Last Wednesday, Matt LeBlanc shared on “The Tonight Show” that though he only started sporting his gray hair last year, he had actually began going gray in his mid-20s. It was surprising news when the actor revealed that he dyed his hair throughout the entire run of “Friends,” on which he played Joey Tribbiani, a character known for his boyish looks and matching personality.
LeBlanc explained to Jay Leno, another TV personality unafraid to show his white locks night after night, that dyeing his hair gray was just too much of a hassle. Even while on “Friends,” LeBlanc resorted to using Just For Men in order to avoid the hustle and bustle of the makeup room.
While LeBlanc’s personal decision to go gray mostly had to do with convenience, the revelation that “Friends” insisted he dye his hair reminds us that men too have to deal with the struggles of aging and graying hair. It makes me wonder, if LeBlanc hadn’t been playing the role of Joey, and was Ross or Chandler instead, would he have been allowed to keep his natural hair color for the show? There’s no doubt that society has different standards for men and women when it comes to going gray. But the popularity of hair dye products for men is proof enough that gray hair is as much a matter of insecurity for men as it is women. (Maybe, in a strange way, Just for Men’s Touch of Gray series is a step in the right direction?)
LeBlanc has now joined the ranks of many celebrity guys who have gone gray. And like George Clooney and Anderson Cooper, he is not afraid to display his new look onscreen. LeBlanc’s latest role is a fictionalized version of himself in a new show on Showtime called “Episodes,” and yes, even the fake version of Matt LeBlanc on Showtime has gray hair.