To go gray, or not to go gray, that is the question. As natural beauty has battled its way into mainstream media, some celebrities have embraced something many of us are scared to rock: gray hair. On the flip side, there are also a number of famous people who have said they would rather not let their hair do what it’s going to do. For starters, there’s Jennifer Aniston, who told InStyle in 2019 that she would be sticking to her regular appointments with her hair colorist. “I’m not gonna lie — I don’t want gray hair,” she stated. In April 2020, L’Oréal spokesperson Eva Longoria covered up her gray roots at home and shared the process with her Instagram followers. And Cindy Crawford told People that she dyes her tresses because she “doesn’t want to see [gray hairs].” The supermodel added that she tries to ensure that her hair “looks natural.”
Hey, if someone does not want to go gray and has the means to change their hair color, they should not feel obligated to go gray. But if they do want to let the gray run its course? That is way cool, too. Just let your hair down and live your truth.
Today, there are quite a few stars who have come to favor their gray hair, and we are hair, er, here for it. Here are some of the celebs who look fantastic with gray hair.
Helen Mirren's laziness has made her love going gray
Over the past few years, actor Helen Mirren has been growing out her gray. She simply doesn’t care about dyeing it. “I’m so lazy about my hair!” she explained to People. “It’s a lot of work and as wonderful as many hairdressers are, I don’t want to sit in a salon for hours. I just can’t be bothered with that.”
The Oscar winner has even admitted to Allure that not only does she not dye her hair, but she does not use any heat on it either — and you better believe she always looks more fabulous than the rest of us, who cower in fear whenever we spot a gray hair coming in. “So, why not just embrace it, go along with it and welcome it?” Mirren asked People. “Make it a positive thing as opposed to a negative thing.”
Perhaps we can all learn a lesson from Mirren. In March 2020, she posted a photo to Instagram of her bedhead — but it wasn’t a candid reveal. Rather, it was for an important cause amidst the coronavirus pandemic. “In return for this pic of me literally first thing in the morning, please donate to the intensive care support,” she wrote. This woman is much too busy saving the world to bother looking in a mirror. She doesn’t need one, anyway!
Idris Elba missed his beard while filming Cats
Even the Sexiest Man Alive can be spotted with some gray hair here and there. When Idris Elba was officially named as such by People in 2018, he became one of the very few men whose cover photo featured a salt-and-pepper beard, and people loved it. “It was a nice surprise — an ego boost for sure,” he said. He’s also been named by Vogue as “one of Hollywood’s most stylish men,” and we’d certainly have to say that his gray facial hair has helped him get there.
However, in 2019, the iconic actor was forced to shave his mustache and beard for a role in Cats because it wouldn’t work with the green screen effects. “Whenever I have to shave off my facial hair it’s like ‘what the front door man,'” he admitted to his fans on Instagram (via Metro). “But then every now and again, as I get older, I just have to appreciate it.” Even so, he was not ready to bid the facial hair farewell for good. “I’m missing my s*** right now,” he laughed.
While we can all agree that Elba has aged quite gray-cefully, he admits it wasn’t always that way for him. As a kid, “I got picked on a little bit,” he admitted to People. “But as soon as I could grow a mustache, I was the coolest kid on the block.” Now, his beard full of gray is officially here to stay!
Jamie Lee Curtis' gray hair is a hit
Growing up on camera, actor Jamie Lee Curtis had always worried about her appearance. “I’ve had a little plastic surgery. I’ve had a little lipo. I’ve had a little Botox,” she admitted to The Telegraph. “And you know what? None of it works. None of it.” Ultimately, it’s what made this movie star decide to just embrace going gray. After all, aging is inevitable for all of us.
It all started when a cameraman made a comment about her appearance. It was so impactful that it caused Curtis to turn to plastic surgery. When she was given medication during her recovery, she became addicted (via Variety). From there, this actor found herself turning to even more plastic surgery to look exactly the way she wanted. However, as she told The Telegraph, she believed she “looked worse.” One day, a friend found her popping pills at home and urged Curtis to make a change. She worked to become sober, and how she felt about her own self image altered too. Now, she looks as amazing as ever.
When Curtis reprised her role in the horror film Halloween 40 years after the original, fans could see her showing off her gray hair. It seemed to be her way of finally embracing her own natural look. Just like her character, Laurie, in the classic slasher movie, “now she is taking back the power,” Curtis said on The View.
