Trend Alert: Going Gray

The new silver fox is a woman

Hair fads come and go -- highlights, lowlights, even flamingo -- but gray? We never predicted the style would be -- well -- hot. Color us wrong. The latest trendsetter to emerge: Kristen McMenamy (pictured right), the 45-year-old model with long, fully gray hair. Not only was she featured in Vogue's August Age Issue and a Today show segment, designer Alber Elbaz chose her for a recent Lanvin campaign. You go, Kristen! We love that you embrace your grays. Even better, you're not the only one...

On the Runway
It was late 2009. We saw models strut up and down the runways of Giles Deacon in December and Gareth Pugh in September. Perhaps designers made the decision to go the gray-hair route to complement their fashions. And, while many of us thought nothing of it -- it was avant garde -- we did not think for a second that the trend would catch on.

Then, Young Trendsetters
It wasn't long until stars followed suit. Rocker offspring Kelly Osbourne (pictured) and singer Pink, celebrity trendsetters who likely have not started to go gray (not that we know of), debuted silver strands in the name of style. Yes, they meant to go gray, unlike Kate Moss, who was the victim of a bad dye job in the fall last year. It wasn't long until hip New Yorkers jumped on the hair trend'wagon. Joel Warren of the Warren-Tricomi Salon in New York City told the New York Post that girls in their 20s are coming in to ask for grays! "One of them brought a picture of Kelly Osbourne in to show us what she wanted," he recalled.

Don't Forget the Natural
Was Moss' highlights-gone-wrong responsible for the hair-aged movement, or was it Osbourne and Pink's mane makeovers? Regardless of young Hollywood's gray impact, let's not forget to give credit to the silver foxes who have embraced the natural sign of aging and making gray fabulous. Actresses Jamie Lee Curtis (pictured) and Helen Mirren were gray way before Moss, Osbourne and Pink touched the color.

Unlike a simple visit to a salon, going gray isn't that easy. Coloring her crop was a habit Curtis broke seven years ago. She told Marie Claire, "Oh I had people who were emphatic in their disapproval, insisting it would age me. Now they're all eating crow and saying how right I was to do it." Her advice to going gray: "It helps if you can be courageous and cut your off like I did. It's much harder to transition with longer hair, since then you're stuck in two inches of gray roots," she adds.

iVillage hair expert and celebrity hairstylist Louis Licari has some tips of his own. Although he's not a huge fan of the hair trend, wondering if he's "terribly off-base thinking that gray hair makes women look older and their complexions dull and drab," if you're considering going gray, proceed with caution. Like many hair hues, it's not for everyone.

So are you going gray... on purpose? Chime in below!

Like This? Read These:
- Louis Licari on The Right Way to Go Gray
- 4 Easy Steps to Covering Grays
- Try On the Hair of the Stars for Free Online

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