November 20, 2015 / 10:23 AM / 4 years ago

Obama doesn't dye and tell

U.S. President Barack Obama participates in a town hall meeting with Young Southeast Asian Leaders Initiative (YSEALI) attendees at Taylor's University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia November 20, 2015, before attending the ASEAN summit meeting. During the event, Obama chided some of his fellow world leaders for coloring their hair to look young. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

KUALA LUMPUR (Reuters) - President Barack Obama stood before an audience of students and admitted the obvious: he doesn’t dye his hair, unlike some leaders he could name, but would not.

“The first thing I want from young people is to stop calling me old. Come on, you hurt my feelings,” he joked after a Cambodian student at a town hall meeting in Kuala Lumpur asked him for sage advice “since you yourself are aging to a very senior life”.

“When I came into office I had no gray hair and now I have a lot...I don’t dye my hair and a lot of my fellow leaders do. I won’t say who. But their barbers know, their hairdressers.”

Obama’s hair was black without a trace of gray when he took office in January 2009.

A leader’s true hair color has sometimes been a matter of controversy.

One secret former President Ronald Reagan took with him to his grave was whether he dyed his midnight-black hair. Reagan always denied he hued his hair and interviews with his barber never proved otherwise.

Former Gereman Chancellor Gerhard Shroeder once sued a German news agency for claiming he dyed his dark brown hair.

Chinese leaders, regardless of age, typically sport a head of suspiciously black hair.

Reporting by Matt Spetalnick. Writing by Bill Tarrant.

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