Patrick Dempsey pops up with gray hair now and again
McDreamy himself will do whatever is easiest with his hair, even if it means dealing with some gray here and there. “Whatever I can do to make it less painful for me to deal with is good,” actor Patrick Dempsey told InStyle, and that seems to be steering clear of the hair dye as often as he can. Over the past decade, Dempsey has been spotted with some natural gray streaks, and nobody seems to have a problem with it.
Even while in quarantine early in 2020, his wife, celebrity makeup artist and hairstylist Jillian Fink, released a video where she shows how she helps keep his gray hair alive. While she uses a color stick through his streaks, she likes to keep her man’s mane looking natural. “You can always keep going any gray hair to cancel out more,” she explained in the tutorial for her FYFE Beauty app (via People). “In fact, that is the best way to build in a natural way.”
However, in late 2020, Dempsey’s gray looked to be mostly covered. In a surprise appearance on Grey’s Anatomy in November 2020, Dempsey was seen with darker dyed hair once again. Yet, if you look closely at images co-star Ellen Pompeo posted online, you can see Dempsey still debuting some gray in his stubble. We’d all be okay if it happens to stay.
George Clooney isn't counting his gray hairs
People‘s Sexiest Man Alive of 1997 and 2006 happens to be another guy who went gray. Yes, we’re talking about salt-and-pepper icon George Clooney.
However, Clooney wasn’t so gung-ho about his gray hair at first. Though he’s been seen with it for nearly two decades, it wasn’t until he watched himself in his film Up in the Air did he wonder how and when he had aged. “Who’s the old, grey-haired guy?” He remembered asking himself, admitting to GQ, “It was me.” Since then, he’s welcomed his gray hair with open arms. As Clooney told BBC, you “can get older or die.” Guess it’s better to be gray than to be dead.
“I think for all of us, you have to come to terms with getting older and try not to fight it,” he told BBC. Nowadays, he believes altering his hair color makes him look even older, so you won’t ever see him dye his gray away. “I don’t think it would make much sense, quite honestly,” he admitted. The guy’s onto something: He’s already been named the Sexiest Man Alive with gray hair, after all.
Chris Pine has found other ways to look youthful
Actor Chris Pine finds getting older a lot easier than many of us do. “I’m enjoying the aging process and the gray hair and the wrinkles,” he told People. The men in his family started losing the color in their hair once they all hit their 30s, so it only makes sense that Pine has been spotted on multiple occasions with a graying beard.
While his speckled beard is now certainly in style, shaving it off is an easy alteration he makes whenever he’s wanting to feel younger. “I find the ritual of shaving very relaxing, but for every day, it’s pretty irritating on my skin,” he said. “So I like having the definition a beard gives.” And that means the gray isn’t going anywhere when he grows out his facial hair.
While Pine could easily take advantage of hair dye, it’s something we definitely won’t be seeing on the young star either. “I don’t think there’s anything less attractive than a man over-dyeing things on his face,” he shared. That’s not to say he hasn’t been making any changes to his look. As he admitted to People, he is “Botoxing on the daily.” A bottle of hair dye would definitely be much cheaper, but hey, whatever works for him!
Kelly Osbourne couldn't wait to go gray
While many of us have no choice but to embrace going gray, a 27-year-old Kelly Osbourne had other ideas. “I’ve always wanted to be young and have gray hair,” she revealed on an episode of The Talk (via Daily Mail). So, in 2012, she debuted a newly dyed ‘do. Osbourne has always been known to take risks with her hair color, so it wasn’t such a big shocker to see her silver tresses on TV. “I don’t exactly come from the most normal family,” she added. “I don’t get why anyone expects anything different from me.”
Osbourne had dreamed of dyeing her hair gray ever since she was a teenager. On a 2012 episode of Today, the TV personality recalled sneaking into her sister’s room and tearing a page out of a magazine that had “five supermodels with five old ladies that had five different rinses of gray.” She would go on to try “all of them” and fell in love with her lavender-tinged locks. Osbourne has changed her hair color many times since, but the silvery-purple has become her “look.” So, it seems safe to say the gray is here to stay.
