April 3, 2012 6:05 PM

The Careerist: Your Gray Hair

Posted by Vivia Chen

Ladies, you’ll never guess what senior-level men notice about women’s appearance. It’s not the latest fashion trend that unnerves them—like sexy leather suits or sky-high heels. No, what men really notice (and abhor) are the gray roots sticking out of women’s hair. The horror!

Economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett mentioned that finding at a Flex-Time Lawyers luncheon at Clifford Chance a few weeks ago, and you could hear the gasp among the women in the audience.

“Senior [executive] men have strong opinions on this issue,” Hewlett tells me about her forthcoming study about the attitudes of men and women ages 25 to 55. “You think certain things aren’t noticed, but women are held to a higher standard in grooming.”

If women’s gray roots signal sloppy grooming, why don’t women just stop coloring their hair all together? Wouldn’t that be so much more liberating?

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