CHICAGO – It may be hard to imagine Rod Blagojevich looking anything but boyish in his trademark dark helmet hair. But his longtime barber said Wednesday that the former Illinois governor has been dying his hair for years and now that he is in prison — where dyes are banned — it will soon turn gray.

Peter Vodovoz, Blagojevich’s Chicago-area barber for two decades, told The Associated Press the 55-year-old has dyed his hair himself, but with no dye available at his lockup, the last color masking his gray will fade within three months.

“His hair will turn gray, like Jay Leno’s,” Vodovoz said, speaking a week after Blagojevich entered a federal prison outside Denver to serve his sentence on corruption charges.

Hair dyes are strictly banned in the Federal Correctional Institution Englewood because inmates could use them to disguise their appearance in attempted escapes, prison spokesman John Sell said.

Vodovoz offered his prison-bound client advice he may have difficulty taking: He told him not to fret about his hair behind bars because no cameras will be around to document his appearance.

“‘There’s no media, so don’t worry,’ I told him,” he said. “Who’s going to care?”

The two-term governor was closely identified with and parodied for his thick helmet of hair. A comedian on Saturday Night Live once joked that when FBI agents came to arrest him in 2008, Blagojevich asked for five minutes to pack his things — and for eight hours to comb his hair.

In reality, so obsessive was he about ensuring every strand of hair was in place, Blagojevich famously had a security official carry around a hair brush everywhere he went when he was governor.

And some in the disgraced politician’s dwindling fan base remained awed by his hair. After he gave a parting farewell statement outside his house a day before walking through the prison gates, one woman in a crowd of well-wishers reached out to caress his hair.

But it’s not all bad hair news for Blagojevich.

Prison rules do allow him to wear it at whatever length and in whatever style he wants — though barbers available to him in prison likely won’t take the same care as Vodovoz.

The barber, a 48-year-old who emigrated from the Soviet Union in 1990, spoke admiringly of Blagojevich’s hair as the thickest of a man in his 50s he’s ever seen and said he’ll miss cutting it. Then he added that he thought Blagojevich’s 14-year sentence was far too harsh.

“In the Soviet Union, you have to kill someone to get a sentence like that,” Vodovoz said in a thick Russian accent. “Blagojevich should have been given community service or something. Now, his life is destroyed. His children’s’ life is destroyed.”

‘Help’ actress vows to help home state

MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer promised Alabama fans Wednesday that she would do everything possible to make sure some of her future movies are made in her home state.

Spencer, who won this year’s best supporting actress Oscar for her performance in “The Help,” told the crowd in Montgomery that her home would always be in Alabama.

Wearing a purple dress, she rode up to the State House in a pink limousine. She was serenaded by the band from her alma mater, Jefferson Davis High School.

The Montgomery native thanked Rep. Terri Collins, R-Decatur, for sponsoring a bill, approved by the state House, to increase the incentives the state offers for movies to be made in Alabama. The bill was approved later Wednesday by the Senate.

Multiple speakers, including Gov. Robert Bentley and leaders of the House and Senate, greeted Spencer at a joint session of the Legislature. Bentley proclaimed Wednesday as “Octavia Spencer Day in Alabama.”

“We want to make sure your next Oscar is on a film shot right here in Alabama,” Speaker Mike Hubbard told the actress.

The running joke throughout Spencer’s visit concerned Minnie’s famous pies in the movie, including one she made for her boss that included a nauseating ingredient and led to her being fired.

“Don’t hand me a piece of pie,” Senate president pro tem Del Marsh, R-Anniston, told Spencer.

Spencer was guest of honor at a reception at a Montgomery hotel later, and Montgomery Mayor Todd Strange presented her a key to the city. Strange invited Spencer to return often to her hometown.

“But please leave your pies at home,” Strange said as a member of the audience chanted “Don’t bring no pies.”

‘Jersey Shore’ star treated for drug use

NEW YORK – The party is on hold for “The Situation.” The “Jersey Shore” cast member is getting treatment for prescription medication use.

Mike Sorrentino says he’s voluntarily seeking to “take control” of medication he was taking to deal with exhaustion.

The 29-year-old reality star known for his abs made the admission on Facebook and his personal website after gossip sites reported he was in rehab.

He says he has “spent the past several weeks getting treatment for this problem and recuperating from my work and appearance schedule.” He didn’t specify the medication.

An email from MTV says the network has no comment but is “looking forward” to the entire cast returning for a sixth season of the hit reality show.

MTV had announced this week that production would begin this summer in Seaside Heights, N.J.