Listen, I’m seriously in love with my girlfriends and whatever hair color they desire to choose is really a personal expression which I am really not calling into question. However, when I first started coloring my hair as a young person you couldn’t surprise me. I mean, I grew up in the 80s so I’ve seen it all. Usually however, when people had silver hair it was a little less ‘aged’ looking. Started in 2015 but has now infiltrated every where. There is even a hashtag #grannyhair … so I am not alone because there are over a quarter million posts with this craze.
Also, as a note before I tell you what I’ve been feeling; I will say here that we are heavily influenced by the social norms. ~ In the 80’s everyone had crazy hair so we can’t pretend like it was all that unique.
In this trend-seeking culture we have evidence in the sort of ridiculous unicorn or rainbow hair… please tell me anything but don’t tell me you are being unique by your obsession with unicorns. I actually grew up with Rainbow Brite (purposed to bring color to darkness) and Punky Brewster (an orphan determined to be herself w/the promise of love)… don’t tell me about all the things rainbows mean to you. I grew up believing that every color deserved a chance. Even in hair. Unicorn hair isn’t new to me, just more expensive than it was in the 80’s. So, this pretend gray thing didn’t bother me in the beginning.
Let’s be real and just honestly say what women are hearing at the salon: Girl, it’s all the rage and you have the perfect hair for ______! Besides it will only cost another $50 to be trendy. Or in the 2017 silver it’s now averaging more than $200 per apt to keep this ‘fancy granny hair’. I’ve been the victim and I’ve been the winner in some of these trends. So back to my tiny soap box.
My husband recently gave a talk to a men’s group about the generation (all currently living) at hand and the desire to have false intimacy or false relationships. It was centered on a talk around father’s day and what that looks like in a father’s world. However, the last 8-10 months have found me questioning some of these hair color trends and it made me think a lot about why we are “styling” young women to have a much older look. I live in a large enough metropolitan area to see a wide variety of trends and most don’t quiet make sense to me but this one has bothered me a little more than some.
Silver hair on 20-30 somethings has me wondering what are we looking for? Why not wait until you are closer to your mid 40s or 60s for some genes to simply enjoy your own silver or white hair as it shows up? Of course we are as a culture being feed this “it’s great for women everywhere” headline by all the feminism pros. UH… how again?
I would venture to guess that less than 2% of these women are going gray and just “embracing” their silver. When young ladies are following someone like Lady Gaga or Jennifer Lawrence then you realize that people have blinded embraced something without much thought.
Trends are fun, but in terms of trends this one should have run its course. Since I’m now seeing more than last year when it started I am going to go ahead and say we are clearly lacking something in culture that subconsciously we desire. When we hashtag ourselves in this hair as a granny …. we are as a generation crying out for someone.
My grandmother on my mom’s side was my closest friend. I miss her terribly. Her heavenly anniversaries have been too many. So many of my friends in their 30s don’t have grandparents. For that matter, our culture of disrespect has left the younger generations without very many grandparents as well. We need those with wisdom in our lives but the truth is what my husband pointed out in his talk was that it isn’t JUST wisdom or age that we deeply desire but the intimate knowledge of someone who KNOWS us for WHO we are and not just the surface.
My grandmother, like many of her generation took no crap from no one – not her kids, not her grandkids, and not even the waste management people but for every person in her neighborhood she was the kindest soul. Her generation understood generosity because of the great depression, WW2, and the changes in racial inclusion. They lived through the most horrific scenes yet they were still kind. She was a spanking-friendly generation that also gave a ton of hugs & in the South imparted deep faith into their grandchildren (if you were lucky you believed God loved you and learned less about hell but we weren’t all so blessed).
Maybe it’s fun, maybe it means nothing but like the trends of the 80s…. they all had deep roots in social climate. Even Boy George hair “meant” something to us. So, I don’t believe I am making something out of nothing personally because I too miss the generation that is dying or all but gone because no one goes to hear their stories as they sit in chairs in ‘rehab’ centers across the states. There is no condemnation for you if your grandparents are not here – SINCERELY – All of my grandparents are gone BUT as WE become mentors, let us be the grandparents we desire to the younger people in our lives.
Maybe it isn’t in hair or a trend, but there is a lack – how will we decide to pay attention and match the trend with a real solution. Be Kind. Be Authentic.
One last piece here because the current trend is that young people are putting off child-bearing, putting off marriage and having children in later years we will as a society face the trendy culture of no living grandparents for more and more children as the decade continues and the next decade is more likely to have even fewer children born with living grandparents. Social norms can have pros and cons. Psychologist have known this for what seems like ever and they simply prepare to handle the crisis.
Maybe … just maybe…. we can begin to mentor those younger – seek the wisdom of those still here and hear their stories and find their wisdom before they are gone? Maybe we can change the trend by connecting younger teens to an older generation than their parents? Maybe the youth groups and civic centers that still play chess or checkers with the nursing home (oops I mean rehab homes) will help change a trend of forging ahead with fake Granny hair.
Maybe the fake hair will stay but I am choosing to always find wisdom in the actual Grannies who still dye their hair to cover their roots because in their generation it was the desire to always stay young. **So much in that one sentence I can’t stand it. I am starting #MyMomStillDyesHerHair #BringBackPantyHoseToo ROFL just kidding. Thankfully we are blessed that our parents are still here playing and available to our kids.
Ultimately …. here are some “proverbs for thought” and I will just ask YOU – what do you think of the hashtag trendy granny?
*Topic isn’t new and here is a great read on several issues I point toward from a Psychology Today article in 2013. Maybe the topic is a broader issue, maybe it isn’t about hair… it just seems to be something we are missing. ~ Let’s connect! Find me here: Shelley FB