Moderate contrast is the range of contrast in between low and high contrast.
Moderate contrast has a broader range of contrast levels and colour quality combinations than both high and low contrast.
Moderate contrast means there is a moderate difference between the juxtaposed colour qualities of a person’s colour characteristics, or within a single colour characteristic.
Similar to both high and low contrast, moderate contrast is usually determined by the tone difference between a person’s skin and hair.
Natural moderate contrast between a person’s skin and hair generally applies to all tones of skin, except dark skin tones.
People with dark skin tones generally do not have hair two shades darker or lighter, except when aging.
The tone difference between people with moderate contrast remains approximately two to five levels on the tone scale.
In most naturally occurring moderate contrast, the skin is lighter than the hair.
It is rare almost impossible to have dark skin with naturally occurring lighter hair.
However, in the Melanesian population of the Solomon Islands, a genetic mutation of the gene responsible for influencing pigmentation occurs in 5 to 10 per cent of the children.
Overall natural, moderate contrast is not exclusively determined by tone it can be influenced by the colour qualities of hue and variable saturation.
Moderate hue contrast is not common between human colour characteristics, considering analogous colour contrast is considered low, and different coloured eyes, such as blue or green, usually create complementary colour contrast – which is considered high.
While a person may not have moderate hue contrast, the low or high hue contrast of particular colour characteristics may contribute to a person’s overall moderate contrast.
Various levels and areas of variable saturation across human colour characteristics contribute to moderate contrast, primarily on the skin or within the hair.
As mentioned in previous contrast articles, each colour quality from within the skin, hair and eyes can potentially influence a person’s contrast and either keep them within the overall moderate contrast classification or identify them as low or high contrast.
The diverse range of contrasting qualities and characteristics on a person’s face, such as eyes, mouth, facial hair, freckles, blemishes, shade, shadow and the volume of hair, all contribute to their moderate tone classification.
A person’s contrast level changes throughout their life and moderate contrast is most often part of any significant change.
Some people move through moderate contrast with the aging process and some move into moderate contrast as they lose pigmentation.
Moderate contrast is easy to superficially change, by altering the amount of hair a person has or by changing the tone, hue or variable saturation of the hair.
If a person has low or high contrast, it is also easy to superficially create moderate contrast through hair or make-up colour changes.
If a person has natural moderate contrast and would like to continue a similar natural look as they age, it is possible to do so through minimal superficial changes to hair colouring and make-up.
The diversity among the billions of humans across the globe means there will always be exceptions to human colour theory, especially with contrasting colour qualities.