- Melissa Gilbert tells Prevention how she feels about her gray hair.
- The Little House on the Prairie star discusses what she does to feel her best at 59.
- “When I was younger not only was I always in a hurry…I didn’t really focus on self-care that much or being all that healthy because when you’re a kid and in your 20s I felt invincible, invisible is now—invincible was then.”
Melissa Gilbert may have left the Prairie behind, but it never truly left her. The Little House on the Prairie star and mind behind Modern Prairie embraces life as it comes, not unlike the character she played that catapulted her to fame years ago. Now, the star opens up to Prevention about aging well, and her real feelings on going gray.
Gilbert’s grays are not new. In fact, she’s been touting silver strands for nearly a decade. “I love it, it’s my favorite thing ever. I actually cut 8 in. off of my hair and they asked if they could keep my hair because they felt there were some customers that wanted to match my color,” she notes. “I love it and also I have so much more free time not worrying about coloring my hair. I let it grow out and match the root color about nine or eight years ago.”
Like with her grays, Gilbert has leaned into the aging process, embracing the changes as they come and celebrating the differences in her body. “When I was younger not only was I always in a hurry…I didn’t really focus on self-care that much or being all that healthy because when you’re a kid and in your 20s I felt invincible, invisible is now invincible is then,” she jokes. “As I age I am more mindful about the exercise I do. You won’t see me in a kickboxing class now but you’ll see me in yoga or walking. I need to stretch and strengthen, and I need to support my bones which are going to become gradually more fragile at this point in my life.”
This is where food comes into play. “It seemed like a natural progression that food would be a part of that,” she says. “I am mindful about where my fruits and vegetables come from I am not a big fan of mass-produced grocery stocked stuff.” In fact, the 59-year-old grows her own fruits and vegetables.
As she ages, she says that her love of food continues, but the quantity in which she eats has shifted. “I love food and I love to eat, I really really do. I plan my meals way ahead of what’s going to happen and what I feel like eating. I don’t deny myself anything but I’m mindful about eating too much of anything so I try to stay as balanced as I can.”
“As my body has changed the fuel it needs has changed as well. I also don’t eat as much, I need less fuel and more naps,” she says.
As for her mind, well, Modern Prairie helps feed her soul. The star’s safe-haven for mature women and female makers has been a hit with fans. And now, fans can download The Modern Prairie app, too. “The point of having this app was to remove our conversations on social media to a safer place. The app is a much safer place for our community to discuss sensitive issues that come up for women like me.”
Download the app now to stay up-to-date with all-things Modern Prairie and Gilbert. We can’t wait to see what’s ahead for the star.
Emily Goldman is the senior editor at Prevention. She’s spent her career editing and writing about health, wellness, beauty, fashion, and food for Martha Stewart Living, Martha Stewart Weddings, Bridal Guide, Good Housekeeping, and more. She’s loved all things health and wellness since starting her bi-weekly podcast Pancreas Pals—a series all about the highs and lows of living life with type 1 diabetes. When not podcasting, she spends most of her time curled up with a good book or watching a period piece on BBC.