What is common between President Pervez Musharraf, Imran Khan, Sheikh Rashid Ahmed, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain and Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry?" Even a schoolboy knows the answer: They are all members of the Kala Kola Klub.
Khalid Hasan has a knack of coining interesting names – Kala Kola Klub – which are not only descriptive but also stick. (If you didn’t know, he also coined the name ‘Shortcut’ for you know who.)
In his column, Khalid Hasan also revealed that Imran Khan not only dyes his hair but also had a hair implant job done lately. No wonder, his hair looks a lot thicker than it did a few years ago. Well, if you thought it was only the Sharif brothers who made good use of their time and money while abroad, think again.
It so happens that most men nowadays, when they reach their 50s or even before, particularly those we see on TV talk shows – the guests as well as the hosts – have their hair dyed. Some have theirs done professionally while most of them do it themselves in the privacy of their homes using whatever in-house help is available.
Let me state upfront, though, that it is none of my business nor should it be anyone else’s if Pervez Musharraf, Imran Khan, Altaf Bhai, Asif Zardari or any other person dyes his hair in whatever color he chooses. It is their hair and their heads – and their money. (I believe hair implants can cost a lot.)
But, as someone said, it’s the idea of one’s leader sitting in a hairdressing salon, wearing one of those flowered waterproof smocks, their heads covered with that gooey stuff – that picture doesn’t quite tie in with the powerful statesman image.
I wonder if it is the proliferation of electronic media that has made these men with dyed hair more visible than they were in the past or is it a growing new trend? Or, is it a bad job of dyeing they generally do that makes them look so conspicuous?
Someone remarked the other day that in spite of faltering economy of the country Kala Kola (or its equivalents) seem to be doing a roaring business in Pakistan and so is the business of salons. This statement may have been made jokingly, but there must be some truth to it for even a serious newspaper like Los Angles Times took note of this "gooey" business in a recent report titled ‘Pakistani men sitting pretty’ filed by its staff reporter, Laura King, from Islamabad. The report talked about the growing number of prominent Pakistani men flocking to salons for dye jobs and other facial and hair treatments.
Pervez Musharraf, because of his high profile, is the most conspicuous member of the Kal Kola Klub. (He is not much seen on TV nowadays.) He dyes his hair very carefully, in two tones, white at the temples and black or brown at the top. Some say, he chooses the shade of his hair depending on the occasion and his mood. If he felt pleased and playful he would dye it a shade of brown, and blow-dry it to give it a tousled look. But when under stress, he would use a darker shade. The grimmer the mood the darker the shade.
A peculiar trait of men is that they are very sensitive about their hair. They would discuss everything among themselves – their clothes, their weight, their ailments, and even their affairs, but rarely their hair. "Unfortunately", says an expert, "because men are so sensitive about their hair â€¦ they can’t ask for advice in the way women do quite openly. Thus, where gray hair is concerned, many men will be tempted to dye it at home, in secret, in a color that they think will work but rarely does. And because men don’t talk about hair, they don’t say anything when another man gets it wrong, and the circle of silence continues."
Incidentally, this sensitivity about hair is not limited to any particular nationality. It is universal. In 2002 the then German chancellor, Gerhard SchrÃ¶der, otherwise reported to be quite a laid-back politician, sued a news agency for simply implying that he dyed his hair. A testament from his hairdresser was even read out in court to support him.
The other day, flipping through old magazines while waiting my turn at a barber’s shop here in New York (I had gone for a plain hair cut), I came across an interesting article by a woman writer, a fashion expert, that had some advice and tips that the existing and potential hair dyers may find useful. Here is what it said:
Men can look hotter as they age, and natural white streaks in black hair are very attractive on men. (So, why use a camouflage?)
If you must dye, just make sure it looks natural. Obvious dye jobs that resemble someone slathering their head with black shoe polish are a far bigger turnoff than gray hair. (Have you seen Chaudhry Pervez Elahi lately?). And, by the way, a bad toupee is a deal breaker!
Use a shade very similar to your natural color.
Rub Vaseline along your skin at the hairline and especially your ears and neck. This keeps the dye from staining your skin.
READ THE DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY, which come with the dye, and use the gloves!