There’s a certain irony when a woman in her mid-sixties creates a media meltdown by revealing that she has *whisper it* white hair.
I know. C.R.A.Z.Y!?
But that is exactly what Sharon Osbourne did just a few weeks back. To be fair, her global profile being what it is, we had all become accustomed to seeing Mrs O with her trademark, Vimto-coloured hair for the last two decades.
According to her colourist, Sharon had become ‘very tired’ of constantly having to maintain her distinctive red tone.
Back in 2018, 76-year old Paul McCartney ditched the dye to reveal a far more natural grey. And I haven’t bumped into Sir Cliff Richard recently – but even last summer he appeared to be transitioning from his standard ‘auburn’ to something a LOT lighter. Can you call a man in his late seventies a ‘strawberry blond’? I note that he has begun to let a few grey hairs show, so perhaps he is preparing his fans for a full, age-appropriate reveal this year?
I accept that I’m being a little bit snarky and that these are three very high-profile individuals – but it is the huge interest the mainstream media shows when someone of a certain age presents themselves au naturel, so to speak.
Here in the UK, there’s a tendency to put a younger female TV presenter alongside an older, greying man. But while male presenters like Paul Hollywood or Philip Schofield have been silver foxes of the small screen for years, it seems that their female counterparts feel pressurised to look younger than their opposite numbers. That is, until they reach a certain age and think ‘stuff this’, a la Sharon. But this comes with some ‘risks’ because society being what it is, even ‘national treasure’ Mary Beard is regularly trolled for her long, grey hair. Which is weird when you consider that Dames Helen Mirren and Judi Dench hold such a position in our hearts, that their grey locks are barely commented on.
Here in the Grateful Heads salon, the full paradox of the grey hair debate can be seen almost daily, with middle-aged women having age-defying colour applied, while twenty-somethings sit next to them turning their hair a whiter shade of pale.
Perhaps the likes of Osbourne, Mirren and even Jane Fonda, who rocked a platinum pixie cut at this year’s Oscars, will start a new trend, where we are all glad to be grey.