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How The 5 Autumns Add Brown To Hair Colour

How The 5 Autumns Add Brown To Hair Colour

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Pardon, but what 5 Autumns?

In 12 Seasonal Colour Analysis, we have Soft, True, and Dark Autumn, the strong Autumn blends.

The mild Autumn blends include Soft Summer and Dark Winter.

1 True Season, and 4 Neutral Seasons all comprise some Autumn colour influence.

One of the most common Autumn misconceptions is the copper red hair. Usually, these people have brown hair. Bernice Kentner of Color Me A Season, whom I regard as a colour analysis genius, said the same thing. Natural red hair is most often found in Winter and Spring. That said, Autumn women can colour their hair to various shades of red very attractively.

The Autumn copper association is often extended to include clothing colours, skin undertones, and makeup colours.  This part is true.

The gold used to warm Autumn colours, a product of yellow and red, is not sufficient to attain copper’s heat till the colouring is among the strong Autumn influence.

Moving through the Season progression, we can start at True Summer. No orange, gold, or yellow warms the colours. A pastel yellow is present in the palette, very cool and dusty. The browns are taupe-gray and the grays are blueish or pinkish.

As Autumn starts phasing in, we move to Soft Summer. A little gold is added, in a quantity so small that it looks like neutral brown, not orange yet, not even amber. The blue undertone is less than in True Summer. The colours appear to have a faint tan or a slight antiquing effect.

Soft Autumn comes along next. We see numerous soft amber browns in the palette. Yellows re-emerge, where True Summer barely had any, golden but soft, as broom yellow and butterscotch. This is the beginning of the metallic quality we talk about in the skin and hair of Autumn people. Not so much a tan, it resides much more in the skin than on it. You can sense this in the way the skin reflects light.

Finally, True Autumn. Now the undercurrent is truly orange. Brown, remember, is just dark orange. This is an orangey brown. It is in the skin and the eye colour.

Moving to Dark Autumn, a trace of Winter is felt. Winter colours are cooler and bring in more red, the essential colour of the Winter group. The result is the red-orange undertone that defines the perfect disappearing blush and lipstick on Dark Autumn.

Since Winter is dark, we must add another Winter effect for Dark Winter : the addition of perceptible black. What orange remains is turning neutral brown again, like it was in Soft Summer, but a darker version caused by the black.

Now, we leave Autumn altogether and arrive at True Winter. Perceptible orange is gone again. Why then is natural red hair so often found among Winter colouring, especially True and Bright?

Think of the swatch palette as the paintbox that filled in your lines when you were created. Where each colour landed in each member of the Season is not important, meaning some got the green in the eyes, some got the blue. The Winter group pigments are very close to the primary colours. Mixing yellow and red creates orange. Some got the orange in the hair. While it doesn’t appear in the Sci\ART palettes, True Winter does have an orange that would accord with the colour dimensions of the entire palette.

Here is one possible sequence of heat as it appears in the Autumn groups.

browns for the 5 autumns;

Soft Summer hair is often excessively lightened with a colour that is too light and yellow. The woman senses that she is has some lightness and her hair is often medium brown. The more flattering choice would have been light taupe colours. They work better with the skin and the Soft Summer wardrobe.

Also common in Soft Summer is to overestimate the natural heat level and add copper and toffee to the hair. The hair colour tends to take over the face in the eye of the beholder. The woman tries to balance it with too warm foundation and brighter clothing. In the process, her face and her presence are receding while her decoration takes the stage.

A Soft Autumn can too easily be put in too red hair. Unless Nature gave you red, it is very hard to get right from a bottle, not unlike hoping to replicate your childhood colour. More successful are dusty apricot, butterscotch, and tawny light browns. The range of natural hair darkness levels is very wide here, meaning that the highlight must be chosen to work with the native hair colour.

True Autumn in light golden or beige-blond hair is visually flat. Warmth and rich colour look far more youthful and smoothing to the skin. Highlights, lowlights, or other bizarre f/x are usually unnecessary. Shine products in a gorgeous chestnut brown is stunning. Highlights can be successful, as Autumn’s energy is very natural in that random way that highlights can be. Shades like penny, squash, and rich rust can be good. Light rust is not the best choice. The Autumn who is flattered by blonde hair has yet to be seen.

