Someone once said that by age 50, 50 percent of the population will be 50 percent gray. So it’s not surprising that there’s big business in hair color for men of a certain age. But lately, color hasn’t just been about hiding the salt amongst the pepper. The last couple of years have seen the rise of purposely gray dyes — products that turn younger guys’ hair to silvery shades that look slick and sophisticated — and an increase in bright, punk-y colors, a trend also referred to as “merman hair” that looks, well, ridiculous.
Mainly though, when a guy decides to color his hair, the reason is obvious. “Men start coming to see me for color when they notice the increase in gray,” says Carrie Butterworth, celebrity stylist at Roy Teeluck Salon in New York City. “It’s different than with women who are like, ‘Hmm, what color do I want my hair today?’ With men, if they’re coming for color, it’s almost always because they are [going gray].”
While professional coloring is recommended for men with more than 50 percent gray hair, a lot of men are taking matters into their own hands. “If you color your hair at home,” suggests Butterworth, “first apply a thin layer of Vaseline or pomade around the hairline and on the tops of the ears. This will help prevent the dye from staining the skin.”
Here’s where to get started: