40 Male Celebrities Who Prove Salt and Pepper Hair Is Always in Style

george clooney in a tux walking red carpet


With age comes maturity, wisdom, and the inevitable gray hairs. And while many of us try to do whatever we can to turn back the clock, some of us are starting to challenge this antiquated mindset and instead, embrace signs of aging—gray hair and all. According to hairstylist Andrew Fitzsimons, “Oftentimes, there is a want to hide the natural aging process as much as possible, but [salt and pepper] hair color embraces that and celebrates the real, natural you. This can be extremely liberating for those who are looking to make a statement against standard beauty norms." So if you're ready to jump on the salt and pepper bandwagon, read on for 40 different salt and pepper hair looks inspired by celebs.

Salt and Pepper Hair

Maintenance level: Low to medium. If you have lighter-colored hair, it will be easier to blend your grays. However, those with darker tresses may need to put in a little more work to maintain their color, especially if grays are not natural.

Goes great with: All skin tones and undertones

Similar shades: Gray, white, silver

Price: $40-$100 if you're naturally going to gray and want to maintain tone; $200-$400 if you are not naturally going gray and require bleach/color

01 of 40

High Skin Fade

Idris Elba with a Caesar haircut

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Unless you've got serious clipper skills, it's best to head to the barbershop to replicate Idris Elba's tight high fade. “I like to call this one ‘with a touch of gray’ because, as you can see, he lets his natural hair color shine through with some gray peeking through in his beard,” says Fitzsimons. “A full beard like this complements his heart-shaped face by drawing attention to his upper face and eyes to balance it all out.” Just don't forget the beard oil, notes Rietveld. Velvet Noir Signature Beard Oil ($17) is one of our faves.

02 of 40

Tousled Waves

Patrick Dempsey with tousled salt and pepper hair

Stephane Cardinale / Corbis / Getty Image

If you have naturally wavy hair, show off your texture with a lifted, tousled style à la Patrick Dempsey. We love how the salt and pepper color scheme serves to highlight this cut's dimension and movement. A little bit of pomade, like Bumble and bumble Sumotech ($32), will help to add further texture to strands and keep this look lifted.

03 of 40

Natural Crop

Kingsley Ben-Adir with salt-and-pepper hair and beard

Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images

If you like to rock a beard—or are thinking of growing one—let Kingsley Ben-Adir be your guide. His impeccable beard seems to echo his close natural crop and makes for the perfect face-framing look. Fitzsimons advises styling with light oils and leave-in conditioners to moisturize curls while enhancing gray hair's shine. Scotch Porter Smooth & Shine Hair Serum ($20) will get the job done.

04 of 40

Loose Pompadour

Kumail Nanjiani with a loose pompadour

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Kumail Nanjiani's pompadour is a 1950s style that remains popular today. Shorter on the sides with a little fullness and lift on the top, he finishes off this look with strong sideburns. “Because he has a square jaw, this cut softens the lines and his overall look,” says Rietveld. Meanwhile, “His salt and pepper hair color is elevated with the soft tussle above his head, which I think gives it a more boyish look,” adds Fitzsimons. To style, Rietveld recommends towel drying hair and working in a thickening, matte-finish paste-like Reuzel Fiber Cream ($15). Then, blow-dry the front for added fullness, and follow with more paste for extra structure and volume. 

05 of 40

Classic Quiff

Chris Pine with a classic quiff

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Low-maintenance yet versatile, haircuts that are shorter on the sides and longer on top are some of the most popular styles for men. Here, Chris Pine is sporting one such look: the quiff. "Since he has lighter brown hair with soft, natural highlights, the gray helps blend the color of the grow-out,” says Rietveld. “It also showcases the fullness of his hair, and the cool gray undertones pair well with his cool blue eyes.” To get Pine's dapper 'do, Rietveld suggests spritzing a salt spray onto damp hair, then blow-drying to add texture and volume.

According to Fitzsimons, if you've got a square-shaped face, show off your jawline. A low beard with minimal amounts of gray will add some softness to angles.

06 of 40


Antonio Banderas with a Caesar haircut

JB Lacroix / WireImage / Getty Images

All hail, Antonio Banderas! His Caesar haircut is a classic style that features a short fringe. Those with thin or thinning hair will appreciate this cut since it doesn't require much of a mane to pull off. And not only that but Banderas's version sports gray sides with a dark top that naturally draws the eye upward, giving the illusion of more hair atop the head.

07 of 40

Wavy Crop

Mark Ruffalo with salt and peppper hair

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Working with your natural texture will not only cut down on style time but, in Mark Ruffalo's case, it will also give you a covetable red-carpet look. “It would be a crime to have beautiful waves like Mark's and not let it grow out,” Fitzsimons says. “The curls sit nicely on the top but cut down at the sides to give them some attention, which continues in length to his full beard.” It also opens up his face, making it more proportional to the longer length of the hair, adds Rietveld.

08 of 40

Short and Side-Swept

Jackie Chan with short salt-and-pepper hair

Michael Loccisano / Getty Images

Skip the trip to your colorist—a shimmer of gray hair is the equivalent of natural highlights. Here, they add dimension to Jackie Chan's dark, straight hair. To style, simply brush hair to the side and spritz with non-scented Fragfre Hair Finishing Spray ($18) to boost volume and shine.

09 of 40

Curly Crop

Nick Sagar with curly salt-and-pepper hair

Emma McIntyre / Getty Images

Nick Sagar's curly crop has got the best of both worlds: It's short enough to manage thick hair and long enough to show off natural texture. Glistening with grays, “It’s a nice mixture of salt and pepper," says Rietveld. “Plus, being higher on top, this style lengthens his face."

A cut that features volume, texture, and/or lift on top works well on oval-shaped faces but would be especially flattering on round face shapes. It draws the eye upward and elongates a rounder face, bringing balance.

10 of 40

Wavy and Grown Out

Jeff Bridges with wavy gray-blonde hair

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

Talk about salt and white pepper hair at its finest. Jeff Bridges has been donning this undulating longer 'do for some time now, even before grays came peeking in. It's the perfect style to transition to gray hair as grays blend seamlessly into blonde color.

11 of 40

Ivy League

Ryan Reynolds with ivy league salt and pepper hair

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A slightly longer version of the crew cut, Ryan Reynolds's Ivy League features soft tapering, length on top, and a side part that goes into a slight comb-over. “It’s a salt and pepper ombré, so to speak,” says Rietveld. “He doesn’t have a ton of gray on the top of his head, so he keeps the gray sides shorter and the top longer to accentuate the brown tones. You can also tell his hair is receding a bit, and the gray helps to camouflage the recession.” To add shine and keep hair in place, Fitzsimons recommends using a bit of styling wax.

Meet the Expert

12 of 40


Ken Watanabe with a salt and pepper comb over

Arnold Jerocki / Getty Images

Salt and pepper color plays out wonderfully in Ken Watanabe's gentleman's cut and perfectly groomed facial hair. His short comb-over is a go-to style for thin hair and flatters a receding hairline. Style by sprinkling on some volumizing powder, such as Slick Gorilla Volumizing Matte Effect Hair Styling Powder ($17), then follow your natural part line—or create your own—and comb hair over ever-so-slightly to one side. Baxter of California's Comb ($23) will ensure every hair is put in its place.

13 of 40

Crisp Crew Cut

Laurence Fishburn salt-and-pepper hair and beard

Venturelli / WireImage / Getty Images

Clean, neat, and low-maintenance, Laurence Fishburn's crew cut pairs perfectly with textured tresses. “You can see his grays have a coarser texture, so he keeps it short all the way around with no harsh lines. He embraces his gray, so it ends up making him more youthful,” says Rietveld. To keep this style moisturized and frizz-free, Fitzsimons suggests a bit of styling gel or curl cream.

14 of 40

Short and Textured

Gael Garcia Bernal with short and textured salt-and-pepper hair

George Pimentel / WireImage

Gael García Bernal's clean-cut look gets some edge with salt and pepper color and a few wispy strands. If you have straight locks like García Bernal, ask your barber to throw in some texture by cutting the longer, top portion into varying lengths. The effect creates a cool and effortless aesthetic.

15 of 40

Classic Sideswept

Viggo Mortensen with salt-and-pepper hair

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

Viggo Mortensen's hair is a timeless classic. “His ‘do is perfectly coifed with medium ends to give him both a relaxed yet elegant look, which works perfectly for a rounder face like his,” says Fitzsimons. To get the look, apply a dime-sized amount of Oribe Hair Cream for Style ($42) to hair and brush through using a fine-toothed comb.

