Going grey is now the best ‘power move’ for older women

Grey hair is not just normal, it is beautiful – in the past few years, it has been celebrated in the beauty world. Source: Lee Young Instagram/ @lee.young63 Source:

More and more celebrities are embracing their naturally greying hair. Proud members of Hollywood’s growing grey army include Andie MacDowall, Jodie Foster, Sarah Jessica Parker, and eighties’ supermodel Paulina Porizkova.

But tellingly, when MacDowall started to seriously consider going grey, it wasn’t Hollywood she turned to for inspiration. It was real women.

We took a leaf out of MacDowall’s book and scouted out two “real” members of the Starts at 60‘s silver army to tell us about their transition to grey – and how it’s been the best move they ever made:

Lee Young, 58, silver model

‘Grey goes with anything!’

 

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A post shared by Lee Young Silver Model (@lee.young63)

“I used to be a brunette but I started going grey in 2015 when I was 52. I was expecting it. I come from a long line of white-haired people but I wasn’t looking forward to it because I didn’t want it to age me.

My transition process to grey involved having white blonde foils about every three or four months. I didn’t really like being blonde. I’d catch a glimpse of this woman in the mirror and think, ‘I don’t like that woman’s look’ and realise that woman was me! Gradually I started using less foils and then I went for a major chop and got rid of a whole chunk of my darker hair.

I have much more confidence with grey hair. I certainly get more compliments with grey hair. I get a few a day. People say, ‘Oh my God, your hair is amazing. I just love the colour.’

I didn’t start modelling until I was fully grey at the age of 55. That has really validated for me that I made the right decision.

I was scouted by two women in Portobello Road while on a family holiday in London. They approached me to model for their handbag brand. I said no because I didn’t want to take up the last four days of our holiday. But my husband said I’d be mad not to do it and convinced me to go for it. I think he likes to say that his wife is a model!

Doing that shoot spurred me on to pursue modelling when I got back to Australia.

To me, grey hair is like the Switzerland of hair colour. Grey is an incredibly neutral colour and it’s a soft and flattering shade that goes with anything.

(Here’s Lee in her pre-grey life as a brunette)

 

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A post shared by Lee Young Silver Model (@lee.young63)

Going grey has also broadened the colour spectrum of my wardrobe. I can wear blues that I couldn’t touch before. And greys. Mauve absolutely pops now. Hot pink is sensational. There’s not a colour I see that I can’t wear now. I tease my husband that I now need a bigger wardrobe.

Having role models like Andie MacDowall really helps because we do still need more acceptance of mature age models in mainstream advertising. I still buy from stores that young women buy from and it’s all 20-something models. My brain isn’t 58, it’s still 28.

Other people in my life say that my hair colour has inspired them too. My GP has recently gone through a grey transformation and she says that it’s because of me!

I certainly wouldn’t want to wake up one morning and find myself brunette again.”

 

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A post shared by Lee Young Silver Model (@lee.young63)

Kerry Heaney, 64, writer

Grey is just as gorgeous as any other colour

My hair started going grey in my 50s but it was always quite blonde so the change wasn’t very noticeable. I am now 64 and it’s silvery grey. I don’t have any colour treatments.

Going grey was something that happened gradually that I just got used to. There used to be more of a tendency for people to judge you by your hair colour but that seems less prevalent now. Or maybe I have just become more assertive. Older women can be invisible but only if you allow it. Most of the time I refuse to be overlooked or patronised because I am older.

People seem to love my hair colour. My hairdresser says it’s the shade that people pay a lot of money to achieve. I just thank my Grandmother for her genes. She was known as Snowy. The silver sisters I most admire are Helen Mirrin and Judy Dench. Two elegant women who wear their hair with style and confidence. To me, they seem without pretence, which I value.

Having grey hair certainly does not have to be an impediment to looking glamorous. It’s the whole package that makes a woman look glamorous. I try to always present myself well and you’ll rarely see me without red lipstick. It’s my trademark!

Grey hair is just as gorgeous as any other colour. Besides, do you really want to take notice of anyone who judges you on your hair colour? Life is too short.

How has 'going grey' changed your life?

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