One Tree Hill's Hilarie Burton Morgan Says It’s Relieving to Embrace Her "Salty" Hair

Here's why she let her gray hair grow.

hilarie burton
(Image credit: Getty)

Distinguished and elegant, the color gray is everything at once. With this being said, I’m all about gray hair. When my silver strands start to come in, I assume it will be weird to no longer think of myself as the brunette I once was. But, I have no patience for consistent coloring sessions... and I’ll have had Hilarie Burton Morgan's wisdom to pave the way.

While One Tree Hill fans probably know the 41-year-old actress as a blonde, Burton Morgan is rocking the gray these days. And there's plenty of meaning behind her decision to keep things natural. During a Saturday, October 7 appearance on The View, she discussed her decision to "grow it all out" after cohost Joy Behar called her hair "beautiful."

A post shared by Hilarie Burton Morgan

A photo posted by hilarieburton on

"It's a weird thing when you were a teen drama actress, and the expectation to be 17 forever is out there," she said. "I didn't necessarily like my younger years. I dealt with some dark stuff. So this idea that you can level up and get to the place where you're the salty one in the room was exciting to me."

Burton Morgan went on to name some of her gray-haired heroes, including Bea Arthur, Ruth Gordon, and Betty White. "That's who I wanted to be,” she said. “So going gray early was a relief."

In a separate essay previously published, Burton Morgan noted that she first died her hair in middle school. Later, she was told she needed to bleach her hair to "look like a star,” causing a 2004 mullet moment after her locks fell out in chunks. After years spent hating the "costumed" feeling of hair dye and seeing her husband, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, embraced for his silver strands, she decided to give it a try herself.

"As my silver grew in, I liked how I looked-perhaps for the first time," she wrote. "I liked what it did to my eyes and skin tone." Of course, the soon-to-be-released Grimoire Girl author isn't the only one who likes the look.

In a September 2023 Instagram post, Burton Morgan shared a hair update and set of photos, noting that her colorist Amanda Guido mixed some ice blonde in with her grey. "Yes ma'am. Daddy like," commented her husband, adding a row of heart emojis and a sweet "always" sign-off.

In another comment, a fan shared that Burton Morgan inspired her own hair transformation. "Stopped coloring my roots because if HBM can rock it, so can I! (Even if I'm only 30!)" they wrote. May Hilarie’s passion for gray inspire us all.

Freelance Writer

Sophia Vilensky is a freelance beauty writer at Marie Claire, where she writes about the latest and greatest skincare launches, hair colors, and Cardi B manicures. Her work can also be found at Byrdie, Bravo, and Us Weekly. You can find her on Instagram @sophiavilensky.