Ginger beards

Ginger is beautiful.

It is a common sight in Somaliland to see elderly men with their beards died orange from henna. Sometimes you see some pretty spectacular shades of orange; other times the dye-job is more subdued, or limited only to the tip of a goatee.

You only see it on old men, because of course their hair must be white in order to take on the colour from the dye.

Perhaps my Somali friends and readers can help me out here, as I’m not entirely sure of the significance of the hennaed beard – is it done simply to hide their white hair, or is there some deeper purpose or meaning? In any case, it looks pretty awesome.

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8 Responses to “Ginger beards”

  1. it does!

  2. The reason behind it is because the prophet Mohamed(PBUH) advised his followers to avoid dying their black and dye any other color(for men)..And he went on to say that henna and katam(a plant similar to henna) is permissable to be used to dye their hair. To my best knowledge it is prohibited because it can be used to deceive a suitable woman for marriege.

    Interestingly, I remember few years back that my dear mother always reminding my father that he needs to keep up with his henna application because she wasnt fond of his gray hair. As a matter of fact it is the women that prepare and apply on their elderly husband/father..because certainly that was the case in my household my mom would be preparing the henna and then would be applying it on him…I hope I answered your inquiry…

    • africagrows Says:

      Thank you for sharing that information. I did read that it was related to a Muslim prohibition against other forms of hair dye, but I wasn’t sure that it was true, so thank you for confirming it. Is the same true of women– they can only dye their hair with henna?

  3. To my best knowledge, woman are exception to the rule, it only concerns men….Plus elderly mens with henna on have this dignified look about them in my opinion..Also, we have high regards for the elderly, they are our source of knowledge and consultation..They are the ones who settle disputes..They are the ones who defuse hostile and warring factions..They mean a lot to us, as opposed to the elderly in the western countries where they are thrown in nursing house and are left to their own demise…It is something we cannot come to understand despiite coming to understand a lot of other cultural differences that we witness as citizens of the West…Before I forget, an elderly who dyes his hair black in our eyes looks pathetic, I mean who is he trying to fool, black hair is for a young man, you gotta move on with age, and age with grace..But here in the west, aging is so feared and disliked…Do you not agree?

  4. He looks like a black leprechaun :p

  5. I’m glad they have the means and culture to do something that makes them feel good about themselves and that might be seen as fun. In the United States men are so extremely lacking freedom of expression in the regard of what men should or should not do. Women can act and wear everything men do like short hair, pants, no make-up without it being a big deal but men are extremely pressured to be as plain and natural as possible or be ridiculed by their peers.

  6. This is such a cool picture. I ❤ this guy…

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