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Hair Dyeing: Still Taboo For The Modern Man?

February 6th 2017

Although taking good care of your hair and beards, gentlemen, has become the norm, what about dyeing them? FAB met up with two men closely affected by the debate: Philippe Dumas, a 60-year old model, and the editor-in-chief for male-focused blog Comme un camion, better known by his pseudonym Romano Garagerocker.

Taking Pride In Your White Hair

For some men, the appearance of that first white hair can be a difficult moment. Twenty-nine-year old Romano first noticed a few of his hairs turning white back when he was just 25. Relatively stoical about it, he told FAB that “I have more and more white hairs… I just accept them as a part of life, especially since I wasn’t exactly surprised when they first appeared, given the history of white hair in my family. In 10 years’ time, I’ll have a proper salt-and-pepper look.”

 Comme un Camion, Hair Dyeing: Still Taboo For The Modern Man?
Photo credits: Comme un Camion

Romano is often told that “white hair is really cute on guys”. In an ideal world however, he would have liked to hold onto his brown hair for a little longer. “At first I plucked any white hairs, but now it would take too much time. I’m fine with them now and I have to admit that on slightly older guys I think it’s a great look.”

In the prime of his life, Philippe Dumas, a former manager who became a successful model when nearly 60 years old – partly thanks to his XXL beard – is loud and proud of his white hair. He would even prefer his hair color to match his beard more closely, telling FAB that it’s still a bit too brown. “I would love my hair to be more similar to my beard, for it to have that salt-and-pepper style. I have friends with magnificent salt-and-pepper hair, but they dye it to hide it. Personally I find that a shame, especially since I think they do it themselves, and not always very well! White hair can be really charming and chic,” he told FAB confidently.

Hair Dyeing: Still Taboo For The Modern Man? Philippe Dumas
Photo credits: Philippe Dumas

Dyeing Your Beard Or Hair: Less Taboo?

Philippe first began dyeing his beard a few years ago: “It’s less taboo these days to dye your beard. I used to do it a couple of years ago, once per week. It’s very quick, it really takes no more than 20 minutes.” Having inherited locks of white hair that he has worn with pride since he was 40 years old, he takes care of his hair without actually dyeing it: “Now that I tend to leave my beard its natural color, I just make sure that it doesn’t turn yellow and it’s the same for my hair. That’s the risk when your hair is white. For catwalks, I’ve discovered some products and shampoos that are specifically designed for salt-and-pepper hair. But whatever you use, if your hair grows dull or turns yellow, it’s time to make an appointment with your stylist,” is his ultimate advice.

Thanks to his job, in the process of getting used to his silver hair, Romano had access to a huge range of specific treatments and products. “Before working for Comme un camion, I would never have imagined that a specific maintenance program would be necessary. However, I still don’t think I’m quite ready to dye my hair, although I understand why some men do it. We published an article six months ago on looking after your hair, and the comments were really varied. There were loads of guys who were very upfront about dyeing their hair.”

Hair Dyeing: Still Taboo For The Modern Man? Comme un Camion
Photo credits: Comme un Camion

So is this taboo beginning to disappear? When FAB posed this question to its two modern men, each had their own answer. As an editor-in-chief, Romano confessed that “we’re part of the reason this topic isn’t much discussed, and that’s bad of course. In fact, we’re planning to cover it fully very soon!” Philippe was rather more philosophical, answering that “these days people can find beauty everywhere. And I think that’s brilliant. People are so much freer than before”. So, to dye or not to dye your beard, hair or mustache… that is the question. One thing is certain: the ways of beauty are as varied as they are dynamic.