DEAR HARRIETTE: My hair is turning gray, and it concerns me because I work in a young industry. Most of my colleagues are 20-somethings, while I am in my 40s. I am good at my job and seem to be appreciated. I make sure I look youthful enough and vital so I am not considered old.
Ironically, a couple of my office mates have dyed their hair gray. It seems to be a trend. Even so, I think I should dye mine brown. The trend works for young people. And, of course, it doesn’t seem to matter at all for men. For women, I think it’s a whole different ballgame. What do you think? -- To Dye or Not to Dye, Chicago
DEAR TO DYE OR NOT TO DYE: You are right on many fronts. Yes, it is a trend these days for women to dye their hair gray or white, different from the classic platinum blond that remains popular. I agree that it works best on people who seem to defy the age group for the color. Being young and hip with gray hair gives the color an edge.
That said, I will add that some women wear their natural gray hair beautifully and can maintain a semblance of youthful vitality at the same time. It depends on the style and cut that you wear and the rest of your overall appearance.
Given that you work in a youthful industry and ageism exists even if it is unconscious, you should figure out a look that makes you feel comfortable and competitive with your co-workers. Dyeing your hair is perfectly fine -- and commonplace. Consider dyeing your hair a fun color. Who said only the 20-somethings can have fun with hair color?