16 of 40

Stylized Crew Cut

Steve Carell with a crew cut with salt and pepper hair

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Steve Carrell's 'do is short and neat all the way around, but natural enough to allow hair to do whatever it wants. “What’s great about this is that the sideburns blend down into the beard line, which works well on his face because the rounded soft haircut meshes with the rounded hair on the beard and rounded glasses,” says Rietveld. “This style is super simple and highlights Steve's longer face naturally,” adds Fitzsimons. After towel drying, apply a low-shine styling product like Reuzel Grooming Cream ($13) with fingertips to hydrate and define hair. 

17 of 40

Hard Part

Charles Venn salt-and-pepper hair and beard

Eamonn M. McCormack / Getty Images

If your hair is too short to part naturally, follow Charles Venn's lead and get a hard part. It's what makes this minimalist style so eye-catching. That, and his salt and pepper color, of course.

18 of 40

Sideswept Quiff

Chris Noth salt-and-pepper hair with mustache

Astrid Stawiarz / Getty Images

Another quiff haircut to make our list, Chris Noth's iteration accentuates volume and movement—with a side of 'stache. Its streaky monochrome palette lends depth and dimension to this sideswept style. Fitzsimons recommends using a light-hold pomade to give some structure to the look while still allowing movement. Tussling out ends with a little product will lock in volume at the root.

19 of 40

Modified Quiff

Tan France salt and pepper hquiff air

Jean Baptiste Lacroix / WireImage / Getty Images

From its voluminous style to its salt and pepper color, Tan France's hair is iconic. Keep color fresh with a shampoo for gray hair and your 'do on point with Kiehl Grooming Solutions Texturizing Clay ($20) for texture and hold.

20 of 40

Full Beard

Joe Manganiello salt and pepper beard

Steve Granitz / WireImage / Getty Images

If the only grays you're sporting happen to be in your facial hair—as is the case with Joe Manganiello here—you may be tempted to shave it off—but don't. A full-on salt and pepper beard shows confidence and is incredibly attractive.

21 of 40

Flipped-Up Crew Cut

Oscar Isaac with a salt and pepper hairstyle crew cut

Bruce Gilkas / FilmMagic

Oscar Isaac's flipped-up crew cut is kept relatively short on the sides and back and cut finger-length on top. Use a dime-sized amount of styling paste before walking out the door and you're set.

22 of 40

Long Crew Cut

Josh Duhamel with a long salt and pepper crew cut

Michael Tullberg / Stringer / Getty Images

On the longer side of things is Josh Duhamel, who styles his crew cut over and to the side by using a flexible pomade through the ends. A short beard keeps the look feeling effortless.

23 of 40

Side Part With Beard

George Clooney with gray hair and beard

Karwai Tang / WireImage / Getty Images

It doesn't get much simpler than George Clooney's look. Keep the hair short (above the ears) and eschew styling products in favor of a classic trim, a side part, and a well-kept beard.

24 of 40

Natural Curls

Rick Fox with salt and pepper curls

Paul Archuleta / Contributor / Getty Images

Rick Fox's natural curls are on full display, even when he wears his hair short. Keep hair well-conditioned for this look, and don't be scared to add a bit of product to keep things looking classic.

25 of 40

Ultra-Short Caesar

Don Cheadle with salt and pepper short hair

Dimitrios Kambouris / Staff / Getty Images

Don Cheadle's natural hair is kept ultra-short in this look, which requires a trained barber who can clean and maintain close lines. It may be high maintenance in that it requires frequent trims, but we think it's worth it.

26 of 40


Dave Annable with salt and pepper flipped up hair

Amy Sussman / Staff / Getty Images

Dave Annable's "updo," in which the hair is clipper-cut short on the sides and back, but kept long in the middle, is a classic. Try sweeping the hair to the side slightly for an edgier iteration.

27 of 40

Spiked but Flexible

Eric Dane with salt and pepper classic short hair

Jeff Kravitz / Contributor / Getty Images

Eric Dane's spiky 'do is concentrated on the center of his head. And while the look mimics a mohawk, he utilizes a flexible-hold product so it remains somewhat casual.

28 of 40

Super Short

Taylor Kinney with salt and pepper hair

Stephane Cardinale - Corbis / Contributor / Getty Images

Taylor Kinney's super-short 'do is a roll-out-of-bed-and-go type of style. Styling here is barely needed, but a trim (try visiting your stylist every three to four weeks) is mandatory.

