Why do Chinese leaders all have dye jobs?

Jason Leow pens an entertaining thumb-sucker for the Wall Street Journal on one of the key mysteries of our age: why top Chinese leaders seem compelled to dye their hair. President and party chief Hu Jintao, 64, still has black hair. Even his retired predecessor, 81-year-old Jiang Zemin, still turns up at major political events ...

597665_071210_jiang_05.jpg
597665_071210_jiang_05.jpg

Jason Leow pens an entertaining thumb-sucker for the Wall Street Journal on one of the key mysteries of our age: why top Chinese leaders seem compelled to dye their hair.

President and party chief Hu Jintao, 64, still has black hair. Even his retired predecessor, 81-year-old Jiang Zemin, still turns up at major political events with a shiny black top.

Leow tries out a few explanations for this:

Jason Leow pens an entertaining thumb-sucker for the Wall Street Journal on one of the key mysteries of our age: why top Chinese leaders seem compelled to dye their hair.

President and party chief Hu Jintao, 64, still has black hair. Even his retired predecessor, 81-year-old Jiang Zemin, still turns up at major political events with a shiny black top.

Leow tries out a few explanations for this:

Political leaders need to go on television and are seen by the public. They need to show that they are in good health,” says Wang Zhengrun… Experts say that obsessing about hair color here may be rooted in modern-day social conditions… Driven by the desire for youthfulness… Today’s growing consumer culture…

Of course, he’s missing the most obvious explanation: Ladies love it. Consider this recent photograph of Jiang Zemin, which has been making the rounds in the Chinese blogosphere:

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