Friday, September 21, 2012

Katie Couric Goes Gray. Should you?

This week Katie Couric put on a gray wig and walked the mean streets of Manhattan to see how people reacted to her. The reviews were mixed: Our favorite from a man in his late 20s or early 30s (think beefy construction worker) who told her she looked sexy and . . .old!!

The reason the former (first female solo) nightly network newscaster donned a wig was to promote her new syndicated talk show “Katie”, which airs weekdays at 3pm EST on ABC and this past week’s series on hair: the good, the bad, and the polarizing gray. It didn’t help that when Katie rolled the tape of her walk on the not-so-wild side the accompanying music was “The Little Old Lady from Pasadena”. We ask you: Is this how the media—even female-led media—reinforces stereotypes? Come on, Katie, you are running the show.

On today’s show (quick, tune in!), Katie invited celebrated hair stylist and makeup artist Eva Scrivo to show viewers how to make the most of their graying hair. (There will be makeovers.) Eva knows of what she speaks not only from years of experience--she was formerly Martha Stewart’s stylist for  TV, print and public appearances but she is currently the head colorist for L'Oreal Professional in Paris.  And that's not all.  She is an entrepreneur
with two salons in New York City.

In the competitive world of hairdressing, she is not only top tier-- right up there with John Barrett, Frederick Fekai and Garren--but one of the only women at that level in the business. Her secret? She's immensely talented but, perhaps more importantly, she loves women of all ages, as evidenced in her weekly radio show on Sirius and her award-winning book: Eva Scrivo on Beauty. Check out Chapter 8 on “Ageless Makeovers”. And don’t we like the work “ageless’ better than “anti-aging”. So negative!

The roots of the dilemma
One more thing (and full disclosure): Eva Scrivo is a treasured friend of Second Lives Club, and Caryl has been her client for years. Just fyi: Caryl has worked through many tiers of hair stylists both personally and in her decade as an editor at InStyle. (Some in the magazine business say a strong coverline about hair can sell an extra 50,000 issues at the newsstand. That’s how much women care about their hair.)

It doesn't really take a village!
So if you missed Katie’s show, no worries. We have a special week ahead: Everyday with Eva. Eva Scrivo generously met with Caryl and Maryl last month to share exclusively what she knows about hair and makeup with Second Life Club members. She customized her advice, provided tips and step-by-step how-to on looking your best at any age but especially ours.  

Here’s the lineup, then, for Second Lives Club's first beauty extravaganza:

Monday: The best ways to go grey
A palette of choices: how to know your hair and makeup colors

Tuesday: Caryl gets the strawberry blond back (and you find out in the process all you need to know about your own color)

Wednesday: Professional makeup tips you can really do yourself (you’ll be surprised, we promise)

Thursday: Five Golden Rules to Look Younger (You know you want to!)

Friday: Our first giveaway! And (maybe if our energy holds), a slideshow of some bold-face contemporary names, and what Eva would change about their look. (Think Jane Fonda, Helen Mirren, Hillary Clinton, Diane Sawyer).

So tune in next week every day, and please ask your friends to ‘like’ us on Facebook. (We know you already have.) If we hit 300 by Friday, it would make us as happy as a good hair day.

The gorgeous Eva Scrivo


  1. The reality is - if you don't have a "regular" job (i.e., even reasonably secure employment relationships), going gray is not a good idea.

    If you're on the dating market as a woman of a certain age, once again, going gray is not a good idea.

    I realize this will depend on individual circumstances, but for most of us who are relatively "ordinary" looking women with ordinary bodies (interpret that as non-spectacular and sufficiently distracting from hair of any color) - silver or gray hair will age us, and appearing "older" is still problematic when you're on the market - professionally or personally.

    My $20. Two cents won't buy a wing or a prayer.

    1. Same thing when you're a teacher ! At the end of the first lesson of the year with new students, my young but grey-haired colleague asked : "Any questions ?" and one of the students said :"Yes, ever heard of hair dye?". True story !!

    2. I so agree with both of you. As Maryl says: "It's not so much what I feel about going gray. It is what other
      people feel." To our culture at least, gray hair announces " old or at least older", and that it is not highly valued in the world. The reaction to Katie Couric in her gray wig proved the point. Here is a smart, fit,
      accomplished woman. Trust me, nobody even called her perky that day on the street.

  2. Looking forward to reading the series. Thanks.

    1. I can't really tell your hair color in your blog picture. I can see that you are beautiful and stylish and from
      your site live a fully-evolved life (in St. Tropez no less). I'd be interested to know what color your hair is--
      and the thinking behind your choice (whatever is). So generous of you to comment when you are all
      having all that fun in the South of France.

  3. I'm looking forward to this series! My formerly bright red hair (it was the color of a new penny when I was a girl -- I have the saved lock to prove it!) is now fading, with white at the temples. My hairdresser, who I adore, does not recommend coloring it.

    I love grey hair when it is well cut and atop a fit body. I recently saw the most beautiful head of hair on a woman in her late 50s/early 60s. It was waist long, beautifully layered, gorgeous texture and mostly grey. On her it just worked.

    My writer friend Jane Ward, keeps her whitening hair quite short. Again, on her, it just works (and she, too uses my beloved tonsorialist in Cambridge). Here's a link to her photo:

    Anyway, am looking forward to some tips to help me look "ageless" rather than like I am fading away.

    1. Judith,

      Do we have news for you! I can really envision you with copper hair--and I'm liking it. Of course,
      I am biased. Let me know if you decide to shift gears when it comes to your hair color.

  4. Am really looking forward to this series. Great way to start the Fall...or, opps...I've already started "the Fall". Maybe you can help me make it not so obvious!!!


    1. Obvious. That word already tells me something about your mindset. I don't think you are ready to
      'go gray" as they say. See tomorrow's post--and tell me what you think. At Secondlivesclub, we
      support a woman's right to choose her own hair color.

  5. going gray looking great!October 9, 2012 at 6:16 AM

    Does Katie's carpet match the (dyed) drapes? Or, is she au naturale silver down there?