Lockdown’s silver lining: Andie MacDowell let her grey grow out — here’s how you can too

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The 63-year-old actress and model walked the 2021 Cannes Film Festival red carpet with new cascading, salt-and-pepper-hued curls. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)
The 63-year-old actress and model walked the 2021 Cannes Film Festival red carpet with new cascading, salt-and-pepper-hued curls. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Going grey, getting old, right?

Well, thanks to some very glam celebs, silver strands are no longer the preserve of the aged. 

As Andie MacDowell made clear on the Cannes 2021 red carpet at the premiere of Annette earlier this week, silver and grey are now unequivocally the shades du jour.  

The 63-year-old’s locks were styled in its curly state, with a voluminous mélange of silver, grey and her natural brunette colouring contrasting beautifully with her blue Prada gown.  

She finished off the look with metallic light-green eyeshadow highlight her inner corners, and a nude rosy lip colour. 

The veteran actress and model was a vision.

After growing out her greys during the pandemic lo
After growing out her greys during the pandemic lockdown, Andie MacDowell has fully leaned into embracing her natural hue. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

As Andie recently said, “age isn’t a detriment”, and the physical effects of ageing are just as beautiful as markers of youthfulness. 

She wasn’t the only silver fox on the red carpet.

Andie was joined by Dame Helen Mirren (75), whose silver-white top knot was another of the night’s best hair looks; and Jodie Foster (58) who sported some flattering grey strands around her face, demonstrating an excellent way to allow hair to grow out.  

Fast and the Furious actress Helen Mirren paired h
Fast and the Furious actress Helen Mirren paired her bright yellow Dolce & Gabbana gown with a silver-white top knot on the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)
The Mauritanian's Jodie Foster looked chic in a Gi
The Mauritanian's Jodie Foster looked chic in a Givenchy column dress, with some flattering grey strands in her hair. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

Like many other women in the pandemic left without their long-standing safety blanket of colour appointments, Andie decided to stop dyeing her greys during quarantine. 

A few months ago, she told Drew Barrymore that her daughters, Rainey (31) and Margaret Qualley (26), helped inspire her to embrace her silver locks.  

“I wasn't colouring my hair and you could see my roots, and my daughters kept telling me that I looked badass,” she told the actress-turned-host.  

While Andie hasn’t decided whether she’ll stick with the natural look post-pandemic, she’s enjoying rocking the “silver-fox” look for the time being. 

“When I first did it, I went to the grocery store because we had no place to go and I thought I looked good, and I saw a man there . . . A guy you see and go, ‘He’s a silver fox’,” she recounted. 

“I immediately just put my shoulders back, and I was like, ‘And so am I’. We kind of shot a look at each other and I was like, ‘I’m a silver fox'.” 

The Four Weddings & a Funeral actress is striving to break the stigma of ageing, revealing that she “always” corrects those who refer to her “silver” locks as grey. 

“It’s not that I’m letting myself go. I don’t think of it that way,” she explained. 

One of the biggest contributing factors to the “greyformation” has been the pandemic, says renowned London colourist Shona Bain. 

“There has been an incredible rise in women embracing their natural greys lately,” she says. 

“For a lot of women, lockdown was the perfect opportunity to finally grow out that tint they’d been having every six weeks. It’s given people a chance to see their natural colour, and most of my clients, who would have wanted every white covered, are now happy to see greys.” 

At the screening of Tout S'est Bien Passe, Andie w
At the screening of Tout S'est Bien Passe, Andie wore a Grecian-inspired Versace frock with her hair pulled into an elegant, wispy low ponytail. (PHOTO: Gallo Images / Getty Images)

So, you’ve decided to embrace your gorgeous grey. Here are hair and makeup tricks to really ramp up your look.

Grey hair starts showing up anywhere between the ages of 34 and 44. As you get older your hair falls out, and when it grows out again it’s grey because your body has stopped producing melanin. If you produce grey hair in your early twenties, it’s genetic.  

How to take care of it 

Grey hair tends to feel a bit dry compared to hair with pigment, and this is because the sebaceous glands attached to the root of the hair no longer produce enough sebum. The cuticle is thinner too, meaning the hair is vulnerable to the weather, chemicals and heat styling.  

If the cuticle is compromised, hair loses moisture too and so it tends to be prone to dryness. The hair may feel finer too, so extra nourishment is essential. 

Swop your old products for the following: 

• Intensely moisturising shampoo and conditioner These will make sure your hair stays hydrated. And because grey hair tends to show dirt quicker, washing it frequently won’t deplete the moisture levels.  

• Silicone serum This smooths the hair and keeps moisture locked in. 

• Nourishing scalp mask This keeps the hair hydrated and soft.  

• Less heat Go easy with straighteners and hairdryers to prevent your hair from being dry.  

• Argan oil and hot-oil treatment Hot-oil treatment repairs damaged and dry hair and will deeply nourish locks. Argan oil on its own has multiple benefits, it’s rich in antioxidants, which means it protects the hair from environmental stress as well as styling tools that use heat. It’s also super-hydrating.  

TIP Eyebrows frame your face so don’t forget to groom them. Mature women should avoid harsh black brows. Warmer browns are friendlier to grey hair.

How to style it

• Soft curls usually work well for grey hair. You can use jumbo rollers or blow-wave your hair.

• A sleek or whimsical updo is always a winner.

• Adorn your hair with white or silver accessories to complement your grey strands.

• Straight, sleek locks work with any type of hair. Consider getting a keratin treatment for manageable hair with minimal frizz that’s also easy to style because it’s straighter.

• A pixie cut is simple, chic and clean. It’s a fresh way to show off your silver tresses.

Keep it natural 

Flesh tones with slight accentuations to the lashes and brows work very well for grey hair. Don’t overdo the blush. A little goes a long way.

The colour code 

The most dramatic thing you can do is have a popping lipstick or eyeliner. If you must have colour on both your eyes and lips, choose the same colour otherwise it will be overkill.The colours you choose should have cool undertones, like a soft pink, purple, grey/silver, plum and red. Corals also look great on older women. 



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