GREY HAIR makes some people very uncomfortable as it is a visible reminder that they are ageing.
And as ageing is often viewed in a negative way, they seek to postpone the inevitable march of time by doing things which can mask this. One of these measures is the dyeing of their hair.
For men in particular, greying gives them a distinguished look and is viewed as a sign of maturity, which is attractive to those younger women looking for a fit-looking older male as a companion or lover.
Some men accept greying as part of the ageing process and feel blessed to have lived to an advanced age while in good health, but others don’t handle it quite as well and invariably think of their mortality.
This is where signs of mid-life crisis appear and these men begin dressing in styles more suitable for young people and running after younger women to demonstrate they are still potent.
This week’s question – What do you think about older men who dye their hair? – sought to look at this trend.
Whether they recognize it or not, many men who slavishly dye their hair are not comfortable with their mature look. This is unfortunate.
The fact is, growing older is a part of life and should be embraced. It is unfortunate that in our western culture the older people become, the more they are stereotyped as being able to do only certain things and in some quarters deemed ineligible to undertake particular tasks.
It is possible that this age discrimination could be behind the obsession of some men to dye their hair; we can’t say for sure.
What we can say, though, is that as long as people continue to feel insecure about their grey, dyeing hair is a phenomenon that will continue.
The following are edited versions of comments:
• In life we choose to do what we like and if it’s their preference to make them feel good about themselves, so be it. A word of advice for those who do it themselves – it looks horrific so ask for a little help now and then.
• I personally love to see older men grey gracefully, especially dark men with a full “well groomed” head of white. My other half always wants me to tweeze his grey hairs, but I personally find it sexy. People should just let nature take its course. I’m personally against it.
• This habit is the epitome of stupidity and vanity because it doesn’t take off one single second from your age. Those are the men who don’t or can’t grow up and be the men they are supposed to be – that is, responsible instead of still trying to get every woman into bed.
• To each his own. Women do it so as not to look older (or for whatever other reason) so I guess men have the right to also do likewise.
• I am an older man and would not stoop so low as to do this nonsense. You are as old as you feel and dyeing your hair is not going to make one little bit of difference. Most of the youth just look and then shake their heads. Those men are trying to regain their youth that has gone through “de eddoes”. Live life to its fullest and be who you are, not someone or something you are not.
• A person should do whatever makes them feel good about themselves and have fun with it, as long as it is not hurting anyone.
• I have no problem with it as long as it’s dyed black, not blonde or red as I have seen.
• For young people it’s bleaching your skin, and for older men, dyeing their hair. What next? Please, people, stay true to yourself and love what comes naturally.
• I really have not gotten accustomed to this epidemic where older men are dyeing their hair jet black. When you see a man in his 60s with a head full of black hair but the hair on his hands and legs are white, it is a bit ridiculous. There are some men who definitely do a good job of hiding their grey so that one would not know their age unless you knew them personally or were told.
• What bothers me are the ugly rugs some men wear on their heads; please, invest in a proper toupee.
• For those who want this, they should get it done professionally so the colour looks more natural. It’s off-putting to see stark black hair against ageing skin. Also distracting is the ring of white or grey hair around the hairline and neck, so regular maintenance is required to keep the illusion going.
• Rather than dye, perhaps they should have a Kojak; that is, shave it all off.