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But women today are half as likely to feel the same way themselves when discovering the first grey hairs peeping out.
In fact, nearly a fifth (17 percent) feel “totally relaxed” about their silver additions, and 57 percent feel grey is “back in fashion”.
Just under half of women (43 percent) say age does not define who they are, and 41 percent feel there is less pressure to look a certain way as you grow older.
And one in five even believe going grey is an “exciting new chapter” in their life.
Another 23 percent confess to loving their silver locks – but aren’t sure how to make them look their best.
However, more than a tenth have had someone make a “nasty” comment about their grey hair.
The research was commissioned by hair colour experts Wella Professionals, which worked with chartered psychologist, Professor Carolyn Mair.
Having naturally grey hair is an outward display of self-acceptance which is empowering and boosts self-confidence
Professor Carolyn Mair, chartered psychologist
Prof. Carolyn Mair said: “Until recently, the beauty industry has marketed the myth of eternal youth by naming their products anti-ageing, anti-wrinkle, age-defying, regenerating, correcting, and so on. This promotes a fear of ageing as something we can and should fight.
“Having naturally grey hair is an outward display of self-acceptance which is empowering and boosts self-confidence.
“It seems like women are more likely to embrace the natural grey in today’s society than the previous generation as it’s becoming far more achievable as there are some excellent products that help ease the process.”
The study also found one in three women who started off colouring their new hair found out quickly that doing so was expensive, and time-consuming.
Another 30 percent worried they might be damaging their natural hair by colouring it with a cocktail of chemicals.
As many as seven in ten (71 percent) were unaware that grey hair needs different care to be looked after properly.
An expert from Wella Professional said: “It’s very important grey hair is cared for in a different way. This is because its structure changes from losing pigment. This can lead to coarseness and yellow tones.”
But just 23 percent have made changes to their hair care routine after embracing their new grey look, according to the OnePoll research.
A quarter feel their grey hair is too coarse, while 19 percent find it a lot dryer than it used to be – and 14 percent struggle with many different shades of silver found throughout their locks.
Wella’s spokesman added: “You don’t just “go grey” overnight – it’s a process that can take years, and each stage requires different care.
“It’s interesting to see how few people realise that different care for grey hair can have really different results.
“Whatever was the reason driving people to stop colouring their hair – be it financial or time resource or fear of damage and chemicals – we have launched True Grey to allow people to care for their hair and embrace their natural greys free of damage.”
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