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Kate's Hair Shouldn't Have Caused a Furore

Updated on November 12, 2013
Jayne helps white and grey hair sparkle
Jayne helps white and grey hair sparkle | Source

A friend found my first grey hair when I'd just turned 18. It's society's attitude to grey hair that makes us think of it as a dirty colour. For decades we've been taught to believe that grey hair is unbecoming on a woman, it reveals a woman's age and makes hair look kind of murky. Yet when a man sports a few silver strands he suddenly becomes distinguished.

We're expected to grow old gracefully and in this day and age that means covering up our roots, but would grey be so bad if it wasn't perceived as an unfavourable shade?

Take brown hair, shades to describe brunettes include chocolate, espresso, mocha, all shades that give us a sense of indulgence, an impression of depth and beauty. If companies relabelled mocha as "dirty brown", "dishwater", or "muddy puddle" we'd soon see brown hair as a feature we must cover up.

Despite the public's perception, grey hair is actually quite beautiful, of course we instantly associate it with old age but if you look a bit closer it shimmers, shines and can often be very similar to the platinum blond many try to achieve. One woman who helps women to embrace their white hair is Jay Mayled, the founder of White Hot Hair, I spoke to her after the news broke this morning and she said, "I think it's a complete non-story and am amazed it has made the national news. However it just goes to show how natural grey hair is still a complete taboo in many parts of today's society."

I embraced my grey hairs in my teens. As a young girl always striving to look older I was actually quite proud of every one I had however when a traumatic event sent a lot of my hair grey in my mid-twenties, I decided to say goodbye to my natural colour. With my complexion and eyes, the grey left me looking a little washed out and there was absolutely no way I could carry it off. I now swing between red and mocha and like a third of women in the UK I've now no idea what my natural hair colour is at all.

Kate's photo today did make me smile though as I often have stray greys in between colours. They do seem to grow faster than any other!

A few weeks ago on Facebook I posted a photo publicly of me sporting a streaking cap during a DIY home dye. Strangers started commenting that I should go to a hairdressers, some were very snotty while others gave out pity, telling me it was a shame I couldn't afford a salon visit.

I can afford to visit salons but as a mum of three working 50 plus hours a week I choose not to. I don't feel right sitting in a chair reading a magazine, spending a hundred pounds on my hair when I could be spending time with the kids or spending the money on something we all need. At home I can chat, I can play, I can do everything with my streaking cap on, albeit looking a little stupid in the process.

So I'm not surprised about the furore over Kate's hair. I think the majority of us are relieved as finally it shows that celebrities are not superheroes and family and commitments are more important than a few grey hairs. I think those that have slated Kate over this recent public display of imperfection are really shouting, "Look at me". They're validating their own priorities, comparing themselves to a princess, as they belittle Kate and say, "I don't have grey hairs showing therefor I'm doing a better job of taking care of my life than Kate is."

It's sad but true that people judge others when really we all have our vices, we all have our sins and thank goodness, we all have our imperfections. Kate's grey hairs should actually do a lot to celebrate natural beauty as the next generation have high ideals to live up to with airbrushed celebrities and tinted Instagram photos seen as the norm.

If it makes them feel better about themselves, so be it, but we really should give each other a little bit of slack.

As I tell my husband when my roots are beginning to show, "we can't both look this good, it's either me or the bank balance!"


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