In our profession, your look has always been important. I have always taken care in my entire look. I dyed my hair for many years because I knew it made a difference in fighting ageism. Over covid I revolted and went grey. Now I am rethinking that choice. I hate chasing my roots but I want to work. I intend to update my cut but Idk if I should bite the bullet and dye my hair again. It definitely sucks but reality is reality. Please share your thoughts. Tia!
**I am not sure what category this fits in. Diversity? Career Advice? Please put this in the appropriate category. TIA!!
I want to say that it doesn’t matter but… honestly I do think ageism is real. But at the same time, if we are in our 50’s we aren’t going to fool anyone that we are in our 30’s. Do you like the way you look with grey hair? If so, then keep it. I personally hate the way I look with grey and I will dye my hair until the day I… die. But that’s personal preference.
I feel you. I starting going grey in my late 20’s and it was such a big topic for people (why is your hair grey when u look so you) that I’ve been dyeing it ever since. I’m now 62.
Unfortunately, ageism is very real especially for women but I also think it’s worse for sales than design and production.
You have to decide what’s best for you and what you want/need. Whether you decide to dye it or not either way make sure to go to a good colorist and/or stylist so it’s done properly so you look and feel your best.
Yes. It’s a real concern. I went grey early also, and have always dyed my hair. I’m letting it go grey now, at 62, but only because I work remotely almost all of the time. If I have to work with customers I do color my hair. But ageism is real, and I’m not sure it helps. It’s a real challenge because our experience and knowledge is important but it’s not always enough to override prejudice.
I dyed my hair for many years also. But as I became greyer, the roots showed up really fast and that looks worse to me than honest grey hair. Plus the damage that coloring does.
I definitely don’t miss the time suck and expense of hair dying.
Thank you for the replies. I don’t love me in grey hair but I hate chasing the roots more. I got a new cut and hope that is enough. I will make a list of target companies and then look at the profile pics of higher execs. After I have done this research, I will decide it I need to dye my hair again. I hope not. Good luck everyone!
i’ve got silver streaks & am fortunate that it works w/ my otherwise black hair; i look like a cool witch. it works with my whole vibe (but i do have a baby face & can pass for much younger). my take is if it works with your aesthetic, keep it! if it doesn’t, then color it to your liking. it’s not our fault that society has equated value with youth so we need to game the system.
My hair is basically white - well it is but there is a reason my moniker here is “purple hair dont care” because sometimes it is purple, sometimes it is white or blue or pink or a misch-mosch of them all. I have stopped caring about dying it a realistic color. I figure the age is hidden in my slightly younger looking face and crazy hair and style
I started going grey very early. I’ve never dyed my hair but do have a baby face. I get compliments all the time on my hair—nearly every day and am fortunate that it’s a nice color. That said, I’ve experienced ageism so many times I’ve stopped counting. When someone says I’m not a good cultural fit, or they say my interview and skill set are amazing but they’re not moving forward with my candidacy—only after seeing me in person or over video (when in previous phone interviews they couldn’t wait to talk to me again)—it’s a sure sign of discrimination of some sort. It’s so frustrating because I have skills few people in our industry have, and I know everyone who does and they’re not looking for jobs. I feel like there needs to be a job seeker bill of rights. Or at the very least all interviews need to be done behind a screen, or over the phone with no video.
I agree with going with what’s makes your life easier or better. I have stopped chasing my roots too, they grow so fast anyway. I do love color though, and I look best in blue. Besides evading is exhausting. When I was younger around 19 or 20, I worked in a retail bridal shop and one of my co-workers was in her 60’s, she was one of maybe two people that were over 50 the rest of use were in our late teens - early 20’s. Uhg I can’t remember her name but let’s call her Claire, she was gorgeous because she had a cool personality and style! Co-workers and customers loved working with her. She was original hippie / boho chic. She wore peasant tops, gauzey skirts with Moroccan belts and lots of bracelets. Very little makeup, mostly grey hair which was previously a sandy blond, left in a natural style just above the shoulders. She was so sweet too and had a lot of great stories to tell. She was one of the best salespeople we had. She didn’t even try to hide her age or “be young,” even though she could have. I had a lot of respect for her. She’s my inspiration for how to embrace your personal style regardless of age.
I hear all of you. The current push for inclusion seems to end with age. I cut my hair, I am upbeat, energetic and I discuss current trends to show that I am not outdated. I will keep pushing and hope for the best. Growing out dyed hair sucks and I promised myself I wouldn’t go back. For now, I will keep to that. Good luck to all of you!!
We are hosting a webinar on Ageism in Fashion Industry Employment on June 1st. It would be great to get a few real-world stories from the older members of the group on this issue and/or ways they have approached ageism in their job search.
Hi! It is not a specific thing that can be spoken to as it isn’t blatant. There are less replies to resumes, less interviews, less call backs and lower salary offers. In many companies in many meetings I am one of if not the oldest person there. I don’t put any dates more than 15 years old on my resume. In meetings I try to speak to trend a lot to show I know what is relevant. I am learning to use 3D and AI to keep my skill set current as well. I chose not to dye my hair. I am upbeat and cheery.
I think there’s a few things to consider…
Ageism and sexism. We all know this industry has been considered a “young” industry for a very long time. That being said how many men are thinking about dyeing their hair?
The other thing to think about is how hard it is get assistants today that are willing to put in the time to get experience needed to progress. One would think that older more experienced people have something to offer.
Recently I have been asked how old I am, when I’m planning on retiring and my family status (married, kids, etc.) I was also told “well you’re obviously not a kid”.
This is not a corporate industry by any means but there’s little or no thought given to how people are treated and little respect from management.
Until some of these issues are addressed the industry will keep decreasing more companies will close.