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Feb 28

Young Millennial Men Hit Their Stride With $600 Gray Hair Dye Jobs: Gothamist

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All great things come in threes: crayon packs, suits, backup singers, new Fast & Furious movies, meta Latin phrases (“omne trium perfectum”), Hanson brothers, and of course, the number of trials Indiana Jones had to pass to reach the Holy Grail. The same can be said for the DNA of our favorite hilarious NY Times trend pieces: the formula is one part self-parody, one part masochistic Millennial obsessing, and one part perverse Lifestyles of the Filthy Rich.

The Times hit all three bullseyes with today’s silly Style story: “For Millennial Men, Gray Hair Is Welcome.” There may be plenty of silver-tipped men in this story, but you certainly won’t find any realSilver Men. That didn’t stop Public Editor Margaret Sullivan from giving it 7.5 monocles!

So how did the Times wring a full story out of a microtrend that isn’t actually a trend (and probably has Andy Warhol turning over in his grave)? By using the power of three (somewhat famous celebrities) to um, demonstrate that silver is the color of the zeitgeist this week in the über-influential world of magazine covers: there’s Zayn Malik (the former One Direction member) in a silver mane on the cover of Billboard, Gus Kenworthy (Olympic freestyle skier) showing off his “ashen dye job,” and Tyler Oakley (…someone who changes his hairstyles a lot?) brushing aside his brand for a color that is “not eye catching in the way that like lilac or mint was,” but is still, ya know, cool. What a recommendation.

There may be nothing particularly shocking or new (or transgressive) about young people experimenting with hair coloring, but as long as someone in the industry backs the Times up on this “trend,” we guess this is all kosher:

Gray and silver hair has definitely been trending, said Aura Friedman, a senior hair colorist at Sally Hershberger Salon in New York. “The demographic of guys who come to me to go gray are doing it more as a fashion statement,” she said, as opposed to a more natural look. Ms. Friedman has dyed the hair of Phillip Picardi, the digital editorial director of Teen Vogue, and Drew Elliott, the chief creative officer for Paper magazine, among others.

Nothing is more relatable to the readers of the most important paper in the world than the intricacies of hair coloring for media movers and shakers. But at least it’s accessible to the common man (assuming the common man can afford hundreds of dollars for the initial dye jobs followed by more money for regular touch-ups):

While there is a range in prices depending on hair length and color, Ms. Friedman estimated that going gray would start at $350 at most salons. (She estimated a session for her services would be $600.) And that doesn’t take into account upkeep. “It does require a lot of maintenance, going back to the salon for touch-ups and conditioning it at home with the right products in between appointments,” she said.The continued care also requires commitment, Ms. Rau said. “It’s like owning a pet,” she said.

This might not make for a great trend story (unlike say chandelier dorm rooms), but it is a great native advertisement for salon specialists, including Sally Hershberger Salon, Fashion Snoops and Matthew Morris Salon, all of whom get some good quotes into the piece.

Anyway, let’s skip ahead to the worst part:

While there aren’t many precedents for young men co-opting the hoary coifs of their elders, trendsetting women like the fashion blogger Tavi Gevinson, the pop star Grimes and Tilda Swinton have all embraced a faux gray. “It has nothing to do with wanting to look old,” said Mr. Fisher of Fashion Snoops. “We are in the midst of a time when guys are breaking their own boundaries and really finding new ways to express themselves. Having gray hair plays right into that.”Like Warhol, men of the Instagram era know that having a visual signature can be beneficial. “It was never like part of some play for my ‘brand,’” Mr. Oakley said. “But as someone in a creative field, I thought, ‘Well, why can’t I do this?’”

Not everyone drank the oxidizing agent on this one: “It’s just a fad,” Michael Fisher, creative director of men’s wear at Fashion Snoops, noted soberly. “It’s just another part of personal expression like bleaching, mermaid hair and even man buns.”

Mostly, we’re amazed the Times got through this piece without once mentioning this guy below. He’s so zeitgeisty!

As ever:

PSA: The NY Times has a weakness for self-parodying trend-baiting, masochistic Millennial obsessing, and the perverse lifestyles of the filthy rich. If a reporter with the Real Estate, Style or Weekend sections approaches you about a story, just smile gently and run in the opposite direction. No one is forcing you to become representative of everything that everyone hates about New Yorkers.

Source: Young Millennial Men Hit Their Stride With $600 Gray Hair Dye Jobs: Gothamist

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