He might have been talking Scottish devolution, but during Tony Blair's most recent appearance on an ITV interview, you almost hear the plectrum plucking the first strains of a Steely Dan anthem.
Because his swept-back grey mane was pure ageing dad rocker. Add a leather jacket and an offensively pungent cologne, and he could be in the next Top Gear presenter line-up.
It's the curse of Men of a Certain Age, who are done with the world of corporate suits and Captain of Industry tidy side-partings and are ready to revisit their youth, as they tease that Beatnik of yesteryear out of retirement. The guitar on the rec-room wall is suddenly rediscovered and the middle management locks are no more. It's telling that Blair used to have long hair as a student; perhaps growing it out is a follicular throwback to a simpler time?
To be fair to the former PM, we're all a little shaggier post-lockdown, but it's the particulars of the 67-year-old's hairstyle that are so telling. His hair is receding, but in sweeping it back so severely he only serves to highlight that fact.
AdvertisementAdvertise with NZME.
Similarly, as the grey creeps in, hairs tend to be finer, and when they reach the length of Blair's they take on a wispy, wizardly quality - there's a touch of The Fellowship to his 'do, likewise that of a bumbling parson in a Jane Austen adaptation. With that in mind, we speak to Alex Glover, manager at Adam Atelier Harrods on the dos and don'ts of longer hair for the over-fifties.
Use the right product
"Older men with receding hair can look great; it just needs to look like it's deliberate," says Glover. "Going without any product, or worse, slicking your longer hair back with greasy wax, can be ageing as the hair can look frazzled if it's flyaway, or cling too much to the scalp with product." Instead, opt for a sea salt spray that will add volume to longer, finer hair. You might as well embrace the full Rod Stewart.
Take care of colour
"Grey hair loses pigment as it ages, and can take on a yellowish tone which if there's more of it, can become more obvious," says Glover. Avoid this by opting for a silver-tinted shampoo, which will up your silver fox credentials instead of veering into Compo from Last of the Summer Wine territory.
If you've got it, flaunt it
"Even if a man is receding, he doesn't have to simply cut it all off. A lot of men want to keep what they have up top while they can," says the barber. Just be honest about the condition of your hair; finer is generally easier to tease into some semblance of respectability, while coarse grey hair is more difficult to manage.
Keep the glare off
There's no shame in a bald scalp, but if you're sweeping hair over it, shiny spots underneath can look all the more ragtag and obvious. Negate this, says Glover, using a thickening shampoo or colouring product to provide a more even cover. Suitably armed, all you need is your Pink Floyd LP and some questionable denim. Dad rockers, rock on.
And speaking of Rock, Blair told The Evening Standard he had not had such long hair since his days in a rock band known as the Ugly Rumours at Oxford University - which raises all sorts of questions about his later-in-life desire to relive them.