As we've been reporting here at StyleList, the once-shunned shade is downright chic these days, thanks to a slew of young women who are adding touches of gray to their tresses by choice.
First, it was 19-year-old British It girl Pixie Geldof, who was spotted out-and-about in London this winter rocking a bold gray crop. Then it was Daphne Guinness, who opened and closed the Spring 2010 Giles Deacon fashion show, where matte gray strands ran rampant.
The domino effect continued at Gareth Pugh's Spring 2010 show, where "premature" hair matched tonal gray clothes. At Thakoon's spring showcase, hair stylist Eva Scrivo intermixed strips of pale platinum and rich pewter for an unexpected twist.
And last week, Chanel Couture breathed new life into the trend, sending models marching down the runway looking anything but dowdy in shiny silver-streaked wigs-all while 13-year-old blogging sensation Tavi Gevinson looked on in a newly-dyed blue-gray 'do.Frederic Fekkai master stylist Didier Malige -- who gave three models at Proenza Schouler's spring fashion show grayish blue, green and purple strands -- called the new silvery hues "fun and unique" and pointed to French model Marie Seznec, who at 26, was prematurely gray and served as the muse for Christian Lacroix in the 1980s.
Speaking of muses, one of the latest converts is none other than Kate Moss. The 36-year old actress debuted "graylights" in her blond bob-worn messy and slightly separated-at the Longchamp party last week at The Ritz in Paris.
And while Moss was spotted the next day at the Balmain boutique in Paris sans gray strands, Scrivo says gray is definitely having a moment: "Women aren't afraid of gray hair anymore. A couple of chunks of gray here or there makes a real statement," she says. "It's reminiscent of the 1920's when platinum blonde was very popular, like white almost, which is so close to that gray, pre-war glamour color."
This flapper-chic look was seen at last night's Grammy Awards on the singer Pink, who tipped her platinum crop with bites of glistening gray.
And while we are all about bright young things in their 20s working this trend, we can't help but wonder if it's not ridiculous for those of us slowly creeping towards middle age -- and without the fashion cache of Kate Moss -- to rock these stone-colored styles.
"If you look at Kate, she can pull off anything -- it's messy and it blends in and you can't tell if its highlights or something else," says celebrity stylist Oscar Blandi. "But it's silly for middle aged people to try and replicate this. If you're in your 40s or even late 30s, I don't think you want to have streaked gray hair for your blind date."
With women now spending a reported $1.3 billion per year on hair color (that was just for 2009 according to Nielsen data), the irony of deliberately dying our hair the one color that so many of us desperately try to cover up, isn't lost on us.
But the author of the book 'Going Gray,' Anne Kreamer, who at the age of 49 let her hair grow out to show her natural gray, tells StyleList that gray's new cult status is a positive thing: "I think it's fantastic. It opens up the opportunity for women of all ages to say, 'hey, if young women are embracing this, so can I,' and the less an issue hair color can be, the better." Kreamer, who created a profile on match.com to research her book, says more men wanted to go out with her gray hair than without.
So for those of you with the guts to try and rock some gray locks, StyleList consulted the experts for a few full proof tips.
The safest way to tackle the trend? Extensions. Forget a full head of gray. Scrivo suggests ordering gray clip-on pieces, available online from salons like hers. "Your stylist can then clip them in and customize it to your haircut." Scrivo says these dimensional pieces add interest to highlighted hair, "as long as they're translucent, subtle and not too bright."
Women with olive complexions, beware: Gray can make you look more drab. Scrivo says skin with green or yellow undertones might be best holding off on this one. "Women with pink and red undertones can handle more ashen tones because gray helps neutralize."
And lastly, gray streaks are best when they don't hit your face directly. Scrivo recommends gray strands on areas like the overlay of bangs
So go ahead, ladies, are you ready to get your gray on?