Gray Hair Is Back: Andie MacDowell Embraces A Natural Look At Cannes

Andie MacDowellPhoto Credit: Shutterstock

When Andie MacDowell stepped foot on the red carpet at Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, she felt extraordinarily powerful. Not only did the 63-year-old actress erupt a sensation among onlookers, but she exuded a sort of poise that could only be evoked through sheer confidence. See what happens when you ditch the hair dye and embrace your natural gray? 

During lockdown and after years of mulling over the idea, MacDowell chose to stop coloring her signature brunette curls. Perhaps it took her kids saying she “looked badass” with her “salt and pepper” locks (the combination of dark and silver hair) or the fact that she compared herself to George Clooney, but largely, she took the ultimate power move: She embraced who she was, where she was going and didn’t let anyone tell her otherwise. 

“​​During lockdown, I had a lot of downtime and became obsessed with Jack Martin, who did Jane Fonda’s hair,” MacDowell told Vogue. I shared those pictures with a lot of people going, ‘Hey, I want to do this.’ 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. 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!”


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Before going gray, MacDowell mentioned that she struggled to find inspiration from famous women. Instead, she turned to social media and found an array of real women who were transitioning to gray — many were actually young people in their 50s. 

One person said that when they saw themselves with colored hair, it just looked like they were trying to look younger. I think that’s what started to happen to me. The age on my face, to me, no longer matched. I somehow feel like I look younger because it looks more natural. It’s not like I’m trying to hide something. I think that it’s a power move, and that’s what I kept telling my managers. It’s exactly what I need to be doing right here,” MacDowell said. 

To keep her silver bright and vivid, MacDowell relies on a variety of silver-hair-color products: “I cautiously use purple shampoos on my hair because they’re drying. I use a lot more products that boost color, like foams or purple conditioners. I use a lot of purple conditioners to make it look silver, and it’s amazing how they work. I love L’Oreal’s different purple products.”

Ultimately, the actress feels she made a rather valuable decision with going gray. Not only did she point out that society doesn’t hold mature men to the same standards as mature women, but she feels the next generation of women should also help embrace the natural changes that come with age. 

“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,” MacDowell said. “And in a lot of ways, I think it’s more striking on my face. I just feel like it suits me.”