Gray Hair Blog / April 19, 2019

What Colors Look Best with Gray Hair?

Before I decided to transition, I really worried about how my pale skin would look with gray hair.

I have lost a lot of color in my face as I’ve gotten older, and I pictured myself melting away into nothingness if I had white hair, white skin, white lips…all that would be left would be dark eyebrows floating in mid-air, like an even weirder version of the Cheshire Cat!

I should have known better.  Mother Nature is one smart cookie and she knew what she was doing when she blessed people with silver hair. 

The silvers have brightened up my complexion considerably!

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But a strange thing happened….

Since my hair dye has faded, and my gray roots take up about 1/3 of my head, I find that I can no longer wear neutral colors (like taupe or beige) next to my face. 

When I wear them, it’s like the life has gone out of my face – all the color is gone.  I start fading away, as I had feared.  But when I wear bright colors like hot pink or red, I look vibrant!

This got me wondering about what colors look best with gray hair.  So I’ve spent the past few weeks reading all about it online and in books like Anne Kreamer’s “Going Gray.” 

After reading all of this, I see that there is a general consensus that bright, “jewel-like” colors are best with gray hair and that silver sisters should avoid warm (autumn-like) tones.

Woo-Hoo! This turns out to be GREAT for me!

I mean, back in the 1980s, when Color Me a Season was a Big Deal, I had my colors done and found out that, with my pale skin with pink undertones and with my dark brunette hair, I was a “Winter.” 

This meant that I would look great in “jewel-like” tones like sapphire blue, ruby red, and emerald green. 

Being a rebellious teenager in the mid-1980s, and an art student in the late 1980s/early 1990s, I, of course, ditched those colors and only wore black.  For freakin’ decades!

Well, turns out those seasonal color analysis ladies had the right idea.  When I wear the colors they recommended to me, WOW – they do make my silver hair sparklier and my complexion brighter!

And even if I do wear taupe or beige, as long as I wear bright lipstick – I stop fading away!

But what if you don’t like (or look good in) jewel-like colors? What if you hate restrictions or rules and just want to wear whatever color suits your mood? Go for it!  I don’t believe in restricting yourself.

My only advice on color would be to hold colors up against your face and see how your skin reacts to that color.  You can see what I’m talking about when you check out the video below.

But wait, Katie (you might be thinking) – I want you to tell me what colors look best with gray hair! 

Well, sister, so do I – but I don’t care how many articles have been written about what colors look best with gray hair – all of us have different skin tones and preferences, and I don’t think we can definitively say only certain colors will look good with gray hair. I think you have to experiment.

In the meantime, think about it – silver is a neutral color.  It goes with EVERYTHING!

That opens up a world of possibilities to all of us, especially to people like my red-headed relatives who couldn’t wear certain colors for YEARS because they clashed with their red hair. 

Hurray – yet another benefit of gray hair!

Let’s take a peek at some of my silver sisters who were kind enough to share their photos with me and see how great they look in various colors (whether clothing, lipstick, or jewelry).  Please note that the colors represented below turned up most often in their Instagram posts, so that does tell us that women with gray hair seem to gravitate towards these colors in particular.

All of the Instagram and other photos on this site are used with permission.






I don’t know about you, but I LOVE gray hair with gray, charcoal or black clothing.  I think it’s striking!


Nobody can beat Monique Parent for looking gorgeous in green (or in any color – she is a knockout)!

image of beautiful woman green dress gray hair


This is not a color that is supposed to complement gray, but I love the way these ladies look in it!

Marci did a great color experiment using bandanas.  These little bursts of color really complement her silver hair!

Let’s all try a little experiment and add some new colors into our wardrobe and see how they work with our silver (or transitioning to silver) hair.  If you are on Instagram, tag me @katiegoesplatinum and use the hashtag #kgpcolorpop

I’m planning to do more posts on this topic, so if you have any specific questions on color that you’d like me to address, please comment below.  You can also follow my new Pinterest board, Colors to Wear with Gray Hair.

