DEAR ABBY: I have a friend in her mid-40s who has naturally dark hair she keeps cut short. It looked fine.

A few months ago, she bleached her hair platinum blond. She said she was going for a look that will include dark roots, but she has kept the roots platinum, so now her hair just looks white — especially in pictures. She posted photos of herself with her boyfriend on Facebook, and while I was scrolling down, my initial reaction was, “Who is that elderly woman he’s sitting with?”

A mutual friend commented to me how bad my friend’s hair looks and how aging it is. Should I mention to her that her hair color makes her look 20 years older? Telling someone her hair doesn’t look good can be hurtful, but if it were me, I’d want to know. — HELPFUL IN HAWAII

DEAR HELPFUL: Be diplomatic, but tell her. A tactful way to lead in would be to say you saw the pictures she posted on Facebook and the platinum hair makes her look “older.” However, unless she asks how much older, don’t volunteer, because if you say it’s two decades, she may take offense.

DEAR ABBY: What is the rule for tipping in drive-thrus? I never thought a tip was necessary in places like that. If the service is good, a tip is warranted. Now many drive-thrus have a tip jar out on the ledge of the window.

It’s like everyone seems to think they deserve one. A tip is expected when you get your vehicle inspected, your tires changed, your oil changed, manicures and hairstyling, among other things. How much is appropriate to tip for services? I certainly don’t want to devalue someone’s service if times have changed and this is commonplace. — DRIVE-THRU TIPPING

DEAR DRIVE-THRU: For restaurant servers, hairstylists and manicurists, a 15 to 20 percent tip is expected. The same is true for taxi drivers, hotel personnel and skycaps. In other situations, a tip may be offered when the service performed has been exceptional.

If the service you received at the drive-thru was prompt, your order was correct and the person at the window was pleasant and helpful, either give the workers a couple of dollars or the loose change that’s returned to you. However, a tip is not required.

DEAR ABBY: A woman friend of mine is angry at me because I have started dating a mutual friend of ours. She says when someone wants to date someone’s friend, the polite thing to do is ask how the friend feels about it. Mind you, the man I’m going out with isn’t her ex and was as good a friend to me as he was to her. If I had discussed the matter with her, what difference would it have made? She doesn’t own him. Does her logic make sense to you? — FREE AGENT IN TEXAS

DEAR FREE AGENT: No. Your “friend” has no prior claim on the man you are dating. That she would try to insert herself into your romantic life makes no sense, and you would be foolish to allow it.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.

Good advice for everyone — teens to seniors — is in “The Anger in All of Us and How to Deal With It.” To order, send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $7 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Anger Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)

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