Incredibly shallow question here, but how does everyone feel about gray hair? Last year was stressful and I now have a thick gray streak in my bangs that didn’t exist before the pandemic. I want to embrace it but with the ageism in this industry, I worry it’ll make me look older than I am (mid-30s) and lead to less opportunities.

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Not a shallow question at all! You’re addressing a very real challenge (ageism) women face at work.

I’ve had my natural hair for 5 years (I never dyed) and I don’t feel as though it’s been an issue on the ad side. It’s been coming in since my late 20s but picked up the pace in the past couple of years (I just turned 40). I’ve been complimented on my streak and my scattered grays.

I think a lot of it has to do with how you carry yourself. Ageism is going to happen, grays or not. No amount of Botox or dye or surgery will hide your age; it just gives you more confidence and that’s the thing that shines.

So do what makes YOU feel good. Give it a try! You can always dye it later if you feel like changing it up.

Personally, I take pleasure in showing people hair color doesn’t define you and that you can have grey hair and still be a pretty damn rad person. My mom dyed her hair for years against her wishes (went with the whole societal pressure thing) and she hated every minute of it. And I hated to see her hate it. Once she embraced her color, she was so much happier. So I’m rolling with it.

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So I stopped covering my grays when the pandemic started, and am now to a point where they are fully grown out. I’m loving them! I’m 31, they started to come in very early (my early/mid twenties) and the first time I felt semi-self conscious about showing my grays was seeing my entire extended family for the first time last month (after we all had been vacced of course) and EVERYONE asked me about it. Mostly people asked me if they were “intentional” because they’re coming out in a way that genuinely looks like highlights. The only women I know in my personal life who have grays are my grandmothers, both of whom didn’t stop coloring until they retired. I’m going to continue down this natural path, even though the response I got from older family members was confusion as to why a 31 year old has so much gray - only because it’s obvious that so many women cover up it!!!

Do you! Be your real self! It’s beautiful! And hopefully you’ll encourage others to do the same

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I went from dark brown to full-on gray (like 95% white-gray) in the past year and I’ve gotten a ton of compliments. I’m 64 and I don’t care who knows it because I’m good at what I do.

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Myself and other friends in advertising all dye our grey. So much ageism still exists, more against women than men. Brand-side, less of an issue. It’s wrong but I feel it very much still exists.

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I’m 39 and I’ve never colored my hair and I have black hair so the grey is very visible. I’m embracing it because the color of my hair shouldn’t dictate my work (and hasn’t).

likeuplifting

Normalize grey.

likeuplifting

Not shallow! I think this is a legit question/concern.
IMO, I don’t think much about it. Some women gray earlier (eg my best friend at 19) and some don’t until late (eg my 65 year old mother). I personally have never considered it to be a tell-all on age.

Also so many people were doing the silver/grey look for awhile (still?) that it seems more normal to see that color at all ages

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gray = 🔥🌶

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My experience is that ageism is still strong, and worse for women, so although I'd like to embrace the grey, I have been dyeing it for years and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. It's a really shitty feeling.

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You got the job though!!! Congrats!!

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I just call my grey hairs my “bling” :)

likesmart

I think women with gray hair are beautiful. It's normally the first thing I notice (if they have it).
Hair and all that jazz is usually associated with feminine.
It makes me think of strength and yet a gentle strength.
However - no amount of waxing lyrically will make you comfortable. Do what makes you comfortable :)

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My female boss has all gray hair and it looks ducking bad ass. Go for it. Join the normalization revolution!

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Love this account: https://instagram.com/and.bloom

“the art of aging unapologetically”

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Okay but they’re all HOT 😂

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let’s remember that no one judges men for their hair color, weight, manner of dress. do what makes YOU feel good and what makes YOU feel like YOU. own it with confidence and call out anyone who gets judge-y.

no one should be expecting people to conform to an ageist, sexist and with some hair, frequently racially biased

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I stopped dyeing my gray hair 15 months ago during the shutdown, and I’m really enjoying saving the time and money. The gray is very patchy, so brushing in one direction looks mostly brown, while moving the part shows more gray. I was thinking about getting lowlights to blend it but not cover it completely, but as long as I’m working from home, not really motivated to start up again.

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I think it’s hot and distinguished, and I think a streak is less vulnerable to ageism.

If you want to ease into it, you could consider doing at home glossing which would blend it more w your natural color and make it look more like a highlight you could dial up or down. It’s really easy, just look for a depositing shampoo or conditioner (Davines makes great ones)

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May be beside the point, but what color is the rest of your hair? If it's darker, I think the contrast of a gray streak is so pretty and I would totally lean into it.

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I’m also embracing it. I used to think once I’d start having grey I’d start coloring it but it’s been no a few years now and I haven’t felt the need.

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I dye my hair because not only do I get grey but I also get these spindly white granny hairs and it looks really sloppy. If you look polished and feel confident you’ll be fine. And while yes men don’t have to worry about this, women also age differently and more obviously because biology blah blah blah. So don’t let people make you think going gray is some kind of virtuous act of feminism. Women have a raw deal in so many ways. Make the choice that’ll make you feel good when you see yourself in the mirror/on zoom.

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I think you should just do what you’re comfortable with! I happen to rock pink hair…it’s just, well, me! And I find the best jobs are the ones I’ve gotten that don’t give a flying f about my hair. It’s always clean, well styled, never trashy, but pink! Advertising and marketing are creative industries where self-expression should be celebrated and normalized. I TOTALLY understand the hesitation, as I put off getting my hair done for years, and then even went back to brunette while I was interviewing a few years ago, just in case. However, I’ve since embraced it, and it hasn’t been an issue for me. I own it ;)

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