In Hollywood — where staying youthful looking is an absolute obsession — many stars would never dream of letting their gray hair show as they age. Unlike plastic surgery, a simple trip to the colorist is the quickest way to erase their white roots and look younger. But more and more stars these days are saying yes to Father Time and allowing their natural gray locks to flow free.
Model turned actress Andie MacDowell turned heads when she arrived at the Cannes Film Festival in July 2021 with long salt and pepper locks. The Groundhog Day star later explained that she’s “never felt more powerful” by letting her gray hair show.
“At the very beginning of quarantine, my hair started growing and every time my kids would see me, they kept telling me I looked badass with my gray hair. When I pulled it up in a bun, all you could see was the salt and pepper, which is what I am, you know, dark and silver … I’ve been saying for a while now it was time for me, personally, to make that transition because I felt like it was appropriate for my personality and just who I am, Andie told Vogue in a July 21, 2021, interview.
Even though she wanted to finally take the plunge with her hair, Andie’s management team advised against it. “I got a job and very quickly I had to make up my mind about what I was going to do. My managers had actually said to me, ‘It’s not time.’ And I said, ‘I think you’re wrong, and I’m going to be more powerful if I embrace where I am right now,’” she continued. “It’s time because in two years I’m going to be 65. If I don’t do it now, I won’t have the chance to be salt and pepper. I always wanted to be salt and pepper!”
“Once I did it, it was just so clear to me that my instincts were right because I’ve never felt more powerful. I feel more honest. I feel like I’m not pretending. I feel like I’m embracing right where I am. I feel really comfortable. And in a lot of ways, I think it’s more striking on my face. I just feel like it suits me,” the stunned confessed.
It was Jane Fonda finally deciding to take the plunge and debut her new silver fox look at the 2020 Oscars that helped Andie in her decision. “During lockdown, I had a lot of downtime and became obsessed with Jack Martin, who did Jane Fonda’s hair. I shared those pictures with a lot of people going, ‘Hey, I want to do this,” she told the publication.
Andie isn’t the only celebrity who decided to finally go gray because of the COVID-19 lockdown. Mom star and Oscar winner Allison Janney did the same thing. “It started out with just COVID choices, you know. I was in Ohio for five months of the pandemic,” she told People TV in February 2021. “My natural color started growing in — which is gray. And then I thought, you know, I’ve always wanted to cut it off and do a Helen Mirren thing. I just wanted to try it.”
Scroll down for the before and after photos of celebrities who are proud of their natural gray hair.