When was the last time you saw a sexy gray-haired woman in a movie? Rogue and Storm don't count; they're cartoon characters.Gray and white are flattering colors. We wear clothes in these colors all the time. But the meaning of gray/white hair is just too deep. I started getting white hairs when I was a teenager and had so many by time I was in my late twenties that my naturally red hair didn't read as red anymore. It just looked dull. And when I ran into friends I hadn't seen in a while the horror would show on their faces! You have to color. Anyway, most women color their hair even when they aren't going gray, don't they? Gray hair? It's just not done anymore. Completely white hair? That might be cool, but it takes a while before it's completely white, and by the time it is, you've probably been coloring so long that it's hard to think of how you could do it. Let the roots grow over the summer, then cut it so only the new uncolored part is left. Then waltz into work in September with very short, absolutely white hair. That would really shock people. I'd do it. But only if they made a reality TV show about me doing it.
"It's not fair," says Diane Harris, a media image consultant, "but men see gray on a woman and they think she's old."
My friend Cathy went gray in her early thirties. She was attractive and successful, but guys backed away.
"Men instantly assumed Birkenstock-wearing, protest-rally-organizing cat lover," Cathy says. "You could see it in their eyes."
Needless to say, Cathy's no longer gray.
October 9, 2005
Anderson Cooper talks about his gray hair. He says it can be cool for a guy to go prematurely gray. But: