The inability of people to visit professional salons during the Covid-19 shutdowns, or the lack of desire to spend money or DIY, caused a lot of people to consider reverting to their natural color. For many seniors, that color is gray. While gray hair often symbolizes maturity and wisdom, women sporting gray hair particularly exude confidence and elegance and a certain “je ne sais quoi.”
In July, American actress Andie MacDowell wowed crowds with her new gray do at the “Annette” screening and opening ceremony during France’s 74th annual Cannes Film Festival and opening ceremony. Per Today.com, the trend to go gray is on the rise. “Once something to cover up, gray hair is now trending on the French Riviera with women of all ages showing off their eye-catching gray locks.” Going gray not only gives women a new look, but it liberates them from having to use chemical hair dyes.
Going gray is a natural process. As we grow older, the pigment cells in our hair follicles produce less color. Those strands lack melanin, and thus as hair regenerates, it grows in as gray. According to Harvard Health Publishing, hair is more likely to grow in the gray beginning at age 35. “Genetics can play a role in when this starts.” Unlike the old wives’ tale, stress is not what causes the graying of hair. However, hair can shed faster than normal due to certain conditions that are triggered by stress. Thus, in some instances, stress can speed up the process. However, more research in this area is needed as per a 2020 study of mice; stress led their fur to turn gray under stress. Currently, it remains unclear if this might apply to humans as well.
The global pandemic has played a role in the shift toward gray hair, causing women to slow down and embrace their natural hair color and beauty. They no longer have to worry about unsightly roots, battling against the natural graying process, or exposing their hair to stinky chemicals. The move to gray is a deeply personal choice. Those who are nervous about the change, but want to do it, should seek advice from a hair color professional.