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Andie MacDowell’s Managers Told Her Not to Go Gray, But She’s ‘Never Felt More Powerful’

Country Living logo Country Living 7/29/2021 Kayla Blanton
a close up of Andie MacDowell: Andie MacDowell is embracing her natural gray hair at 63—but her managers were hesitant about the decision and how it would impact her acting career. © Kate Green - Getty Images Andie MacDowell is embracing her natural gray hair at 63—but her managers were hesitant about the decision and how it would impact her acting career.

  • Andie MacDowell, 63, says she’s “never felt more powerful.” since embracing her natural gray hair.
  • At first, she was hesitant to make the change, especially because her managers said it wasn’t the right time.
  • Now, she loves the look and she hopes it will encourage a more age-positive environment for women in Hollywood and around the world.

By this time, you’ve probably witnessed the breathtaking beauty that is Andie MacDowell’s salt-and-pepper hair. She first debuted her natural grays on Instagram, and then took it to the red carpet for this year’s Cannes Film Festival. And now that the hard part is over—revealing what’s stereotypically an “aged” look in Hollywood—MacDowell says she’s “never felt more powerful.”

The actress, 63, spoke with Vogue about her thought process leading up to the change, and how she hopes it will inspire the world to embrace women aging naturally in the same way it does men.

“I did Google actors with salt-and-pepper hair. There’s lots of men that do it!” she explained. She said she likes to compare her shade to George Clooney’s, who is widely celebrated for the “edgy” look. And once she started exposing herself to more people who have gone gray, she quickly realized that her previously colored brunette hair made it look like she was trying to look younger, which she didn’t like.

Video: Andie MacDowell asks if it's still raining in Four Weddings and a Funeral (The Independent)


“The age on my face, to me, no longer matched. I somehow feel like I look younger because it looks more natural,” she said. “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.”

Believe it or not, MacDowell’s managers didn’t think it was the right time to go gray, but she pushed for it, because it’s her hair after all. “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,’” she recalled.“‘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!’”

Andie MacDowell wearing a dress: gettyimages-1327507551 © Stephane Cardinale - Corbis - Getty Images gettyimages-1327507551

Her managers were hesitant to approve the look because they knew that it could potentially limit her work prospects, which did intimidate MacDowell at first, but she got over it. “I was so cautious because I didn’t want anybody to be upset, and I was trying to figure out how I could wear wigs to please people. But then once I did it, it was just so clear to me that my instincts were right,” she admitted. “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.”

To care for her silver strands, she stays away from purple shampoos because they can be drying, but she loves a good purple conditioner. “It’s amazing how they work. I love L’Oreal’s different purple products,” she said.

Her new look has already inspired many, and although she’d never judge another woman for coloring her grays, she hopes her bold move can at least create some pause for reflection.

“I don’t want people to have the expectation that I need to look younger to have value or to be beautiful or desirable,” she said. “We don’t do that to men! We love an older man. We love men as they age. I would love the same expectation for women, and we’re getting know, baby steps.”


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