Customer Watch: Graying

President Barack Obama’s graying hair has been making front page news, and the debate is on to what extent graying hair is affected by stress in addition to plain old garden-variety genetics. According to the New York Times, The Journal of Investigative Dermatology reports that heredity determines if and when one will turn grey, and that almost half of all 50-year-olds are at least 50 percent grey.

 

Whatever the cause of grey hair, the result can be attractive. My father had dark hair and obtained that enviable distinguished look that so many men get when their hair goes grey around the temples. More and more women are embracing silver locks, too. No doubt the economy is causing more women not to hide the grey, perhaps to try and see whether grey hair is an attractive new look that also happens to be much easier on the budget than regular and frequent root touch-ups.

 

     

 

[Chic gray-haired model featured on www.more.com (More magazine)]

 

Grey hair strongly affects the first impression one makes. So that the look is chic, not tired and old, it is essential that someone with grey hair maintain a youthful, updated hairstyle. The style needs to look purposeful, and the assumption then will be that the color is purposeful, too. As More magazine states in “The New Over-40 Hair Color Rules,” “Gray hair requires packaging, or your look can slip from great to granny. Haircut, makeup, and clothes need to be in sync and of-the-minute.”

 

And that goes for jewelry, too. Here are some tips for working with your customers who have decided to embrace their natural, graying hair color.

 

First, remember that graying hair affects one’s personal coloring and therefore one’s selection of metals. For many individuals, her personal coloring becomes cooler, and white metals can beautifully set off silvery hair, even if she previously exclusively wore warm metals like yellow gold or copper to complement the hair color of her youth.

 
    

However, hair color is not the single determinative factor of what metals will be most flattering. For a beautiful example, think Meryl Streep in the movie The Devil Wears Prada. Could there be a more fashionable icon of grey hair than Miranda Priestley? And yet she wore vintage gold jewelry in most of the movie, which worked with the undertones of her skin and the relatively warm shade of grey of her hair. The warm tones are definitively confirmed by the orange Hermes scarf she wears at the end of the movie. No truly cool-toned individual could carry off that warm hue. 

    

 

For the individual with warm skin or eye color, silver hair adds cool tones into the mix and white metals expand the range of flattering jewelry options.

 

Second, watch for jewelry style clues from the customer’s hairstyle and clothing choices. If the individual truly is going for an of-the-minute look, her jewelry should be consistent with her personal style and fashion trends as well. Make it a point to be knowledgeable about current styles. For instance, at present, a statement necklace is a much more current look than a smaller, less significant necklace, which can look fusty. You can help your customer achieve the look of genuine chic with her newly silver hair.