Dark Autumn often adds a red rinse, as Julia Roberts in the movie Pretty Woman. If the red is too cool, like red wine, it can be very artificial. Auburn and dark rust are better, quite beautiful with the cosmetics that most enhance the natural pigments in the skin.

Dark Winter should do what all Winters do. Think twice before lightening hair. They can have a dark force to be reckoned with. Breaking it up with frosted tips, well, I would rather have the force. The skin-perfecting hair colour is a dark neutral brown, most of the time, the level of darkness being variable.

Nature always gives you hair colour that is your skin’s perfection. They accord automatically. Your natural colour is always your best base colour.



53 Thoughts on How The 5 Autumns Add Brown To Hair Colour

  • "; ?> Kathy

    My haircolor as child was a light, coppery brown but got darker and less vibrant as I got older. I color it auburn or warm brown now (my hair pulls a lot of red, so a color labeled “golden” shows up auburn on me). I’ve noticed that it looks much more natural with an orange rather than a blue base. Most drugstore reds, especially the darker ones, have a burgundy/mahogany tint that would probably look awful on anyone except maybe a dark winter. I still think my hair is a little too dark, but I’m hesitant to go any lighter than medium red/brown as my eyebrows are fairly dark.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Do you know your Season? I’m not a fan of too much hair tampering, you’re given your perfect base colour automatically by Nature. However, those Seasons that are Light or Soft, often with naturally mousy hair, can certainly do some playing with light to make things a little more interesting.

      Great e-mail name, hopefully not a sign of how you’re feeling 🙂
      The colours in you, every one of them, all sit in the same place on the 3 scales that define any colour – the light/darkness, the warm/coolness, the clear/softness. They can’t NOT work together. They are unified by the fact that the same genetics colour your whole body.
      You can find ANY hair colour among ANY Season. One reason it’s so hard to do this from books is that very few people IRL follow those rules of averages shown in the book’s illustrations. There are Light Summers with red-brown hair.
      You’re right that freckles and eye colour are not helpful to knowing Season. They’re far more misleading than anything else.
      I want to answer your question but I’m not certain exactly what it is. Can you ask it in a different way?

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • "; ?> Michelle

    If a Soft Summer has (and always has) had plentiful natural yellow and gold highlights (and some orange-y red highlights, too) among some medium ashy brown hair, I’m confused as to how you can say that nature always give you colors that accord naturally. By your hair color description, my natural coloring does not work, and is aging me unnecessarily.

    I’ve always thought my cool/warm combo worked because I have light freckles of similar coloring to my natural highlights and some similarly colored yellow/gold/tan blobs in my otherwise blue-gray eyes.

    But that’s an overall blending, not a seasonal color analysis thing, I think.

    So how does that work?

  • "; ?> Kerry

    I was analyzed a couple of years ago as a Soft Summer that flows to Light Summer, so I’m definitely cool. Assuming that was correct, I’m a Soft Summer who has (and always has) had plentiful natural yellow, gold, and orange-y red highlights among some medium ashy brown hair and cool blond highlights. I’m confused as to how you can say that nature always gives you colors that accord naturally, since by your hair color description, my natural coloring does not work. I may be wearing my right colors, but there’s still not harmony, right?

    From the analyst, I’ve always thought my cool/warm combo worked because I have light freckles of similar coloring to my natural highlights and some similarly colored yellow/gold/camel blobs in my otherwise cool eyes.

    But that’s an overall blending, not a seasonal color analysis thing, I think.

    When the warm highlights are really running the show, which isn’t 100% of the time, do I have a high degree of contrast that is both aging me and creating a striking coloring that doesn’t fit with the softness of Soft Summer? And when the light highlights are running the show, again not 100% of the time, I’m aging myself?

    Is there anything to be done besides dying it? Which I staunchly won’t do. I feel like I hit the genetic lottery having hair that can “change” from blond to brown to red in the space of a day or a week. I’ve never dyed it and have no intention of doing so.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I see the other half of the post. You don’t live near Detroit, do you? These are really difficult questions to answer when I am not convinced you have your Season quite right and when I can’t see you.
      There is no genetic lottery. I confess that I don’t understand what you’re describing between your hair and skin. I’m picturing Miley Cyrus or SJP hair. Close? Whose hair/skin is similar…though we still won’t know your Season.
      It sounds to me as though you have spectacular hair that nothing from a bottle could approach or improve. The problem is that you don’t understand your skin (yet).

