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8 Hair Colour for Older Women Mistakes… And How to Fix Them!

You know it when it happens because you start to look washed out and tired – your hair colour isn’t working. To say it isn’t flattering is probably an understatement. Are the things you’re doing to hide the grey hairs aging you? That’s not the way it’s supposed to be.

Is the colour you are using designed to make you look younger or older? Yes, there are even younger people looking for the gravitas endowed by grey hair. Weird.

Best Hair Colour for Over 60s

There are so many choices of hair colour out there, and it can be difficult finding the right shade due to hair length, skin tone, etc. What looks good on one person won’t necessarily suit another, either.

So, this is a list of the most common hair colour mistakes made by women over 60 and how to fix them. It isn’t rocket science – or even hairdressing.

Mistake #1: Using Too Dark a Colour

Using too dark a colour creates the illusion of more fine lines and wrinkles! Also, the clear line that appears when your colour grows out and the grey makes a re-appearance is not a good look, and you should not espouse it.

Instead of an overall dark colour – and don’t forget natural hair is never one solid colour – try a warm tone which is a shade or two lighter and adds light reflection to your skin. Another alternative is subtle highlights which create dimension to an all-over dark hue.

L’Oréal Paris Frost & Design

Mistake #2: Using Too Much Ash

Your hair, blonde or brunette, should not have an ashy appearance. If you’re of a paler complexion, the smoky look will make you appear washed out. Add some warmth to brighten your skin.

L’Oréal Paris Cool Supreme Permanent Gray Coverage Hair Color

Mistake #3: Funky Hair Colour for Over 60s

You may like bright-coloured hair, and that’s fine. You can choose to go for the trendy bright colours like red, purple, or blue. Just try to use shades that aren’t too bright as this can wash out your face depending on your skin tone.

Also, be prepared for the upkeep because bright colours tend to require a lot more retouching than typical hair dyes.

Schwarzkopf Color Ultime Permanent Hair Color Cream – Vintage Red

Mistake #4: Looking Too Brassy

Your hair can look dull and damaged if it is too orange or reddish. Now is the time to start using an ash toner! Brassy hair makes your skin look redder and tired, and it puts years to your age.

Ban the brass by using a purple shampoo to eliminate the yellow. The two neutralize each other. I use purple shampoo every day because my hair pulls red when it’s bleached!

Shimmer Lights Purple Shampoo for Blonde & Silver Hair

Mistake #5: Going Too Light

If your face isn’t ready for it, being too light can be as aging as being too dark. Again, hair is not one colour all over, and it’s important to maintain a level of contrast.

If your hair is too light, it looks as washed out as your face. Add some colour with lowlights that are a little lighter than your natural hair colour.

Madison Reed Light Works Balayage Highlighting Kit

Mistake #6: Using Too Many Highlights

Too many highlights can make your hair look damaged and tired. It may even look like wire wool. Don’t go for cool-toned highlights which work well when you’re young but not now. Golden tones around your face make you look more youthful because they add brightness.

Mistake #7: Going Too Red

I know a lot of women love all over red hair. But I think it is aging and old-fashioned. Your skin starts to lose pigment after 40, and the contrast between hair and skin is too much. Use a colour-enhancing shampoo, or even a few highlights or a little copper to look more natural.

CHI Ionic Color Illuminate Shampoo

Mistake #8: Being Too Bold

Chunkiness often doesn’t work past 60. It looks too unnatural. Banish chunkiness by making sure the colour is blended in. It’s a sophisticated look, and an air of sophistication sits well on women our age.

The secret of chunky colour is in the placement; such as a section in your fringe or around your hairline to frame your face. If you’re grey, experiment with pastel tones like pale pink or smoky blue. That can be very stylish.

If you want to know even more about hair that’s grey or greying, or if you have more Bad Hair Days than you have cups of tea in a month, get your copy of Grey Hair & You. Will it help? Yes!


Things to keep in mind in regards to your hair and hair color. 


You may have the perfect hair color, but if the style is outdated and doesn’t flatter your features it won’t matter.


Make sure to keep your color fresh and minimize root growth by getting touch-ups regularly. 


Hair grows and color can be easily changed. Don’t be afraid to experiment with your hairstyle and color. 

Research and Get Inspired

Read some of our helpful articles and bring photos of your inspirations to your hairstylist to show them what you have in mind.

Here’s an article that contains some helpful tips and tricks and more information about hair colour: Spectacular Hair Colour Options for Fabulous Older Women.

Also, read 60 BEST HAIRCUTS AND HAIRSTYLES FOR WOMEN OVER 60 for more ideas.

Let’s Have a Conversation:

Are you guilty of any of these hair colour mistakes? Are you happy with your hair? Do you despair of ever having gorgeous locks again? Share some of your woes and triumphs; we love to hear from you!

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I agree that dark hair colour can be aging. I have now gone for highlighting but find my hair so dry now. It so difficult finding a shade that suits me after years as a brunette. I have tried letting it grow out and embracing the grey but was lured back to the hair dye. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

The Author

Penelope Jane Whiteley is the self-appointed Queen of Aging Disgracefully. A writer, international speaker, clothes designer, stylist and traveller, she helps other women to live their lives on their own terms. Her courses include “Lose 10 pounds in 10 minutes,” “The Reboot,” “Just Write the Damn Book.” Find her on http://www.penelopewhiteley.com, Twitter, and Facebook.

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