Earlier this week, 26-year-old Zosia Mamet, known for her portrayal of the speedy-sputtering Shoshanna on HBO’s hit series Girls and currently promoting the upcoming A Most Violent Year, showed up at a press junket sporting a new look that had paparazzi and trend-watchers alike look twice: a newly minted choppy bob of "antique gray" hair.
It would have raised more eyebrows had Mamet not been the latest in a stream of young celebrities experimenting with gray: Kylie Jenner tipped her raven mane with gray, and both Orange Is the New Black's Dascha Polanco and hair chameleon Rihanna have stepped out onto the red carpet with unicorn-like gray ponytails.
Gray hair's closest predecessor was platinum hair, which slowly morphed into a darker iteration. In the aughts, gray was sneered at as the province of British hipsters, but it still managed to make its way, sporadically, to the covers of high-fashion magazines.
Four years ago, Tavi Gevinson was still blogging from Oak Park, Illinois, as the bespectacled Style Rookie, her pageboy locks a washed out slate blue-gray. More recently, Nicole Richie, Lady Gaga, and Pink, and Kelly Osbourne have followed suit.
Gray has, classically, been associated with monotony. The dictionary offers a dank picture of the emotions evoked by the color: “cloudy, overcast, dull, sunless, gloomy, dreary, somber, bleak, and murky” in terms of weather; “ashen, wan, pale, pasty, pallid, colorless, bloodless, white, waxen” for images related to age; and “colorless, nondescript, insipid, jejune, unremarkable, flat, bland, dry, stale,” for a subdefinition of “without interest or character.”