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • "; ?> Kerry

    You’re just so darn helpful!

    From your first answer, are you saying that a person can’t have cool skin and warm hair? Or warm skin and cool hair? Even if both the skin and hair share the other two characteristics, like soft and light? I suppose the striking effect (as in exceedingly fair, cool, and pale skin contrasting with the orange-y red) might be more of a result from when I wear the wrong colors (I know! I know. But gifts and things that I just really loved that didn’t come in my colors keep weighing me down.)… I’m emphasizing the coolness or the warmth over the other? Or, as you mentioned, it might just be totally wrong. 🙂

    As far as celebrities who share my hair color, I haven’t really seen any. The closest, I think, would be Jennifer Aniston in the early seasons of Friends, before she started dying it really blond and tanning. My skin is a little lighter than hers, and my hair turns orange-y red too, but the early darker hair color and into the first phase of her blondness are good examples of the idea of the range my hair takes. Miley Cyrus’ hair is waayyy too dark. Maybe like Sarah Jessica Parker. I’m not really sure which is her real hair color.

    As far as living near Detroit (and therefore you), I’m way out in California. I do have family I visit in Northwestern Ohio every summer, and often fly into Detroit, so this summer might be an option.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      A person can certainly have cool skin and warm hair or eyes. I do. These Cool + Warm combinations are found in the blended Seasons. The 4 True Season are “true” because they are absolute regarding warmth and coolness, and hair/skin/eyes all accord. So my skin is *relatively* cool, hair *relatively* warm. I’m a Winter with a trace of Autumn.
      You’d enjoy an analysis a lot. I would clear up questions you don’t even know yet that you have. I am never here in July. Otherwise, plan the trip!

      [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  • "; ?> Sarah

    This discussion of blended seasons is so relevant to me! I’m a musician with a website, so you can actually see a few pictures of me ( and elsewhere on my site). I have red hair, so “ought” to be a spring or autumn. I do seem to like warm colors in clothing (cream, muted greens, khaki, never white, charcoal, fuschia), but warm makeup shades look yellow or orange on my skin. I hate “peach” blush more than just about anything! Back in the Prescriptives days, I was typed a blue-red, and those colors were great on my skin. But compared to my husband, my palms are yellow, and my winter-pale feet are ivory. What do you make of me?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I get nowhere with photos, colors of palms, colors of veins, and so on. Others can do it, but not me. Your verbal description is brilliant though, and sounds very much like a Neutral Season.

  • "; ?> Sarah

    Thanks so much! By neutral season, do you mean something like soft summer, or is it outside the 12? Sorry–I’m just becoming familiar with all this!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Neutral means a blend of 2 True Seasons, so the skin contains some degree of warmth and coolness. Still within the 12, where there are 4 Trues and 8 Neutrals.

  • "; ?> Sarah

    got it! I can’t stop reading about this . . . You have an excellent site!

  • "; ?> Sarah

    I never understood until now that some “non-true” seasons actually exhibit both warm and cool characteristics. I thought that each was still definitively warm or cool (while being lighter, softer, etc.), and that if I saw both warm and cool in my coloring that either I must not get it, or else I’m a freak of nature (still always a possibility!). There are no sci Art analysts in Vermont, where I live, so I know I’m just guessing, but I’m working with the idea that I may be “soft,” probably a very neutral soft autumn. I’m enjoying trying out some soft summer colors and taking a step back from all the cheery (manic?) spring colors I’ve been encouraged to wear, as a fair redhead. At least I can rule out winter!

    Thanks again!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I always love the descriptives I read. Adriane’s “visual ripple” when wrong color meets a face, your “cheery, manic”. A Spring doesn’t see their colors (or character) as manic, but they can fatigue everyone else. Similarly, a True Autumn will sit there happily in the schoolbus yellow drape and wonder why everyone else is groaning and twitching, saying “Get the drape off, get the drape off”.

  • "; ?> Gabby

    Great post! I love the color comparison of the 5 autumns!

    There is only one thing I still don’t get. You say nature gave us the right base color in our hair, right?

    So, I’m a soft autumn and my hair is a taupe-y color that is rather cool. If I do nothing to it, it clashes with my skin, eyes and make-up. It is too cool for my skin.

