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The Average Female Gen Xer Hasn’t Worn Her Natural Hair Color Since 2019

One in three (32%) said they aren’t even sure what their natural color is anymore.

The average female Gen Xer hasn’t worn her natural hair color since 2019, new research suggests.

A poll of 2,000 women ages 42-57 revealed that half (49%) have spent between two to six years dying their hair a different color than what they were born with.

In fact, one in three (32%) said they aren’t even sure what their natural color is anymore.

Another one-third (32%) of respondents in relationships aren’t sure that their partner knows their real hair color, either.

Conducted by OnePoll on behalf of Better Natured, the survey also found that 46% are confident that nobody knows they dye their hair.

Given the average respondent has sported about five different hair colors in her lifetime, it’s no surprise that two-thirds started coloring their hair before the age of 30.

A model is seen backstage ahead of the Pam Hogg show at Fashion Scout during London Fashion Week Spring/Summer collections 2017 on September 16, 2016 in London, United Kingdom.

Even so, 58% agreed that they dyed their hair more when they were younger than they do now.

One-third of women surveyed would even consider an unconventional color, with purple (41%), pink (38%) and blue (35%) ranking the highest.

Six in 10 respondents have noticed more young people sporting unique hair colors than older adults, and another almost six in 10 (58%) admitted to changing their own hair more when they were younger, too.

Conventional or not, 74% are more likely to keep a hair color if they get complimented on it. Similarly, 71% admitted that a hair change boosts their confidence.

When looking for a change, Gen-X women are more likely to trust their hairdresser than anyone else (40%). However, they don’t trust their friends any more than they trust opinions on social media, at 26% vs. 25% respectively.

“We’re not surprised that a new hair color can help boost women’s confidence — dyeing your hair is an easy way to change your style and express yourself,” said Jennifer Lauroesch, Director of Marketing for Better Natured. “Whether at home or in a salon, we’ve seen women become more knowledgeable about ingredients in their hair color over recent years. Because of this, we understand the importance of transparency when it comes to ingredients.

A girl with green-tinted hair talks with friends at a cafe at London Fashion Week at Somerset House on February 18, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

Four in 10 respondents have used dye to cover their gray hairs or maintain their natural color.

But not all, per one respondent. “[My] gray is coming in very nicely,” she wrote. “I might add color for fun but it has nothing to do with gray. I’d want a color to ADD to my current colors, not cover them.”

Four in 10 (43%) even started embracing their grays more during the pandemic.

The pandemic also changed where people dye their hair. Sixty-one percent also said they are more likely to do so at home now than they were prior to the onset of the pandemic, with 40% saying an at-home dye job if their usual.

Even so, 28% usually visit a salon.

Regardless of color or location, two in 10 (21%) would consider a new hair color as a way to embrace their age.

“Whether women are keeping their natural color — gray or otherwise — or switching it up with a bold color, it’s important to love your hair and love your hair color,” said Lauroesch. “There can be an element of anxiety in dyeing your hair, especially when it’s a new color, which is why virtual try on tools like ours can be so important. We wanted to take the guesswork of how a hair color shade would look on you, before you even made a purchase.”


Recommended from our partners

  • To keep themselves looking young – 28%
  • To express themselves – 28%
  • Boredom – 21%
  • It was recommended by a spouse or partner – 21%
  • To embrace their age – 21%
  • Their hairdresser suggested it – 20%