Patricia Gannon: Age-old question: To gray or not to gray

Now with gray a go-to color in fashion and décor, some women are longing to let the Loving Care go. This is going to be hard.

For eons, women have sought to cover their gray and retain the illusion of youth. One of society’s great inequities is it dismisses women with gray hair while men with such are considered distingué. Except for a brief period in history when all the well-to-do wore white artificial wigs à la Marie Antoinette, hair color has been divisive; masterful for men, wilted for women.

However, gray hair has its vanguard. Feminists Gloria Steinem and Eleanor Smeal present their gray unapologetically, but then those two aren’t afraid of anything. Actress Judi Dench is gray, as are Helen Mirren and Meryl Streep, but their talent and celebrity status put them firmly out of critical reach. Pink (the singer, not the pastel) is gray, as are Sharon Stone, Kate Moss, Lady Gaga and Carmen Dell’Orefice, the world’s oldest model. She is also plenty remodeled.

According to one local stylist, it’s still a gray area for everyday women and those making inquiries are only a trickle, motivated by curiosity, convenience and rite of passage. “It’s not easy either,” she said. “It’s a hurdle chemically and emotionally because they have to bleach. They’re also afraid their friends will say something.”

Making matters more complicated is the color itself. There are two distinct camps — granny-gray or chic rare-hair shades — and success depends heavily on which one you have. This alone will separate the women from the worn out. Take for instance silver mist, jade frost, South Sea pearl, Paris twilight, dove and chinchilla gray.

Then there’s chicken wire.

Patricia Gannon covers society for The Acadiana Advocate. She can be reached at pgannon@cmaildrop.com or at pgannon@theadvocate.com.

Maquillage and more

Umbrellas lined the sidewalk, but storms didn’t stay a standing-room only crowd from 02 Body and Facial Spa and Taylor Your Look grand opening. Owned by Brittani Pitre, the posh new storefront in River Ranch offers oxygen facials — a skin cocktail of hyperbaric oxygen, anti-aging serum and antioxidants — with more, plus full-face and celebrity makeup looks using renowned Kevyn Aucoin makeup. “I was very nervous,” said makeup artist Taylor Wilson, looking at the weather. “God is good, and He always prevails.” Overcoming the cloudburst was makeup royalty Isidore Aucoin, Carla Aucoin and Katerina Atkisson; Prissy and David Wilson, three-generations-strong Brittani Pitre, Michele Key and Peggy Shealy, Katie Culbert, Emily Foreman Babineaux, an always-interesting Andrea Mitchell and mother-daughter duos Kati and Wendi Welsh and Lisa and Lauren Cummins. Also taking one for the team were Brad Gaubert, Jim Battey and Charlie Babineaux, who said he wasn’t going in unless there were other men present.