Gray Hair Blog / May 27, 2019

How to Piss Off a Gray-Haired Woman in 5 Seconds or Less

I’m a pretty easy-going person, but if someone is rude enough to make a disparaging remark about my gray hair, I can go from zero to pissed off in 5 seconds! If you WANT to piss off a gray-haired woman, here’s a primer to get you started.

Do you want to anger your gray-haired female friends, family members, and colleagues?

Here are some handy phrases to toss around to get the annoyed reaction you desire.

image of grandma and grandchild

“Hey, Grandma!”

Just as you should never ask a woman “When is the baby due?” unless you see a baby actually emerging from her nether regions, please don’t assume everyone with gray hair is a grandparent.

People in their early teens can have gray hair, for gosh sakes! And mothers of young children can have gray hair as well (surprise!)

So, unless you see a cute baby holding on to her hand, and the baby has a shirt on it that says “I love Grandma” and the gray-haired lady has a shirt on that says “I love my Grandbaby,” it’s probably best NOT to assume!

image of concerned woman pissing off a gray haired woman friend

“What Does Your Husband Think?”

What is this, the 1950s?

Of course, it depends on how it is asked. If it’s a chirpy, “Ooh, I love it – what does your husband think?!” – that will most likely not offend.

But when you grab her hand, with a concerned look on your face, and then whisper “What does your husband think?” it’s likely to evoke a pissed-off reaction.

And if the woman you are saying this to is Irish, start running! (Speaking as a hot-tempered Irish-American).

image of woman pissing off a gray haired woman

“You’re going to look old!”

Are you prepared to be hated for life? Why would you say such a thing?

And why are you such a sexist? It’s OK for men to have gray hair – they are considered “distinguished,” so why not women?

Also, why are you so ageist? You have some issues; get thee to therapy!

If you think women with gray hair look older than with dyed hair, check out this post: Gray Hair: Before and After and then get back to me with a sincere apology.

A handwritten apology to Mother Nature would also be in order. If you are so inclined, you might as well apologize to God as well, for thinking that you know more than Him.

“Do you need money?”

image of hand holding cash to annoy a gray-haired woman by implying she has no money

If you say this while pushing crumpled bills into the hands of a woman who is going gray cold-turkey, prepare to be eternally despised!

(And yes, this happened to one of my friends – you can’t make this shit up!)

Why assume that a woman letting her roots show is in desperate need of cash? Maybe she wants to reclaim her health, her time and her natural beauty.

Also, it takes balls to go gray publicly, so instead of insulting your friend with gray hair, how about complimenting her on how freaking self-confident she is?

image of woman disapproving of her friend's gray hair

“Men Won’t Find You Attractive!”

What kind of men are we talking about? If we are talking about shallow, dimwitted men – good riddance!

The majority of silver sisters I know have reported that most men seem genuinely complimentary of their gray hair. They see it as a sign of authenticity, and they appreciate its beauty.

Need proof? Check out Anne Kreamer’s book.

Now, if you want to know why a woman might choose to go gray, check out my post: The Surprising Truth About Going Gray

And, if this post wasn’t the kick in the butt that you needed to jump-start your good manners, might I suggest this book? Because pal, you need it!

image of manners book to give to people who make rude comments about gray hair

Please do me a favor and share this post to social media, as it helps me grow my audience and spread the word about our Silver Revolution!  And remember to subscribe to my YouTube Channel and Pinterest Feed for more gray hair tips and product recommendations. Thanks!

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17 Comments

  1. Wendy Gaonac'h

    I live in rural France, where gray hair is talked about a lot. I’ve been here for 4 years, and recently dyed my hair after the second person commented that they thought I was my husband’s mother – now I look younger than my 56 years, and am quite fit, and the people saying this are my age but look 10 years older… since dyeing it, I’ve had skin issues, so it’s back to white. It’s fine with me, but it really bothers my French husband when people comment that they thought I was his mum! What can I say back? I’m Canadian, so overly polite! Thanks in advance for any and all advice!

    11 . May . 2019 Reply
  2. Lori Eldridge

    “That’s all I need to know about you”. Because at that point, it IS all about them, not about you at all.
    For life-long friends, mothers, husbands….just give them time. I think at first, my mom was just shocked at how white I am! And my husband was not sold, but now he is my biggest supporter by far! I have a few friends who have transitioned to natural hair before me, but nobody is curly and platinum like mine.
    Here is what my husband has to say; “anybody older than us (I’m 45) where the female has no grey hair, it is fake”. (PS. Older people don’t “get” that the younger generations see the fake hair as a fake persona, so your older friends may disapprove but not realize how THEY are being read by everyone else)
    Surprisingly, new contacts and people I haven’t known long are super-complimentary! “You have beautiful natural hair”, “It suits you”, “you have such a cute face with that hairstyle”. I’m not kidding.
    So, your “oldie-but-goodie” friends just might need some time. Or, you might need different friends. Just sayin’

    09 . May . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      Great points!

