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Fox4 meteorologist Ron Jackson gets his gray on

Veteran Fox4 meteorologist Ron Jackson's official station website picture hasn't quite caught up yet with his latter day on-air look. Photos: Ed Bark, myfoxdfw.com

After a long stint with tint, mainstay Fox4 meteorologist Ron Jackson lately has decided to pretty much quit his dye job.

Jackson, whose primary beat is weekend shifts, has been notably grayer on air as he nears his 31-year anniversary at the Dallas-based station.

"Yeah, I decided to simply let it go -- well mostly anyway," Jackson said in an email response. "I just turned 56 and was getting too old for that Bob Barker look before he let it go."

Barker darkened his hair for decades as the host of The Price Is Right. Then all of a sudden he went white. Jackson is now mostly silver.

"When I started here, I was totally dark and never needed to color it," he said. "I guess I started about 10 to 15 years ago when I saw the gray coming in. I decided to quit coloring it about two to three months ago . . . Keeping up with the coloring was a pain, as I had to do it about every month."

Jackson said he's still using Grecian Formula to achieve a "salt and pepper look," even if the pepper is far outnumbered now. "I always thought that keeping it dark would look the best. But every time I colored it, I would get reactions from viewers to leave it gray. They say it make me look 'more distinguished.' I'm not sure about that."

His father, who died at age 62, "didn't have a gray hair on his head," Jackson noted. "It must be the weather stress I'm going through here in North Texas."

He said that with a smile. Or in email parlance, a :)

Television personalities, whether in news or pure entertainment, fight constant battles with whether to keep pretending or basically act their ages. It can be tough to give up a dye job or hairpiece cold turkey after many years of going undercover.

Jackson has yielded to Father Time without apparently unduly alarming the viewing public. This has always been far easier for men than women, though. Double standards are firmly in place, and it doesn't matter whether your news director is male or female.

So don't expect Fox4's Clarice Tinsley or WFAA8's Gloria Campos to even think about pulling a Jackson until their on-air days are over and done. Right, girls?