Silver-bearded Matt Bomer is the latest silver cub to champion the grey look
Published 18/07/2013 | 05:00
Hollywood hunk Matt Bomer is just one of the stars reportedly in the running to play Christian Grey in the upcoming Fifty Shades of Grey movie.
But it's the actor's own greying beard that's getting fans whipped up online.
From silver fox to silver cub, dad-of-three Bomer (35) is just one of a younger generation of male celebs embracing the salt and pepper look.
World War Z star James Dale Badge (35) and footballer Robin van Persie (29) also appear to be taking a stand for grey pride.
"Nowadays, it's mainly older men who dye their hair trying to look younger," says celebrity hairdresser Dylan Bradshaw, whose salon is located on Dublin's South William Street.
"If you're a younger guy, with just a few grey hairs on your temple, it's not so bad looking. I think you need to decide early on whether you're going to go the silver fox route or get it coloured," he adds. "It's much better to disguise it from the beginning than get rid of it later on."
The average Irish man starts to go grey at 30 – five years before women – when the body starts to produce less melanin, the pigment responsible for hair colour.
However, unwanted greys could soon become a thing of the past, according to research published by the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB).
While working on a cure for skin condition vitiligo, boffins inadvertently found that it restored pigment to the hair too.
"For generations, numerous remedies have been concocted to hide grey hair," explains Dr Gerald Weissmann of the FASEB. "But now, for the first time, an actual treatment that gets to the root of the problem has been developed."
It's good news for actor John Barrowman (45), who admits he's been dyeing his for years: "My hair's only still the same colour because of the bottle. I'm completely white.
"A couple of years back, I shaved my head and let it grow ... to see if it was time to let my hair go back to its natural colour.
"[Partner Scott Gill] looked at me and said, 'I'm not so ready for that yet', and he's [four years] older than me."
Nonetheless, six out of 10 men would still rather go grey than bald, according to a survey by haircare brand Fudge.
And 10pc would even consider hitting the bottle to speed up the process like American Idol star Adam Lambert (31), who dyed his hair silver last year.
"What's great to see is the influence that men are taking from greying celebrities [by] embracing their inner silver fox," says John Vial, Fudge Creative Director.
"The fact that people are requesting to be made grey just cements that this is a style set to stay."
The original of the species, George Clooney (52) led the way when he began to grey gracefully at 33. But he admits the grizzly beard he grew for upcoming movie Monuments Men was a bridge too far: "I was a little surprised how grey it was when it came out.
"You're like, 'What the hell happened?' I was young once, but now I'm old."
"George Clooney is probably the most famous grey-haired man alive," says Dylan Bradshaw. "Women find him attractive because he's also got sallow skin and brown eyes.
"If you've got pale and pasty skin, it might not be as flattering. Low lights, comb-on colour and balayage are just some of the more subtle options out there for men," he advises.
"The key thing is to have a chat with someone who specialises in hair colour.
"And please don't put the rubbish on shelves near your head unless you want to end up looking like Elvis!"
Would you dye your hair: No
* Mark O'Keeffe hairdresser, 'I started going grey at 32 and I get compliments'
It's grey all the way for hairdresser Mark O'Keeffe (40) from Dublin, who owns Brown Sugar and Sugar Cubed.
"As a hairdresser, I have lots of male clients who get their hair coloured, and have no issues with it. Some guys don't want to be grey; some embrace it.
"For me, I think grey hair can look very distinctive, especially against pale Irish skin. Grey hair actually suits my skin tone better than my natural dark brown colour.
"Like most people, it's been a fairly slow process. I first starting spotting greys when I was around 32. Now I've got this silver streak at the front, which I love because it looks a bit different.
"Some people think I put it there, but that's just the way it grows and I wouldn't dream of dying it. Celebrities like George Lamb have definitely helped make grey hair sexy. Since going grey, I get a lot more compliments. A few clients have even asked me to put grey into their hair!
"At this stage, I'll never go back to brown. If anything, it frustrates me how long it's taking to go completely grey. Our fourth child is on the way, so that should help!"
Would you dye hour hair: Yes
'I'm a bottle brunette and happy'
* Colum McCormack-Crowe, showbiz reporter
Showbiz reporter Colum McCormack-Crowe (36) from Cork, who's seen on RTE's Today Show, reveals why he's hit the bottle.
"I got my hair dyed for the first time a few weeks ago. After building up to it for about a year, I'm delighted with the results. About three years ago, I noticed my first grey hair on my chest. Then I started noticing them around my temple.
"At first, I just got my hair cut a little tighter and used more styling gel, which makes it look darker. When more greys started coming through my hair, though, I thought: 'I have to do something about this'.
"As someone who works in TV, I didn't want to let it go grey, and then suddenly dye it. Personally, I think the George Clooney look is very ageing. But there's nothing worse than men who look like they have soot in their hair either. I got my dye job done professionally to be safe. It cost €30, and I'll probably need to get it done every six weeks, but that's still cheaper than a woman getting highlights every eight weeks.
"Whether you're a man or woman, dyeing your hair makes you look younger. And if you look younger, you feel better. Getting rid of my greys has definitely made me more confident. There's still a bit of a stigma surrounding men dying their hair. Given that I once had Botox on national television, however, I have no problem telling people I'm a bottle brunette!"