Throughout history, society has looked at Gray hair as being old, or aging. Everyone struggles with gray hair at some point, but the question remains what should you do about it? Should you cover it? Should you leave it alone? It comes down to your personal preference and your confidence in yourself. Here are a few reasons why some men choose to cover those grays.
Reason To Cover Your Gray #1 – To Look Younger
Let’s face it – ageism is a real thing.
You can like the same kind of music or watch the same kinds of movies as the young adults of today.
But you can’t convince everyone you’re only 45 years young with a few gray patches on your head. It’s going to be even harder for guys in their 20s/30s who have premature graying.
Gray hair tends to give you a cooler, paler kind of skin tone that people associate with old age. For example, compare Anderson Cooper and Dustin Lance Black.
These guys are only 7 years apart – but doesn’t it seem like one looks much older while the other could pass for a 28-year-old? It has a lot to do with the contrast between hair and skin tone.
That’s another factor to consider when applying for a job. You could have a solid 5-10 years of experience and the most kickass résumé, but some people have biases about older-looking men – assuming they’re behind the times (especially in startup companies run by a bunch of millennials).
Here’s evidence that ageism is a cause for concern:
- It was reported by the U.S. Equal Opportunity Employment Commission that of nearly 90,000 discrimination charges filed in 2014, about 23% of those were age-related.
- Market research firm Multi-sponsor Surveys reveals that the percentage of American men who had their hair colored went from 2% to 7% between the years 1999 and 2010. That’s in line with the recession that came around in late 2008 – when many people were laid off.
If there’s any chance of your gray hair destroying your youth, downplaying your credibility, or making you look out of place in a potential company – it’s better to hide it. It won’t represent you in the best way.
Reason To Cover Your Gray #2 – To Try Something New
Maybe you’ve had this gray hair for a while now. So why not experiment?
Why not revisit the darker hair you once had? What if you get compliments for it at work, or women turn their heads when you cross paths on the sidewalk? You might be pleasantly surprised by the result.
Reason To Cover Your Gray #3 – To FEEL Younger
When you look in the mirror and notice the first signs of graying – it’s almost like that moment when you first hit puberty.
You can feel shocked… wondering how to deal with this sudden change. You might even think for a moment that you’re ill or seeing things.
And since our society still associates grayness with oldness, hiding your gray can be psychologically powerful. It’s a placebo effect – restoring the “youth” that was lost and rebuilding your self-esteem.
You’ll no longer have to endure those jokes or perceptions as the seemingly oldest guy among your peers. You can feel secure about your age because nobody’s questioning it. And that’s going to be a big boost in confidence.
Showing You’re “Available”
Let’s say you’re one of those young bachelors with premature graying or a man in his 50s who’s interested in dating a younger woman. Is your gray a hindrance?
I know someone who’s married to a beautiful Russian lady 25 years his junior. He’s been covering his gray for a long time, and it’s pretty much the way he always wants to look. Whether or not his wife really cares – I wouldn’t know.
But I’d say it does help him feel younger and downplay the age difference. And that’s the kind of mental edge you get from looking and acting less “old” – from hiding your gray to wearing sports jackets or button-up shirts that are the more casual type.
Men past their 30s are assumed to be married or involved in long-term relationships. So to show women you’re single and available, you also have to smile and be proactive in conversation. You shouldn’t come off as that guy who wants to leave the party early to spend time with his family.
Covering your gray is not necessary but for some guys, it is the right fit. If you feel the need to cover those grays Made Men Barbershop has you covered. Stop by and chat with one of our Barbers and they will talk to you about the best plan to cover them up.