      I am shocked by what some women’s “friends” say to them. I have very strong boundaries with who I allow into my life and people who would say rude things to my face are NOT allowed in my friend circle.

      09 . May . 2019 Reply
  3. Bea

    Ok, I need help with this one.
    Yesterday my friend since we’ve been 12 (am 56) touched my 7mo transitioning hair and said “if you would just put some blonde highlights in…” I explained that I have already tried to add some dark brown streaks in order to transition better, but anything I do just ends up turning brassy orange. She tried to pursue it but – thanks to your advice here – I said, not for the first time btw, that I’m very happy with it and will continue with the transition. She then said that her sister-in-law let her grey hair grow out and she looks stunning… but then she is model material anyway. Omg. So she is implying I am not, so I should just go back to colouring. I was speechless. I guess I just kind of brushed it off, but would greatly appreciate any ideas for a comeback to that!

    Am getting to the point where I feel like I should just hide from these haters (people I expect support from!) until it’s done. Because I really do like what I see, but am tired of the criticism and judgement. I feel that another poster got it right, it stems from their own insecurity about going grey (which I’m not asking them to do!), but it’s hurtful all the same.🙁😔

    03 . May . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      Wow, Bea! How insensitive of your friend! Sorry you had to hear that. Is she always that tactless?
      A lady in one of the Facebook groups is from the South, and I love her advice. For the first comment, say “Why, bless your heart!” (The ultimate Southern indicator of disapproval). If she continues to be rude, you continue, “Bless your heart….. That really DID come out of your mouth! And OUT LOUD too….. .” Then, walk away.

      However, being a Northerner, I like my usual response. Which is just, “Wow” – and walk away. I’ve got some other good advice here: https://katiegoesplatinum.com/gray-hair-makes-you-look-older/

      Good luck and stay strong! I know you will 🙂

      03 . May . 2019 Reply
  4. Candace

    These are great! Need some snappy comebacks.
    My friend asked me if I’m sure I want to go gray. Why not, I replied.

    01 . May . 2019 Reply
  5. Lr.Williams

    My least favorite: “I couldn’t do it. I don’t want to look like a witch/hag/old crone.”

    30 . Apr . 2019 Reply
    • Katie

      Yikes, who would be so rude?! I hope it was a stranger and not a “friend.” Sorry that happened to you.

      30 . Apr . 2019 Reply
      • Lr.Williams

        I got that response from a friend: “I don’t want to look like a witch.” Later I got the same remark from a sister-in-law: “Gray hair makes women look like old hags.”
        These are responses from women I know and love, but it was before I ever went gray. It was when I was just thinking about it. I went gray despite these remarks because they reflect the insecurity of them, not me. Besides I am working on month 5 of no color. I am past caring about throwback beliefs.

        02 . May . 2019 Reply
        • bowiefan

          Wow! I am continually stunned by how rude some people can be and especially by those who are friends. I hate reading all these crappy comments to women but am glad that everyone is sticking to their guns.

          09 . May . 2019 Reply
      • Patty

        I got that from my husband! He insisted that I drop everything and go get it colored because he didn’t want to sit across from a gray haired hag at dinner every night.

        09 . May . 2019 Reply
        • Katie

          Patty, is he your former husband now? Because that is a terrible thing to say!

          09 . May . 2019 Reply
    • Bea

      I get that too! From my friends! And it’s funny (not really😝), my friends and colleagues in their 60s say it most. And yet – for a few of them – their skin (which they don’t take care of) is what gives their true age away, along with their too dark, dyed hair.
      Am in transition (7 mos), and am happy with my decision (so far, lol – that’s for my 83 yr old mother who still dyes her hair and says “you can always go back” or “i hear a lot of women start dyeing their hair again after they’ve gone through the whole transition”.)
      But seriously… it’s So Liberating!
      And personally I believe that the things that make women look old is skin not being taken care of (including not enough sleep!), dowdy clothing and haircuts, and the wrong makeup. So hopefully I don’t fall into any of those categories. Am sure someone (my sister?!) will let me know, if so. 😅🙃😜

      01 . May . 2019 Reply
      • Katie

        Hi, Bea: I agree with you that skin matters sooooo much more than hair color when we get older. If one wants to look 10 years younger, forget the dark hair dye, and work on the skin, for sure!

        03 . May . 2019 Reply
    • Gillian Osborne

      My reply (if I was feeling REALLY annoyed at them…or had PMT LOL) would be ”’Oh THAT bus is long gone honey!” and smile sweetly hahaha

      I haven’t been a slave to the dye since just before Christmas 2018 and am LOVING the streaks of silver and grey that are coming in and blending in fabulously as my previously-plum hair lightens up as the dye is fading.

      01 . May . 2019 Reply
      • Katie

        sounds gorgeous, Gillian!

        03 . May . 2019 Reply

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