Grey hair, groovy chick: Roxan Gould

According to Radio 4’s Today programme, grey is the new blonde. Tell us something new, says Daniela Soave. We even have our own pin-up

If anyone could be a poster girl for high50.com, it’s Roxan Gould. She’s clearly a grown-up, yet everything about her radiates youth and vitality. You first saw the 52-year-old resident of Boulder, Colorado, on our pages a couple of months back when we used an image of her to illustrate an article about older models, and you’re seeing a lot more of her this autumn as one of the new faces of the M&S Classics campaign.

Roxan, a Californian, has been modelling since she was three years old. She modelled throughout university while she was studying for her first degree, and modelled in Germany and Paris, where she also acted in movies, for most of the Eighties.

But the turning point in her career came a dozen years ago, in America, when she cut off her dark hair and allowed herself to go grey.

“By the time I was 40 I’d been colouring my hair for ten years,” she says. “I was tired of being a slave to the salon. I was ready to give up my career because I didn’t want to falsify myself, and yet it catapulted me into a whole new niche.

“The curious thing is that although many strangers applaud me, some women are afraid to embrace their grey hair, in spite of liking mine and wanting it for themselves. They should go for it.  It’s so liberating.

“Nature knows the best colour for you. It softens the skin. It’s the most flattering colour you can wear. Our wrinkles look less strong.”

She says she is now booked for her look, rather than her category. “That’s a good sign. Just because you’ve got grey hair doesn’t mean you’ve got ten grandchildren and spend your life in a rocking chair. People are waking up to the fact that 50-somethings still have verve and youth.”

Roxan is a perfect case in point. She combines her international modelling career with motherhood (she has a 21-year-old son and a 12-year-old daughter). For the past decade she has been running a spiritual retreat in South Africa. She acts as a modelling coach, mentoring both young and older women who want to enter the profession, and she has studied for and gained her Masters degree.

“I feel like there’s so much to do and not enough time,” says Roxan. “Every day I want to be creative. Modelling is a great fit. The work is diverse, people are fantastic, it’s very creative, I get to travel, and I can fit my other interests around it.

“In the future I would love to have a discussion show, perhaps on the internet rather than television, which is aimed at people our age, where that’s the topic of conversation. It could reach a wide audience and that audience is only going to get broader. It’s unfolding that way already.

“I’ve never wanted to stop modelling. Yes, I took the risk and I had to manoeuvre through still waters when I first went grey, but it was short-lived. Now my sails are full.”