Photo via Sophie Fontanel/Instagram

French fashion journalist and social media star Sophie Fontanel documented her transition to grey hair on Instagram (@sophiefontanel; 134k followers). ‘I was fed up with dyeing my hair. It was too dark. To hard for my first wrinkles…’ And has written a book Une Apparition about growing in the grey. This week she’s on the cover of French Grazia. Love her style.

20 thoughts on “Grey-haired role model: Sophie Fontanel on the cover of French Grazia

  1. When my hair started turning white, instead of dying I had all of the color stripped and then let in grow in. It was less noticeable that way.

  2. Just what I needed to see, was having a day wondering if I had made the wrong decision to ditch my blonde highlights and grow in my grey. Thank you Alyson, I will stick with it. I am fed up of dying also.

    1. So true. I am an American living in Paris and it’s been so much easier transitioning here…so many beautiful heads of silver hair around for inspiration.

  3. I agree with La Contessa, grey and pink are so lovely together. I’m about to go from dark brown to grey. My appt. is set and I begin in 3 weeks. I can’t wait! Everyone has told me not to. At present, I’m 59 and, with my hair dark, people think I’m about 53. I didn’t want to lose those “6 years”, but then I realized I don’t need them. I used to be a copywriter in advertising, but they “retire” their creative people after 40 anyway. I’m now a painter and no one cares about my age. I’m also single and I worried that men wouldn’t find me attractive. But then I realized that any man who doesn’t find me attractive because of my hair will be unattractive to me for his …well, for everything! So, I’ll be grey soon and then I’ll have the freedom to play with my hair and style it any way I want without worrying about roots. I’m also going to get extensions and play that way too. Sorry for the long comment. I just book the appt yesterday so still in the throes!

  4. I just wish mine were the right sort of grey , i.e. uniform grey, thick and bouncy .
    Mine is fine and becoming wavy and wispy ,dark at the back then white around my face [which is also wrong being pale sallow ] .
    I hate the hassle attached to dyeing and don’t much like the rather drab results , but hey ho I soldier on!
    I accept the fact my hair is no longer great , but it’s a question of degree…….

  5. Zanna – I know what you mean about envying thick, bouncy silver hair. My BFF is so blessed and I am green with envy. At nearly 75, I have fine, floppy dark hair with only a few wisps of grey. I’ve had a few subtle, lighter highlights put in and it’s made a huge difference – my hair has a bit more body and the highlights grow out gradually with no hassle. I once read in a guide for older women: ‘spend any spare money on your hair’ and it’s good advice – not to get rid of grey hair, necessarily, but to have hair that’s superbly cut and cared for. It makes a huge difference.

  6. Hi, I went grey about six or so years ago when I was nearing 50. Haven’t regretted it at all.
    I looked at my brother’s hair which was silvering and gorgeous – think George Clooney – and thought why the hell am I coloring? I was coloring very dark, in imitation of my original color, I couldn’t lighten off to brown or other because my brows remained jet and looked weird combined with lighter hues. So I thought if it looks dashing on him why not on me?
    But some important things to think about.
    If you are grey you need to care about the style. Long or short – if you dont’t want it to look ageing. Make sure it’s a fabulous cut and in good condition. It’s also important to rethink your wardrobe. I had very, very dark hair (due to my part Indian heritage) and my wardrobe worked with that. When I went grey I found some colours that had worked with dark overwhelmed the grey (some reds) and some made me look just washed out (caramels, brown and beige). I find that some greys work well if they are cool greys and blacks look stunning too – I rarely wore black before. I’m careful with florals as they tread fearfully close to making me look like a granny. I dress more edgily now than I did before, I simply think that the more conservative clothes I used to wear combined with grey hair do look more aging.
    I’ve received lots of compliments on the color but I think the best (and most sincere) compliment I’ve had to date was at a function. I was about to depart, hanging near the host waiting my chance to bid him farewell, when I heard a man behind me say ‘I don’t understand this trend for young women to dye their hair grey’. I was laughing as I turned to say I don’t get it either. You should have seen his face! My host was in near hysterics, but had the charm to say ‘natural is beautiful’.

  7. Another interesting portrait and profile as an attractive dynamic woman who has grey hair. I know her name and writing as a reader of Elle French edition from my schooldays. Great that she should be the cover girl on Grazia there.
    Would that I had a full head of silvery hair. I’m on my second attempt to grow out a dye job and although ten years older have relatively little grey or white hairs. Now mostly around the face. Not an attractive look with the light brown bits. Dealing with this by having a good bobbed haircut and shiny hair. No one is probably thinking it looks bad but myself I realise. Too busy getting on with life and making each day count. And saving on hairdressers bills will be good too.

  8. In the throes of transitioning to grey/white. It is a strange process and not for the faint hearted. I agree that highlights help blend things a bit, but I still find the white roots rather alarming especially as I’ve now reached the stage where it looks as if I’ve accidentally missed a hairdresser’s appointment. It’s so reassuring to read all the other comments particularly about cut and condition and mismatched eyebrows.

  9. I have ‘cheated’ and half gone there. Still dyeing my short bob brown but have left two thick silver/white streaks either side of my parting which I originally grew out to see what my natural colour actually was! – Have had loads of lovely comments and I love it. Not sure if I am ready for the ‘full grey look’ but may change my mind when I hit my 50’s

  10. Exactly one year ago I had my final root touch up. Since I’ve often worn my hair in short layers I did that, as well as getting all-over highlights to help ease the process. There was only a short 4-6 week period that was difficult. In the early months I’d use a temporary root touch up powder “streaking” small areas around the hairline & part. A couple of months ago my gorgeous younger daughter said, “I wasn’t on board with this, but I think it looks great now. Like others I have lots of grey in front and quite a bit of dark in back; but my curly hair seems to now frizz less in the ocean air (still waiting for our winter weather to kick in here in California to test that fully!) Completely agree with others that it is essential to doublecheck your makeup & wardrobe colors. And buy the most expensive, darkest purple shampoo you can find.

  11. The pressure to color our hair as we age is hard to ignore. It’s wonderful that there are more options now than before for women who want to go gray. I think hearing from women about how they feel about the process, as in the above comments, is really encouraging for someone like myself who is just beginning to gray at 47. Having great personal style and confidence no doubt can only help with the transition.

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