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our Silver Revolution!  And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Pinterest Feed for more gray hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

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  1. Linda

    Monique Parent had some good tips I’ve been using to experiment with colored frames! I have black, red, and turquoise so far and it REALLY helps add color to my washed out face and light eyes. A hurdle I’m going thru now is the natural progression of losing thickness and color in my eyebrows! I’m coloring them in but not super confident yet, as I am trying not to look “overdone” for a 64 year old!

    16 . Mar . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      Have you tried Benefit Gimme Brow? I love it! It is light, so doesn’t look fake.

      17 . Mar . 2019 Reply
  2. CoralTurquesa

    Estou feliz com seu blog…gostei de tudo…bom encontrar mulheres assim com você…Adorei as cores em cabelos grisalhos…os meus são grisalhos…vou usar as dicas…obrigada, beijos

    14 . Mar . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      Thank you! I’m so glad you are enjoying it!

      14 . Mar . 2019 Reply
  3. Judi

    Thank you for this Katie! It’s very helpful. I’m transitioning from warm autumn to white. I have to call it white as that’s what my hairdresser tells me it is! And it’s a warm white at the moment which is just as well as the rest of my hair still has warmth in it. Nature getting it right again! I have medium/dark brown eyes and a skin with warm undertones (except it seems to be getting pinker so I need to check again). So all the websites have me as soft in colouring but my friends and I all prefer me in bright colours and I’ve been tearing my hair out trying to understand why. I can’t wear black as I’m too warm coloured. You winter ladies do transition so well and keep black as a good colour, lucky you! But with the help of your article I can now be much more sure of my colour choices. Thanks again.

    05 . Feb . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      Hi, Judi – I’m so glad! I really think testing out various colors and trusting your instincts is the way to go!

      05 . Feb . 2019 Reply
  4. Maria

    I really like my natural color going grey best desition ever.

    09 . Jan . 2019 Reply
  5. Alex D.

    Great post! The experiment with bandanas is a very useful one to add some colour to a neutral outfit.
    You suggest to avoid autumn colours if you are already grey, I was wondering what would you suggest while one is transitioning. I had black hair and light beige skin and I could wear bright colours because they suited me. Now only my eyes and eyebrows are still black, unfortunately bright colours do not suit me anymore :(. Any further advice?
    Thanks a lot in advance.

    11 . Nov . 2018 Reply
    • Katie

      Hi, Alex: You don’t have to avoid autumn colors, so if they suit you – go for it! I think the main thing to do is to just keep experimenting with clothing and lipstick colors. Have you tried black or gray outfits, too? Or navy blue? Those all seem to be colors that look great with gray hair. I think the main thing is just to keep experimenting. xoxox

      11 . Nov . 2018 Reply
  6. Joie Carol

    Great post Katie! Very informative and I love your writing style too.
    All the pictures are lovely examples too!

    21 . Oct . 2018 Reply
    • Katie

      Thanks, Joie! xoxo

      21 . Oct . 2018 Reply
  7. Nina

    This was great Katie👏🏼👍 I agree you have to experiment,cause we all have different preferences and skintones. We all just have to be open to trying new things. Going gray has definitely help me go out of my comfort zone even more with color.

    21 . Oct . 2018 Reply
    • Katie

      Thanks, Nina! I agree – it’s so easy to get into a bit of a rut and it’s kind of nice to be forced out of it. My comfort zone is what a comedian called “the bruise palette” – blacks & blues. Trying to add some color in now and it’s kinda fun!

      21 . Oct . 2018 Reply
  8. Susan Winer

    So glad I found you Katie! I’ve only just begun my transition, don’t even have any pictures yet cause I just cannot capture any good patterns of silver/gray/white strands but will hopefully see some good “natural highlights” soon! Thank you for all you do! It keeps me and I’m sure many others going on our journeys!

    21 . Oct . 2018 Reply
    • Katie

      Thanks, Susan! I bet your highlights will show up soon – mine really came through by about month 3! I’m glad to be of help. That’s why I started doing this – it’s so rare to get positive messages about gray hair online, but I think it’s finally changing!

      21 . Oct . 2018 Reply

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