    From years of trying (hairdressers included) I know that I need to warm my hair but not too much. I also know, that highlights/lowlights never look natural on me, an all over color is better despite highlights are always recommended for the soft seasons.

    And here’s the problem. All blond dies, also the darker ones, turn orange on me. I just have this underlying orange pigment.
    Redder/chestnut/cognac tones are too much but once they faded a few weeks the effect is flattering.
    Any advice what I can do about that?

    I asked a lot of hair dressers but none seemed to even understand my problem and the effects were even worse than from dies at home.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I so feel your pain. I’m not enough of a color chemist to solve this issue for you. Unfortunately, exactly as you say, hairdressers don’t even understand the problem…and I have yet to meet one that wants to.
      I do not believe this is a difficult problem to solve, but it seems next to impossible to get someone willing to ask the question, willing to go out there and say “We’re just taking our best guess. Hair colorists cannot know the type or amount of heat in hair color that will perfect a skin tone unless a person is color analyzed.”
      Your base color IS perfect, but as a Soft Season, it may not be interesting. And indeed, it may look much cooler than you do, further intensified with the makeup you may wear.
      I think everyone with a certain darkness in hair has underlying orange pigment, or at least orange seems to be a stage hair has to pass through to get to blonde. Why lightening it beyond orange, and then toning/coloring a soft tawny butterscotch is impossible, now that I do not understand.

  • "; ?> Gabby

    Thank you so much that you took the time to answer!!

    I haven’t died my hair since a year, because I cannot find a color.
    Naturally it looks exactly like the color swatch you posted in this post as a soft summer hair color. And I really want to cover the grey hairs…

    It’s interesting that you pointed out that make-up will intensify the warm-cold clash with the hair as it really does!
    Especially lipsticks and blushes in those tawny peach shades make my hair look grey-ish.

    Wearing cooler shades, more on the warm pink side, works better with my hair but is almost impossible to get, because most of the warm pinks are quite spring-ish colors I feel or at least not enough muted for me. (I have no contrast whatsoever…)

    Do you think I should leave the peaches and go for warm pinks only?

    Your suggestion with bleaching the hair beyond orange and then going for a tawny color is what I did a few times but it really ruins my fine hair and also the second dye then leaves my hair within three hair washes! But the color was good this way…

    I don’t even know why I’m bothering you as you are not a chemist but maybe some other soft autumn reads my post and has a tip for me?

    I am thinking about dying my hair in a chestnut color and washing it three times or so directly after the dying process even before I put the conditioner thing on. Maybe this will mute the color down enough.

    Or maybe I should go for an ash blonde dye? I think they put green pigment in the ash toned dies so green with my orange would equal some kind of muddy brown I suppose…

    I’m starting to feel like a chemist myself. 🙂

    Have a nice day!


  • "; ?> Clare


    There’s a fabulous blog about all things hairy, especially hair colour, at (I’m not affiliated, I’ve just found it helpful).

    This post in particular explains colour theory as it relates to hair in some detail and would be useful for any dye enthusiast, DIY or otherwise. It may help to shed some light on the difficulties you’ve been having with colouring your hair. Coupled with the colour analysis information you have, I’m sure you’ll be able to arrive at a solution that will unify and enhance your natural colouring.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Thanks for this link, Clare. That’s such a good article, very clear about the 2 different concepts. Although I have a sense of what the best color for a woman’s hair is to best perfect her skin and eyes, I would love to leave the coloring itself to a true colorist. One of my dreams/goals is to be affiliated with a colorist to whom I can say “Georgia is a Soft Autumn” and have he/she understand exactly what that means in terms of base, highlight, the eyebrows, and the individual. There should be no work whatsoever for Georgia herself except to choose her hairstyle. Till then, the information in that article helps everyone communicate better.

  • "; ?> Patrice Shannon

    I love your website and really enjoy reading all the posts. Your site is the first one I have seen which stated that hair does not automatically determine what season you are. I would give anything to be able to travel to meet you and have you drape me as I firmly believe you are one of the few people who actually know what you are doing. I have been analyzed as a summer, a light-bright, and an autumn. I have the gray-blue ash toned hair but was a pale blond as a child. (I color my hair now of course). I am told by all the color sites that ash toned hair makes you a “summer” but when I try to wear summer colors I look drab.

