There’s plenty of speculation about the value of youth in our society, from scoring a date to landing a job. Studies suggest that most people believe hair loss impedes career and social prospects, and research revealed recently that you can’t prevent grey hair. But despite, or maybe in spite of this, a growing number of men and women are no longer eschewing the thought. Rather, there appears to be a strong desire for some at least to go grey prematurely.
The George Clooney-style salt-and-pepper look is in high demand, according to Pirooz Sarcher, stylist at the Grooming Lounge men’s salon and spa in Washington DC.
“We’ve had that request quite a bit,” Sarshar told the Financial Times. “Lobbyists do that when they’re trying to appeal to a more conservative crowd or be taken more seriously in their job field. Six years ago, only two percent of our business was hair colour, now it’s 22-23 percent. And of the colouring we do, 80 percent is grey blending.”
The trend among women was spearheaded by the super-cool crowds of London, including 19-year-old socialite Pixie Geldof. Alex Brownsell, 22, a hairdresser in east London, says it was the natural next step after the obsession with peroxide blonde hair faded.
“We had all been blonde for a long time,” Brownsell told The Times. “We became obsessed with it being as white as possible, a mania we called ‘blonde-orexia’.” Eventually, the fixation led to grey dye. “I really liked it, so, rather than bleaching it out, I kept it. I quite like looking like a granny. I dress a bit like one, too.”
Although, as the grey hair trend continues to be embraced and worn with attitude, the number of people with hair loss seeking treatment is increasing. The number of men undergoing a hair transplant was up 444% between 2004 and 2009, but the number of non-surgical hair loss treatment patients was more than double that of surgical patients in 2008.
Hair loss in men and women affects 1 in 3 and 4 in 10, respectively. It can be prevented with clinically proven hair loss treatments, and they can generate regrowth in the majority of cases, but they are unlikely to be of any use if the area has gone smooth. The earlier one starts treatment, the better results they are likely to obtain. But, while you can’t experiment with hair loss, you can always change the colour of your hair.
“Grey has always been seen as distinguished on men,” says Neil Moodie, of hair care company Bumble and Bumble. “But on women it’s seen as ageing, which isn’t necessarily true — the model Kristen McMenamy looks incredible [with it]…This turnaround is really cool.”
For further information about hair loss, or if you would like to arrange a consultation with a hair loss specialist, call the Belgravia Centre on 020 7730 6666 or send an email. Alternatively, fill in an online diagnostic form to receive a hair analysis, expert recommendations, and access to a mail-order hair loss treatment programme from the comfort of your own home.