Be more Andie – find your happy (silver) hair

Andie MacDowell is happier because of her silver hair.

She told ‘People’ magazine In this interview: https://people.com/style/andie-macdowell-on-embracing-her-gray-hair-i-am-happier-i-really-like-it/   

“My sister’s full-on silver and she’s only 18 months older than me. I thought she looked so much more beautiful being silver. I was jealous.”  

The L’Oréal Paris international spokeswoman added:

“During COVID, I could see the roots with my face and with my skin and my eyes, and I liked it I felt that I would be happier, and I am happier. I really like it.

“I’m 64, and this is the time of my life. Eventually, I’m going to be silver. And I wanted to have this experience of feeling what it is.”

I can connect with this, even though I’m 49. Through my silver hair, I have found my happy. Not just because my hair is better than it’s been for years, but because I am better for it.

In ‘Four Weddings and a Funeral’ Hugh Grant tells Andie MacDowell:

“In the words of David Cassidy – while he was still with the Partridge Family – I think I love you.”

This is how I feel about my hair.

Unhappy Together

I’ve always had problematic hair. The type that makes stylists wince. I dreaded going to the salon, because I felt obliged to apologise for my hair’s lacklustre entrance.

It reached the stage where I considered creating ‘Love Actually’ style cue cards:

LET ME SAY

WITHOUT HOPE OR AGENDA

JUST BECAUSE IT’S CHRISTMAS

AND AT CHRISTMAS YOU TELL THE TRUTH

I’VE BEEN USING STRAIGHTENERS

AT 200 DEGREES

WITH NO HEAT PROTECTANT SPRAY

I WENT SWIMMING

WITHOUT A CAP

I DYED OVER THE FOUR PREVIOUS COATS OF DYE

AND USED SUN-IN

UNTIL I LOOKED LIKE THIS

My hair is crap. It’s not my fault!

Flat, Ironed

But love, actually it was. My hair was battered with bleach and dye, to disguise the grey. This resulted in hair that was so flat and tired it looked like it had sat through the season finale of ‘Lost’.

I thought: “I know what will help, let’s straighten it to give it some shine.” Hair was cooked a little more.

No wonder the hairdresser always called her colleague over to the assess the damage, as I begged for highlights.

“Just a few?” I would plead, with Sad Sam eyes, caressing the shiny foil packets. “I just need to survive the month.”

Now, with virgin silver hair, I strut into that salon like John Travolta with a tin of Emulsion. I do not fear the inquisition.

Cleopatra bathed in asses’ milk. My hair is doused in Ski Yoghurt. analyse that! I think you will find my silky hair is as pure as a baby unicorn’s tail.

“Perhaps you would like to show your colleague to compare notes,” I say smugly to the stylist, giving the client in the adjacent chair, a knowing wink as she gets her T-section frosted.

The stylist draws her breath and says: “Have you been using straighteners?”

How did she know? Is she the Eleven from ‘Stranger Things’ of hairdressing?

“Just those four times, the coward I am.” I confessed. “The vice-like grip of the irons was too much to resist. But I only used them at 160 degrees,” I say, as she shakes her head in disgust.

Transfixed with Netflix

I was never blessed with magnificent hair like Richard Curtis film heroines, Julia Roberts or Andie MacDowell. My hair was more ‘Knotting still.’ I had a life of mediocre hair at best.

But last year, I watched ‘Maid’ and finally I had something in common with Andie– the loss of hair colour pigmentation.

It was still the early days of my silver hair transition, but seeing her silver curls cascading majestically, inspired me. I was transfixed by the vision of silver before me. Kudos to silver hair stylist Jack Martin for his magical touch.

The next day I bought a blue, Penny Lane coat and vowed to keep my silver. I had also started doing the Curly Girl Method. Nowhere near Andie or Julia Roberts’ Pre-Raphaelite ringlets, but I could at least enter their hair stage – albeit in a supporting role, like Mrs Doyle in ‘Father Ted’ maybe.

Woman with silver hair
The famous blue coat

And now my silver is fully grown out and I couldn’t be happier. I understand Andie’s euphoria. My feelings changed from the initial horror and shame of having my grey roots on display, to acceptance and joy as the silver grew to compliment my skin and eyes.

The silver was far more flattering than the fried scarecrow wig, or the Edward Scissorhands hair to skin contrast that box dye gave.

Mother Nature did know best, and you can read about that revelation here: https://shinyhappysilver.com/2022/04/10/silver-transition-pt-3-one-year-of-silver/

Silver Hair Fever

Andie’s happy being silver. Dame Helen’s happy being silver. They were pictured dancing together on the red carpet recently.

When I tried to do a twirl with some of the silver sisters at my aunt’s 70th the doorman had me removed.

For the first time in a long time, I am happy with my appearance. Am I happy I can store a complete set of Encyclopedia Britannica on my C-section shelf? No. Are my teeth ever going to be Tom Cruise white? No. And at 5ft 1 and a size 14, will skinny jeans ever work?

I am finally at peace with my hair. It may never cascade over my shoulders like Wonder Woman, and it will always stick out in opposite directions. But I have won the hair lottery.

And it makes me sad when we doubt this transformation. Today, a woman with the most beautiful hair, posted on a Facebook group that she was considering dyeing again as she felt the white made her (43) look like an ‘old lady’.

She couldn’t see the beauty crowning her head, because of the number society’s done on her. In my new role as Ambassador to the United Silver Hair Nations, I encouraged her to own that majestic crown.

Reader, you will know of my love affair with my silver hair. I’m still in the Honeymoon period, and I wonder if it will wane?

It’s not just the look and feel of the silver. It’s the freedom, the contentment, the whole package. That makes me happy inside and out.

The only colour lift I get now, is the one in the mirror when I see my silvers shining back at me.

Happily ever after

The final part of this blog is that much-discussed last scene in ‘Four weddings and a funeral.

Andie MacDowell (Carrie) and Hugh Grant (Charles) are romancing in the rain:

Carrie: “Is it raining? I hadn’t noticed.” (Said no curly girl, ever).

Charles: “I’ve loved you from the first second I met you. You’re not going to away again, are you?”

This is how I feel about my grown out silver.

Just like the film, my love story ends with the words “I do!” to my hair.

18 comments

  1. Love this idea! The silver hair looks great! I love the style and really it’s a color like any other. It shouldn’t be negatively associated with age. Rather it’s part of embracing ourselves and rocking what fits best for us. We are all different after all. Thank you for talking about this!

  2. I have friend with beautiful siver hair. Im little bit jelaous) I`m happy I dont have to pretend being 20 years old girl when I`ll be over 60.

  3. You look AMAZING !! I love this idea you have tempted me to try it out. Thank you so much for sharing I love this a lot.

  4. What a beautiful post! Inspiring us all to love and accept ourselves just as we are. Thanks for sharing, such an enjoyable read 🥰

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