Color Advice for the Gray Haired Woman, 1945

Helena Rubinstein advertisement, 1945. Duke University Library

What determines the colors that look good on you? There is an entire industry built up to help you answer that question today.  In this 1945 advertisement from Helena Rubenstein, however, you need look only to your hair color for the answer. 

Look here for the entire ad, giving advice to the cherished blond, versatile medium brown, inimitable redhead, and exotic dark brunette.  It is no surprise that the sophisticated silver-gray comes last.  All of the examples are white skinned, even though these hair colors could appear with any number of skin colors.

According to this ad, the silver-gray haired woman should be inspired by “the natural highlights you see in your lovely silver hair—soft purples and mauves.” Accents should be chosen from bright reds, soft pistachio greens and muted aqua. 

If you ask me, this list of colors is a good reason to dye your hair.

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2 Responses to Color Advice for the Gray Haired Woman, 1945

  1. Nann says:

    I had my colors “done” in 1982 — the $60 fee was a birthday gift from my husband. I’m a summer. The exercise was actually very helpful for me, though I long ago abandoned the idea of taking the book of color swatches with me when I shop. (I still have the swatch book somewhere.) I clicked through to see the entire ad. The closed palette to “summer” is the gray-haired woman. [Among the first discards after my season was identified: the burnt orange Klopman poly dress I made (and I did such a good job on it!) and the kelly green poly gabardine dress that I got on clearance. Pink and purple gradually made their way into my wardrobe.]

  2. squeakytiki says:

    I have to wonder what Mrs. Rubenstein would think of me dying my grey hair different shades of pink and mauve?

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