I was reading an article in my local French newspaper* this week about a fashion journalist who decided to let her dyed hair go grey after seeing a woman in Saint-Tropez with stunning ‘alabaster’ hair. She wrote a book about her experience, got a big-money deal, and it has been a runaway success here with her winning praise from women all over France ‘for daring to take the plunge’. The newspaper article said grey is the new black in the fashion world.
Another woman had embraced her silver hair after years of dyeing it and had blogged about the change, recording her stripy transition as the colour grew out over several weeks whilst 250 women followed her changeover with many deciding to also bin the hair dye.
I had a similar experience as I approached 60. I had travelled solo around Europe for a while (see : journeywithmetoo ) and I came home transformed in many ways. One result was the desire to be the authentic ME, a lovely inner confidence about being 60, and complete acceptance of the start of this next phase of my life – what is often called one’s Third Age. So, to the horror of my French hairdresser and some girlfriends, I stopped colouring my hair and became a silver me. I have found the whole experience extremely liberating and feel great about how I look. Even my hairdresser has come around and now says my hair is ‘très chic’.
A UK newspaper recently reported that the vast majority of older British men believe they are better looking with age. This contrasts with the statistics on younger men who are less confident about their looks. Evidently this silver fox confidence has had a detrimental effect on sales of men’s beauty products.
The whole topic of grey hair is fascinating. There are concerns that having grey hair means you may be treated differently, and worse, than others – especially in the employment market. Many people of both sexes believe their looks are detrimentally affected by grey hair and do not wish to look ‘old’. This is their choice. Attitudes are changing though and society does seem to be accepting that we do not have to hide our advancing years to still be attractive, which in turn takes a lot of pressure of seniors of both sexes to look younger than our natural years. Hopefully the same will happen with our skin and the pressure to surgically turn back the clock will also diminish.
Accepting the time when you do become grey, either when it naturally occurs or when you decide to stop the delay, is a step into confident ageing and accepting who you are. Whenever it happens to you, remember that life itself can be silver, not grey, as we age.
* The Connexion September 2017