Thursday, October 20, 2011

Why is gray hair sexy only on men?

A little darling commented about my chin fuzz saying she liked my “salt and pepper” look. Why? Does the white in my beard suggest that I am a wise elder or, perhaps, God-like? (All the pictures I see of God show Him pre-Grecian.) There’s a term floating around for sexy, older men: Silver Fox. Hm. I don’t know. When I see one of these men I think, There goes Blue Pill Bill. Then, I realize Bill probably has the same impression of me.

It’s an interesting distinction between men and women regarding hair color. When a woman encounters a Silver Fox, she finds him sexy not because of his hair color, but in spite of it. Gray hair doesn’t imply the man is unfit, physically or emotionally. It implies wisdom and maturity.

Put gray hair on a woman and she’s not going to be sexy, no matter who she is. Funny though—it’s not many shades away from the platinum blonde color that distracts men and pushes women up the ten-point scale.

Hair coloring is something completely acceptable and expected for women. Maybe that’s part of the turnoff: If she allows her hair to gray naturally, she’s not concerned about being attractive, so why should I be attracted? If men color their hair, people see it as silly and vain (except for hair stylists and hair product salespeople.)

“Have you ever considered coloring your goatee?”
“Yes. In fact, I actually bought the stuff once.”
“Did you try it?”
“Nope. I couldn’t bring myself to do it and deal with all the barbs. People would start paying me compliments, which would cause me to lie: ‘Oh, you look great. Something’s different.’ ‘Did you lose weight?’ ‘Is that a new shirt?’”
“Why wouldn’t you just tell the truth and say you colored your hair?”
“Because that would be seen as a display of low self-confidence and put me in an indefensible position.”
“Not at all.”
“Oh, bullshit. You’d be kind and supportive, but you’d begin wondering if I’m wearing Spanx and eyeliner.”
“Ha, ha. Are you?”
“No, but I am carrying a bratwurst in my pocket. Wanna see it?”

I hear scientists have developed a pill that will turn our hair back to its original color. OK, if everybody does it, fine. I’m sure the pill will have some undesirable side effects. Maybe it will give men the desire to skateboard, play acoustic guitar, and hang out around Apple stores. Great. I’ll have a pill that helps me have sex with women I’m not attracted to, a pill that allows me to eat food that’s not good for me, and a pill to override my reminder to avoid doing things I’m too old to consider.


  1. It's sexy on men? Huh...

  2. I beg to disagree. Going gray is a new trend among women - looking like you spilled ink on your head isn't really attractive and some of the "color" is so fake, wouldn't you question the character of someone so outwardly phony? If you open your eyes and mind and stop buying the old cliches (which aren't true) you will see plenty of sexy women with gray, platinum and white hair. Woman are also capable of complicated mathematics, although I know Barbie said it was "really hard!"

  3. I understand your position, Juni. I don't find any effort of making oneself more attractive to be "phony." I suggest that it's logical. I stand by my impression that gray doesn't affect a man's attraction level as much as it does a woman's.

  4. Ok, I have to disagree with JuniV. I've been grey, primarily in the front, for about 10+ years now. And I can't stand it. When I see a picture of me, it's like Mt. Everest. And it stands out big time! So I will color it and yes, I've gotten the compliments that it makes me look younger. But that's not why I color it. I just can't stand seeing that "snow on the mountain" look.

    I've seen women with platinum grey and it looks awesome. I've seen women with long, salt and pepper and wavy hair and they look like hippies. And those women usually are from the '60's era. The flower child that never grew up.

    Thank you for posting that eye candy of George! He is VERY sexy in grey. I think you're right that it shows maturity. And a little grey on the temples and the chin is just as attractive. At my age, anyone younger than 45 just doesn't do it for me. Then again, I'm not a cougar.

  5. I think some women are able to carry off the silver locks - like EmmyLou Harris - she looks absolutely beautiful with her hair. I think that a lot of women with their own version of salt and pepper can carry it off well too. But, a lot of women have difficulty when it's an awkward blend or it stands out too much just at the crown, like ryoko was saying. I do think men are able are much more able to get away with graying, so I do agree with you there.

  6. On the right man, gray hair can make a man look distinguished. Often a man can get more attractive with age. I could speculate why women find maturity in men attractive ;-)

    Unfortunately time is not so kind for women.

  7. My husband is 23 and going gray and I have to admit that I find it quite attractive. I can't quite pin down why I like it - perhaps it is, as you say, the fact that he looks good anyway, so the gray hair is just another good looking part of a good looking man.

    As for myself, while I hope the graying time is twenty years away or so, I fancy keeping it natural. I find that dyeing hair leaves it looking more fried and "old" looking than color. My opinion may change when I'm in the situation myself, though.

  8. Women with grey/white hair can be sexy. Stacy London has a grey streak in front she won't color over, not even for her contract with Pantene, and she looks great with. Emmy Lou Harris as mentioned above. And I'm sure there must be others who would also look alluring if they gave it a try.

    I think the reason women find grey haired men good looking is because they are happy there is hair of any color. Maybe.

    I often see older women, (say 55 and up) and they look awesome because they have grey hair styled simply and stylishly, their clothes have a bit of panache but are not trying to mimic the latest hot-young-fashion and they walk with ... understated elegance. I want to be like that when I get older.

    Sexy is a frame of mind, not something that comes in a bottle.

  9. I do think that men who color their hair often look silly. Think about how Paul Newman and Robert Redford aged. Newman allowed his hair to silver and looked fabulous, IMO. But Redford, what in the hell is up with the hair color. The same goes for Paul McCartney.

    I also think that there are many, many women who look great with sliver or silvering hair. Unless you can afford an expert colorist to color your hair and can afford the up keep, dyed hair often looks flat and the color either inky or brassy.

    Does anyone really belive that a person over 50 doens't have some sliver hair. Hair coloring, at any age, should be an option for both women and men.

  10. It's because women aren't allowed to get old, silly.

  11. Bravo, Serenitywriter! I agree completely. I just got a very short haircut and all the grey that was hidden under my longer hair (the top colors ok, the bottom doesn't) is now scattered through. I thought I'd hate it, but frankly, I don't. Real beauty is confidence in yourself, not dependence on the opinions of others.

  12. Thanks for letting me know that I'm totally not sexy!! I've been getting gray hair since I was 16. Not sure which relative I can thank for that, but shit! I'm 28 for the 6th year and it ain't getting any easier to hide this stuff!

  13. WOW... that was harsh on us women that are choosing to age naturally & gracefully! Grey hair can be beautiful and it sure as hell can be sexy! Just because I no longer want to put chemicals on my head certainly doesn't mean I'm not making myself attractive any more... far from it! Look at model Cindy Joseph and actress Jamie Lee Curtis, for example. Also, take a moment to visit
    These women are beautiful... in their natural form!

  14. just took a peek here, Wow, some great shots on there ~ elegance supreme ~ funny years back spray colour in gold and silver was the thing, I favored the silver spray onto my chocolate auburn brown, ironic really. But yes I agree there is a new trend that is very 'now' how women are wearing the grey, silver and there are so many products out there now specifically for this hair type to bring out the gloss and shine ~ Lee Stratton produces a purple product that puts a pale purple/pink tinge that many use young and older alike ~ and with a tan ....
    but of course don't forget that beauty is within as well ... Rocking!! Lib

  15. You really need to check out Going Gray Blog and more. So many women look better with gray- platinum hair.