Deborah has a strong social media presence as an ageless style icon and a pro ageing ambassador. At age 58, her vibrancy shines, and she keeps on inspiring women of all ages to live a full, active and stylish life.
Read her views on ageing and hair in this tête-à-tête:
Tell us who is Deborah?
I am a 58-year old grandmother who lives in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Did you always want to be a model? How did you come by it?
I worked in the IT industry for years as a writer, software tester and trainer, and never considered the idea that I might one day be a model.
When I stopped colouring my hair, my new silver hairstyle got so much attention that some of my friends suggested I try modelling, so one night I sent my photographs off to a modelling agency in my area.
Can you tell us a bit about a typical workout and skincare regime you follow?
My usual workout routine is training at the gym three times a week with a personal trainer, and I ride my bicycle on Sunday mornings as often as I can.
My skincare regime is very simple; I cleanse and apply moisturiser morning and evening (I never go to bed without removing my makeup) and always wear 50 SPF sunblock during the day, no matter what the weather.
What do you do when not modelling?
When I am not modelling I spend most of my time spreading my message of “you’re not too old, and it’s not too late”, mostly via social media.
Can you name one book that you have read at least 10 times?
What is to be ageless in your view?
I think that the idea of being “ageless” is to challenge the negative stereotypes around ageing that are promoted by society. Ageless women wear – and do – whatever feels right for them, no matter their age.
What does ageless style mean to you?
I feel that ageless style happens when a woman is confident and looks fabulous wearing an outfit that is not quite what society expects her to be wearing for her age.
What’s one thing most people don’t know about you?
I was born in New Zealand.
Do you believe in aging gracefully?
Ageing gracefully implies to me that we should gently slow down, so no 🙂
How old were you and what were your thoughts when you spotted your first grey hair?
I was about 25 when I spotted my first sparkly silver hair and I remember being quite surprised by it. Even though my mum had lots of silver from quite a young age (she always covered hers), I somehow hadn’t imagined that it would happen to me.
Did you dye your hair? At what age, and for how long?
I started colouring my hair when I was about 16. Over the years I have experimented with many different colours, but most often I added blond highlights to my naturally dark blond hair.
How do you take care of your silvers? Do you have a ritual?
I wash my hair every morning and use a silver shampoo about every third wash, other times I use a normal shampoo.
Any product recommendations?
Do you think picking up an outfit in terms of colour and style after going grey has to change?
I think that this is an excellent time to reassess the colours we wear. Silver hair can make some of us look a little bit pale and washed out, and a good way to bring colour to our faces is to wear colours that really suit our skin tone, so it’s the perfect time to make sure that they are doing their job. (And this applies to makeup too!)
What is your style mantra?
Your views on stereotypes society has about grey hair!
I think that it’s such a shame that we have come to believe that grey hair is boring and unattractive because silver is a really beautiful colour. (Very young women and men wouldn’t be colouring their hair silver if this weren’t true.) One of the wonderful things is that each head has its own unique combination of streaks, colours and hues as the silver develops. The biggest mistake we make is not updating the style for our new silvers, to make the most of our new crown, we have to rock it!
Anything else you would like to say to the women aspiring to go grey!
This may just be the most liberating thing that you have ever done for yourself.
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