Matt LeBlanc doesn't want to dye his hair anymore
During season two of the sitcom Friends, Matt LeBlanc was dealing with some drama behind-the-scenes: His hair was turning gray. Producers had to put an end to it, so LeBlanc was sitting for two hours at a time having his hair dyed darker. Unfortunately, LeBlanc wanted to put an end to that too. “Finally, I said to the hair guy, ‘You know, I was in the supermarket the other day, and they have this stuff called Just For Men,” he recalled on The Late Late Show with James Corden. LeBlanc asked the hairdresser if he could use the product for “five minutes” at home in lieu of getting his hair professionally dyed, and the stylist told LeBlanc it was “the same stuff.” So, he headed home and decided to try it out himself.
When he returned to work the next morning, not only had he dyed his hair darker, but the tips of his ears were dyed too. His hairdresser had left out one very important detail: he had to cover his ears with Vaseline. However, once LeBlanc got the hang of it, it ended up taking him way less than two hours to achieve the same look, and that became his at-home routine for several seasons.
When Friends finally came to an end, LeBlanc let his hair do its thing. “I couldn’t be bothered anymore,” he said. LeBlanc finally made friends with his gray hair. He was on a gray-eak. He’ll be hair for hue.
Steve Carell's gray hair sure got a lot of praise
While The Office star Steve Carell usually has us all laughing, there’s nothing funny about his silvery ‘do. It was in 2017 that Carell started the Internet’s newest obsession — with his gray hair. When he was spotted walking around London that year, people everywhere began to call this Foxcatcher star a silver fox. “Honestly take your Goslings and your Zayns Malik and give me 2017 Steve Carell,” one fan tweeted of the paparazzi photo. “someone plz tell me when Steve Carell got grey and turned into George Clooney’s brother,” another wrote (via Today).
During the premiere of his film Despicable Me 3, when he was questioned on his reaction to the raving reviews — of his new hair look, of course — Carell couldn’t believe the attention his hair was getting. “I am so sick of people just looking at me for my physical attributes,” he joked to ET. In all seriousness, he seemed pretty excited to be found so attractive by so many fans.
So what’s the secret to this comedian’s new color? “It’s just genetic. There’s nothing I can do,” he admitted. Frankly, there isn’t anything that needs to be done anyway.
Stacy London's hair went gray when she was a kid
“My hair is a big part of me,” Stacy London told Into the Gloss. And it’s probably safe to assume you haven’t seen the style icon without her gray streak of hair. However, her hair color was never by choice. Rather, it all has to do with her health. “I’ve had the grey streak since I got really sick when I was 11,” she explained. For years, she struggled with psoriasis, a disease that causes red, itchy patches on the skin. At one point, the patches covered nearly her entire body, and that’s when her gray hair appeared. “There was a deep sense of insecurity,” London admitted. “That I traded the grey streak in for as sort of a badge of honor.” Now, none of us could even imagine her hair without it!
However, in 2017, London traded in her silver strands for blonde ones, but this didn’t last long. Now, as one of the faces of Pantene, London has had a clause in her contract that won’t even let them touch her silver strand. “You can do whatever you want to my hair but you can’t dye my grey streak,” she explained to Into the Gloss. “It’s a part of me!”
Anderson Cooper's gray head of hair is iconic
We couldn’t have a list of gray-haired guys without including Anderson Cooper. Along with his piercing blue eyes, his silver strands are pretty iconic. “At this point, I feel like if I dyed my hair, everyone on the planet would know,” he admitted on Mondays with Marlo, and he’s not wrong.
This reporter started going gray when he was only 21 years old, and by the time he was 30, it had entirely taken over his head. Yet, even today, Cooper is still in denial. “Every time I look in the mirror, I still, in my mind, think I have brown hair,” he admitted on Live with Kelly (via People). “And then I’m like, ‘Who is that old guy?'”
Though Cooper sometimes can’t believe his hair isn’t the color it once was, there’s still something much scarier than going gray: He hates when his hairstylist washes his locks. “The idea of exposing your neck like that,” he cringed as he explained on Live with Kelly. “Have you seen The Godfather? That’s when they slit your throat!” Funny enough, a minor disaster struck when he cut his own hair in April 2020. While reporting for CNN, he turned his head only slightly and debuted a bald spot he had given himself. Whoops.
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