LA Times wanted my input on the subject of men’s hair color. Below is the unedited Q and A.
Is there a spike in the numbers of men [coloring their hair]?
In NYC, there are definitely more men coloring their hair. It’s really no longer taboo.
Is it to get an edge in the workplace or just for fun?
Men are coloring their hair for the same reasons women have always done it. They want to look younger. They want to look edgier and cooler. Or they just want a change.
It can give them an edge at work, but it also helps them “fit in” with their younger co-workers if they are covering gray. In one particular case, a client went almost completely white very rapidly after the financial institution he worked for went out of business. Now he has his own investment firm and he wants his employees to relate to him better. He also wants to look younger in his wedding photos.
Are there color product lines just for men opting to dye their hair?
There are some color lines out there that are specifically marketed towards men, but none that I recommend. You don’t need a different product. But you do need to approach the process differently. Men’s hair has more red and gold pigment, so you need to formulate the color to counteract it or it will look really brassy and un-natural.
A mistake a lot of guys make is coloring their hair too dark. Once you go gray, your friends and colleagues get accustomed to seeing you with lighter hair. So stay lighter. For the guy with mostly white hair who is considering a hair color change, I will sometimes recommend starting out with a demi-permanent color to take him to a gray tone. And gradually transition from there.
The great thing about hair color for guys with short hair is that it’s a short-term commitment. It gets cut out pretty quickly if they don’t want to keep it. However, if they are happy with it, it becomes regular maintenance. Cut and color every 4 to 6 weeks.