In the 18th century, going gray in the workplace was hip.

The white and gray “must have” powdered wigs were viewed as symbols of status, power and prestige. In 2008, workplace gray vs. workplace coverup is churning into a highly contentious debate. Some say it’s a disastrous move to flaunt gray in the workplace; others believe it can enhance your career. Here is one woman’s experience taken from an article at

“Kathy Kolbe, a Phoenix-based public speaker and consultant to corporations on human instincts, is one of the comparatively few gray-haired women in business. After alternating between dyed and not, she declares herself now “permanently gray” after concluding it is an advantage in more ways than one.

She noticed she got lots of offers of help on her business travels when gray peeked through—from hoisting bags into overhead bins on airplanes to other assistance—and “pretty much nobody offered help” when it was hidden.

“So I let the whole head go gray and, voila, doors magically opened,” said Kolbe, 65.


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