29 of 40


Esai Morales with salt and pepper hair

Paul Archuleta / Contributor / Getty Images

To replicate Esai Morales's style, try applying a product like Sachajuan Matt Wax ($32) and finger-combing it through the hair. Keep facial hair grown-out and simply trimmed.

30 of 40

Deep Side Part

bobby cannavale with salt and pepper and black hair

Amanda Edwards / Contributor / Getty Images

Bobby Cannavale's barely-there grays blend seamlessly into the rest of his hair when worn in a deep side part and lifted. Here, the look is styled but flexible, so stay away from any products that are overly rigid.

31 of 40

Slicked Back

Jay Manuel with slicked back gray hair

Frazer Harrison / Staff / Getty Images

Jay Manuel's well-manicured, perfectly-maintained facial hair is rivaled only by that silver mane, which is swept back and held into place with a strong-hold gel. Now that's a suave style.

32 of 40

Straight and Flat Across

 Jaime Camill with salt and pepper straight hair

Amy Sussman / Staff / Getty Images

Jaime Camill's natural curls are styled straight and flat across here. We like how the pulled-together look gets a casual boost via the actor's five-o'clock shadow.

33 of 40

Two-Toned Hair and Beard

Jeffrey Dean Morgan with salt and pepper two tone hair and beard
Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic

Even if the hair on your head hasn't yet gone gray, you can still rock the salt and pepper look through a grown-out beard. Jeffrey Dean Morgan's hair remains on the longer side, utilizing product to keep it off his face and allow for full attention on his facial hair.

34 of 40

Natural and Grown Out

W. Kamau Bell with Natural salt and pepper hair

Gregg DeGuire / Stringer / Getty Images

As W. Kamau Bell demonstrates, sometimes the natural look is the best way to show off your grays. Here, Bell's hair leans on the longer side and is balanced out by a mustache and goatee.

35 of 40

Grown-Out Fade

Chris Rock with salt and pepper grown-out fade and mustache

Gregg DeGuire / WireImage / Getty Images

Chris Rock's grown-out fade manages to be both trendy and classic. The elegance is due in part to his mustache, which is well-trimmed and offers a throwback quality to the look.

36 of 40

Classic Taper With Beard

David Beckham with salt and pepper beard and slicked up hair

Jason LaVeris / Contributor / Getty Images

This classic barbershop haircut looks chic on David Beckham, who pairs it with a beard flecked with gray. To mimic the look, ask your barber to clipper-cut the sides short and keep the center hairs about two inches longer.

37 of 40

Natural Afro

Donald Glover with natural hair and a salt and pepper beard

Axelle/Bauer-Griffin / Contributor / Getty Images

Donald Glover's natural hair is worn in a side-parted afro with a heavy beard (sprinkled with salt and pepper). To mimic the look, use a product like Davines OI All-In-One Milk ($28) to keep hair well-moisturized.

38 of 40


Pierce Brosnan with salt and pepper combed back hair

Leon Bennett / WireImage

Pierce Brosnan's long locks are swept back but kept long, and paired with a full beard that's well-trimmed. Use your fingers to style for a more casual look.

39 of 40

Long and Center-Parted

Dermot Mulroney with long, center parted salt and pepper hair

Michael Loccisano / Staff / Getty Images

We love Dermot Mulroney's long, center-parted salt and pepper hair. Use a comb to achieve this look, running a blow-dryer over the ends so it stays smooth and straight.

40 of 40

Loose Natural Curls

Morgan Freeman with loose, natural salt and pepper hair

Gregg DeGuire / FilmMagic / Getty Images

Morgan Freeman is the king of natural hair and as he demonstrates, loose curls pair well with gray hair. Use a product like Bevel Curl Cream ($12) to define curls and keep frizz at bay.

  • What's the difference between gray hair and salt and pepper hair?

    According to Rietveld, the answer comes down to numbers. “Over 75 percent gray is more silver fox, while between 25-75 percent gray is salt and pepper." 

  • Can you dye your hair salt and pepper?

    If you are looking to reduce gray hairs rather than dye them all (which can sometimes look unnatural), there are at-home coloring kits, such as Just For Men Touch of Gray ($9), to DIY salt and pepper hair. You can also reach out to your colorist to see what the best option is for you.

  • How can you maintain salt and pepper hair?

    To keep salt and pepper hair looking its best, cleanse with a purple shampoo up to a couple of times a week to fight any brassiness and deep condition once a week to lock in moisture. When choosing styling products, shine-inducing sprays will take grays from dull to glossy.

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