Top tips to stand out as more women embrace natural hair

It was a lovely surprise to be mentioned by @Startsat60 in their article on embracing naturally grey hair where they include my comments to The Guardian, on how women changed the debate on hair colour.

The Starts at 60 article  journalist explains how for years, women have tried to hide their grey hairs because they believed it would make them look older, but thanks to the recent trend for a natural look, grey has has become increasingly popular. The examples in the article include Helen Mirren, Judi Dench and Glenn Close who are picture embracing their natural hair.

I am a firm believer that women feel more empowered when they’re being authentic. This doesn’t mean going grey is for everyone, but the important point is that women are making their own decisions, choosing how they look and who they want to be. In the case of older women, this can result in going grey; in the case of younger women, it can result in undergoing cosmetic interventions.

Regardless of the appearance-based trend, evolutionary psychologists would argue that the underlying objective is to be more appealing to potential mates. Evolutionary psychology emphasises survival and procreation and according to this perspective, a woman with grey hair wouldn’t be appealing because it would signal she was beyond child-bearing years. Fortunately, women have moved on and they are expressing their independence in multiple ways.  

In an important book by David Buss, The Evolution of Desire, published in 2016 by Springer International Publishing, the author argues how women display kindness, intelligence, good health and appearance in the mate-selection process, citing evidence that women spend more than nine times as much money on beauty products than men. Men attract long-term partners by displaying status, ambition and resources, but if they are seeking short-term partners, Schmitt and Buss (1996) found that they are more likely to ‘flash the cash’ (my words not theirs!), and women were more likely to give off cues to being sexually available. How we portray ourselves, through our appearance, is extremely important in this tactic.

“This outward display of self-acceptance and self-confidence brings a sense of empowerment and authenticity. It says: ‘This is me. I know who I am and I like who I am’.”

Read the ‘Starts at 60’ article here


Buss, D. M. (2016). Evolution of Desire, The (pp. 1-5). Springer International Publishing.

Schmitt, D. P., & Buss, D. M. (1996). Strategic self-promotion and competitor derogation: Sex and context effects on the perceived effectiveness of mate attraction tactics. Journal of personality and social psychology70(6), 1185.