Andie MacDowell Told to Avoid Gray Hair Surprise on Cannes Red Carpet

When Andie MacDowell walked the red carpet at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this month, she surprised many of her longtime fans by embracing her grey hair. During the coronavirus lockdown, the Groundhog Day star chose to stop coloring her hair and hopes to make her silver looks part of her image. In an interview with Vogue, the 63-year-old star said her managers tried to talk her out of it, but she proved them wrong.

At the start of quarantine, MacDowell's hair started getting longer and her children said she looked "bada—" with the 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," the Four Weddings and a Funeral star explained to Vogue. "I like to compare myself to George Clooney because why not? 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."

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(Photo: VALERY HACHE/AFP via Getty Images)

Since she had some extra downtime, MacDowell "became obsessed" with Jack Martin, who has done Jane Fonda's hair. She shared those pictures with some of her friends and said she planned to go gray too. When she was cast in another project, her managers told her it was not the time to stop coloring her hair. MacDowell disagreed. "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,'" she recalled.

MacDowell was apprehensive about letting her hair go gray at first, adding that she was "so cautious because I didn't want anybody to be upset." She was trying to figure out how she could wear wigs to "please people." But once MacDowell did go gray, "it was just so clear to me that my instincts were right because I've never felt more powerful," she told Vogue. "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."

She gained some extra confidence in the look after noticing how many men have salt-and-pepper hair, and it doesn't stop them from getting jobs. MacDowell began to feel that the age on her face "no longer matched" her colored hair. She believes she looks younger now because her hair looks natural. "It's not like I'm trying to hide something," MacDowell said. "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."

Although MacDowell is embracing her salt-and-pepper color, she is still doing using some silver-hair-color products. "I cautiously use purple shampoos on my hair because they're drying," she told Vogue. "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."

At the end of her interview, MacDowell said she will not judge others for their choices, but she does hope people "stop and consider how we think about mature men and how we think about mature women and really start gauging what we say and what we project." She later said that changes "need to be made for my generation of women and the next. I just want people to reflect on it is all."


MacDowell shares three children, Justin, Rainey, and Margaret Qualley, with her first husband, Paul Qualley. She stars in the upcoming Netflix series Maid, co-starring her daughter Margaret, Nick Robinson, and Anika Noni Rose. She also stars in the upcoming movie Along for the Ride, which will also be released on Netflix.