The Average Female Gen Xer Hasn’t Worn Her Natural Hair Color Since 2019


By Ellis Wylam

The average female Gen Xer hasn’t worn her natural hair color since 2019, new research suggests.

A poll of 2,000 women ages 42-57 revealed 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%) said they aren’t even sure what their natural color is anymore.

Another one-third (32%) of respondents in relationships aren’t sure that their partner knows their real hair color, either.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Better Natured, the survey also found that 46% are confident that nobody knows they dye their hair.

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.

A model is seen backstage ahead of the Pam Hogg show at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer collections 2017 on September 16, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.

Even so, 58% agreed 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%) admitted to changing their own hair more when they were younger, too.

Conventional or not, 74% are more likely to keep a hair color if they get complimented on it. Similarly, 71% admitted 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% vs. 25% 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,” said Jennifer Lauroesch, Director of Marketing for Better Natured. “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.

A girl with green-tinted hair talks with friends at a cafe at London Fashion Week at Somerset House on February 18, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Four in 10 respondents have used dye to cover their gray hairs or maintain their natural color.

But not all, per one respondent. “[My] gray is coming in very nicely,” she wrote. “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 also said they are more likely to do so at home now than they were prior to the onset of the pandemic, with 40% saying an at-home dye job if their usual.

Even so, 28% usually visit a salon.

Regardless of color or location, two in 10 (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,” said Lauroesch. “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.”

WHY DO WOMEN CHOOSE NEW HAIR COLORS?

Recommended from our partners

  • To keep themselves looking young – 28%
  • To express themselves – 28%
  • Boredom – 21%
  • It was recommended by a spouse or partner – 21%
  • To embrace their age – 21%
  • Their hairdresser suggested it – 20%



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