As people emerge from an extended period of social isolation when non-essential activities and services were halted due to the pandemic, many have experienced some kind of transformation. Whether the slowing of pace allowed for greater self-discovery or a search for authenticity, many middle-aged and older adults were forced to face their own aging without the smoke-and-mirrors of salon appointments to keep the silver hair at bay, nails glossy and skin waxed smooth.
When hair salons reopened, plenty of women (and men) were more than ready to jump back on the cut and color bandwagon. But just as many people have permanently ditched high heels and uncomfortable clothing, a fair share of “oldish” adults have embraced their silver locks and are happily saving themselves the cost and time involved in coloring their hair.
The COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on the lives of everyone who lived through the past 15 months. There will be echoes of this period of time for generations – some will be struggles and others will hopefully move society forward towards greater equality, equity, and dignity. Perhaps silver hair and wrinkles will be a badge of honor and respect that can be worn with pride and getting older viewed as something to look forward to with positive anticipation.
Although there is no definitive study about how many women will choose to keep their greying hair in its natural state, there are a growing number of movements on social media like the Silver Sisters group that helps empower and support women staying platinum.
Men have not had the same stigma to face as they have aged and greyed – in fact, in many cases the opposite is true. Men who turn grey are often referred to as distinguished and those who dye their hair are considered vain or trying too hard to cling to their youth. But many men now discreetly color their hair with the help of professionals who can create a natural appearance, perhaps even leaving a touch of grey at the temples. Baby boomers who are job hunting will sometimes color their hair temporarily to present a more youthful, and employable, image.
Whether it’s silver from here on in, or you feel more yourself with a standing appointment for a root touch-up, let us all be grateful that in reaching older age, we have choices and a future full of possibility.