If you haven’t heard about Cheeno Grey, prepared to be hairspired. The 22-year-old, L.A.-based model recently went viral for her gorgeous grey mane and is getting major internet love from natural hair blogs like CurlBox to major online publications like The Huffington Post. While she herself isn’t naturally grey, Cheeno hopes to inspire all women, even her mother, to embrace their color and be comfortable. We had a chance to get to know the gorgeous model and talk to her about her viral attention, how she hopes to stay grounded and how to get a killer Instagram selfie. –Jade Earle
Hype Hair: Was modeling always something you were interested in?
Cheeno Grey: I’ve always been into modeling. When I was younger, it was hard to get into. But I got started when I moved to Atlanta and graduated from high school. I was there for three years, but when I was there, it was really slow. I had to leave and go somewhere where I could excel, so I moved to New York. I was there for two months, but it was very expensive and it was really hard to find work. My friend stayed in LA for four years and she’s been trying to get me to come here for the longest, so I just finally decided to move. I came here for my birthday and I haven’t left since.
HH: How long had you been in modeling when you decided to make your hair change?
CG: I was in my second year. Before I went grey, I had black, short hair like Rihanna. It was cool but I was just like, I have to do something new. You see a lot of girls with pink hair, blue, purple, and I didn’t see a lot of people with grey. I just felt like I was supposed to do it. I’m not the tallest model and my face isn’t peculiar, so I needed something to stand out.
When you see older people with [grey hair], it’s a sign of wisdom. I’ve been told that I have wisdom. Women want to cover their greys. I always tell my mom, ‘You need to embrace that, that’s a sign of wisdom.’
HH: Did someone convince you to turn your hair into something you can get notarized for on Instagram?
CG: It started out slow. When I was on Instagram and I went public with my grey hair, a lot of people liked it, but I wasn’t getting as much attention as I am now. I feel like it happened so fast especially with the Huffington Post interview–that really drove a lot of people to my page. It’s really scary to me because people can be really cruel and they don’t care what they say under your pictures. Sometimes they try to make you out as a bad person. That’s the only part I hate about it. Other than that, it’s cool that I’ve inspired people to go grey.
HH: You definitely have a signature look on Instagram that includes your grey hair with a bold lip. What are your favorite lipsticks to wear with your hair?