Just the Tips
A Gentleman's Journey With Haircolor
Fiery copper, she called it. I gulped down one last swig of beer and it was on. My naturally black hair quickly started to sizzle as the color was tortured out from the roots. The burning was intense, but not nearly as much as the phoenix-saturated hue that capped my dome a couple of hours later. My hair was officially on fire.
I had just come out of a long relationship and in a futile act of rebellion, I decided to shed my old image. Two earrings, a fiery-red head and 20 extra pounds of muscle from a hard summer in the gym - not much considering I was moving up from a buck twenty, but I digress. New York City never looked so different to me and it never looked so oddly at me.
This quick dabble in dye lasted through the summer when after which I quickly shaved my head and returned to normalcy. But the seed was sown.
I’m not alone in this journey of self-expression. While my female friends and colleagues have always had a public, and sometimes private, love-affair with the power of color, guys have tended to shy away. There’s no definitive answer, but at heart, it boils down to something simple and trivial (just like us guys like it) - no one wants to be made fun of.
Let’s break down the though process a little:
Don’t do it.
Should I do it?
Will my friends make fun of me?
Do I like my friends?
Why guys have to give each other so much grief is beyond the scope of this simple article, but functionally we use it as a means of communication. Turns out most guys aren’t as brave or macho as they might like to believe. They’re the conformist’s conformists - quick to fall in line, never willing to stick out.
If you can think back to the days of the Backstreet Boys and their boy-band ilk, you’ll remember that frosted tips were all the rage. I remember my dad threatening to kick my ass if I ever did that (never one to turn down a challenge, I went full-head for the maximum ass-kicking). Once they had an example, especially one that all of their girlfriends were fawning over, it became easy and acceptable to take the dive.
But like all good things, the music had to stop some time. And there you were, the only one with a chair and your stupid frosted tips.
Thank goodness all of that is behind us. The rise of social media, influencers, and broader diversity and acceptance has brought out everyone’s inner celebrity. While most still won’t dare take color to hair, there’s an increasing movement of gentleman of all stripes and color realizing that there’s more than one way to be yourself.
Hair is fair (territory). It isn’t permanent like tattoos. It doesn’t hurt like piercings (and tattoos). It’s relatively inexpensive. And it’s always-on until you’re ready to shed it. And best of all, if you don’t like it, just shave your damn head - problem solved.
Hair’s got it going on, now get some.