You only need to take a look at a few iconic figures of stage and screen to note a clearly unfair imbalance. Matt Le Blanc, George Clooney, Brad Pitt and so on – there’s something about a hint of grey hair that makes so many men look so much better. It’s not a case of grey hair not ageing these guys as badly as it might, it’s actually a case of making them even more dashing and handsome than they were before!
Unfortunately, it seems the same cannot be said for women. Not that grey hair doesn’t suit some women quite beautifully, but when it comes to perceived age…well, let’s just say women tend to draw the short straw in most instances.
According to a new survey from Crown Clinic, going grey ages women a full TWICE as fast as men. The UK’s largest and most reputable hair transplant clinic carried out a survey of more than 1,000 people, in order to find out exactly how the nation thinks about and deal with grey hair. The results weren’t exactly surprising, though were a little disappointing nonetheless. At least, for women…anyway.
When pulling the data collected together, it turned out that while a modest covering of grey hair adds around three perceived years to the age of the average man, it takes a full six-year toll on women. On the plus side, women do appear to have at least one very slight advantage over men in the grey hair department. While the average man will start to find grey hairs around the age of the 33, women generally don’t start greying until the age of 34.
But what’s interesting is the fact that there is still no conclusive explanation for the reason why women tend to begin noticing grey hairs a little later in life than men. Some put it down to the fact that more women dye their hair on a regular basis than men, meaning that in many instances they may have begun going grey without even realising it. And of course, it’s hardly uncommon to simply continue dyeing on a pretty constant basis and remain in denial about the whole thing!
“More than 60 per cent of us will have some grey hair by the age of 40. For women it is the most important factor, which probably explains why so many choose to disguise their greyness with dye,” Shahmalak says.
Of course, these days there’s an extraordinary array of temporary and permanent products and treatments to play with, when it comes to effectively covering grey hair. There are also plenty of so-called ‘wonder’ treatments and theories doing the rounds, with regards to stopping hair from turning grey in the first place.
Which are of course for the most part complete and utter nonsense.
Unfortunately, there’s not a great deal that can be done to halt or even slow the greying process naturally, given the fact that the primary cause is largely out of our control.
“Genetics is the main cause,” explains hair transplant surgeon Mr Asim Shahmalak of Crown Clinic.
“If your parents went grey early, the chances are that you will, too. This is a far more important reason than environmental factors. The younger you start going grey, the quicker you’re likely to go from having a full head of coloured hair to being grey all over.”
Of course, living a healthy lifestyle and remaining as stress-free as possible can give you the best possible shot at holding onto your healthy and youthful locks as long as possible. If all else fails however, just give the experts a call for a chat about the most effective and convincing cover-up available!