Thursday, March 5, 2009

For Young President, Flecks of Gray

Senator Barack Obama in 2007, left, and on Tuesday.

Well, that didn’t take long. Just 44 days into the job, and President Obama is going gray.

It happens to all of them, of course — Bill Clinton still had about half a head of brown hair when he took office but was a silver fox two years later, and George W. Bush went from salt and pepper to just salt in what seemed like a blink of an eye.

At least they have hair.

Mr. Obama’s graying is still of the flecked variety, and appears to wax and wane depending on when he gets his hair cut, which he does about every two weeks. His barber, who goes by only one name, Zariff, takes umbrage with bloggers who alternately claim Mr. Obama, 47, is dyeing his hair gray (to appear more distinguished) or dyeing it black (to appear younger). “I can tell you that his hair is 100 percent natural,” Zariff said. “He wouldn’t get it colored.”

People blog about hair? Some people have too much time on their hands.

And for all of his 16 years giving Mr. Obama his “quo vadis” haircut — black parlance from the 1960s for close-cut locks — Zariff said he is not about to start ribbing Mr. Obama. “We do not tease about the gray at all,” he said.

Being white, I've never heard of a “quo vadis” haircut.

“Presidents age two years for every year that they’re in office,” said Dr. Michael F. Roizen, co-founder of RealAge, a Web site that tells you how much older your body really is because of all that smoking and drinking you have been doing.

I don't know if I want to know.

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