Obama doesn't dye and tell

The US president said he doesn’t dye his hair, unlike some leaders he could name, but would not.

FILE: US President Barack Obama. Picture: AFP.

KUALA LUMPUR - 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 German 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.