Half of women say 2020 made them go gray faster than ever before

NEW YORK — There’s an old adage that you should never ask a woman her age. A new survey finds that saying may never be more true than in 2020. The average American woman says she feels four years older after living through last year. The poll also reveals 65 percent believe 2020 aged them more than ever before as a result of pandemic stress.

Quarantine Hair going grayAll this stress is apparently having an effect on appearances, too. Out of 2,000 women in the OnePoll survey, 52 percent believe they’ve gone gray faster during quarantine than they would have otherwise. Another 42 percent have discovered new strands of silver in their hair. Forty-six percent of this group admitted it was the first gray hair they’ve ever discovered. Out of the 33 percent of women who’ve dyed their hair at home during the pandemic, 85 percent said it was an effort to cover up their grays. Many add they did so because they wanted to make a change with their hair (44%) or got bored and wanted something to do (32%).

The rise of ‘dye-it-yourself’ hair

Commissioned by Garnier, the survey also revealed that 35 percent of the women who dyed their hair during quarantine did so for the first time. Of that group, 80 percent did so without any help from another person. Many respondents also turned to the internet and social media for advice; most frequently via Instagram (30%) or Twitter (30%).

“Even though most of us have swapped in-person meetings with virtual video chats, our hair is still one of the first things other people notice about us, which can make trying at-home hair color for the first time an intimidating experience,” says Patty Slattery, Assistant VP of Technical Training and Education at Garnier, in a statement. “That’s why we have so many resources available to help anyone learn to dye their hair at home, including our Hair Color Hotline, live-streaming video sessions with our celebrity colorists and a Virtual Shade Selector that helps consumers select and try on different colors in the aisle or from home.”

Getting rid of gray hair with stay-at-home color

Quarantine Hair going gray
Results also suggest that 55 percent of those who dyed their hair at home during quarantine decided to try a bold new color for the first time. One in three women said they’re “very likely” to turn to another bold color again next year.

Some took advantage of this time at home to try a color they might not have otherwise (37%) and nearly three in 10 (28%) thought it would be a good chance to dye their hair specifically because they weren’t going to work or to an office anytime soon.

“Before coloring your hair at home, the most important thing you need to understand is what color your hair already is,” adds Garnier Consulting Celebrity Hair Colorist Nikki Lee. “Is it light or dark? Cool or warm? Knowing this will help you figure out which colors will work best for you, either by comparing your current shade to the swatches on the side of the box or by using an online tool like Garnier’s Virtual Shade Selector.”

“Hair density and length can also impact your final result,” Lee says. “If you have really thick hair, I’d suggest grabbing two boxes.”

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About the Author

Chris Melore

Chris Melore has been a writer, researcher, editor, and producer in the New York-area since 2006. He won a local Emmy award for his work in sports television in 2011.

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