If you’re on Instagram, you may have seen Roxanne Gould. While young “influencers” are prolific on the social media platform, Gould is a mature woman who has amassed more than 150,000 followers. A fashion model for more than 50 years, she appeared on magazine covers and in ad campaigns throughout the ’70s and ’80s. It’s her substantial social media presence, however, that’s enabled her to remain relevant in an industry that’s notorious for prioritizing youth.
Gould’s signature is her long, gray hair — rather than hiding it, she embraces it, and encourages her followers to do the same. Many women went this route during the pandemic, deciding to keep their grays after salon shutdowns forced them to take a hiatus from coloring their hair. Not Gould, though. She commenced her gray hair journey several years prior, and has since collected a wealth of knowledge on how to make gray hair look its best — from both personal and professional experience. Here, she shares her expertise with Woman’s World.
Remember that the journey to acceptance isn’t always easy.
Roxanne Gould looks confident flaunting her grays now — but that wasn’t always the case. She found her first gray hair at 27 years old and, in her own words, “wasn’t ready for that change!” She plucked it out, praying it wouldn’t damage her career, and proceeded to dye her hair for the next 10 years — until she reached a point where she got sick of “monthly salon appointments, using strong chemicals, and trying to cover up who [she] was.” Gould was just about ready to give up on modeling; but as fate would have it, her gray hair gave her a unique look in the fashion industry. Years after finding that first gray, she’s working more than she ever expected. While you may worry that grays will reveal your own natural aging process, Gould urges people to “jump into that fear” — after all, you never know what the results might be. You may end up accessing a newfound confidence, plus you’ll inevitably save money skipping all those salon appointments!
Find the products that work for you.
Gould stopped dyeing her grays, but that doesn’t mean she quit following a haircare routine. There’s been a lot of trial and error involved in finding the best products for her locks. “I’ve tried a lot of hair products in the past,” she shares. “Today, my favorites are Redken and Kerastase, for both regular and purple shampoos and conditioners.” (Purple shampoo can restore the smoothness and luminosity of gray hair.) Gould’s favorites are Redken Blondage Color Depositing Purple Shampoo (Buy from Amazon, $25) and Kerastase Blond Absolu Hydrating Illuminating Shampoo (Buy from Amazon, $23.46).
Gould is also a fan of Olaplex, a brand who makes a leave-in styling treatment (Buy from Amazon, $30), as well as Oribe’s Silverati line, which is specifically made for silver hair, and includes an Illuminating Pomade (Buy from Amazon, $39). Gould is always open to discovering new products, and she’s particularly interested in using ones that are vegan and environmentally friendly. To that end, she’s recently been enjoying Authentic Beauty Concept’s Hydrate Cleanser Shampoo (Buy from Amazon, $31), which features naturally moisturizing ingredients like mango and basil extracts. You can find more of Gould’s favorite products on her site.
Follow these three styling tips.
Once you’ve let your natural gray come through, there are some tips Gould recommends for styling it. “The many professional hair stylists that have worked on me over the years have taught me a lot,” she says, and she enjoys passing on what she’s learned to other women. “Because gray hair is more porous, over time, hair products and heating tools can change the color and give it a yellow tinge,” she notes. Here are the three ways she prevents this from happening, and keeps her silver hair looking shiny and smooth.
- Avoid using heated tools. “I air-dry my hair as often as possible,” Gould says, as heat can cause breakage and dryness — both things you want to avoid when maintaining your grays.
- Wash off styling products as soon as possible. “Don’t let styling products stay on your hair for days at a time,” she advises. Why? Product buildup can give gray hair a brassy tone and weigh down your strands.
- Avoid dryness with a leave-in conditioner. “Gray hair tends to be dryer than other hair colors,” notes Gould, so it’s vital to keep it hydrated. Her favorite leave-in conditioner is the Oribe Silverati Illuminating Treatment Masque (Buy from Nordstrom, $63); if this is too pricey, there are many other conditioners at different price points you can try. Just be sure not to leave the conditioner on longer than the package advises, per Gould’s above tip about avoiding product buildup.
In addition to being a model and influencer, Gould also works as a life coach and meditation teacher, and even recently published a memoir, More Than Just a Pretty Face: Lessons Learned from a Lifetime in Front of the Camera (Buy from Amazon, $17.99). Her tendency to practice mindfulness is apparent in how she talks about her gray hair.
Radical acceptance, or accepting situations that are outside of your control, is an essential part of mindful living — and it applies not just to existential issues, but also physical ones. Gould has convinced many women to go gray, having countless conversations about the joys and challenges of the process. She reflects: “Too often women have shared that they fear their family or friends won’t like how they look if they go gray, even though they long to do it.” She urges women to consider why they are willing to put the concerns of others before themselves. So, if you’re starting to feel tired of covering your grays, try to get past your fears of what others might think. As Gould puts it, “if you make yourself happy first, then you’ll be in a better position to make others happy.”
Gould’s journey toward accepting and ultimately embracing her gray hair has been a long one — but it has resulted in tranquility. “Having gray hair has strengthened me as a woman and given me more self-confidence and a sense of peace,” she explains. With gray hair, “I show up in the world as I truly am” — and in a time when mature women so often feel pressured to appear younger than their age, the notion that gray hair can be a source of peace rather than stress is a welcome one indeed.
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