Fifty shades of grey hair, as royals and celebs go natural

·3-min read
STOCKHOLM, SWEDEN - NOVEMBER 24:  Queen Letizia of Spain leaving the Nobel Museum after seeing a special exhibition on Santiago Ramon y Cajal on November 24, 2021 in Stockholm, Sweden. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)
Queen Letizia of Spain in Stockholm this week. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Going grey is the new dye job - or at least, it is for many celebrities, who struggled to access their usual salon transformations in lockdown, and decided to embrace ageing.

Sarah Jessica Parker, Model Kristen McMenamy and actress Andie McDowell, currently starring in Maid, have all let the grey in, while stylish Sophie Wessex is increasingly letting the white sparklers show through the blonde.

She's not the only royal who's gone au naturel, as style influencer and European icon Queen Letizia of Spain has now gone down the same route. 

Watch: Spain's King Felipe VI and Queen Letizia ride public city bus for first time

This week, she arrived on a visit to Stockholm wrapped in a Carolina Herrara cape - one of Meghan Markle's favourite designers - and with streaks of grey in her glossy, chocolate-brown mane of hair.

Queen Letizia, 49, is a former news journalist, who married King Felipe VI in 2004, and holds huge style influence in her native Spain. She became Queen on the abdication of Philip's father, Juan Carlos, in 2014.

Read more: Jane Fonda, 83, reveals why she’s happy she embraced her natural grey hair

Another A list beauty, Salma Hayek has also drawn attention to her greying hair, captioning an Instagram post last year, "The white hair of wisdom."

Some have undergone the transition quietly, while others have spoken openly about ageing and their feelings about embracing the grey.

"The age on my face, to me, no longer matched" Andie McDowell told Vogue this summer. "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," She added, "I've never felt more powerful. I feel more honest. I feel like I'm not pretending. 

CANNES, FRANCE - JULY 06: Actress Andie McDowell attends the
Andie McDowell feels going grey is a power move. (Photo by Marc Piasecki/FilmMagic)

"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 added.

Actor Alison Janney who played CJ in political drama The West Wing and co-starred with Margot Robbie in I, Tonya, said this year, "I cannot tell you how amazing it is to feel free — free from hair colour, and hair extensions, and hair tapes, and blah blah blah."

Even Jane Fonda, who was synonymous with her blonde hair for decades, embraced her 80s by appearing at the 2020 Oscars with chic grey hair. 

Jane Fonda presents the Oscar for Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., February 9, 2020. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni
Jane Fonda presents the Oscar for Best Picture at the 92nd Academy Awards (REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni)

Read more: Dawn French shows off her major hair transformation

Jamie Lee Curtis, 62, has also gone white,. She said, "The epiphany came when I was sitting in a hair salon thinking, 'What the eff am I doing putting a chemical on my head that burns?'"

Other glorious grey-goers include Gwyneth Paltrow, who has recently let her blonde mix with natural greys, Meryl Streep, and comic actor Tina Fey. 

Clearly, grey-world is an attractive and enticing place to be these days. It works for men too, of course. Just ask George Clooney.

Watch: Sarah Jessica Parker slams 'misogynistic chatter' about SATC reboot

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