Grey is the new blond

If you are starting to see more white threads cropping up on your head, guess what? You’re in vogue.

The past year has seen a huge surge in the popularity of silver and white hair as older women embrace their natural locks and younger women dye for the “granny” look.

“I call them sparkles that run through the hair,” says Kimberly Robart, owner of Moi Studio hair salon.

"Our society has made going grey seem like a bad thing for women. Even the word has a negative connotation. I much prefer to use the terms platinum or silver.”

She knows from experience, sharing her own struggle with accepting what has traditionally been an unpopular hair colour.

Robart noticed sparkles in her mane at age 18 and spent much of her twenties and thirties darkening her hair. Finally, she decided to go with it and now rocks a white pixie cut.

“It used to be that men with silver hair were ‘distinguished’ and women were just old. Now we’re realizing that women are gorgeous silver foxes too,” Robart says.

Maye Musk, mother of tech mogul Elon, and Carmen Dell’Orifice are successful models in their seventies, and 96-year-old Iris Apfel and “The Accidental Icon” Lyn Slater have become international style titans, all with platinum crowns.

If you are tired of dying your hair a darker shade, Robart offers suggestions for a healthy and stylish transition to natural silver.

“I use a mix of lowlights and highlights to soften the transition into blonde or white. It will take several salon visits and some patience, but is very much worth it.”

The other option is to simply cut all the dark hair off if you don’t want to go the chemical route.

“Sadly, some women have come to associate dark hair with beauty, so if they feel if they don’t colour, they won’t be pretty,” she adds.

“I encourage women to feel foxy in their silver. Your haircut has to be a centrepiece, an expression of who you are.”

The silver trend is so strong even women without a single white strand are lightening their locks.

It started when Katy Perry and Lady Gaga experimented with pastel colour rinses that required a white base. Now, all-over grey or ombre is the hottest hair colour for 2018.

Robart advises that if you are interested in this look, be prepared for a big investment and commitment to ensure hair stays healthy.

“Lifting pigment from hair can be damaging, so white and pastel hair requires a lot of upkeep for perfection. This really is taking hair to the extreme.”

Each time strands are exposed to bleaching agents, it breaks their natural protective bond. Done too often without proper maintenance and your hair can literally break off.

“Then scissors are the only remedy,” Robart says.

Be wary of any online articles or Pinterest promotions that suggest you can achieve these looks in one sitting or with drugstore kits.

“It’s my job as a stylist to educate clients and I want to ensure they are happy.”

Whether natural or not, you will see more silver vixens of all ages in the coming year. White hair is a dramatic and affirming statement, and I’m sure they have more fun.


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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