    Attached is a picture of myself taken just a couple of days ago. My sister told me that the color was “not great” in the top I was wearing. My eye is a muddy, blue with a definite teal tone. I also have light yellow around my pupil. I usually wear an ivory or light beige makeup base. I would love to figure out what I am since trying to fit into the summer category is not working for me. I am 67 years old and I will never lose my interest in color analysis and clothing and beauty.

    My question is this: How does one determine if they are a soft summer or a soft autumn?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Hi, Patrice,

      Thanks for the kind words. I think all Sci\ART analysts would interpret colour and human beings much as I do. The writing just publicizes my work a bit more. 🙂

      The picture just comes out as a tiny avatar, 1cm square. I cannot tell anything from photos anyhow, I find that there are way too many variables to contend with.

      Soft Summer will wear a soft pine green or dusty mauve.
      Soft Autumn will wear light terracotta and avocado green.

  • "; ?> Patrice Shannon

    Thanks Christine: I find that dusty mauve does nothing for me, as do most pinks, especially if they get too cool. I have always enjoyed peach, some corals but they must be soft and not too intense. My favorite blue is aqua or teal, but I look better in the darker, toned down shades. Dark brown looks too heavy on me and black makes me look ill. I have a really hard time with lipsticks. i have found that most colors “leap” off my face, but I also cannot wear shiny or pale lipsticks, which also make me look ill.

    I automatically gravitate to avocado green in my choice of greens, but cannot wear most oranges or yellows unless they are pale.

    I am thinking I am a soft autumn, and that I need to wear toned down colors. Your website actually has been very helpful. The funny thing is that all my life I would never have thought I was an autumn! I thought maybe I was a spring or a summer since I am so pale. Whenever I have a cosmetic makeover they always try to put a light ivory makeup on me which makes me look dead. I can wear a deeper ivory, and sometimes a light beige.

    In the picture you cannot see of me, I can readily see that the color of the top I am wearing is definitely too pink, even though I thought it was a soft raspberry. I was trying to make myself wear summer colors, although I have never responded psychologically to any shade of pink or burgundy. Maybe a soft rose tone, but I always end up back at the peach shades.

    I hope you will do more articles on soft autumns, I am not finding much at this time.

  • "; ?> adela costa

    Hello,Christine.Can you being a Soft Autumn having(as in my case),olive-yellowish skin?


    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      This is a hard question, Adela, when I have nothing to compare it to. Yes, many Soft Autumns have yellowish skin, and it can have a sallow-pale-olive aspect. Jennifer Lopez without makeup could look like this. On the other hand, your description could well apply to some Winters as well.

  • "; ?> Susan

    Hi Christine,
    I wonder what your feelings/thoughts are in terms of hair color and age.
    I am 39 and have naturally black (or what one would consider black) hair. I keep it very
    short and am finding quite a few grays now ( I would definitely be a true salt and pepper by 50 if I let it go). I have always been typed as a Winter (my skin is quite light) but everything I
    read recommends lightening up hair as you age. My mum is 74 and has same hair color with less gray than I do, and it looks perfectly natural (nothing “hard” or unnatural about it).
    My skin is smooth and line free at this time, but wonder what would be the right direction
    in which to go regarding hair color. Should Winters ever lighten up? Curious what you think…your comments are always so helpful and insightful.
    Thank you!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      I think this is answered on a person-by-person basis. I can say that I have never seen the Winter who looks better with lightened hair, with the exception of gray. What kind of lightening could you put on Catherine Zeta-Jones or Liza Minnelli’s head that would improve them? It always looks like white stripes with a root problem. Winter grays exceptionally well, and often early. I think that many ‘thou shalts’ get into beauty mythology for no good reason. Do you know a celebrity with your coloring? Sometimes it helps to picture your question on their head, lets you be more objective. And if you do know of one who can wear a lighter head, please do let me know. For most Seasons, we darken to a less interesting dark brown in our 30s, and a colour that is a bit lighter can be softer than that dark ashy brown, but across all 3 Winters, I can’t think of one person whose hair color needs any help. A slightly warmer shade is often needed to cover gray, but True Winter’s skin usually won’t support it, any better than it supports bronzer.

  • "; ?> Susan

    Thank you for your response Christine. I am definitely NOT someone who can carry off bronzer, even when it is the lightest shade offered and assured that it will be very natural looking on even the palest skins. I think it is very easy to get caught up in all the command-
    ments and edicts of beauty experts and insiders regarding what one should do with their
    colors as they move into their middle and later years. I know I certainly get swayed and second guess myself. I suppose the closest person I know with my coloring is my mum, and as I mentioned, she looks perfectly “right” with her naturally high contrast coloring. I think it makes things a bit more difficult that I am a Winter who desperately longs to be an
    Autumn 🙂 I am trying to come to terms with the colors that I know deep down look good on me.
    Thanks again!

  • "; ?> Robin

    How can nature seemingly contradict itself? In the spirit of remaining authentic at 47 I have grown out the often wrong over-colored (too black) hair. I am a curly girl grey with a dark base. My eyes are brown with flecks of golden topaz in them and my skin tone is warm and golden. I can’t seem to find myself in the color spectrum. My natural hair color seems to look best with icy tones, yet my skin tones look best with very natural peachy and orange colors.
    As a child I was brown with a halo of auburn light around my hair. I am in good shape, sporty, and natural and I want to simply go to the closet and pick out the few outfits that look authentically me so I can spend my day doing what I do best- nurturing others. Do I dress to my now grey colored hair or to my warm skin? I haven’t seen grey hair addressed on the color analysis sites except that they all seem to put us in a winter season. When I dress wintery it seems authentic to my hair and not to my skin tone. I know I need an in-person analysis, but I wanted your thoughts on greying across the color spectrum as more women are selecting this option – grey silver, platinum, salt and pepper as a valid color. (As in the website Going Grey Looking Great.)

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman


      I figure there is no point matching hair to Season if it detracts from the face. All the blond hair out there may look even blonder against all the black jackets, but the faces are older, flushed, and the makeup not working for the woman. Respect the perfection of the skin. When the skin is at its best, hair and eyes fall into place automatically on every person. I analyzed a grey-haired True Autumn just recently. The hair colour was medium-dark, not iron grey, but certainly not soft and bluish. Just as your hair colour will mesh with skin perfectly, so will your shade of grey. When women go grey, if they had darker hair before, they look a bit lighter and maybe a bit cooler. Besides adding more greys from your palette to your clothing and makeup, I can’t see that there is anything else to be done. The Autumns may have the hardest time transitioning to grey, but once there, they look superb.

  • "; ?> Deb

    I think my colouring is like this: …

  • "; ?> Deb

    Hello Christine

    I am having a hard time working out if I’m a Deep Winter or Deep Autumn. I have pale skin, but quite olive that tans well in summer. I have some Italian heritage. My hair is dark/medium brown and always had a touch of red as a child but is less red now. It’s more medium/dark brown now. I tend to colour it with a red Henna dye and it seems to make my skin lighter and milkier.

    My eyes are dark brown with a slight warmth/amber look. Dark eyebrows.

    I’m most definitely olive in colour, with a slight yellowish/orange tinge, even untanned.

    I’d appreciate your help.

  • "; ?> Bibbizz

    I was just recently draped and found that I am a true autumn. I have dark blonde hair, naturally, and some highlights, unnaturally. I’m not sure what to do about my hair color… I used to see it as ashy and assumed that I was probably a neutral or cool season. Now I see it as a warm olive. It’s funny that knowledge changes perception! I would like to counteract the blonde highlights with a color or lowlights that deepen my natural color. What would you suggest? Should I use my fan as a guide when picking out a color?

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Brilliant, bibbizz. True Autumn is fabulous. Yes, the hair looks flat until it lives next to its own colours, and then it’s striking. And yes, it can have green and/or bronze qualities that are fantastic, just like the palette neutrals, very observant of you. And yes again, I have never seen blonde flatter this woman. It’s hard to give hair colour advice when I have never seen you (photos would not help) but the one piece of advice I know for sure is that your natural colour is the best choice, at least to reset your head and your perceptions as your clothes and cosmetics change. If you have a photo of you at 20 or 30, before the highlights began, that could be good start point. Sometimes aiming for something around the eyebrows but a little warmer, depending on the brow colour. Or letting an inch or two of hair come in and then unifying the head to that. The fan is a representation of the colours in you, but won’t cover all the intricacies and individual possibilities of hair colours, just as it won’t for foundation. Also, hair is limited in its pigmentation, no blood for instance, but the fan does take red into account. Don’t darken the natural colour, that works on nobody, and certainly not a TA, who is only medium in darkness usually. That’s why they get blonded, because someone sense a certain lightness. Even lowlights get complicated, there can just be so much going on. Maybe an allover colour that resets the head close to natural, understanding that if you have had highlights for years, you will think your natural is much lighter than it really is. You might google someone whose colouring is close to yours. Young Raquel Welch can be good. Or look at images of Susan Sarandon or Kathie Lee Gifford over the years and pick what looks good. You may have to go way back for Kathie Lee.

