Mar 01

For Millennials, It’s Hip to Look Old | LifeZette

Hipster doofuses dyeing their hair gray for some reason

Going gray has long been something most people dread.

Businesses have pitched many products to help avoid the aging process for both men and women. And lots of people spend huge amounts of money dyeing their hair to avoid the inevitable.

But the millennial generation is going gray on purpose.


Zayn Malik as a silver fox

The fashion trend of young people dyeing their hair gray is not a new one, but was recently given some very mainstream attention. Zayn Malik, a former member of the band One Direction and only 23 years old, showed off his new gray mane on two magazine covers: Billboard and L’Uomo Vogue. Gus Kentworthy, a popular Olympic freestyle skier, also recently let the world know of his purposefully grayed-out look by hyping his hair to the world through Instagram.

While the look may perplex an older generation and suggests younger people are going for a more mature George Clooney bachelor look, it may be much simpler than that.

“I wasn’t surprised at all by people wanting to color their hair gray. I think many people are striving for individuality and sometimes the statement your hair color makes is the loudest. People are constantly looking for the newest, ‘never done before’ color and I think that’s where this evolved from,” hair colorist Kat Oliver of the Tulu Salon told Lifezette.

Today’s millennials certainly aren’t the first to strive for individuality via their hair, and they certainly aren’t the first to do it in a surprising or ironic way. Just pop in an older movie or check out what styles grace the pages of magazines from past decades, and you’ll see plenty that will make you scratch your head.


The new ‘unicorn’ hairstyle

There’s the ducktail made famous by greasers in the 1950s and brought back to popularity decades later by John Travolta in the movie “Grease.” There’s the awful devilock, which basically looks like someone just dumped water on your head and you didn’t care to dry off, made popular in the 1980s by punk bands like The Misfits. And do we even need to get into things like the mullet or the recent man bun fad — or the new “unicorn” look?

Even the gray hair trend can be argued as nothing new. Fashion icon and artist Andy Warhol dyed his hair gray in his 20s. It just took decades for the rest of the world to catch on.

“When you’ve got gray hair, every move you make seems ‘young’ and ‘spry,’” Warhol was quoted as saying about his decision to go gray in his 1975 autobiography, “The Philosophy of Andy Warhol (From A to B & Back Again).”

However, don’t think men are the only ones to follow strange hair trends or to jump onto the gray hair bandwagon, either. Women have rocked and started many hair trends over history. They just don’t happen to always be as embarrassing, except perhaps the beehive look from the ’50s and ’60s that probably required a separate salary dedicated just to hairspray.

While the gray hair look seems to be trending for men, it’s had a strong wave of popularity with women as well. Social media personalities like Kylie Jenner have popularly used the dyed hair shade to stand out. And, of course, so has Miley.


Miley Cyrus with locks of gray

“I’ve seen both men and women rock different tones of this color and it totally worked. The important thing about hair color is that it needs to suit you and your personal style,” says Oliver. She says the trend is for “anyone bold enough to do it.”

While this new way of showing one’s individuality is as hard to get as some other fashion statements and may be a little too ironic for older generations to swallow, it seems to already be suffering the fate of oh so many styles before it.

The New York Times estimates that the cost of going gray can be between $350 and $600. It requires a professional colorist, some real work in finding the right tone and shade, and the proper maintenance afterwards.

“I have had a few clients who were interested in going all-over gray, but after discussing the process, the maintenance and cost during our consultation, they decided it wasn’t for them. It would be too much work to maintain a beautiful shade,” Oliver says.

Michael Fisher, creative director of men’s wear at Fashion Snoops, which forecasts various fashion trends, concludes about the soon-to-come death of gray hair to The New York Times: “It’s just a fad. It’s just another part of personal expression like bleaching, mermaid hair and even man buns.”

Still, this social trend is enjoying its time in the sun. Along with newfound mainstream media attention and celebrity endorsements everyday, it’s also having quite the online presence. On Instagram, the popular social media site where people can upload and share pictures, the hashtag #grayhair has over 130,000 posts. Similarly, #greyhair has over 300,000. A representative from Amazon also reported recently that the popular website has seen a threefold increase in customers searching for gray hair dye products. Naturally gray haired men must have never felt so lucky.

Source: For Millennials, It’s Hip to Look Old | LifeZette

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