I’ve never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesn’t either

Emily Blunt blonde hair

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:

Emily Blunt brunette Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

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

Emily Blunt ombre tips Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

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

Emily Blunt blonde1 Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

Thoughts?

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.)

Emily Blunt blonde 2 Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

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:

Jennifer Love Hewitt MOCAs Annual Gala Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

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

Jennifer Love Hewitt People StyleWatch A Night Of Red Carpet Style Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

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:

Kate Beckinsale Vanity Fair Oscar party Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

Compared to this:

Kate Beckinsale blonde Ive never really understood why people darken their hair colour in the winter—and it looks like Emily Blunt doesnt either

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?

17 Comments

Jane
Wednesday, February 2/2011 at 2:05 pm

I am LOL-ing at “our favourite vajazzler” omg so hysterical! I have a real soft spot/girl crush on Jennifer Love Hewitt and do like her lighter look. Its subtle and pretty.

I agree! I actually went to have my highlights touched up on the weekend after trying to grow out roots a la ombre. Decided NO to ombre but came out waaaaay too blonde (almost Kate-esque) and it just looks flat, fake and strawlike. Just went back for lowlights (lots of them) to break it up and feel like I am finally *back* to my natural blonde again.

Kate needs to back away from the peroxide. Now. The look you show of her with brown-ish auburn is sooo pretty.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:41 pm

Uh-oh, yes – I know what you’re talking about. Our blonderexia can sometimes backfire! Restraint is key :-)

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Liza
Wednesday, February 2/2011 at 2:12 pm

Truly terrible. And these are women with access to and the money to pay for lengthy double process, careful subtle colour changes. No excuse at all.

It’s like they’ve left brunette but haven’t arrived at blonde yet: they’re stuck in cockroach (Google Image a a cockroach and tell me that’s not the same orangey brown, stripey shade.)
And a WTF goes out to K. Beckinsale for her straw blonde Real Housewives of BH colour.

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Gimped
Wednesday, February 2/2011 at 4:40 pm

I say colour is colour. Do what you want when you want. Perhaps the whole theory started because your hair naturally lightens in the summer anyway ?? And gradually changing your colour … sounds really expensive. I say go balls in. It’s only colour, you can change it if you don’t like it, right? So long as it’s not full of bleach — here here!!

Wow. Kate Beckinsale CAN NOT pull off that blonde. She looks totally HAWT as a brunette. Why would she do that?!?

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Marina(Makeup4All)
Wednesday, February 2/2011 at 4:58 pm

Emily Blunt is one of those very few celebs that I adore so I actually am interested in her style/hair colour etc. To tell the truth, I don’t like this new hair colour, I hated it when I saw the photo for the 1st time, I hope it’s for the role in the film. At least Kate’s new hair is. I like her in the Underworld by the way…

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:43 pm

Yes I definitely think the dark brown is her best look. But I know you were looking into highlights on brown hair – do you like Kate Beckinsale’s “before” colour? I think it’s so pretty!

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pria
Wednesday, February 2/2011 at 7:51 pm

is it me or does emily blunt remind you of katy perry?!

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:44 pm

OMG YES! If Emily slapped on a ton of makeup they could be twin sisters! Wow, great observation.

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La La
Wednesday, February 2/2011 at 9:45 pm

^ OMG i defffff thought this when i saw the first photo…there is something very katy perry-esque about her face there…it creeped me out a little lol

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Christina
Thursday, February 3/2011 at 1:38 pm

Ah, I think Emily looked amazing in the Devil Wears Prada with her dark brown hair; I’m very sad to see that go. The dark colour makes her blue eyes pop for sure, especially with her blue shirt/dress in the image. Not feeling her, Jenn or Kate with lighter locks … *sigh* … not cool.

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bevfred
Thursday, February 3/2011 at 1:55 pm

I’m new to your blog and am really enjoying it. I’ve never understood the” go darker in winter” thing. A Toronto winter is dark enough, thank you! So I go a bit brighter and lighter. I go darker in the summer because the sun is going to fade it anyway.
This is Bev logic.

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Monica
Thursday, February 3/2011 at 6:33 pm

I prefer Emily as a brunette, as for Jennifer like her dark too but Kate what?? I love her natural looking highlights. Awful L.A blonde! Just awful….

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Meghan
Thursday, February 3/2011 at 6:37 pm

I think all these girls looked better with darker hair. It all comes down to your coloring and what’s most flattering.

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Indianapolis Hair Salon
Saturday, February 5/2011 at 1:42 pm

I love these photos. I really do like Emily Blunt’s hair lighter. I do agree that seasonal color is no longer the rule. People are free to choose their color based on whim and trend more than season!

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High Roller
Wednesday, February 9/2011 at 2:22 pm

Love Emily Blunt. The woman can do no wrong.

That said, I much prefer her off-duty hair. The styling in the first shot lets her down.

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Comment Avatar Michelle Villett
Friday, February 11/2011 at 4:46 pm

Agreed! It just looks like my hair on a normal day (read: lazy styling).

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Kerrie
Thursday, August 18/2011 at 9:11 pm

Ok first, I so LOVE Emily Blunt. But I saw her on late night doing an interview and I really hate her hair blonde. In the interview she just looked blah and dare I say a bit trashy. She’s absolutely stunning but it just doesn’t work. She looks so elegant with dark hair, it makes her eyes, skin and beautiful lips pop. Btw, her blonde hair looks pretty in the last picture, but I didn’t like it at all in motion. And I agree with you on the darkening in winter thing, I’ve always thought it was illogical.

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