I still can’t believe grey hair is in fashion. We are bombarded with messages telling us women must look young at all costs. Yet so-called granny chic has strengthened into a major trend over the past few years. L’Oreal named silver the hair colour of 2019. I’d love for this to be a movement against the pressure to never age, and the resulting plastification of women. But there’s a catch: you have to be gorgeous and tanned to pull it off, and preferably young. At least, that’s what the images on social media suggest. Silver, ombre, pewter, mushroom, ash … the full spectrum of grey hair colouring has been popular with celebs since at least 2017. The full catalogue of possibilities has been displayed by Nicole Richie, Pink, Lady Gaga, Ellie Goulding, Kylie Jenner, Kim Kardashian, Cara Delevingne, Winnie Harlow, Rita Ora, Rihanna and others. Long before them, there was British Vogue veteran Sarah Harris, who has famously had silver locks her entire career, after her first grey strands appeared in her teens. Harris, who is in her early 40s, also happens to be attractive, with great skin, a trim physique and exceptional style. Fifty-something Linda Fargo, a senior vice-president at Bergdorf Goodman, rocks a light grey bob. The unconventional look of model Kristen McMenamy, 54, who stopped dyeing her hair about 15 years ago, is an inspiration to the more avant garde. Rather than fighting the signifier of ageing, these women embraced the look and it worked for them. Grey or white hair is caused by a reduction in melanin, or pigment, as you age. To some extent, it’s genetic, so the hair history of your parents might foretell your future. Although it is occasionally caused by health conditions, such as pernicious anaemia, vitamin B12 deficiency or a thyroid disorder, everyone eventually goes grey. Get over it. View this post on Instagram Sooo excited to be speaking at @Beautycon on the Main Stage on Sunday, 7/15! Who else is going to #BeautyconLA? A post shared by Kim Kardashian West (@kimkardashian) on Jun 14, 2018 at 11:30am PDT For non-“blondes” who have never dabbled in hair colour, going grey unnaturally takes time, money and regular upkeep. A colourist can run you through the options based on your hair. For anti-ageing coverage, you’ll hear about permanent colour versus balayage, highlights, etc. My greys proliferated at an alarming rate in my 40s. I resisted intervention for too long, disliked the hours in the chair, then loved the results. Grey is not my colour, apparently. Anyone considering a radical silver dye job would do well to try on a grey wig first. You might look fabulous and edgy. You might not, like me. To begin, you’ll need to “lift” the hair, a euphemism for bleach, before adding the grey tones. Find the best grey for your complexion so you don’t come out looking like the undead. Did I mention it’s a time commitment? A rough estimate, depending on your situation, would be about six hours in the salon for a result that will last four to six weeks before you need to go back for more. Afterwards, you will need all new hair products to protect and maintain it, whether you’ve gone grey naturally and find the texture of your hair has changed, or you’ve put your locks through aggressive dyeing. Is dyeing one’s hair grey all that drastic? I suppose not. We think nothing of women putting snail slime on their faces, or injecting themselves with a botulinum toxin-derived substance. Wouldn’t it be great if we took away something empowering from this trend? Say, for example, learning to feel beautiful without trying to look 20 years old and half-naked. Enter granny chic. It has permeated other categories, too, making it possible to achieve without going grey. Vintage silk scarves worn Jackie O-style over the hair, classic florals, animal prints, traditional checks, longer hemlines and oversized coats and furs or faux furs are all continuing trends for autumn/winter 2019. Giant retro sunglasses are also projected to be big for spring/summer 2020 at Prada, Gucci, Fendi and Stella McCartney. Add pearls, statement jewellery and tights, and you’ve nailed it. Or just raid the wardrobe of your most stylish grandmother.