Live and let dye? Not me

Paul McCartney
Paul McCartney
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“HMM, there’s quite a few grey hairs showing through,” my wife informed me the other week while inspecting my head for some reason or another.

She was probably hunting down lice, or money, it’s usually one or the other in our house.

“Time,” she continued, “to think about having it dyed.”

I am not going to dye my hair. While I have every intention of holding back the years, I will do so with as much dignity as my sorry backside can muster.

I ain’t going the full Paul McCartney. No way.

He’s 71, yet sports a full head of luscious brown hair. Look closely and there’s not a hint of grey.

There must be a team working round the clock to keep that barnet grey-free.

The question “Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m 64?” is irrelevant. He clearly decided he was never going to be 64.

His age-defying regime is a simple three-step plan. 1. Dye hair. 2. Wear trainers with suits. 3. Be a multi-millionaire music legend who can surround himself with people who, despite seeing dyed hair and trainers with suits, will answer the question: How old do you think I look? With the answer I dunno 35 … 36?

And in some ways he does resemble a 36-year-old. A 36-year-old tortoise. But I don’t wish to be unkind.

Like most people careering towards 50, the wear and tear is beginning to take its toll.

To battle the passage of time, I will focus my diet. I’ll cut down on fatty foods (I’ll go normal, not large, with my McDonald’s Big Mac), watch my alcohol intake (Fosters instead of Stella) and exercise more (leave the car, love, we’ll walk to Pizza Hut). But I won’t dye my hair.

Lines have to be drawn in the sand. There are some places that men just aren’t supposed to go.

Dying your hair is along a line that stretches from chest waxing at the lower end of must-not-dos, through colonic irrigation, and ends around about the vasectomy (against the will of God ... and it smarts – as painful as childbirth, I’ve heard).

My wife was not for turning on this one: “You will dye your hair. I’m not going out with a grey-haired old man.”

She’s not one for sweetening the pill. I once asked her if she thought I’d suit my hair shorter.

“No,” she replied. “Your features are too big.”


“Yes,” she continued. “You’ve got a big nose, big eyes and your chin’s too big. You’d look awful with short hair.”

I admired her honesty. But on thinking about it, those big features will always be there. I will surely have a big nose whether my hair’s long or short, won’t I?

“Yes,” she said. “But it sort of works.”

There was too much emphasis on the ‘sort of’ for my liking.

Perhaps she wants me to grow my hair long enough so that I can then brush it across my face. “There, that’s better.”

Next day, a new bottle of shampoo appeared in the shower. A shampoo containing a hair dye.

Something to do with copper tones! I’ve been toying with using it. If you see me sporting trainers with my work suit … you have my permission to shoot me.

* AS a footnote... my wife had her hair coloured last week. On returning from the hairdressers she decided to “lift it” even further with some highlighting shampoo. The result? Her hair turned green!

She was, naturally, mortified. She was supposed to be going out that night and asked me what I thought. I reassured her as best I could. “Don’t worry,” I said. “It sort of works ...”