Hi everyone and here’s my take on this grey hair business.
Just recently there’s been a fair amount in the media about the glories of going or being grey. It’s always coming up: for instance, on Sunday the veteran journalist Katherine Whitehorn in The Observor wrote about being rung up and asked if she was going grey (no, she’s not and she’s 88); a couple of weeks ago Tricia Cusden documented her views on transitioning to grey (and gave some very useful tips, btw); and last year Alyson Walsh of That’s Not My Age posted about her grey-haired heroines and then it came up again recently in another post on 50+ fashion week.
And our very own Mary Beard (an English classical scholar and academic, for those of you who don’t know her, who has amazing, but slightly unkempt, long grey hair) was on Radio 4 with a half-hour prog called Glad to Be Grey. I listened but, to be honest, didn’t learn much. She was asking why so many women feel they have to dye their hair.
At this point I’m not exactly questioning that women feel pressure to dye, because equally, I think there’s quite a movement out there calling for women to embrace their grey and/or white locks. Which is lovely, if that’s what you want.
Actually, I think what’s happening is that there’s a rigid, stereotypical view that older women really should have grey hair, yes? And it’s that blanket assumption that I don’t like – the notion that because our hair has gone, or is going white, that’s what we have to be, be white, be grey, be your age, don’t dye, don’t be false, be true to yourself, etc., etc.,
Look, don’t tell me what to do.
Pressure to go grey is just as bad as pressure to dye – and there’s a lot of stereotyping going on here. Just think about the recent excellent use of older models – it’s almost essential that these older models have long lustrous grey/white hair. And pretty much all these articles show wonderful photos of beautiful women with long flowing grey hair. Is this reality? Actually, most older women I know have short hair. And while we’re at it many of these lovely models portraying how marvellous grey hair is, are young (i.e. they’re in their 40s & 50s which, to me is young). And they inevitably have olive or tanned or young glowing skin so their grey hair looks gorgeous on them.
I think I’m going to start a movement of older women who absolutely refuse to go grey – it’s called Grey, No Way.
Because why? Because you should take note of your skin tone that’s why – it definitely gets paler as you age. After this winter my skin tone is so white it’s almost blue. And I, personally, don’t want to disappear into sea of greyness and paleness.
Above all, your hair colour should be about what looks and feels right for you. We older women, we’re all sorts and types, and that includes all sorts of looks and all sorts of colours of hair!
Why ever not!
Here’s a pic of me (with dyed blond hair) taken about four years ago with my friend (dyed red hair). I’ve gone one shade paler, but she’s still strutting the red hair.
And one of the reasons I don’t want to go white haired is the example of my red-haired mother who dyed her hair (red) until she was 80, but let it go when she got too frail to go out, and it wasn’t a good look that mix of grey, red, white and brown.
I was a red head once (see the pic on the right – taken with a flash, hence the brown eyes!) and I’d be the same.
So at this moment in time I’m glad to be what I damn well choose to be – a blonde!
That’s all for now, but do tell me what you feel about going grey – or not!
Penny, the frugalfashionshopper
P.S. Next week’s Part Deux will be on that excess hair thing.
P.P.S. And again for those of you who read to the end, here’s a treat. Here’s silver fox Mr Frugalfashionshopper a couple of years before I met him – how about that for a head of hair!