Gray Hair Isn’t Just For Old People, Anymore, According To Kelis, Lady Gaga, And Kelly Osbourne

Kelis at Sundance in January, Lady Gaga’s Vanity Fair cover, and Kelly in May.
Photo: Getty Images

Whenever we see a silver strand (thanks for stressing us out, world!), we run to the magnifying mirror and yank that sucker out from the root. But not everyone has the same Take No Prisoners approach, particularly celebs. Kelis and Kelly Osbourne both stepped out in the hue earlier this year, and when Lady Gaga’s cover for Vanity Fair came out this week, we were more interested in her long gray locks than her nude tattoo-exposing poses. Could it be that everything we thought about gray is wrong? It’s not a sign of age; it’s a sign of YOUTH.

Is there a reason for this madness? YES. “I think it’s very exciting,” says Jason Backe, celebrity colorist for L’Oreal Professionnel at Ted Gibson Salon in New York City. “We’ve been trying to avoid gray hair and covering it up but now it’s something new, fresh, and young.” It also has that CRAZY factor. “It is shocking to do something unconventional, which is probably why young Hollywood is salt-and-peppering their strands all of a sudden,” he adds.


Want the look? It’ll take you a minute. To go gray at-home would be near impossible on natural hair because you’d need to start with a nearly-white, very bleached base, says Backe. Blonds wouldn’t have to go to far from their born-with-it hue, but some lightening would still be required. Backe suggests the best way to snag gray would be a solid salon visit, but expect to pay between $200 to $500. Plus, you’ll need to factor in maintenance costs, as Backe suggests getting a weekly gloss treatment and the new growth re-grayed at least every third week.

If you still want to try the look but can’t commit to such a bold look — and trust us, we wouldn’t either — then take the wig route. Get an ultra-blond wig (like this one from Ricky’s NYC, $39.99) and dye it at home. Saturate the hair with water and then coat it with black hair dye from an box kit. Leave the color on for just a few minutes and rinse. Want a deeper gray shade? Reapply.

+ Do you like this trend? Would you wear gray hair?