Ohen 2022 trend setter Julia Fox attended the Council of Fashion Designers of America awards earlier this month, for once it wasn’t the barely there dress that grabbed the headlines. . Instead, it’s her hair, which has been dyed an unmistakable shade of oyster gray.
Fox commented on the look at the event. “It’s a love letter to growing old,” she said. The actor and model is 32 years old.
Fox isn’t the only young woman to adopt this hair color. Ariana Grande experimented with the ombre in 2018 when she was 27, while Zosia Mamet (34), Jade Thirlwall (29) and Winnie Harlow (28) were also seen sporting the gray look. The men have also gotten involved, with American defender Sergiño Dest sporting oyster gray hair in Qatar at this year’s World Cup.
“I think the term ‘gray hair’ always connotes aging,” says Jacqueline Kilikita, associate beauty director at Refinery29. “But words like ‘oyster’, ‘pearl blonde’, etc. take what is essentially gray hair and give it a trendy new name. Maybe those names make gray hair cooler or more accepted.
It’s a trend that’s taking off beyond celebrities — especially, as Kilikita puts it, in that oyster gray (sometimes also called silver gray) shade. The #silvergreyhair hashtag has 1.9 million views on TikTok – with much of the content skewed towards young creators. Salons such as Rush, Blue Tit and Bleach are also reporting an increase in color requests.
Why do younger generations adopt hair color so associated with age? The contrast between a youthful face and gray hair can be seen as a visual cascade or a bit of humblebrag – or it could be that they’re meant to “speed up” the aging process so that it’s less noticeable later on. Or – perhaps – we could actually be at the start of a shift in societal norms around gray hair symbolism.
“As winter is fast approaching, the trend will become even more popular,” predicts Seung Ki Baek, a member of Rush’s art team. “We started noticing this trend during the summer season, but as the weather gets colder, many of us are looking to refresh our hair color.
As Ki Baek implies, gray hair for this younger demographic is an aesthetic choice — rather than an inevitability to embrace or cover up — and a departure from previous conversations about gray tresses. When actors like Helen Mirren (77) and Andie McDowell (64) appeared on the red carpet with gray hair earlier this year, it was seen as something empowering for older women, who reject the idea that to be beautiful, you also have to be young. McDowell called the look “badass”, echoing the sentiment of the social media hashtag #greyhairdontcare.
To some extent, the movement of older women embracing gray hair also pushed back against Fox’s comments and a TikTok where she complained about anti-aging labels on beauty products, proclaiming, “Getting old is fucking hot. . It’s sexy. Carol McGiffin, host of Loose Women, said: “She started off well because she said it was about the product and then she just said, ‘Getting older is good, getting older is hot. She is 30 years old ! Tell me that when you’re 62, my love.
Actor and model Ocean Navarro sees color as an aesthetic choice. The 26-year-old prefers an oyster gray shade and dyed her hair this color for the first time in 2018. “I love how it brings out my features, and it’s such a stylish color that matches well. to my skin tone,” she says. Navarro says she grew up wanting gray or silver hair. In fact, she says, “I’m really excited for the day when I’m like my dad, who’s all white and gray.”
Oyster gray, done right, has a different, almost otherworldly quality that seems far removed from common or garden gray. “It features shimmering silver tones reflections – like that of an oyster shell – and is truly mesmerizing,” says Ki Baek.
Seniors who embrace gray are encouraged to use treatments and masks to ensure their hair looks its best. But achieving that color with dye is an even longer, high-maintenance process, especially for those with naturally dark locks, who will sometimes need to have their hair lightened multiple times before applying the gray color.
Ki Baek says gray balayage styles — where oyster gray color is painted onto sections of hair and blends in with the natural color — are also popular with those who are just starting to go gray. “It’s the perfect color that lets you blend or embrace your natural graying hair,” agrees Kilikita.
Ki Baek thinks the combination of younger generations experimenting with oyster gray and older people embracing natural hues can only be good for an idea of beauty that varies by age. “Gray hair is now considered trendy and cool,” she says. “Older men and women who sport this hair color are no longer considered ‘old’. Instead, they are considered stylish.