit your individual personality, shape and style? Just imagine what it would be like when you can open your wardrobe and pull together fabulous outfits that make you look and feel amazing every day? If you'd like to stop wasting money on the wrong clothes and accessories plus join an amazing bunch of very special women also on their style journey - then my 7 Steps to Style program is right for you. Find out more here.


  • Excellent video. Very informative. Could you please answer a question about your comments on hair going white and some people needing to subsequently lightening up their wardrobe colors to more tinted colors like your Tranquil palette? Is this only the case for very bright white hair, or would it also be the same for a creamier white/greige type hair?
    Thanks, Pip.

  • Color is such a fascinating topic! This discussion brings so much clarity to the different stages of a woman’s life. Coloring our hair is such a norm today, it’s easy to fool ourselves into purchasing the wrong color or stronger intensity.

    Thank you girls for your never ending quest to help every woman look and feel their best. Thanks to you, Imogen, I am bringing more color into my daily ensembles, and I love it!

    Oh, Jill, I am in my early 70’s and Imogen has me rocking Spicy colors!
    You girls are the best!
    Faithful fan,

  • I have gone from warm hair and skin to warm muted hair and more muted cool skin by 71. I look good in whites and browns and warm blacks. Taupe is also a good color for me. But colors don’t appeal to me now. I stick to neutrals . This is my birthday present video today! Thanks!

  • I really appreciate these videos. They are full of interesting and helpful information. Toward the end, I saw the Intriguing palette and I’m going to explore to see if it’s mine! I’ve often been put in the soft summer category, but it’s not quite right. I recently had chemo, lost my hair, and it’s growing back lighter than before. I’ll be having to change my color intensity for sure. Thanks again!

  • Excellent video! My move to softer colors has been unconscious really, but this video helps me understand why! I am in my late 50’s, my hair has very little gray, but I do find it to be less saturated brown than when I was younger. My eyes are blue with warm flecks, again, noticeably lighter than used to be, and my skin tone, while always medium light, is even lighter now. I find that softening and lightening the colors in my wardrobe Is my preference. Warm gray, (though not too dark), camel, lighter teal, russet and purple closer to orchid than aubergine are in my wardrobe more and more. So interesting!! Too bad that available business casual wear for us taller women still focuses primarily on black…..

    • Sadly black is what you find in every category! Hopefully as more and more women discover, then demand from manufacturers options other than black, there may be a move away – it takes a movement!

  • Great video! My dilemma is when to let my hair go grey and stop colouring it. I’m 52 and being a warm person this is particularly challenging. However, my amazing hairdresser has advised me we can do this gradually. I suspect toasty colours or warm greys will be very difficult to find in clothing….

  • Excellent video. There is a lot to say about colour and style. I always thought that going “gracefully grey” was the best choice when one gets a lot of grey on top. However I have seen that some women keep their hair dark (dyed of course) and still manage to look great, my best example is Isabella Rosellini. Would you say that it works due to her very light skin?

  • Very interesting! I notice that my coloring is more muted and feel I look washed-out unless I wear self- tanner often. I notice that I look better in cool colors and neutrals with it. Also , I feel silver-toned jewelry suits me now whereas I had only worn gold previously. I get highlights and lowlights for my mousy medium blonde hair. Since ideal color pale with s soften as I age, hould I make my hair more ash-blonde instead of golden as I age?

    • Hi Jocyeln, yes you can become cooler with age – in fact I’ve seen quite a few people move from being warm to cool with age. So you may find that ash and silver now suit you rather than warm and gold.

  • Hi Imogen, don’t forget that eye colour changes for a lot of ladies as well, particularly if you had darker or warmer eyes before. Mine have gone from extremely dark olive, almost black to bright green with a dark grey outer rim, over a matter of ten years. This happens even to people with blue or grey eyes, they tend to go lighter with age, although you may notice the changes less. Basically the same pigment changes are happening as with hair, the brown and darker, warmer pigments fade to lighter and cooler greys and grey-blues over time. Although my hair has changed little, well gone a little lighter with age and dye colour, I cannot halt the eye changes, so had my colours redone. I have gone from dark and warm to bright and warm, still with a lot of contrast. In practice I dont go as bright as recommended, as I feel they look a bit outlandish against the skin at 63; great video and information from you both.

    • Absolutely eye colours change – because they are a smaller proportion and we only really see them when we are close up to a person then they don’t hold as much weight in the whole colour equation, but I see them change on everyone!

  • Hi Imogen,
    How do I get the colour swatch you are holding in the video. I’m 60 , pale, cool and naturally grey with bright blue eyes(fading!)

    • Hi Elizabeth

      I give my clients their correct colour swatch (I have 18 of them to choose from) in a personal colour analysis – either in person or it’s an option in my 7 Steps to Style program.

  • This is fascinating. I am about to be 70 and have gone through several phases. I started ages ago with the Autumn color group. As my hair color changed – involuntarily – from brown with reddish highlights to a very dull mix with grey I faded and it was very hard to find the right colors – faded warm colors and very challenging. Then my hair went to a very silvery whitish color and that mix of warm skin and cool hair was another, different challenge. Things change before I find the answers. I find bone is my “white” – a bit of a greyish beige, or griege. My colors are lighter but dancing between warm and cool, in a medium value and a medium contrast is the challenge now. Too pale in most colors is terrible but silvery lavender is great, I can wear yellowy greens – a strange color, bronzy greens, teals of course if they are not too pale unless a dusty teal works. Pinks are hard – mauve does not not, smoky lavender are good. Finding the right orange/salmon/peachy color is very hard – does not seem to exist in fashion but I can find it in watercolors! My red is a pinky, peachy, Reddy brownish color, sometimes called sienna. On top on finding the correct hues, the next challenge becomes mixing colors – which work together? This is a full time job.
    Thanks for all your help,

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