NEW YORK — Is your blonde friend really a brunette in disguise? The average female Gen Xer hasn’t worn her natural hair color since 2019. A poll of 2,000 women ages 42 to 57 reveals that half (49%) have spent between two to six years dying their hair a different color than what they were born with.
In fact, one in three (32%) aren’t even sure what their natural color is anymore. Another 32 percent in relationships aren’t sure that their partner knows their real hair color, either.
Conducted on behalf of Better Natured by OnePoll, the survey also finds that 46 percent are confident that nobody knows they dye their hair.
Dye another day
Given the average respondent has sported about five different hair colors in her lifetime, it’s no surprise that two-thirds started coloring their hair before the age of 30. Even so, 58 percent agree that they dyed their hair more when they were younger than they do now.
One-third of women surveyed would even consider an unconventional color, with purple (41%), pink (38%), and blue (35%) ranking the highest. Six in 10 respondents have noticed more young people sporting unique hair colors than older adults, and another almost six in 10 (58%) admit to changing their own hair more when they were younger, too.
Conventional or not, 74 percent are more likely to keep a hair color if they get complimented on it. Similarly, 71 percent admit that a hair change boosts their confidence. When looking for a change, Gen-X women are more likely to trust their hairdresser than anyone else (40%). However, they don’t trust their friends any more than they trust opinions on social media, at 26 percent vs. 25 percent respectively.
“We’re not surprised that a new hair color can help boost women’s confidence — dyeing your hair is an easy way to change your style and express yourself,” says Jennifer Lauroesch, Director of Marketing for Better Natured, in a statement. “Whether at home or in a salon, we’ve seen women become more knowledgeable about ingredients in their hair color over recent years. Because of this, we understand the importance of transparency when it comes to ingredients.”
Touch of gray
Four in 10 respondents cover up their gray hairs or maintain their natural color using dye. Not all women do this, however, with one respondent saying “[My] gray is coming in very nicely,” the respondent writes. “I might add color for fun but it has nothing to do with gray. I’d want a color to ADD to my current colors, not cover them.:
Four in 10 (43%) even started embracing their grays more during the pandemic.
The pandemic also changed where people dye their hair. Sixty-one percent say they are more likely to do so at home now than they were prior to the pandemic, with 40 percent saying an at-home dye job is their new normal. Even so, 28 percent usually visit a salon.
Regardless of color or location, a fifth of respondents (21%) would consider a new hair color as a way to embrace their age.
“Whether women are keeping their natural color — gray or otherwise — or switching it up with a bold color, it’s important to love your hair and love your hair color,” Lauroesch says. “There can be an element of anxiety in dyeing your hair, especially when it’s a new color, which is why virtual try on tools like ours can be so important. We wanted to take the guesswork of how a hair color shade would look on you before you even made a purchase.”
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