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Going Grey – the French Way!


Article by Meredith Keeve – a.k.a. The Wandering Parisian

how French women go gray image

There used to be a saying:  French women don’t get older, they get blonder. And many French women do, get “blonder” with age. But, as is the case in many places, there are also many French women who choose to go grey.

Sophie Fontanel, the famous French journalist from Elle magazine, decided to go grey and wrote a book about it. She found it not only liberating, but even a source of a new power and beauty.

Choosing to go grey

But, as ever, with the French, it is a question of choice. In France, choosing to go grey, like most other attributes, is capitalized upon, and used as a strength. Often silver hair is becomingly coiffed in radical cuts, sometimes short and spiky and definitely a statement. As always, there is the notion of intention – it is not like this happened overnight, and whoops I forgot to go to the hairdresser – but rather, I have chosen to let my hair go grey, but so you don’t imagine I have decided to let my personality go grey I am adopting a chic, or radical, or super smart cut so you understand it is all on purpose!

As ever, the French trick for women over fifty is to look purposefully put together. As a beautiful and elegant French 50+ woman said to me recently,

“Discipline is our last weapon. “

So, if her hair is silver it is elegantly cut, shiningly healthy and beautifully coiffed.

Silver hair may become her trademark look, along with a black wardrobe and red lipstick. Or perhaps she chooses to dress uniquely in white to emphasize the platinum highlights on her head.

Another possibility, like the famous French film star Francoise Fabian: silver streaks framing her face acknowledge her age (an amazingly vibrant 86!) while creating a recognizable and statement look.

Christine Lagarde, President of the Central European Bank is famous for her silver hair – not one out of place, of course, an excellent haircut is essential for this globetrotting leader. And Francoise Hardy, the 60’s French pop sensation now sports a white shag haircut and looks terrific.

Whatever your decision about hair colour, do it with the intention to live it in its best possible incarnation.

Meredith Keeve

Now a Personal Stylist, Meredith Keeve has worked in publishing, fashion, cinema, interior decoration and art in Paris, London, Miami and Toronto. Working as a wardrobe consultant with her French mentor, she learned to identify the ‘closet’ issues women face – the emotional/intellectual relationship to clothes and how clothing can impact and influence how a woman presents and perceives herself. MK chose to specialize in the 50+ customer, attuning her understanding of that customer’s particular needs and desires to determine and implement optimal wardrobe solutions for each individual, in every circumstance.

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