Interesting RTD Original Science

Why Do Old Ladies Dye Their Hair Blue?

Have you ever wondered why old ladies sometimes have blue or purple hair? As it turns out, there are motives and mistakes that lead to the hair bluing. First off, many older women find their hair starts turning an ivory/yellow color that is hardly attractive.

To fix this, many of them turn to blue hair rinses that can balance out the yellow color…unfortunately, as you age, your eyes become less sensitive to the color blue so many of them use way too much blue rinse. In their eyes, their hair is a nice, even shade of white, while the rest of us see a bright blue mess.

Blue hair is becoming less common these days because fewer people smoke, reducing yellowing of the hair, and because better home hair dyes are available, so fewer women run the risk of bluing their locks with a rinse.

Images via Andersedin and Blue Diamond Photography [Flickr]

By Jill

Hi, I'm just a crazy writer who spends too much time online.

10 replies on “Why Do Old Ladies Dye Their Hair Blue?”

The aging process causes cataracts, a clouding of the lens of the eyes. This decreases visual acuity and decreases the ability to see the color spectrum. So, when the ladies come in to the beauty shop, they say their hair is not dirty grey. Sometimes too much rinse is used because the ladies say their hair is still a dirty grey, the result is a blue tinge.

Cataract surgery is the answer not more rinse.

I seriously doubt that smoking caused people to have yellowish hair … any science behind this article?

For some… I however totally PLAN on going every shade of pink, blue and canary yellow when I’m old… and why not? I don’t want to be the shy retiring sort my grandmother was, just thanks for noticing her. No! I’m going loud and proud with matching pseudo-Chanel skirt sets. Viva la Gran-bam!

Wendiwill, smoking does turn white hair yellow just like it does to teeth.
Ohnonichole, I can’t agree more. I want to have pink and purple hair when I’m an old lady and I adore the ones that do crazy colors on purpose.

Enough smoking will turn the inside of a car visibly yellow if the surfaces are light enough. My grandmother’s Nova was proof of that.

The yellowing of the lense in the eye is a slow, progressive change even in people who don’t have cataracts (clouded, non-transparent lenses). As infants our lenses are blue and they slowly fade toward yellow as we age.

I remember seeing the little old ladies in our church doing this when I was a young girl. I always thought it was a cool color, if a little strange. Of course, this was when bright green and blue eyeshadow was in style, and white lipstick (guilty)! I have considered doing this now that my hair is turning gray, but can’t decide between blue, purple, or pink.

Blue hair actually started with women wearing head coverings dyed with indigo dye, many centuries ago

Smoking turned hair yellow? You people are nitwits. You don’t smoke with your hair like you do your teeth, and your hair is neither as porous as the headliner of a car nor is it in the same captive position.

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