More grey hairspiration (#greyspiration) from Jan de Villeneuve in the July issue of Harper’s Bazaar. After my last post, several readers commented on making adjustments to makeup, accessories and colours worn, when growing in the grey – and JdV’s red lips, drop earrings and beautiful Simone Rocha jacket look FAB. Harper’s Bazaar’s ‘celebration of sisterhood’ has Ashley Graham on the cover and a lovely fashion shoot inside featuring ‘women of all sizes, nationalities and ages.’



Harper’s Bazaar editor Justine Picardie gave me a quote on Generation FAB (Fifty And Beyond) for Style Forever, admittedly this is now a couple of years old but it still resonates:

‘These are the same women who are reading Harper’s Bazaar and they’re a tremendously powerful demographic, that can no longer be ignored by ad agencies. Many of them define themselves as being feminist, as well as being interested in fashion; the two are not mutually exclusive. And they are therefore far more likely to identify with advertising campaigns and editorial that features strong, grown-up women. All-in-all, it’s a hugely positive development.’

I’ve just written a feature on the older model situation for the Guardian. Coming soon…

35 thoughts on “Grey hairspiration in Harper’s Bazaar

  1. Yes indeed it is very positive & well over due! I consider myself very lucky to be getting in on this movement at the ground floor being just a baby at 49 😉

  2. I stop dying in 2014 and found the whole transition very exciting and empowering though I am left with dull looking iron/pewter hair.
    Clothes and attitude do a lot of work in my case.

    1. Try Wella professional oil which I buy from my hairdresser. A tiny amount after blow drying makes your hair glow and shine.

  3. Having seen your articles about going grey, I’m really quite looking forward to it! Thank you for your positive articles about ageing and greying 😉

  4. I’m 54 and about 50% grey. I am now planning the transition after a year of experimenting. Im one who has never had highlights or a rainbow of colors on my head, I have been blessed with my rich deep brown hair and to maintain have single processed since my early 30s. I know my grey will be empowering, I can feel it in my bones. But for me, a list maker and planner, I’ve had to experiment with a multicolored look on my head. White committing. I’ve done two bouts of highlights and lowlights to transition the grey,
    I didn’t like either and each time had them taken out. Now my stylist and I are trying a demi color that washes out. Our plan is to color with demi for 16 -18 months. After that, the grey will be longer and more uniform and contain no permanent color. From there we will start lowlighting and then finally stop. Every successful venture in my life I’ve had to plan, my hair will be no different. Onward!

  5. How about a blog post with pictures of ‘real’ people who are loyal readers who have gone grey/white?
    We could flood your sight with ‘selfies’!
    It has been my experience that the only people who will try to talk you out of letting your hair go
    natural are the hairdressers of the world. Stay firm in your conviction to continue; and along the way tweak makeup
    and clothing colors closest to your face. It’s a fun journey and one to be proud of.

  6. I’m 44 and stopped dying my hair two years ago. I went for the crop so only had ‘half and half’ hair for about six months. The biggest change? My make-up. Like these gorgeous ladies I was suddenly able to wear red lipstick, redder than any red I’d worn before. Wow, complete liberation!

  7. I’ve always been a Vogue fan, but I have to admit that Bazaar has been surpassing Vogue for years now. This looks like an exceptionally well done editorial. I’m loving the renaissance that’s going on: powerful women, real diversity, respect for the “olders.” This is one of the most positive things in the world these days, and I do think that fashion is at the forefront. Let’s not become complacent again.

  8. Fabulous pictures. Like so many other commentators here, I have embraced my grey hair in the last few years ( mid fifties) .
    I used semi permanent toners in platinum or silver to banish the yellow, and had a shorter sharper Bob. I define my eye brows more, and stay bold with lipstick. I think being fashion aware helps…I know How not to Look Frumpy.
    Young girls and women of similiar age have complimented me on my hair … As have younger men!
    ( although I think the latter tend to be those who are I the art and design industries, so understand the zeitgeist) .
    Is this a breakthrough for older women … Or is it fashion …our equivalent of the powdered wigs of the eighteenth century?

  9. I went natural about 6 years ago and haven’t regretted it. My hair was very dark when I was young and I hated the flat dark colour that dyes left me with and the maintenance. I hate seeing regrowth (roots). I’m now very salt and pepper and can’t wait to be all grey. It’s much softer and forgiving around my face.

  10. I love wearing grey, but can’t now I am grey. It sort of turns me into a small, grubby avalanche. I thought I would have to stop wearing black, but it actually works better now, perhaps it is the contrast.
    But being able to wear lipstick is great. I always felt I looked like a slapper-clown when I wore it with dark hair.

  11. Well done Alyson for promoting the idea of sisterhood and the power of stylish, mature women. Simone Rocha’s jacket is beautiful, as is the model, and I remember her Dad, John Rocha and his wonderful designs. Isn’t it reassuring to see the generations succeeding?

