The acclaimed book series and recent movie 50 Shades of Grey isn’t the only “grey” everyone is talking about. In fact, people are definitely exploring shades of gray—but not the sultry character or storyline developed by E. L. James. I’m talking about different shades of the color itself. The trend is getting major hype on social media and trending in news articles like this one (Granny Hair Is The Hottest Beauty Trend of Spring/Summer 2015) by Huffington Post about the latest style to embrace gray hair. Everyone from high school and college-age kids to celebrities across the board are feeling inspired to showcase the beauty of “Granny Hair” as they are calling it.
Nope, not an April’s Fool Joke–this is becoming increasingly popular. I personally have already seen young girls making this powerful fashion statement while in an airport in Florida recently. A friend of mine who is a hairstylist has been posting the hairdos that she’s done by request to achieve that perfect silver color. Everyone from Lady Gaga to Nicole Richie to Rihanna are giving the look a try.
I think this is a truly inspirational movement demonstrating how beauty is not limited to what’s considered youthful looks, and encouraging those with gray hair to embrace their natural hue more fully without the fear of being viewed as simply “old.” A resident who I’ve interviewed at a retirement community in Fort Worth comes to mind. She has a passion for fashion and still runs her own fashion company with color consulting. She’s embraced her gray hair for some time now and always looks fabulous. I guess she’s just been ahead of the trend in this case.
To me, this is helping us to move beyond stereotypes that plague residents in retirement communities. Gray often has had negative connotations surrounding it by very definition in reference books like the dictionary and thesaurus. Words like “dreary,” “dull,” “depressing” or “of seniors” – even “lifeless” are tied to it. But refer to the color as “silver,” and all of a sudden, you can find words associated with it like “lustrous,” “resonant,” “fluent” and (my favorite) “magical.”
Isn’t that what the unique individuals who make up retirement communities are? They’re older in years, yes, and often move in to the community with “gray” hair, but they’re full of character and still full of life. The memories they already have and the memories they will make upon entering that retirement community are magical in their own right and waiting to be told in the form stories. That’s what I get to do.
So start complimenting residents on their silver hair. It may be natural, or they may just be making a fashion statement!