Ageism around women’s grey hair is nothing new. But over the past few years, women in the public eye showing their grey hair haven’t been dismissed. Instead, they have been applauded.
At the Cannes film festival last year, the actors Andie MacDowell, Helen Mirren and Jodie Foster all appeared on the red carpet with grey hair, and were celebrated for it.
Sarah Jessica Parker, Gwyneth Paltrow and the singer Kelis have embraced their silver tones too. MacDowell, who made the change in lockdown, has called her new look “badass”.
The fashionability of grey hair can also be seen on social media. On Instagram, women including Jin Cruce – @agingwith_style_and_grays – and Sandrine P, who runs @grey_so_what, are the posterwomen for the look. The hashtag #greyhairdontcare has been used nearly 500,000 times on Instagram.
On TikTok, the same hashtag has had 138.9m views, while #greyhairgrowout, used by women swapping dyed hair for their natural grey, has 3.1m.
With age diversity growing in fashion, grey hair has also been seen on the catwalk and in fashion shoots, formats traditionally dominated by youth. Grey-haired models include Kristen McMenamy, Enzie Domingue and Nicola Griffin.
Sarah Harris, British Vogue’s deputy editor, sports long grey tresses – having found her first grey hair at the age of 16.