Is Dyeing a Part of Life?

Lonny dead-yankeeFirst of all how did the geniuses at Facebook know to serve me ads suggesting I would like a Grateful Dead/Yankees t shirt? Are they inside my head or is it marketing at its finest?

But the Struming topic today is about dyeing.

To dye, or not to dye. That is the question.

Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of advancing age.

Or to take arms through a bottle of dye

And root by root, try to hold back the ravages of time.

Willie Shakespeare is rolling over in his grave with my mangled version of his famous prose from Hamlet.

But the question of whether to dye is an important one for those of advanced age. In the past I chose to dye, but now I choose not.

Why did I dye? Vanity. When I was in my 50s, I wanted to appear younger. “Old” consultants can become yesterday’s news so I figured I would get my hair dyed each time I got a haircut. It was a pain and cost a few bucks, but the result was my hair kept the dark brown color of my youth.

blue imageBut in June I decided to make a change. I simply told my hair stylist, Sharon, at my local Hair Cuttery to not dye, just to cut. “Are you sure”, she asked? Yup. “Let’s see how it looks”. The change was immediate and dramatic. When you dye and get a cut, you immediately see the “real hair” underneath before you dye again. But when you stop dyeing you get the real thing right away. The recent photo above from Yankee Stadium demonstrates my new silver look. If you want to see the change check out the inset photo on the right of the previous dye look. Dramatic difference.

I am comfortable with my advanced age and my silver hair. Gray hair doesn’t make me yearn for episodes of Bonanza or talk about the “good old days” running the Polaroid account at BBDO (BTW, they weren’t always so good). What I do know about myself is that I am contemporary in thought, even if my body is aging. I continue to have a thirst for knowledge and change. In terms of my hair, I have gotten several compliments about my new hair. Perhaps people were being nice, or alternatively they thought my dyed hair looked phony. No matter. It now is what it is.

As one ages (I will be 67 in October) there’s a reality that your body changes. At my age, I can’t dunk when I play basketball (OK, I never could). But as one ages, your hair is part of that change. I have become comfortable with my aging, yet wiser, self. In business and in life, experience has great value. It took me a while to understand that and I wish I understood that when I was younger. Then again, I didn’t have the perspective I do now.

Just remember, every silver lining’s got a touch of grey

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  1. Kevin Connor says:


    Go confidently forward with all the experience and wisdom a dash of gray conveys and keep an impish smile about you. Others will wonder what you’re thinking…

  2. John Cooley says:

    You look great in silver!

  3. Bravo, Lonny. Good move and inspiring article.

  4. James Kennedy says:

    I am now 61, Lonny, and have never dyed my hair which began graying in my very early 40’s, and is now most salt, with pepper specks. All of your thoughts were valid and meaningful to me. It was an easy choice for me to not dye. As a CPA it adds perceived integrity by clients and potential clients. I have even mentioned that when I lecture at investment seminars when discussing perception. – “Hey, I wear a suit and glasses and I have gray hair, so I must be smart, right?” Like all your other articles, I like this one very much. You rock.

    • Lonny Strum says:

      More cred for gray haired CPAs Jim. Don’t start dyeing now. It’s too late anyhow. Thanks for your support and feedback.

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