Join AAA
Join AAA
linkedin image
Gray Hair is a Reality: Here's How You Can Deal with It


A few years back, Allure, the women's fashion magazine, vowed to stop using the word anti-aging. The magazine's editors declared that words matter (ya think?) and that when it comes to fashion, beauty, or hair, the term anti-aging leads to the idea that ageism is okay.

Last fall at Paris Fashion Week, Pamela Anderson went makeup-free, and Andie MacDowell and Helen Mirren let their gray hair fly.

The word pro-aging is now "a thing."

Cool. I have no choice but to be pro-age since I'm getting old. Hey! You are, too. Maybe we all get on board?
Mature woman getting ready at home

Before I go any further, this is not a list of dos and don'ts about what not to wear over fifty or sixty or whatever age.

If anything, it's a reminder that you need to do what makes you feel confident, calm, or happy. Okay? We're old. Stop wasting time. Do the things you want to do. Pro-age, to me, means feeling comfortable doing what gives us peace and happiness.

My day job is on television. Every morning. Live for one hour. At the time of this writing, I am the second oldest female on the air in my television market. And the third oldest all around.

My unfiltered face is in HD every day. I may yet get some stuff smoothed or plumped or buffed out, but as of this writing, I haven't yet.

I'm a gray-haired old lady on TV. Or gray-haired old Gen Xer, to be specific. And honestly, when I went gray, it felt like a rebellion. Eschewing the blonde for this mishmash of natural color felt like a chance to say, hey, guess what? I'm still here, and I'm getting older! Y'all loved Betty White, right?

A portrait of a senior adult black female outdoors looking at the camera. She is smiling and looks happy. The female has short grey hair and is wearing glasses. The weather is gloomy and cold.

A few years ago, I decided my carefully curated highlights felt silly. I don't know what changed from one day when I loved the color to the next when I decided I was done. Bleaching my white roots yellow just seemed like nonsense almost overnight. My lifelong Barbie Dream Hair made the rest of me look out of place. What used to be my signature look just didn't fit me anymore. So, I retired my blond bombshell look. 

It's part of a quest to be comfortable with the person I am now.

I'm not here to fight age. I'm here to say this is the age I am. I have strength, wisdom, and value, and it took a long time to get all those things. My gray hair is a part of those qualities.

A gray-haired man is called the CEO, distinguished, George Clooney. A gray-haired woman is never associated with power or accomplishment. She's usually just the lady standing next to Mr. Claus. Women aren’t allowed the same leeway to look older.

So, while I'm still on TV, still writing books, still writing this column, I'm going to continue to let my gray hair fly. If more women in high-profile positions did the same, maybe we'd start to see women with gray hair as distinguished. Or as supermodels on the catwalk, like Ms. MacDowell!
Handsome Caucasian grey-haired man with beard looks in the mirror healthy skin at home. Men's personal care. Middle aged man taking care of himself. Morning routine. Haircare and Lifestyle concept

It does take some time. In fact, it took me a couple of years to make the switch.

But these days it's the number one thing people ask me about. People stop me in the store. They message me on Facebook. They email me. "I love your hair."

They also want advice on how to do it. My advice is to ask your hairdresser. That's what I did. We made a plan. The plan included growing things out, low lights to match what was growing in, and still include toners to keep the white from turning yellow. If your stylist doesn't know how to help you, find another stylist. If they say gray will "age" you, just let them know that age ages us. And there's no cure.

Better still, ask the next gray-haired woman you see who does her hair. And tell her you like it. Believe me, it'll make her day.

Rocking "wisdom highlights" feels right for me. I hope reading this helps you if you want to let your gray hair fly. Or not, again, do you, sister.

But if you do decide to own going gray, don't be surprised if I'm behind you at Kroger, telling you how great your tinsel looks! I support your decision about your journey because that's how pros age.