  • "; ?> AC

    Hi Christine – your picture above on orange through the 5 autumns is as close to orange for SA as I’ve been able to find.
    My best friend is SA and a single mom of two – hence busy but enjoying her colour journey. She had no problem letting go of black and white – but she dearly loves orange and her biggest “regret” is that there is no orange in her palette. I’m thinking it might be there -just not in the fan.
    Any chance you would do both of us a great favour and show how a SA can splash some orange in her wardrobe?
    She is blond with dark blue eyes and slightly on the warm side.
    Thanks as always for this treasure box of articles that you so generously provide for us all.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Let me see what I can find, AC. Yes, I agree, there would be an orange. I’ll post it on Pinterest in the next week if I can locate a picture. The easier and faster way would be for you our your friend to type the Season name in the Search box on Pinterest and look at some of the images of landscapes and interiors that come up. Don’t sample the colours digitally, it doesn’t work accurately. The colour effect is in the harmony of the entire image.

  • "; ?> AC

    Thank you Christine, that would be very kind of you. In case you do find an orange, would you leave a link here. Pinterest is a bit of a jungle for me, but I come by your website very often and would notice the comment.

  • "; ?> Bibbizz

    Thank you for your response, Christine. I already started growing out my highlights before my PCA. My hair is really quite light naturally, even now in my 30s. When I was younger it would bleach out entirely during the summer! I’m finding a little struggle with accepting my new True Autumn identity some days, which I think comes from the fact that some of these colors combos are not as fashionable/trendy right now. As a lover of fashion and style, I really miss fuchsia and clear red… I was prepared to lose black, but not the cooler side of the spectrum! At first I was so excited because I love exploring new things and True Autumn was #11 on my list of what I guessed my result would be. I seemed Soft Autumn at first, which was what I wanted, but my skin needed more intensity. I just wonder how to keep this look youthful! 🙂

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Are you and your analyst sure of the result, Bibbizz? If Terry or I trained them, I know for sure that they will gladly see you again to revisit the topic. Not to be controversial here, but let’s start from the right place. If there is a woman who usually knows her colour group fairly closely, it will be an Autumn.
      If TA is it, then fine. It becomes a Q of retraining your eyes. Everybody has young looking combinations. Do you know your image archetype? I’m just looking for the disconnect before we get into what is fun and young on TA. If you are a Gamine TA wearing Classic TA colours, you will look and feel de-energized.
      Once the baselines are sorted, email or message here. I’d be happy to do a blog post on adding vitality to TA. It would be oh so easy to do once we define the way these colours express energy.

  • "; ?> Lena

    I’m a TA who is about 50%-60% grey. The blend of my “grey” ( which is actually more of an oyster color ) with my natural dark auburn hair does create a overall medium olive tone. It sounds odd but it harmonizes perfectly with my eyes and skin. My TA colors continue to work.

    I enjoy reading about other Autumns who have gone grey. We are usually told that grey doesn’t work for Autumns so we should dye our hair but I disagree.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Keep disagreeing, Lena. You are not alone. The proof is in the many women who have stopped listening to any ideas that imply that we are not perfect the way we are made. If you hear that message, close your ears. It is wrong, outdated, stereotypic, and more than a little offensive despite the fact that it is not intended that way. Maybe what’s offensive is that it’s time for everyone to re-examine and update their colour information. Gosh, don’t mean to sound aggressive, I must have had too much coffee : )

  • "; ?> Liz

    I haven’t the foggiest what classification I am. I definitely have blue and purple undertones, but have freckles and brown eyes. I was born a redhead and darkened to brown. I always thought I was a winter but chestnut makes me look less like a corpse. Is there an autumn/ winter hybrid? I look best in dark and bold colors. Pastels wash me out but pink lips and blush look good on my skin but I can wear gold or silver.
    Thanks so much!

