Men and Hair Dye

Apparently, hair dye companies are now targeting men with gray hair.  But they’re finding it very important to insist that their products are different from women’s hair dye, because they’re designed to be natural-looking and discreet, while women’s are designed to get them noticed.  My impression is that that this is how women’s hair dying started out.  One thing I wonder about is generational and class differences.   Plenty of male students (at least around here) dye their hair (not in subtle ways), and that seems acceptable.  But when Mr Jender was in a working-class, non-university part of town he was called a “fucking poof” for his dyed hair.  men-hair-color.jpg

And no, that is not a photo of Mr Jender. (Thanks, S, for the link.)

21 thoughts on “Men and Hair Dye

  1. I agree that it’s a generational thing. Just a few years ago I was at the Bar Mitzvah of my cousin’s son, and I noticed that quite a few 12-13 year old boys had a blond highlight (usually in one spot) in their otherwise dark hair. And certainly lots of college men dye their hair (and I’m at a big midwestern school in the U.S., hardly a bastion of rebelliousness or radical trends).

    When I was growing up in the 70’s and early 80’s, dyeing your hair (even for women) seemed like a big deal. Now that it’s not, it seems there’s even more of an expectation that graying women will do it (I find this irritating, but I suspect I’d feel a lot more pressure if I lived and worked in a more traditional or corporate work culture).

  2. We’re thinking of decorative dying, as opposed to the ancient Grecian formula? I don’t see much of it at the American Philosophical Association meetings (or any other philosophy meetings, for that matter). And not that much in my southern/southwestern city.

    There are notable exceptions in the philosophy profession; e.g.,

  3. PS

    If you want to get to the pic of Jesse Prinz I linked to above, you’ll have to copy the whole thing; somehow the auto editor has not created a link including “‘s” and the following letters.

  4. I am a 15 year old male, and unfortunatly i have been cursed with premature grey hair, so i am forced to dye it. i really really hate it. it doesnt look to bad with a chocolate brown (my natural colour). a bit vibrant when first done but looks almost natural after a few days, which means im ok for monday if i dye on friday. i find it quite distressing that some of you people are poking fun at males who dye their hair. when their are some males like myself who endure sleepless nights because their fucking roots are starting to show!

  5. Lannah, shame on you, he has a really cute Jake Gyllenhall kinda face. His hair’s what’s OMG ugly. It might be fun to shave it for him…

    Dave, I can SO relate to the premature grey thing. As much as I pride myself on refusing to answer to chauvenistic !#*#!blah blah blahs, I still have to look in the mirror every day. My daughter’s telling me I should change my blog name to Gabrielle instead of Xena because blonde works better over salt&pepper.

    Anybody: Is it vain&cougar-ish to like hearing the twenty-somethings at my school tell me I look 10 years younger than I am (compared to the 10 years OLDER comments I get with my natural colour)?

  6. Xena: Yes. ;)

    I started getting grey hairs at 20 (oddly, no one else in my family is as grey as I am, including my 57-year old MOTHER!). At first it bothered me, but then dyeing my hair bothered me more. I have psoriasis on my scalp and it burns like a motherf***er!! So that was out. Plus, dye is around $10 a box, 2 boxes to dye my hair, every six weeks or so…that works out to something like $200 or more a year, which I would MUCH rather spend on something else. Like books. :)

    If you want to dye your hair, go ahead. Maybe I came from the 90s Manic Panic-and nosering aesthetic, but I don’t see what the fuss is. I think it’s what’s inside the head that counts. And if it makes you happy to dye your hair, go ye forth. It’s your hair and your money. Boys, too!

    I was (still am) pretty happy with my grey hair, actually, once I got used to it. It’s mostly in a streak in the front, which I think (when it’s not sticking up like crazy) looks kind of distinguished. Maybe I even earned it. But I call it my “Rogue Streak,” like Rogue in X-Men. :)

  7. I think guys who dye their hair need to get it done in a professional salon and not be so stingy with their money. If they do it themselves people will say, “Oh, he looks like he dyes his hair!”

  8. And just when we think we’ve finally understood what we’re “supposed” to look like, fashion rags go and muck it all up again! *eyeroll*

    Maybe these guys ought to read more “Vogue.” Or wherever it is we’re supposed to get these cues from.

    I, however, got my first grey hair when I was eleven, so I’m a little excited about this at age 27, in all my grey-haired glory.

Comments are closed.