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john65pennington's avatar

At what older age, should a woman/man stop coloring their hair?

Asked by john65pennington (29080 points ) March 19th, 2012

Is it me or are older men/women just giving up on coloring their hair and letting the grey take over? I realise that keeping a color on one’s hair is a chore, but letting the grey take over is a shocker in some people. It seems as though they have aged 20 years in two or three months, when the grey is in full bloom.

Question: at what older age, should a /man woman stop coloring her hair?

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19 Answers

Jeruba's avatar

“Should”? I don’t think there’s an age to stop at any more than there is an age to start at. We’re talking about personal appearance here, and that’s a matter of personal choice.

Is there an age at which I must stop wearing jeans? makeup? jewelry? socks?

abysmalbeauty's avatar

honestly, i hope when i go gray that I have the confidence to wear it naturally regardless of my age….

chyna's avatar

When they damn well please. There should not be a magical age that says someone is too old to color their hair.

SpatzieLover's avatar

Not all hair types hold onto hair dye @JP.

I’m a thirty-something that’s already having trouble making the dye stick to the greys/whites. I have an all-over color and get chunky highlights in hopes of covering those persistent hairs that refuse to hold color. I’ve already decided once highlights don’t cover those hairs to let it be.

Pandora's avatar

Some people do it because they become allergic to the hair dye. I tried growing mine out for about 3 months but I couldn’t take it. I was looking like I aged 10 years in 3 months. I’ve decided to wait till it is all white. For now it is black and white and I noticed it looked weird because most of the back is still black. I probably will wait another 10 years before I try again. I want one whole even color and don’t want to have to strip my hair of what little nutrients it has yet to get it all white and then I will have to keep doing it for new growth. So till the day it is all white on its own, I will keep coloring it. I don’t like grey because it looks dirty. All white is not a problem. My mom didn’t go all white till she was in her 70’s so I still have some time.
But I have seen women with all white hair who still look young. I think it depends on how much of their hair is white.
I say keep dyeing your hair until it stops being flattering.

JLeslie's avatar

Some people never stop. Some people have grey hair that is in great condition and they look great grey. But, my rule is don’t go grey before 60 if you are a woman, men can handle it earlier. It really ages someone usually. When I say rule, I mean there is nothing horrible about going grey, but I personally know two women in their 50’s, who let their hair go completely grey and I want them to dye their hair. One of them has beautiful thick, below the shoulder hair, she is beautiful in general with a young face for her age, and wonderful figure; she looks 70 instead of 45. She is mid 50’s, but would easily look 40 something with younger hair.

Then on the other end of the spectrum, sometimes people who are obviously very elderly, very, like 90 something, look kind of odd with shiny dyed hair. Probably they would look better grey.

cookieman's avatar

I prefer never to start dying my hair. I’m all salt & pepper now kinda like it.

jca's avatar

I think whatever the person chooses to do with their hair is totally up to them.

That said, in my opinion, when a woman has gray hair AND does not keep it looking somewhat neat (I mean when she has it long and uncut and straggly) it looks awful. Just my opinion.

@SpatzieLover: I read that in order to properly cover gray, the hair needs to be pre-treated with some special stuff (at the hairdresser’s I assume) that helps it hold dye, otherwise, the dye washes out in a few days due to the coarse texture of the hair.

wundayatta's avatar

I think when the color stops looking natural is the time to stop coloring. I’m pretty oblivious, so if I can tell you are dying your hair, you are doing a really bad job. In particular, old women who color their hair red look very sad to me. Like, why? What is the point? Are you trying to make yourself as ugly as possible? Do you really have no clue how awful you look?

There’s someone I work with who does this. As the years go by, the dye she is using gets brighter and more unhuman. Like paint instead of dye. She’s otherwise a pretty smart woman. So I have no idea what she is thinking.

But hey. People choose to decorate themselves as they see fit, and I’m not going to say anything. I’ll keep my thoughts to myself as best I can. It’s hard when I can’t look at your hair without laughing, so I have to look at your feet instead. In case you were wondering why I don’t look at your face. I just don’t want to laugh in your face.

But if your hair color is making it hard for people to look at you without laughing, maybe you could get a clue from the way people are avoiding your eyes and cease and desist. Think of the time you’ll save? Not to mention the aggravation and money.

If you think this is about you, then it probably is. Don’t forget, I can’t see anyone out there. The wonderful thing about the internet is that everyone is young and nubile and drop dead gorgeous—at least in my imagination. You’re the only one who can blow the whistle on yourself.

For the record, I am getting whiter by the day. And despite that, people have mistaken me for someone fifteen years younger than I am. For real. I accused them of messing with me, but they assured me they really thought I was that young. Maybe they really believed that, because only someone born yesterday would believe a fib that big!

SpatzieLover's avatar

@jca My hair dresser does that already :/

Brian1946's avatar

When they’re bald.

Then they can choose or not choose whatever color scalp dye they want. ;-)

the_overthinker's avatar

After they retire, if they so choose to stop.

Judi's avatar

I don’t think I ever will. About the time I started getting grey I also started losing my eyesight. I can honestly say, that since I color it regularly I have never seen my gray hair since I can’t see the top of my head with bifocals.

YARNLADY's avatar

Never, if it makes them feel good.

ZEPHYRA's avatar

So, I guess it’s color to the grave for most of us!!!!!!!!

PurpleClouds's avatar

There is no “should” here. People can do as they please.

ucme's avatar

There are a lot of old ladies walking around with blue hair (the blue rinse brigade)
That’s okay, but they smell of vinegar & wear an expression of permanent scorn.

downtide's avatar

My mum is in her 70s and she still dyes her hair a nice natural-looking light blonde. I have never seen her natural hair colour.

lonelydragon's avatar

Whenever they want to. There is no set age.

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