Gray hair has always been feared; not because of the color itself, but for what it stands for: the inevitable. Most of us dread getting that first strand of gray hair as we age. Hair dye becomes about as necessary as a loaf of bread as we mature.
You’d never think a young woman with rich, youthful hair would want to match her grandmother. However, as fashion gets riskier and more sideways, gray hair becomes the choice of many young starlets and budding fashionistas today. Celebrities like Kelly Osbourne and Pink have taken the leap to embrace this over-the-hill look, as well as college students and young adults. But why is this outrageous trend, well… a trend?
[pullquote_right]“…after the surprise sunk in, they all loved my new hair color and complimented me on my ballsy transformation.”[/pullquote_right]
According to a survey taken at the University of Cincinnati, 37 percent of women 40 and older who color their hair choose a shade of brown, 34 percent go blonde, red or auburn falls in at 24 percent, and shades of black hang in there at 4 percent. Meanwhile, only 1 percent of women choose colors shades that enhance their natural gray. “Women tend to perceive gray hair as warn out and expired,” says Tara Evans, a hair specialist at Atlanta’s own Salon Red. In the past couple of months, Evans has seen three to four young women and —gradually— more older women asking for the salt and pepper trend. “It’s edgy, sexy, and looks especially good on those beginning to go gray anyway,” she says.
Surprisingly, white or silver hair can in fact look smokin’ on those who wear it right. The look is not for everyone, but we can’t help but applaud those who dare to try it. This epidemic could even be looked at as a sign of respect or openness about aging. Making gray hair an option and also a preference makes growing older look a little more glamorous. It takes a weight off the shoulder of those women who are scared to have that first wrinkle or sign of gray roots. Taking such an odd color choice and putting it in into the world of high fashion makes it seem less of a dreadful color and more of an icon.
“Everyone was shocked when I walked into my economics class, they thought it was a joke! But after the surprise sunk in, they all loved my new hair color and complimented me on my ballsy transformation,” says Kelly Reed, a student at Emory University. “Gray is supposed to be this dull, old color but why not rock it and be proud?”
This outrageous streak of gray haired hotties is without a doubt taboo. But today, what isn’t taboo in the fashion industry? “We shouldn’t be questioning it. It’s just another outlet of self expression, and there is nothing wrong with that.” says Evans. Who knows, the next time you’re feeling a little rebellious, you may find your older roots shine through.
“Who cares what color hair you have; dye it purple with green dinosaurs if that’s what you like. Gray hair is just another personal style that has spread all the way to Hollywood,” Evans adds.