Getting the Grey Out

Hair colouring is a style choice as old as four-thousand years ago, as Assyrian herbals have been found dating back to 2177 BC. Seemingly because women feared going grey before ‘their time,’ hair colouring has carried itself into our time for a number of reasons.

Unnatural Color

A method to remove the yellowness of grey hair popularised in the 1950s was such that applying too much would turn the hair blue, giving way to the trend of ‘blue haired old ladies,’ or ‘blue hairs.’ Blue hair is one of the few colours that don’t occur naturally among humans and other mammals, yet it surfaced so often because of an eagerness to look younger and the debacle of grey-removing blue rinse.

Rebellion! Lies!

Starting with the Beat Generation of the 1950s, rebellion manifested itself as the punk rock movement in the 1970s, which brought hair colouring to the forefront of moving against a different kind of grey — the greys of social and political depression and oppression. It was a movement of being yourself, not being held down, and letting all of your colours out.

With the development of vibrant and bold colours for paints, it should serve as no surprise that this trend soon moved to dye, though at the start of the punk movement, it couldn’t be found at the local mall. Unnatural hair colouring was popular among the punk movement in a wide variety of colours from pink to blue, acid green to pitch black, and fire engine red to overtly-bleached blonde.     bold mohawk
Punk Couple     Popular punk fashion seemed to be determined by designers Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren, whom later went on to tailor The Ramones, Richard Hell and the Bromley Contingent. Westwood and McLaren’s King’s Road, London-based stores Let It Rock and SEX famously ran the front of trends to come. With designs that defied the normal, including ragged clothes or one-word provactive t-shirts, the rebellion finally had a home base.

In more recent days, it became commonplace for punks to rebel against new punks who were store-bought or into the pop culture side of the movement, which became less of a movement and just another trend. Suddenly the rebellious nature seemed to become just a lot of noise with no action, or all action with no noise, and the shock of it all fell away.

Quieter Changes

Today, anyone can buy hair colour just about anywhere. From pharmaceutical stores to beauty shops, from piercing and tattoo studios to the local mall, radiant and subtle colours can be found in dozens of varities at a time. From natural to possibly even glow-in-the-dark, hair colour has become commonplace among all ages, parental permission permitting.

Author: ruecian