Does It Really Make Sense to Darken Your Hair Colour in the Winter?

Emily Blunt went lighter, and it works!

Speaking of hair colour (since we're kind of on a roll lately), I thought it appropriate today, on the occasion of a rather underwhelming "Snowmageddon" here in Toronto, to address the issue of darkening and lightening our hair with the seasons.

According to conventional beauty wisdom, you're supposed go lighter in the summer. But as soon as the leaves start to change colour in the autumn, then you, too, should change your colour: to something darker, richer or awash in lowlights.

So all of this means that right about now—in the depths of winter, when we've already got the sads (or SAD) from the cold and the snow and the fact that night falls at 5pm—our hair is just another thing that's dark and depressing. And likely appears even darker, I might add, thanks to the contrast of pasty skin that hasn't seen daylight since August.

It doesn't really make sense, does it? Personally I always feel the urge to re-blondify in the wintertime, and apparently a few celebs are with me on this one, because they've recently gone lighter, not darker, too. Let's take a look, starting with Emily Blunt:

She made her switch reeeeeally gradually. From this very natural, shiny brown, about a year ago:

To an Ombré sort of look in the fall (I don't love it, by the way):

To, this month, a full-blown dark blonde:


You know, my first reaction was nein, nein, nein... how COULD you, Emily, when the brunette sets off your eyes and skin so beautifully?

But now I'm coming around—especially when I saw this more casual shot. It's a really great colour on her, not too blonde and VERY skillfully highlighted. (Or is this Ombré too, just starting higher up on the hair shaft? Maybe a bit of both.)

And it's definitely an improvement over that neither-here-nor-there in-between shade she had going on for a while there. Those middle colours are the WORST. True story: When I went from sooper blonde to sooper brunette a few years ago, my colourist(s) insisted on a slow transition. So, over the course of a few months, I went from platinum to strawberry blonde to blah brown—and MAN I hated that blah brown stage.

Probably this is why I ultimately couldn't live with my Ombré. Like Emily's, it just lacked that certain sumpin' sumpin'.

(Although I will say that the slow colour transition is a good thing if you're not psychologically prepared for a dramatic colour change. I'll bet most colourists insist on it purely because they don't want to deal with the corrective work when people decide they don't want to go darker/lighter after all.)

Another star who has gone from brunette to a lighter shade is our favourite vajazzler, Jennifer Love Hewitt. Last fall, she was a brunette like Emily:

But she's just gone a few shades lighter and I think it's really pretty:

But that said, I obviously don't necessarily agree with ALL decisions to lighten up—even if it IS wintertime and you're attempting to perform colour therapy via hair dye. Sometimes, no matter what season it is, you need to stick with what works.

Kate Beckinsale, are you listening? Because you looked much better like this:

Compared to this:

Tell me what YOU think:

Do you like Emily Blunt as a blonde?

How about Jennifer Love Hewitt? And Kate Beckinsale?

Do you follow the conventional wisdom about lightening in summer and darkening in winter—or would you, too, like to see that fly out the window?

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