FROM shades of startling red to hues of vivid tangerine, brightly coloured beards have become a fashion statement on the streets of Bangladesh’s (孟加拉) capital Dhaka (達卡).
Facial hair of sunset tones is now the go-to look for older men wanting to take off the years, with an array of henna options available to the style-conscious.
“I have been using it on my hair for the last two months. I like it,” says Mahbubul Bashar, in his 50s, whose smile reflected his joy at his new look.
Vegetable market porter Abul Mia, age 60, agrees that the vibrant colouring can be transformative.
While henna has been used widely in the country for decades, it has reached new heights of popularity. It is now virtually impossible to walk down a street in a Bangladesh city without seeing a coloured beard.
“Putting henna on has become a fashion choice in recent years for elder men,” confirms Didarul Dipu, head fashion journalist at Canvas magazine.
Some believe henna powder has health benefits and as it is natural, it does not cause any medical issues relating to chemical dyes.
The new trend has also boosted barbers’ fortunes – more men feel compelled to dye their hair and to do it more often at the salons.
Top imams also increasingly use henna powder colour in what experts say is a move to prove their Muslim credentials as some religious texts say the prophet Mohammed dyed his hair. A sociology professor believes the growing number of henna beards is “a sign of increasing Muslim fervour in Bangladesh”.
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 30 October 2019)
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