It was death by dye: Six years ago, I innocently added a few caramel streaks to my brunette locks and got hooked on hair color. Before long, I was a double-process blonde.
Recently I spent an afternoon at the L’Oréal Paris Tech Center on Fifth Avenue in New York, watching a Diane Keaton video and learning about the company’s new “home hair color” for women over 50. To my surprise, Keaton — who “came out” as gray last year — looked blonder than ever. As she told the camera, “We can grow old gracefully or gorgeously — I pick both.”
Every woman age 50-plus who colors her hair is thinking about going gray. Maybe it's all the parade of steely icons like Jamie Lee Curtis, Helen Mirren, Christine Lagarde and Glenn Close. Maybe it's those annoying online slideshows of fabulous mature women gone gray. Either way, they're seriously psyching us up. But let's get real. The former are rich, famous and polished to perfection by beauty pros and designer duds. The latter are either black-and-white photos (with Photoshop help), creative "ex-model-y" types (with amazing style) or gray gone gorgeous (with great plastic surgery). Gray does work for some of us, but not all. Ask yourself these five questions:
Didier Malige may not be a household name, but to top fashion designers, editors, models and celebs, he's king. (Or should I say Le Roi of Hair?) The charming Frenchman is also the live-in amour of Grace Coddington, Vogue's flame-maned, gutsy creative director. Grace's wild red cloud of hair accents her chic black wardrobe with wit and a pop of color. But what about everyday grownup babes who shop Target not couture? Didier has some unexpected tips for us, too.
Skimpy hair is a real confidence slammer for women 50+. We blame bad genes or menopause, stock up on volumizing products, do the flip-over blow-dry and get on with it.
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