THE flame-red hair has been a fixture in Scottish football for decades.
First, the russet locks weaved around the pitch then switched to bobbing excitedly up and down the touchline. But yesterday, attention centred on Gordon Strachan’s apparent transformation from a redhead to a blond.
While football fans took to Twitter to question whether the Scotland manager was reaching for the hair dye, hairdressers explained that the new hue was the natural colour of red hair gone “grey”, prompting the speculation that the national job could be taking its toll on the 56-year old.
Viewers who watched Scotland take on the Auld Enemy at Wembley for the first time in 14 years on Wednesday night found themselves distracted from the action on the pitch by the new look paraded by the manager on the touchline.
Twitter lit up with people suggesting that Strachan had taken to dying his hair blond.
“Gordon Strachan’s hair looks like it’s been spun by Rumple-stiltskin,” tweeted @K_J77.
“If Ernst Stavro Blofeld had been at Wembley, he’d have stroked Gordon Strachan’s hair while contemplating world domination,” quipped @Ian64.
The organiser of last week’s Ginger Pride march in Edinburgh mourned the loss of afamous member of Team Ginger to Team Blond.
Shawn Hitchin said he was disappointed to lose such a
famous ginger ally.
“Everyone thinks they can cut and dye their own hair. There is a reason why there are professionals. People spend ludicrous amounts to attain red hair. Being ginger is a gift. Good for him for shaking it up, but give him a week and his roots will be showing.”
However, the mystery of the manager’s new look deepened as seasoned coiffeurs suggested that the new look may not, in fact, be compelling evidence of a sudden change in follicle
direction but of the more natural process of aging.
Taylor Ferguson, a hairdresser who has cut Strachan’s hair in the past, said: “When he was with Celtic, Gordon came in a few times. When red hair ages it goes a nice golden colour and the more grey white you get, the less striking warmth and red in the hair. You go more blond.
“He may also have been in the sun. If you swim or are in the sun, your hair gets lighter again – there are various reasons why it looks like it does.
“I think he is growing grey gracefully. I don’t see a dye – the worst I see is a sun-bleach.
“In my opinion, he has a good head of hair and is doing a good job. He probably needs a bit of shaping – if you are quite small you need a smart hairdo and if it gets out of hand it looks out of shape.”
It was a sentiment shared by Jill Aitchison, who reached the final of the 2013 hair colourist of the year. The salon manager and creative director of the Medusa hair salon in Edinburgh said she did not detect the whiff of hair dye from the Scotland manager but saw instead the steady march of time.
“I think he’s going grey and has been in the sun. I think he looks good and rather distinguished. Men can pull it off but women can’t.”
Redheads in Scotland carry the genes of forebears who arrived in Britain 40,000 to 50,000 years ago, while scientists have discovered redheads are more tolerant of pain, which would have allowed Strachan to better cope with Scotland’s 3-2 defeat.
A spokesman for the Scotland manager refused to confirm or deny whether or not Strachan’s hue was artificially enhanced.
What do you think? Has Gordon Strachan dyed his hair?