Nearly 50% of American women say they found their first gray hair in 2020

The average American woman feels she's aged almost four years over the course of 2020, according to new research. A survey of 2,000 American women found 65% believe they've aged more during 2020 than in a normal year — due to stress from the pandemic. And that's affected their appearance, too: 52% of respondents believe they've gone gray faster during quarantine than they would have otherwise. Results revealed 42% have found new gray hairs during quarantine, and of those, 46% said they found their FIRST gray hair while stuck at home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Commissioned by Garnier hair color and conducted by OnePoll, the survey delved into women's hair color during the pandemic, looking past gray hair to see what style changes they made in 2020. The survey found a third of women surveyed (33%) have dyed their hair at home during the pandemic — of those, 85% said it was an effort to cover up their grays. That's not the only reason they dyed their hair: of those who dyed their hair at home during quarantine, many did so because they wanted to make a change with their hair (44%), or because they were being bored and looking for something to do (32%). Eighty percent also said they dyed their hair themselves, without any help from others. Interestingly enough, when learning to dye their hair, respondents most commonly turned to the internet and social media. Instagram was a top choice for respondents (30%), followed by Twitter (30%) or another website online (29%). "Even though most of us have swapped in-person meetings with virtual video chats, our hair is still one of the first things other people notice about us, which can make trying at-home hair color for the first time an intimidating experience," said Patty Slattery, Assistant VP of Technical Training and Education at Garnier. "That's why we have so many resources available to help anyone learn to dye their hair at home, including our Hair Color Hotline, livestreaming video sessions with our celebrity colorists and a Virtual Shade Selector that helps consumers select and try on different colors in the aisle or from home." Twenty-eight percent of those who dyed their hair during quarantine said they thought it was a good chance to dye their hair since they weren't going to work or to an office anytime soon. And some took advantage of this time at home to try a color they might not have otherwise (37%). Results also found 55% of those who dyed their hair at home during quarantine decided to try a bold color for the first time — and 31% said they're "very likely" to turn to a bold color again next year. For those who dyed their hair during quarantine, 35% said it was their first time dyeing their hair at home. "Before coloring your hair at home, the most important thing you need to understand is what color your hair already is," said Garnier Consulting Celebrity Hair Colorist Nikki Lee. "Is it light or dark? Cool or warm? Knowing this will help you figure out which colors will work best for you, either by comparing your current shade to the swatches on the side of the box or by using an online tool like Garnier's Virtual Shade Selector. "Hair density and length can also impact your final result," added Lee. "If you have really thick hair, I'd suggest grabbing two boxes."