All hell broke loose when Liam Gallagher posted a selfie to Instagram last week that appeared to be sporting new blonde locks.
His snap, taken in Australia where he’s touring, and captioned “Ey, Blondie,” was quickly spattered across the tabloids and mocked on social media. It was as if the former Oasis frontman, 49, was personally responsible for Ireland’s looming recession.
The more polite comments compared him disparagingly to Boris Johnson or a Robbie Williams in the late 1990s and said he had spent too much time Down Under. The next day, Gallagher responded by calling his fans “crazy” for even imagining he’d actually dyed his hair — it was, he said, “just the light in the sun ffs.”
The fact remains that in 2022, when you can choose your pronoun or change your gender, a man just changing the color of his hair will still cause as much consternation.
While men will be reluctant to discuss with each other the fact that they are losing their hair or going gray, they – unlike their female counterparts – will not comfortably discuss possible solutions if they are not happy about it.
Surely they should share experiences or tips on hair loss medications like finasteride, reputable hair transplant surgeons, or colorists at their local hair salon?
It’s this follicular stealth that—despite the very mixed results—has led to the commercial success of DIY men’s coloring kits.
These standard products tend to give men flat blocks of color on their heads, like the plastic hair on Lego figures.
The problem is that we only notice a paint job when it’s done badly, and the fear of being mocked is too great for our fragile egos.
Memories of 78-year-old Rudy Giuliani defending Trump during a TV testimony in 2020, with black hair dye dripping down the side of his face, or Paul McCartney spending decades searching for an auburn tint that didn’t look like it was borrowed from Chewbacca, can be off-putting.
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Macca finally got it right at Glastonbury this summer by giving his natural gray hair the same bill as his recently acquired tawny hair.
We’re lucky, of course, that going gray is sometimes seen as an aesthetic benefit. The terms “silver fox” or “silver daddy” are often used to describe guys who have ridden more salt than pepper.
We even have silver superheroes: Marvel’s Silver Surfer and Gandalf the White (formerly Grey) in Lord of the rings. And of course, some of the world’s most famous heartthrobs are silver-haired – look at George Clooney, Anderson Cooper or Barack Obama.
But not all men feel ready to reach for the grey. A banker friend of mine – who, significantly, wished to remain anonymous – told me he didn’t want to look younger than his age, he just wanted to see his actual age.
He felt like at the age of 34 and with increasingly gray hair, he wanted to do something about it. And he did that very successfully. I never thought that he visits a colorist once a month.
Luckily, there has been a major shift in both the techniques and technology used today that allow men to color their hair in an effective and subtle way.
If you’re not trying to hide gray hair but just want to be a whole different color or look sun-kissed like Liam Gallagher, be warned. Many blonde hair dye kits, if mishandled, can leave a very strange yellow mane – more tiger king than sun king – or an unexpected orange one.
When I was much younger, I tried dying my hair blonde with a kit I bought from Boots.
Unfortunately, it didn’t come close to the delicious shade pictured on the pack as I was too nervous to leave it on long enough.
Instead, I emerged with a head that was a flat, fairly iridescent orange color. I looked like a human Berocca.
The truth is that your natural hair color most closely matches your skin tone. Nature is the best colorist in the world. And if you start going gray, just be glad you still have hair at your age.
© Telegraph Media Group Ltd. 2022
https://www.independent.ie/style/beauty/hair/why-is-men-dyeing-their-hair-a-societal-grey-area-41904316.html Why is male coloring a societal gray area?