Gray hair ruled on Gareth Pugh's and Proenza Schouler's Spring 2010 runways. Photo: Karl Prouse, Catwalking/Getty Images | Slaven Vlasic, Getty Images
Ladies, ditch the hair dye. Gray hair has suddenly become a fashion must.
Believe it or not, from charcoal to white, "premature" hair shades are emerging as a full on beauty trend.
You can thank our fashion friends in London. British muse-about-town Pixie Geldof rocked a gray crop (pictured, below) this spring, and Daphne Guinness, who has a gray-and-black streaked pompadour, opened and closed the Spring 2010 Giles Deacon fashion show, where models walked the runway wearing everything from total gray to streaky gray extensions clipped into their existing locks.
Gray strands were also spotted on the Proenza Schouler runway (pictured, top right), where models' locks were enlivened with purple and aqua streaks. But those in the know say Gareth Pugh's Spring 2010 runway (pictured, top left) is what really punctuated the trend.
19-year-old Pixie Geldof dyed her hair gray this spring. Photo: Getty Images
In today's Times of London, Pugh's show stylist Kate Shillingford, who's also a fashion editor Dazed & Confused, explained the inspiration: "We used gray hair for a film we made as a preview to the spring/summer 2010 Paris show, which ran during New York fashion week, then for the show itself, as it sat tonally with the gray clothes. It was a visual thing, an idea of tone on tone, and the hair had to be part of that."
But Vogue editor Sarah Mowercredits the look to Shillingford herself. "When she turned up to shows, the way she was wearing her hair - grey with navy tips - had half the audience turning around and gawping harder at her than attending to what was happening on the catwalk," she told The Telegraph.
Digging a little deeper (we're sensing a gray hair domino effect) Shillingford's trend-setting locks are the work of London hair stylist Alex Brownsell. "Clearly, a star in the making," said Mower of Brownswell.
The 22 year old, who's responsible for Keira Knightley's edgy locks, told the Times of London of her own hair: "We became obsessed with it being as white as possible, a mania we called 'blonde-orexia'." Eventually, this fixation led to gray dye. "I really liked it, so, rather than bleaching it out, I kept it," she says. "I quite like looking like a granny. I dress a bit like one, too." Brownsell, who co-runs the blog Beautyisareligion.com, calls gray hair classy, understated and perfect right now.
So will anyone be rocking gray locks for 2010? We're tempted, but don't know if we have the guts to pull this one off. You?
But if you are thinking of making a drastic change, here are some celebrity hair mishaps to steer clear of.
Disaster #1: Skunklike stripes
While we love Christina Aguilera for her chameleonic beauty tricks, we're not totally enamored with her skunklike highlights. Christina, we beg of you: Pick one hair color (and we must say, we love you as a blond).
Robert Mora, Getty Images
Disaster #2: Orange glow
While Scarlett Johansson often pulls off the old-Hollywood look perfectly, the orange tint in her hair comes across as more geriatric than Jean Harlow.
Dave M. Benett, Getty Images
Disaster #3: Crazy highlights
In the early days of her career, Jessica Simpson experimented-unsuccessfully-with streaks and highlights. Thank goodness she later met Ken Paves: The hair guru's lustrous extensions and style expertise made Simpson a hair DO.
Jeffrey Mayer, WireImage
Disaster #4: Off-color color
Before becoming a Hollywood golden girl, Nicole Richie was more of a black, white and red gal. We applaud the blond new mommy for both cleaning up her act and settling on one gorgeous hair color!
Jeffrey Mayer, WireImage
Disaster #5: Bleach babe
While Rihanna always has an inspiring hairstyle-from her head-turning bob to her new pixie cut-the oddly placed, single bleached tendril is one trend to skip. When you wear hip, edgy makeup like she does, there's no need for kooky hair color.
Steve Granitz, WireImage
Disaster #6: Distracting dyes
Dear Joss Stone: It's hard to pay attention to your awesome voice and stunning blue eyes when your long, multicolor hair gets in the way! Stay true to your naturally beautiful self and skip the dye job next time!
Jamie McCarthy, WireImage
Disaster #7: Not so pretty in pink
Cute girl-next-door star Rachel McAdams shocked us when she turned up on the red carpet with pink-and-blond hair. Leave the candy colors to rebel rockers-like Pink, Avril Lavigne and Lily Allen-and proudly work own your natural color.
(Unless of course, you go pink to support a good cause! Check out our photos of the inspiring Pink Hair for Hope hairstyles and find out how to score the temporary 'do. 100 percent of the proceeds go to the National Breast Cancer Foundation!)
Steve Granitz, WireImage
Disaster #8: Not so red-hot
During her Destiny's Child days, Kelly Rowland was known to sport a red-hot pixie cut. Guess she didn't know that a short, simple dark-haired 'do makes sexy eyes stand out.
Arnold Turner, WireImage
Disaster #9: Scarlet letter
As her costume ideas for Cashmere Mafia and Sex and the City illustrate, Patricia Field clearly has a great eye for color-but mostly when it comes to clothes! While we love that she's stuck to her own signature shade, it'd be cool to see what her real hair color is.
Junko Kimura, Getty Images
Disaster #10: Hyper-hues overload
At the MTV Awards, Keri Hilson sported too many hair colors to count. It is possible to have too much of a good thing: Keep the two-tone look to your nail polish and focus on one main makeup color-like Keri Hilson's green eyeliner.