September 1, 2022

Grey Hair Do Care!

Your body your rules.

That's what women keep being told, but we still have a long way to go before that really is the case.

To ditch the dye and embrace the grey, or not, has to be ???? a woman’s choice, without fear of judgment on both sides.

The fact that the award winning news anchor Lisa LaFlamme has recently been ousted from her job at Canadian CTV News shortly after ditching the dye appears to be no coincidence. There is obviously more to this situation but it does raise the on going question around sexism and ageism in the workplace.

With reports that a male senior executive questioned "who had approved the decision to let Lisa’s hair go grey?’”. Would this ever be asked about a ‘silver-fox’ man in the same position? LaFlamme is a successful, award winning anchorwoman with a 35 year career at CTV, why does the colour of her hair have any relevance? 


Grey hair, do care!

I don’t care what women do with their hair, it’s not our job to have an opinion on anybody else’s appearance but I do care when women feel pressured into making choices about their own bodies based on ageist and sexist pressure in the workplace, by peers and society's outdated expectations. 

We have to start questioning and challenging this outdated, damaging narrative and empower women who do want to let their hair go grey with confidence.

The grey hair movement is still pushing forward but at a very slow speed! That's why Annie Stirk and I started Silver & Sassy, because we know all too well from our own experience of going grey how other peoples' opinions can knock your confidence. You can find out more about Silver and Sassy in a previous blog post here

Why does grey hair cause so much discussion?

I'm still surprised how much controversy the grey hair debate can cause amongst a group of women, it's very divisive and it really doesn't have to be. I'm all for women doing what they want with their hair, if they want to keep dyeing it until they're in their 90's because it makes them feel good, then fantastic, do what's right for you.

The problem arises when a woman who would like to embrace their grey hair is talked out of it because of other peoples expectations. When I decided to stop colouring my hair at 46 , I put a post on Facebook and all the comments except one were negative, albeit tongue in cheek but there's always a true word spoken in jest! Comments like "Don't do it, you're too young"; "It will make you look older" or  "You're too young to let yourself go" was the common theme of the conversation. Fast forward 6 years and now everyone loves my grey hair and I couldn't imagine it being any different colour.

I feel 100% like my authentic self and that's been liberating.

Old and Grey

How many times have you heard the words "old and grey" together, whether it's song lyrics or in conversation. We have a deep fear around ageing that is ingrained in our society, that grey hair is a visible sign of the ageing process that seems to scare people. We are judged by the colour of our hair and grey is still equated to being old and 'grannyish' which is probably why you'll hear that women are "brave' for ditching the dye so often, because we're going against the grain.

So, who created this narrative in the first place? The haircare industry is worth billions of pounds so it suits those brands to sell us those insecurities and promote hair dyes at every opportunity. If you look back to previous hair brand adverts it's easy to see how they've perpetuated this negative narrative.

Starting with a shocking 1920's advert saying" Decline to be grey as long as youth beats in your heart" along with Clairols 1980's Loving Care advert with the  "I'm gonna wash that grey right outta my hair" ditty and you get the picture!

It's interesting to see Dove's response a week after LaFlamme's departure with their #backthegrey social media campaign. We need more brands like this to be committed to breaking down the stereotypical views of beauty to create real change in the industry.

Where are the grey-haired role models?

There are famous women in the film and media world, like Andie McDowell, Dame Judy Dench, Jamie Lee Curtis and of course the fabulous Dame Helen Mirren, who are starting to fly the flag which is great to see but if you look on mainstream TV for women in their 40's and 50's, you will be hard pressed to find any grey haired women cast as role models. I was pleasantly surprised to see Melinda Messenger share a post recently about her own decision to ditch the dye.

"It's taken me 51 years to see that I was always good enough, so I don't want to spend the next years of my life feeling I have to be anything other than just myself. I have finally given myself permission to just be"

I love this sentiment and can totally relate. With this in mind perhaps it really is time for women to take back control of our bodies. Let's make decisions about our own appearance; based on what makes US feel good and not to keep anyone else happy!

Whatever you decide to do with your hair...

Keep being fabulous!

Rachel x

For more grey hair inspiration visit the blog here

You can also listen to Liberte Free to Be Ep. 47 with Jayne Mayled, founder of White Hot Hair and champion of silver haired women.




October 7, 2019

Fighting ageism in fashion with Jacynth Bassett

The week I chatted with Jacynth Bassett founder of We find out why at 26 years old Jacynth is so passionate about fighting ageism in the fashion industry alongside some tips on how to take steps to regain your fashion confidence.

Where did the idea come from Jacynth?

I was at university, studying Law but I realised it wasn't really for me. I wanted to do something that I found I cared about and I'd always loved the fashion industry, not just the clothes but the industry as a whole. I quickly got to thinking about my mum and how we'd go shopping a lot when I was a teenager. She had me at 40 so she was already experiencing ageing quite quickly when I was young. She loves clothes and she was really struggling to find beautiful things that she loved to wear. We'd go into shops and shop assistants would be quite dismissive of her and she would often say 'Oh this isn't for me and then bought me things because she felt she couldn't wear them. It was really from that I gained the inspiration, I wanted to give back her confidence through style and fashion.

During your period of research into how older women felt about fashion what surprised you the most?

