Of Fifty Strands Of Grey

Titanium pearl
Metallic graphite
Silver dusk
Ash black
All shades of grey and counting

                                       How many grey strands do I have in my beard?

fifty strands.jpg

50 strands of grey that’s how many I counted from my beard before I stopped counting…… The thing about counting your greys…, you know how a witch’s spell is spelled, the way naming it makes it real, it is just like that.
From the day you look in the mirror and discover your first grey, then you pull at it, all nonchalant, thinking it’s a strand of linen or an errand fabric, that has no business on your person, only to discover it hurts when you pluck it (you never forget that day when you realise you are aging) and you count it ONE. You panic a bit and then eventually kid yourself into forgetting about it, that it was a special limited, one-time only freak of nature, a once-off.

Every morning you spend longer than you normally do, starring at your reflection not because you like the way you reflect….. and just when you relax and start to think, “Phew! Dodged that bullet”…. and then there were THREE and then NINE and then 27 progressing in some weird exponential curve increasing every time you count the grey ones…….

It’s all perfectly natural and happens to everyone at some point in time……. You age you get greys….. Except only when you get grey at a time way to early, I mean don’t we learn in biology 101 how you get grey as you age and die…. OH NO!!! Does this mean I am dying ?????Yes we are born then we die but in between all that, life happens..the thing is I am too young to die and too old to die young……..Its like having midlife crisis at half the age it normally happens… OMG quarter life crisis

I discovered my first grey(s) in my late teens when I was still struggling to grow the fuzz on my face that I called a beard….

I used to pluck out the greys with a tweezer, until I discovered that it is also like counting them, for every ONE you pluck a new crop of grey will pop up in an arithmetic progression that boggles the mind……. at that rate by Christmas my beard would have been so snow white, I could cast for Santa Claus minus the big tummy of course….


Suddenly other people notice it too….. It is so cute(not) how someone will ask you “hey do you know your beard is grey?Erm oh really I hadn’t noticed…… Or “How old are you…?” It is so hard not to be insecure when you are self-conscious about your “uniqueness

And then someone introduced me to dye…. The beauty of synthetic colour…. For a while I had the vibrant rich colour as advertised on the pamphlet, but only for a week and some change and then would need to dye it again…. I was always careful not to swallow any dye, to avoid dyeing slowly on the inside you see… but I ruined more than one good tshirt with splashes of colour. This one time I accidentally dyed my beard a most curious shade of blue, the instructions on the bottle are in Chinese so, yeah that……. It was hilarious watching people trying super hard not to stare, stealing glances at me..

Ladies who never step outside without wearing make-up….. I get it now….
I even discovered a handy use for a mascara brush, well I think that’s what it`s called the one, some ladies use to brush out their eyebrows or is it eyelashes??, to look like maybe they were born with it….. anyhoo that brush is handy as a dye applicator especially when you are going for that pencil thin beard that looks like its painted on….2014-04-02 13.59.46.jpg
….But unfortunately just as the spell, as counting and as plucking, when the dye wears off, you wind up with even more grey (or maybe it seems that way). So eventually I took a leaf from page in my mum’s book….

My mum has had rich shiny Silver hair from the first day I became aware that this woman gave birth to me…


She embraced the genes she was created with and carries her uniqueness like an armour; small wonder, even now, some people actually ask her what dye or tint she uses because her hair is that striking, she laughs and always says “I was born with it.” Her hair started going grey when she was in her teens and I guess oh those genes passed on to me…..2015-04-19 15.51.25.jpg
I shave and I trim but I don’t dye it back, I walk around with wisps of grey on my chin and I feel sophisticated. There is an old wives tale about how if you start to go grey early, it is a sign that you will die, a wealthy man…. Some people do a double take and ask me my age and say “aren’t you too young to look that old” and I smile and say “I have wisdom far beyond my age, I am simply an old soul remembering all the things I forgot…..
It’s still weird, when someone compliments me and asks what kind of dye I use on my beard, I am not used to being noticed I am normally a wallflower, watching, but am getting used to the shift from looking at, to being looked at…

Its my birthday today, I looked in the mirror and noticed I have way more grey than I used to but that’s ok, I’ll wear my grey like a badge the color of wisdom, I feel sophisticated ageing gracefully on my way to becoming ME

whats a birthday but an excuse to eat cake?????

What is this, on my beard why that’s lil bits of wisdom far beyond my years.






  1. Happy Birthday-
    so I suppose then you have all this extra wisdom, and I can come to you for advice sometimes?

    My grays started around 40-ish and got all streaky and pretty that way. My son told me not to dye it -so far I haven’t. I am in my 50’s now and I do feel a little smarter 😉

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello….
      Thanks for the wishes…..
      hmmm the thing about advice it seems when you ask for it usually you already know what needs to be done, you just need to hear someone else say it ha, and if they tell you what you dont want to hear you can always ignore the advice!!! hows that for wisdom ☻☺♥
      So you never tried to dye it, not even the once??


  2. Thanks for sharing your experience. Quarter life or mid life crisis is not our friend. I have a couple of greys, but I am not too keen to count them zvangu. Initially, I was afraid of aging (you know with ageism and all), but I have embraced it now.
    Happy birthday Dread. Happy birthday Rasta. Here’s to many more greys…and wisdom. I will drink a glass of Amarula in your honour.

    Please keep some cake for me🎂🎂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Whatever you do…. Don’t count them 😂😂😂😂

      Thank you for reading… Appreciate the support 😊

      Many thanks for the birthday wishes… 😎

      Cheers 🍻


  3. I started greying in primary school but not the beard, I don’t have that. I have strands of silver poppin against the black hair and I love it. Grey rocks!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would be weird if you had a beard, and a grey one too….. Come think of it i thought i noticed silver threads but thought it was a trick of light

      PS Grey is the colour of wisdom

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Happy Birthday B, having a bit of grey does make you look sophisticated. I love how you have finally embraced your greys, its so much less work than dyeing.

    You inspire me to be me….


    Liked by 1 person

  5. Happy Birthday Beaton. I’ve got some grey hair too but at my age I should have more!! My genes resist the greys but I feel age elsewhere. Me knees are creaking and my hands are wrinkling..Sigh. You look very sophisticated with your smattering of grey. Stay wise, Mr. SOPHISTICATED. Enjoy your special day. Xx


    Liked by 1 person

  6. Oh I love this! And btw… Happy belated Birthday! I refuse to dye my hair. Why would we ever want to change what the good Lord has bestowed upon us. We’re his perfect creation, and to try and change that, is an insult to his artistic abilities. 😉

    Liked by 1 person

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