Men dyeing their hair because they’re going gray is a surprisingly controversial topic – not so much among the ladies.
If you ask most guys what they think about going grey (or gray, whichever you prefer), you’re not likely to encounter a whole lot of enthusiasm.
We still have a societal, knee-jerk tendency to see any evidence of aging in men as a signal of weakness or loss of virility. Men are often oversensitive about their manhood, and appearance plays a large part in that.
Given that, and our society’s fetish for youth, it’s understandable that many men feel compelled to dye their hair once they start noticing more than one or two stray greys.
So, should men dye their hair to cover up when they start going grey? Are men who dye their hair way out of the mainstream?
What do we think, fellas?
Better yet, what do the ladies think?
Should guys dye their grey hair? Survey said…
Because let’s face it, for most straight guys, the audience you’re considering when you’re weighing your options on dyeing prematurely grey hair or not isn’t your buddies or your classmates or your co-workers – not unless they happen to be female-type women of the opposite gender.
No, when we’re asking questions about our appearance, like should guys dye their hair – especially young men with grey hair – we want to know what women think.
And when you talk with women about their feelings about their own greying hair, you’re likely to encounter what could conservatively be called vitriol, rage and horror.
This is obviously a generalization, but most women hate hate hate it when their hair starts going prematurely grey. They will move heaven and earth to get rid of it: they will pluck it, dye it, or even burn it all down if need be.
Grey hair: Listen to women by not listening to women
When guys hear all these kinds of opinions on gray hair coming from women, what seems to happen, interestingly enough, is that we get into trouble by actually listening to them – at least in this one case.
Some clever fellows have pointed out that by internalizing what women say about their own grey hair, guys may take away the message that women think all grey hair is ugly, and that’s when we start to consider dyeing our own prematurely grey hair.
However, if you were to poll a group of women and ask what they think about men with gray hair, not women with grey hair or grey hair in general, there’s every indication that the response would be largely positive.
According to a match.com poll from 2017, a whopping 72 percent of women said they found men with grey hair attractive.
And come on. If you dye it, who are you fooling, anyway? Even a professional dye job is going to change your appearance drastically enough that people are going to notice.
And god forbid you should try your hand at dyeing your hair out of a box.
Countless men over the centuries have endured the very special shame of secretly dyeing their hair in hopes that no one will detect the difference.
Only to emerge with a hair color so abrupt and sharply different not only from what they had before but from anything found in nature that they only make matters worse.
In fact, let’s ask a few questions about what signals we might be sending when we dye our prematurely grey hair.
What does she think about guys dyeing their hair?
1. You don’t believe in yourself
It’s been pretty well established that confidence is sexy, especially to women. Charm, being funny, being relaxed, being comfortable in your own skin: these are the traits that women say they react to in men most positively.
Any guy who dyes his hair – and buddy, she’s going to know that you’ve dyed your hair at some point – necessarily reads as someone who is insecure about who he really is. Not to put too fine a point on it, but if you don’t like being yourself, it’s hard to expect anyone else to want to be with you.
2. You don’t understand what women want
Having a full, richly colored head of hair is and can be a point of attractiveness in a person. But think about how many different types of looks women have: hair length, color, style, etc. And yet we find all these types attractive right?
Making the assumption that only one specific style of man is going to be able to pull could be seen as an indication that you don’t really get what women want at all. After all, we mustn’t forget The Clooney Effect.
Then there’s silver fox Steve Carrell and too many others to count who rock their greys with impunity. Understanding that you bring much more to the table than just a hairdo sends a powerful, intriguing signal to women.
3. You’re not comfortable with yourself
The signal sent by a man who dyes his hair is, this is a guy who sweats the details. He gets super stressed about little things that nobody else cares about.
This screams insecurity and might make a woman stop and ask herself what other little persnickety shit might this guy obsess about? What other insecurities is he carrying around?
4. You’re shallow
Dyeing your hair may send the message that looks are everything to you. It makes you appear as if you think that without certain physical attributes, you’ve got nothing else to offer.
At the same time, it may suggest to her that you only view women on the shallowest of planes, and see them merely as the outer shell, not the whole package. You ought to be able to bring more to the table than a head of hair if you’re hoping to connect with women.
Look into conversation, charm, humor and listening skills for starters. You’ll find most women rate these far higher than what color a dude’s hair is.
5. You’re ashamed of your age
Hollywood sells us such a relentless worship of young, taut flesh with nary a wrinkle or crows foot to be seen that it’s easy to internalize the notion that that is the only type of attractiveness.
As noted above with the Clooney and Carrell examples however, plenty of women see men as getting more attractive as they age. In fact, a whole lot of women are kind of turned off by the kind of men who seem to want to remain as pretty as they are in their teens and 20s.
The ladies have got girlfriends they can compare skin care products and hair care with. And an androgynous twinkish type of boyfriend may not make women feel as if they’re with a man of substance, a man who can hold his own in the world.
Dyeing your hair can signal a kind of mid-life crisis mentality even in a younger guy, telling the world that you’re desperately trying to cling to some long-lost version of yourself that no longer exists. It shows that you don’t really know where your value to women lies.
What men who dye their hair should know
If you decide to go the hair dye route, please, please take a few precautions to minimize the chances of it all going Giuliani on you.
Use a professional colorist
You get what you pay for, and out-of-the-box hair dye almost inevitably looks like shit.
Carefully consider your skin tone and natural hair color
Trying to play off drastic changes as natural doesn’t usually go well. Also, guys with thicker, darker, or curlier hair who want to take their salt and pepper hair to a blonder look will require a lot more work and heavy treatments.
Dyeing your hair isn’t a one-off thing. You ever have one of those lady friends who complains about needing to dye her roots? That’s gonna be you.
The upkeep will take some work in terms of maintaining the new you colored consistently. But not only that, dyeing and re-dyeing your hair takes a toll on your hair’s luster and health, stripping away its natural oils.
Ask your colorist about upping your regular hair grooming routine at home between dye jobs to help keep your hair healthy.
Always remember that there’s a multi-billion Dollar industry out there constantly pumping out a society-wide firehouse of propaganda telling us we’re not attractive enough.
It’s not just women who fall prey to this either: men are constantly receiving the message that we’re too fat, too short, too ugly, too plain, too smelly, too poor – whatever.
Getting you to feel insecure about your natural looks is a full-time job for millions of very clever marketing people using all manner of persuasion and psychological trickery.
Buy into it if you want, but it sure seems like there are plenty of examples of dudes who do just fine with the ladies following their own path instead, including keeping the hair that comes natural.