I am trying to describe this character:


Her attire is pretty easy to describe, Purple and Gold (while it looks yellow she addresses herself with majestic plural, so gold would be more fitting) clothing with a black coat.

However, her hair is a bit of a problem. I want to describe its colour almost exactly as it's seen here and while initially one could say it's like a silver colour there seems to be a bit more of a cream color.

This hasn't been the first time I've gone to describe a colour, however other times I've known the base colour (Red/Blue) and from there looked up on Wikipedia to looks at its shades. However, that won't help here when I can't be sure what base colour her hair colour would be in.

So I am wondering, is there a place online where I could submit a hexadecimal value and get results of similar colors? (eg. if I submitted #FF91A4 I could get Pink and Salmon) That way I can use that in the future. (Since obviously there isn't an SE Site where IDing colours in an image would be on topic.)

NOTE: as you can probably guess, the character is "Anime Style". As such natural hair colours don't follow real life norms (some characters can be born with blue, green and pink hair).

  • 1
    You can check one of the programs here: codegolf.stackexchange.com/q/32386/16337
    – justhalf
    Sep 17, 2014 at 9:43
  • 3
    Putting too much thought into describing how your characters look is a typical beginners mistake. In a visual medium like anime or manga, visual details are important because they allow the viewer to tell the characters apart. But you don't need that in writing because you always refer to characters by name. When the haircolor of a character isn't relevant for the plot, it is often a good idea to just leave it out.
    – Philipp
    Sep 18, 2014 at 11:59
  • @Philipp this character looks identical to another character with the exception of colour pallet (Material D - "Lord Dearche" -> Hayate Yagami) and when this character is first seen she is not named, she is only named later on when the cast actually meet her
    – Memor-X
    Sep 18, 2014 at 22:28
  • Perhaps this will help? boredpanda.com/color-thesaurus-char-ingrid-sundberg Sep 19, 2014 at 19:39
  • xcolorsel cannot find anything but grey in the hair color. And so, frankly, can my eye.
    – celtschk
    Sep 20, 2014 at 19:20

5 Answers 5


For color-to-name converter, a quick Google search gives me this link:


In which you can just pick a color from the color wheel to see its name.


Perhaps the color you want is "Mercury"

enter image description here

But, as Phillipp said, you might better explain the color in words more frequently used, instead of using some rather pedantic terms. You can say:

She has a gray hair

or if you want to invoke more imagination from your readers, you can try something like:

Her hair color reminds me of my highschool year, when I accidentally broke a thermometer during one science experiment, causing the liquid inside to spill over all the places, covering the floor with the shiny silver color of mercury.

  • 5
    As a reader, I could accept "gray hair" or "silver hair" in a character description, but when you would write "mercury-colored hair" I would be quite confused.
    – Philipp
    Sep 18, 2014 at 12:17
  • @Philipp: I agree. I should have mentioned also that calling it silver/gray will have worked as well (or better!).
    – justhalf
    Sep 18, 2014 at 12:49
  • 2
    I would use platinum hair. It goes with the yellow to gold theme. Also describing a younger person with gray or silver hair had connotations of age.
    – NomadMaker
    Jan 30, 2018 at 11:20

I love the apps linked in the other answers, but I see a basic problem with this whole question.

Let's try an experiment.

  1. Choose three color names that for you describe a very specific color.
  2. Now give these names to a few people and ask them to select all the colors that would fit that color term from this color chart: http://www.pantone-colours.com/
  3. How wide is the range of colors for each term? Does it include the color you thought of?

I'm sure you can imagine the outcome of this experiment: Everyone has a different idea about what a color term signifies. Because in fact individuals perceive color differently. Friendly arguments are fought about where exacly blue and green begin.

So trying to exactly name a color with words is futile. Everyone will imagine what you describe differently, and there is nothing you can do about that.

  • I'm also writing like an Author's Trivia which is like a collection of notes and reasoning behind Canon Changes and the such. one note i have is that i double check colors on Wikipedia when i have a name and to me there's a difference between Space Cadet Blue and Navy Blue. ofcause i try and add the base color name if i think the exact colour is too unknown (ie. Lemon Chiffon Yellow, Space Cadet Blue, Vermilion Red) but maybe i should do that with all non generic colours
    – Memor-X
    Sep 18, 2014 at 22:51

Here are two sites that you might want to check out:




I would recommend you to describe the hair of that character as "white" or "grey". Maybe "silver" when you want to be a bit more lyrical, but that's the furthest I would go into detail about the haircolor.

The artist of that image likely decided to put a tiny bit of yellow into the color-shade, because pure shades of grey generally look boring and sterile in artwork. But that's a problem which only applies to visual media. As a writer such design details aren't really as important.

Instead of taking multiple paragraphs to describe your characters appearances in great detail, you should rather focus on describing their personality and motivation. You might drop a few key-aspects of their appearance, but only when it is:

  • Something other characters would notice immediately and which would affect the way they interact with her. A young woman with grey hair might be something unusual in your fictional universe and a reason for others to notice her. Maybe having grey hair at a young age is a telltale sign that she practices black magic and would make it impossible for her to conceal this (in that case you could mention that her hair isn't completely grey but still shows a tiny bit of her original haircolor as a sign that she is not completely corrupted yet). Or maybe young people with grey hair aren't anything special in your universe. Then it's an irrelevant detail you have little reason to mention at all.
  • Something which is a key hint to their personality. When a characters dress style is described as a lot more extravagant than appropriate for the situation, it might be a sign that they are vain or proud of their social status. When they openly carry a weapon everywhere they go, they might be paranoid, militant or like to intimidate people. When they have scars, it should be a crucial part of their background story.
  • Something you need to identify the character. When you don't want the reader to learn her name (yet), you might want to refer to her only as "the grey-haired girl". Also, other characters which don't know the name of another character will refer to them in their inner and outer monologue by visual details (like "the girl with the sad eyes" to give an example from your source material). To make it clear which character they are talking about, it should be a distinct detail you mentioned before (Although on the other hand, you could also deceive the reader by intentionally picking a detail you left out so the reader does not know which character they talk about even though the reader already knows her. So the reveal of her identity will surprise the reader as much as it surprises the characters).

But describing the appearance of a character just so the reader can picture them better is unnecessary. When you omit irrelevant details, the reader will unconsciously fill in the blanks by making them up on their own.


If you have a Mac, you could try Sip app. You pick the color and then it may tell you what the name is.

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