Is grey the new black?

Like many women of my age, my hair is rapidly becoming greyer by the day. I was looking at some old photos recently and my husband commented on the fact that over the past eight years we had gone from having brown hair (or black in his case), to having significant amounts of grey hair.

Unlike most of the women of my age I have resisted colouring my hair for reasons that I will try to explain…

I’m too lazy

The idea of having to ‘touch up my roots’ every few weeks is a boring and tedious task. Once you go beyond a little bit of grey at your temples, you really need to keep on top of the grey roots. One of my friends calls this ‘controlling the skunk’ because she has a tendency to develop a stripe down the centre of her head where her hair is parted.

Older and wiser?

Whilst I am only too well aware that my grey hair makes me look quite a lot older than my colleagues of the same age, I am reminded of a dear friend who once told me that in her country of origin (Thailand), grey hairs are regarded as a symbol of wisdom and the more grey hairs you have, the more you are revered. I don’t need to be revered, but it was a good reminder that being older (and maybe wiser) is not necessarily a bad thing.

It’s the real me

Another reason that I haven’t dyed my hair is because I think it encourages other women to embrace who they are and not be afraid of showing their true selves to the world. I realise that this sounds a bit pompous. I don’t think of myself as some kind of feminist role model, but I do often have women say to me that they wish that they were brave enough to just be who they are, grey hair and all.

The downside

The unfortunate part of going grey is that the lack of hair colour really drains you and can make you look rather drab. I was reminded of this in a recent article about choosing colours to decorate your home. The writer was quick to point out that a lack of colour can make a room seem lifeless, and this is the same for women. Interestingly enough, this does not seem to apply to men who are usually described as distinguished if they go a little bit grey at the temples.

If you you’ve been dying your hair for a long time, it’s quite hard let your it revert to its natural colour, be that brown, grey, or a salt and pepper mixture of the two. It takes at least six months to grow out the colour, during which time you can look pretty dreadful.

If you are thinking about letting your hair go grey, it’s worthwhile thinking about other ways you can add colour to your life. A touch of lipstick, a colourful scarf and some bright earrings can add a bit of zing and be very effective.

Grey is sophisticated

Grey and silver are incredibly sophisticated, but they require the careful use of colours and textures to make them work.

Here are some design tips that work equally well for women and for graphic design work.

  1. Keep it simple – eliminate items that don’t contribute to the overall effect. A simple approach to design always looks sophisticated.
  2. Think about textures and shapes. An absence of colour helps you concentrate on other aspects of design. For women, this means having a really good haircut. For graphic design, this means using a range of textures and shapes to create interest.
  3. Use colour to highlight the most important things. In the examples below you can see that colour has been used wisely and to great effect. There’s nothing boring or lifeless about these websites.


Website for Echo Capital Group
Website for Echo Capital Group designed by ‘Truf’ (Creative Agency)
Product website designed by 'Below Enemy Lines' (Agency)
Website designed by ‘Below Enemy Lines’ (Creative Agency)

Looking classy

I’m not here to persuade you to let your hair go grey, it’s a personal thing and none of my business, but I would encourage you to consider the elegant simplicity of grey. It can be classy and beautiful.


2 thoughts on “Is grey the new black?

  1. Hello and thanks for your comments. I raised the issue with some friends and it resulted in a flurry of opinions and lots of discussion so it’s obviously a hot topic for women of a certain age.

  2. My – aren’t we getting classy with such topical comments. Good work. I agree with suggestions for contemplation on reasons to dye or not to dye.

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