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      There are 2 Winter/Autumn blends in fact, Liz. One with more Winter content, one with more Autumn influence.

  • "; ?> J.

    “Nature always gives you hair colour that is your skin’s perfection.” Sorry, but I don’t think so. This is bold statement. Even “mother nature” makes big mistakes in many ways (with all living beings), for example people (or animal) born with awful handicaps, sometimes it can’t coexist with life + not all people/animal are born all beautiful, some are nicer, some are less nicer or really awful – and humankind is trying (maybe all the time) change many these “natural things” (if things were different, we could still dying around age 30). To be honest, I’m afraid, that all these typologies are little like new kind of religion. And they are very intuitive, not scientific. That’s all I wanted to write. I wish you all the best and good luck.

  • "; ?> Linda

    My sister is a natural blonde with dark brown eyes, who seems to be best in true autumn colours (some dark orange in her eyes too). So there are some blonde autumns.

  • "; ?> Linda

    She’s golden blonde, by the way.

  • "; ?> Janet

    Hi, hoping for a comment. I am late 70s..about to build a hempcrete home…owner build with subcontractors ie I am alive. Celtic colouring. At 4 had charcoal hair with silver shine, green eyes light pale skin with golden undertones. Very white teeth. Now have oyster white hair.
    Skin paled.
    Used to use bronzer..brillliant if golden toned. Golden freckles on arms.
    Best colours were burnt oranges, terracotta, deep brown cashmere, deep yellow greens with black in the mix, chartreuse best, fluorescent lime like crew does. High contrast. Thin.

    So I am a bit thrown re adjusting to the new colour. I sew. I am happy enough in light grey ie marled like cashmere or flannel. With amber brooch. Or violet. Or coral necklace. I think I might be able to wear some pink. I need clear colours with depth. . Need textures. Silk no good. Fine skin.
    I don’t know where to start so I don’t just look like an old lady. rather look like a person still.
    I rambled hoping that helps your experience to give a hint. I have swatches. I tested autumn by a very experienced woman years ago. Greens were best.
    I greyed early finally went deep golden blonde from L’Oréal. It worked with golden brown in it to make gutsier.She said it excellent. Then I tinted deep chocolate by aveda with chartreuse and salmon blotches. Nars rouge basque lipstick.

    • "; ?> Christine Scaman

      Hi, Janet,
      Thank you for sharing the big and small pictures of your colours. If I understand correctly, you’re asking for how an Autumn, and sounds like Dark Autumn, brings vitality and vibrancy to her look?
      It sounds as though you understand your relationship with colour well and feel confident with the Season. I’m not sure I could add anything you don’t already know. Maybe you were hoping for inspiration or originality, in which case, a visit to Pinterest may be helpful. If you type Dark Autumn into the Search box, and also into the Search box in Google, you would see beautiful, fresh renditions of your palette in many settings besides apparel.
      Also, have you considered a line or style analysis? These are truly effective for sharpening and defining your look, understanding how to use detail, how to balance colours, and a lot more. Sometimes, a bland effect may happen despite excellent colours, if, for example, the shapes or design features are too large for the person.

  • "; ?> Janet

    Thank you for comment ..surprised you found it and helped…and for the dark autumn comment that’s what I followed.’s what now with oyster white hair. To look good not a white head sticking out the top…
    Maybe I go back to a bronzer.
    I do love colour, singing colour and have no fear of colours. I understand line texture don’t do patterns because what would wear is not available. It’s the oyster white…..and my family live active to 95 to 100. So it’s not like I can just avoid by dropping off the twig.

  • "; ?> Janet

    Oh I just searched as you suggested and found your site immediately. And you have lots on autumns going silver ie oyster in my case. I I saw the dress suggestions and have understood. immediately.Huge for me. am so grateful you give of your time and knowledge. I will look forward to the cosmetics which I can order from Australia.
    One glance at the soft autumn and reading your content re depth and warmth, and a huge weight dropped from me. You know.
    I will also look for my son, a bright spring in his 30s, dark hair on head and some on face blue eyes, peach skin. A grown up cherub. Has lost his way in the last few years. He loves colour.has challenge of being Supreme Court flooded with winters in their colours. You affect people’s lives, clothing and the whole unrolling and being themselves. Thank you.

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