It’s All About the Gray Hair Trendsetters at SXSW

March 20, 2015

10:00 am

Style watchers such as Glamour and Atlantic Monthly have touted gray hair as the trend to follow. Even Instagram and Pinterest have dedicated pages celebrating the spectrum of gray shades.  I happen to sport gray tresses myself and, while attending SXSW, thought I’d check out the hipster crowd for validation.

It was an easier assignment than I anticipated; these trendsetters varied by age, gender, occupation and geography.  The one common factor? They make this trend look good!



The Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur

Mary is the co-founder of Beehive ID and told me that she has been naturally gray for over 10 years.  She recently discovered that her hair color was “in” when her high-school aged daughter asked for permission to dye her hair gray just like her mom’s.  “If she wants gray hair, it must be cool,” concluded Mary.


Malia Grace

The Musician

Malia explained that she decided to go platinum 4 years ago after a gut-wrenching breakup. Gray feels like “home” for her hair.  As a musician, she describes the platinum silver color as her identity. My guess is that it looks great on stage too.



The Software Developer

The Software Developer

There are lots of gray-haired men at SXSW (e.g., Austin’s mayor Steve Adler, Governor of Texas, Greg Abbott, etc.) but finding a stylin’ hipster guy with gray hair was more of a challenge.  I caught up with Zane at a Capital Factory party. His salt/pepper coiffure had a Chris Isaak-vibe that was hard to miss.


The Pedicab Driver

The Pedicab Driver

Stephanie aka Vivid Voltage was hard to miss as I was dashing to my next event.  Her hair color helps to set her apart from the other drivers and besides, “Blue-silver hair just looks cool!”  No argument there VV.


The Design Student

The Design Student

Journalism and design student from NYC’s The New School, Sterling, says that she’s been in the platinum range for over a year and will add a violet or gray tone when she’s bored.  (I wonder if she felt inescapably fated by her name to become gray. We parted ways before I could ask.)


The KPop Fan

The KPop Fan

Joe caught my eye as he cruised through a Geeks At Gangnam party sponsored by Tech Ranch at Brass House.  He happily doffed his cap to show off his yellow-hued gray do. My questions were drowned out by the club’s KPop tunes so let’s just assume Joe is a music producer since that is an ultra hip thing to be at SXSW.


Grey Squirrels

The Squirrels

The Squirl squirrels were too involved with their reading to answer my questions but, face it, they own the gray.



So whether you’re sporting gray/grey, platinum, silver, “Arctic” or even “icy” you’re in sync with what’s hot in the hair world.  Apparently, SXSW continues to be the vanguard in all things cool!


Mural: Image Credit Flickr/rivermusic (cropped)

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I'm a serial entrepreneur and veteran launch team executive in high tech, e-commerce, and biotech. Based out of Austin, TX, I support women’s entrepreneurial initiatives and teach university courses on business/technical writing.

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