I think what surprised me the most was the split view of what I wanted to do. I did a survey and one of the questions was about using women over forty as models of all shapes and sizes, all the people I surveyed were late forties, fifties and about half said they didn't like the idea. That really surprised me but what I realised was a lot of the women comments were based on their own pre-judged biased. It's what they have been used to seeing and then can't imagine what I was thinking of. A website that would really empower women they thought it would be really dowdy and frumpy. After I initially launched the blog a couple of those women then emailed me saying ,'If this is what you meant, I really like this'.

Have you come across that ageist attitude because you are younger in an older category, have peoples attitudes been different towards you?

Not really, I found people have really responded well to that, a lot of people have commented that they really like that I'm younger. Women seem to think I can bring an objective perspective in to it and I'm not just going to choose clothes that I would wear, although I do love all the clothes. I've had the odd patronising person but most people have been very positive and I've been welcomed with open arms. Just because I'm not directly affected by ageism doesn't mean I shouldn't care about it.

What is your age demographic for

Mainly forties to late sixties, but actually we have customers of all ages, because the brands we sell don't specifically target that bracket. The idea is everything is ageless. It's nice that I get so many women sending me messages and photos in the clothes, saying its given them loads of confidence from wearing their outfits.

You must see a difference in women's confidence when they are buying clothes that they feel really good in.

It's really interesting because when it first started people went with really safe options and as the business as gone on those customers have really started to step out of their comfort zone. We have an exceptionally low return rate on line shopping because women are having fun experimenting. When I do events I can guess which pieces they will gravitate towards and it's about saying why don't you try this but in a different colour because a lot of women put themselves in a box about what they can wear.

What about internet shopping for this particular age group, that's another challenge isn't it, to ask them to buy on line with confidence, how have you found that?

Challenging! I do have people that say to me surely that demographic don't buy on line but that's just not true, it's the fastest growing demographic for online shopping. There is still a lack of confidence there, mainly down to previous experience of shopping online where there's been lack of quality and fit, I do events which help show the customers our pieces directly. It's about building a good reputation based on the quality of service.

I like buying online because you have the luxury of having your wardrobe there to try with different shoes, your accessories.

Exactly you can see how it's going to fit in to your wardrobe there. I think you have less buyers remorse too.

Why do you think it is that women in their forties and fifties often lose their fashion confidence, what do you think the industry does wrong?

Well first of all its about the imagery. I think the stats are something like we see between 3000-5000 images a day so the majority of those adverts feature women that are younger. It takes someone with a very thick skin to somehow not be affected by that, even sub-consciously. When you have the likes off Cara Delevingne, whose my age, the face of an anti-ageing product, it's not great!

It's an interesting thing with ageism I've found through different discussions with people. There are people who say they are pro-ageing but they still have a very restricted idea of how we should age.I've had someone say to me that after the age of 50 you shouldn't care about looking sexy.

I don't get that. I've never felt more sexy than in my forties.

A lot of women have said they've been a mother, career orientated and then lost a sense of self and stuck in practical clothes or office wear all the time. Women have told me that want to be stylish again but they don't know how to get back there.

I really like the fact that you use non-model women, of all shapes and sizes who we can all relate to. I hate the term 'real women' because we are all real.

People can just apply to model for us and the number of women applying have really gone up since the beginning. It's really lovely to see that they are confident enough and willing to do that and try something different.

What I also love about you is aside from you are also really proactive within the industry about fighting ageism. Can you tell us a little bit more about the kind of things you have been involved in?

So I started this campaign movement called 'Ageism is never in style' back in 2016.

It started as an online community on facebook, a group where people came together to share their thoughts and ideas. I share what's going on the industry, different articles and people can have their voice heard by leaving comments. It's an interesting thing ageism , because its about choice and I still don't think we're there yet with everyones understanding of that.I write a lot of articles for magazines, forty plus communities and speak at events. In February 2018 I had this eleventh hour brainwave that I wanted to create these 'Ageism is never in style' badges just before fashion week. I thought to myself this is either going to be a really big hit or let's just pretend that never happened, but yeah it took off massively. They're free and people were ordering them in batches to give to there friends and it really sparked off conversations. *these badges are still available to order free

What piece of advice could you give to a woman that has that craving to get back to feeling good in their clothes?

The thing I always say to people is just give it a go. If it doesn't work on you can just take it off. I see customers more at our pop up events and I get such a lovely reaction to clothes and then they say but I couldn't wear that. It's not until they try things on and see for themselves and hear other peoples reactions to them. Just try it you might be surprised.

Last three questions I ask every guest

Do you have a favourite song that motivates you?

I do but its so embarrassing!! 'All I do is Win' which is a hiphop rap song by DJ Khaled, don't judge me!

A Favourite book

I'm going to be completely honest with you I don't read a lot of books even though I love them. Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte and I recently read Amy Poehler's autobiography, Yes Please, which was really interested, I liked how candid and honest she was.

Who Inspires you?

My mum is a big inspiration in my life.

Women like Natalie Massenet with the career she's had inspire me, there are lots of women that inspire by the things they've done.

You can follow Jacynth on Instagram @the_bias_cutcom Facebook and Twitter @the_Bias_Cutcom and check out on line store for lots of fashion inspiration.

To listen to the full interview-

In the meantime .....keep being fabulous!


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