  12. I agree with the earlier post – would love to see some pictures of ‘real’ (ie not models) that have gone grey!

  13. Great posts on gray hair! Instead of growing out a glorious silver fox mane as imagined, I’m about at 10% gray and 90% ash brown. At first it was discouraging because it was so frizzy, dull and dry. After trying 15 or so new styling products, I settled on Phytokeratine Extreme and Argan Oil. This has made all the difference in the world. My hair is shinier and smoother and the gray/ash combination looks nicely dimensional. It suits my skin tone better. Many friends warned me not to go natural. I’m grateful for conversations like this to help provide a far more liberating and supportive view. Happy to save $100 and 2 hours a month at the stylist and not put chemicals on my scalp or into the environment. Yay for gray!

  14. I love my grey hair, it is just how I wanted it to be, gun-metal grey with weird white, light grey streaks running through it. With dark brows and a golden tan, a bright pink top and big silver earrings, it is the highlight of me!

  15. I’m 53 and started my transition journey 6 months ago. Just to make it more difficult, I’ve also foolishly decided to grow my hair from a chin length bob to shoulder length, as it’s wavy and I’m hoping it will sit better without the need for straightening, which I’ve also cut right down on; grey and wavy hair – two no no’s in some peoples book ha ha.
    I’ve found growing out the grey becomes sort of like a hobby and sites like pinterest help enormously (another new hobby of mine!)
    Although there are some negative people out there, in general I think now is a great time to embrace the grey x

  16. I began going grey very early (early 30’s) so began dying very early then one morning when I was about 45 I’d had enough. Had my hair cut short, grew my hair out long and the compliments haven’t stopped. My hair is now mostly white, below my shoulders, curly/wavy and beautiful. My beau and I joke that my hair is “my feature.” I use little make-up, but make certain my eyebrows show which does require pencil and I usually use under-eye cover cream and some kind of lipstick which keeps the “washed away by grey” from happening. I keep the ends from turning too yellow by a once-a-week treatment of hydrogen peroxide and baking soda followed by an apple cider vinegar rinse. Embrace your grey/white self, have fun with clothes and enjoy every moment!

  17. Letting my dyed very dark brown hair morph into salt and pepper was the best idea I ever had! It is still really dark brown naturally but with lots of silver running through it. My face looks softer (it needs all the help it can get) and I no longer have to wear the autumn hued clothing that I was bored witless with. Suddenly at 59 I can experiment with lovely greys and navies and I am not slave to the box of dye/dyed bathroom grout and ruined towels. Liberation indeed! As an aside, I would be interested to know if many women my age have this urge to throw away all their clothes and start again! Obviously, this would not be possible but I would so love to start from scratch again. I often mentally plan how to throw loads (most) away without my husband noticing- i.e. bin bags, in boot of car when he is out, straight to the charity shop/dump. Am I having some kind of crisis!!!! I have finally realised my style – not nearly as fussy as it used to be, and most of my clothes do not reflect this. Advice, comments, help…………………..

    1. I went through a similar situation; I am about to be fifty, and I realized that I could no longer stand uncomfortable shoes and clothes, that I didn´t mind if the colour didn´t suit me as long as I liked it and that I owned much much more than I needed; so I started to give and to throw away all kind of things (clothes, shoes, photographs, books, china,tools and I can go on and on…) It helped me to read Marie Kondo´s book; I feel free and relieved, and now I want everybody to do the same. Just do it, you won´t regret it

  18. Stunning! Red lipstick is my secret weapon now I’m grey, look dead without it – I think blondes (like yourself, Allison), are the luckiest with regards to colour after going grey. They seem to be able to wear more (or less) as the case may be. Former brunettes, like myself might struggle more to find the contrast that once came with the territory. It’s a journey for sure!

    Loving these posts and all the comments!

  19. Maudie and Ana, I am going through the same thing at 61. My ‘style’ was more J Crew, Banana Republic, Ann Taylor and now I am loving Eileen Fisher. I am petite so have to be careful that the clothes don’t wear me but like Ana, if it is uncomfortable, it’s out. I am doing a constant purge but can’t bring myself to just throw everything out and start again but am so tempted. I stopped coloring my hair about 7 years ago and am now growing it longer and am loving the freedom of it. My hairdresser says people pay to have the multitude of colors that I have in my hair, a little brown, a little white, a little gray. And yes, a bright lip is the secret to not looking washed out thats for sure.

  20. I like everything about the older model in the picture at the top of the post, except for the “au natural” eyebrows. Mine are similarly wispy and scraggly and I can’t imagine leaving them as is.

  21. I have also recently taken the plunge and bought an orangy-red and also a bright pink lipstick. I have always been a ‘subtle gloss’ kind of girl so have worn a bright lip for some special occasions but yet to wear it every day. Can anyone recommend a good ‘nude’ or ‘invisible’ lip liner as although the colour lasts well, it does blur at the edges. I dont have deep lines around my mouth but the colour does creep a little.

  22. Love having my grey blonde hair, always forget the catchy name. It’s been 6 or more years since I have done anything to the color! Just today I had a woman tell me how gorgeous it was! It’s happened many times!
    I will say the purple shampoo is a must!
    I use Aveda a couple of times a week but use
    Rene Furterer Okara mild silver shampo once a week. This when I notice people complimenting me the most!
    Hang in. there! I’m sure yours will be gorgeous! I think we should post pics?


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