When our bodies start to age there’s just no stopping them, and little by little we notice parts of us that are starting to show the signs.
Whether it’s a new fine line underneath the eyes, finding it just that little bit harder to get out of bed in the morning, or worst of all, sprouting some grey hairs from your beard or top of your head.
Why do our beards turn grey first, though?
Hair turning grey is due to the melanin in our hair follicles depleting which is a natural occurrence as we age.
As the hair in our beards grows faster than that on our head, it’s natural that this part of our body will start to show signs of aging first with a few grey hairs, so it’s completely normal.
This is just one part of going grey that men worry about, but if you’ve noticed a few of your own lighter hairs making their way through your beard, there’s no need to stress.
Not only is it totally natural, but it’s also having a stylish moment, so we’ve got all of the answers to your grey beard-related questions to ease your mind.
Table of Contents
- 1 Why Do Beards Turn Grey?
- 2 When Will My Beard Go Grey?
- 3 Effective Ways to Slow the Grey Down
- 4 How to Dye a Gray Beard
- 5 Grooming and Styling Tips for Grey Beards
- 6 Are Grey Beards Attractive?
- 7 Related Questions
Why Do Beards Turn Grey?
Grey hair is something that affects most men, albeit at various stages in life, but there’s no avoiding it once it starts. Hair and skin color is affected by melanin, and this can be found in the hair follicles themselves.
As we get older, melanin stores start to decrease which means our hair no longer has it natural color and instead turns grey.
Beards are made up of hair, unsurprisingly, so it’s natural that we’d also notice some grey activity there. The hair on our beards grows a lot faster than those on our heads so it’s more likely to show the signs of melanin depletion first.
Your beard can serve as a warning about what’s to come and help get you prepared for living the grey lifestyle.
For men with thicker beards, the grey hair might be more obvious, simply because you have more of it. Some men might even notice it coming through years before the hair on their heads due to the fast rate that it grows.
However it happens to you though, rest assured that it’s all a natural part of the aging process and it’s a physical trait that can be turned into a stylish asset rather than something to be feared.
When Will My Beard Go Grey?
Going grey is something that catches most men by surprise, but the age it happens for each of us will differ.
Studies have shown that around 50 percent of men and women will sport at least half a head of grey hair by the time they turn 50, and considering your beard is usually the first to go, this could happen sooner.
The most obvious way to tell when you might spot your first grey hair is to look at your parents as genetics is a telling factor.
If they and their parents went grey early, there’s a good chance you will as well, so the more you can do to prepare for it the better you’ll fair.
Some men will notice their first grey hair in their 20s and others won’t until they reach their 50s, with the beard being an early place to spot it.
As well as genetics, your ethnicity will also have something to do with when you start going grey, with Caucasian men the most likely to turn grey before those of African or Asian descent.
External factors like stress and a lack of nutrients can also contribute to grey hair, so there are a few things at play to keep check of.
Effective Ways to Slow the Grey Down
If you’ve recently noticed a grey hair or two in your beard and are on the verge of having a breakdown, there are some things you can’t do.
While technically, there’s nothing that can stop grey hair once it’s there, you might be able to do some things that slow down the rate of grey hair growing.
Unless you’re trying to grow your beard in and are happy to have full coverage of grey, these are some things that may help keep them at bay a little longer:
- Take note of your nutrition and see what areas might be lacking. Being poor in nutrients and vitamins can affect melanin production and may turn you grey sooner than you have to be.
- Make an effort to reduce the stress in your life, as it’s been proven that both physical and emotional stress can change the color of your hair to grey. Meditate, cut back on some commitments, and make a conscious effort to slow down.
- Quit smoking immediately if you want to ward off greys and baldness. Studies have shown a correlation between smoking and premature grey hair development with those who smoke being 2.5 times more likely to develop it early. It’s also responsible for the loss of hair, so giving cigarettes the flick is the healthiest thing you can do.
- Speak to a health professional if you’re concerned. Sometimes grey hair can be a sign of an underlying illness and if this is the case, it may be reversed with medication or treatment.
How to Dye a Gray Beard
There’s never been a better time to embrace the grey if you have it, but if you’re a man who’d rather not show off his new light whiskers, you do have other options.
The most obvious choice is to dye your beard but it’s not as easy as it sounds, so make sure you follow these tips.
Pick facial hair dye
Don’t settle for standard hair dye for your beard as there are specific dyes for facial hair that will do a far better job.
These come in smaller packages and have the necessary tools and advice to get a natural look on your beard so it’s worth spending a little extra to get it right.
Choose your color
Your first instinct when looking for dye might be to choose the darkest one that’s going to cover all of the greys.
This would be incorrect though, as something like black will show up looking unnatural and bold. You want a color as close to your natural one as possible so that it shows natural variances throughout.
Hair dye tends to stick to hair better when it’s not super clean, so avoid the urge to scrub it before you dye it.
The natural oils will help it stay and protect the skin around it from the harsh dye. If you’re worried about stains, apply some moisturizer or Vaseline on the skin underneath first.
Dyeing hair is a messy business, and even more so when you’re applying it to your face. Make a clean workspace, wear gloves, and lay down some newspaper so the dye doesn’t get onto your bathroom vanity or sink.
Consider a concealer
If dyeing sounds like more trouble than it’s worth, there are hair concealers that can help cover greys if they’re not too much.
Hair concealer is applied with a wand, like a mascara brush, and can keep your greys discreet until you’re ready to show them off to the world.
Grooming and Styling Tips for Grey Beards
The key to a good looking grey beard is how well it’s styled. Luckily for you, it doesn’t take much to keep your facial hair groomed so you only have to commit a little bit of time each morning to look good.
Here are some tips for keeping your grey beard healthy and finding a style that works for your face and your distinguished new look.
Keep it clean
Before you can even consider what style you’re going to rock, you need to be working with a clean beard.
Any bearded man worth his salt knows how important shampoo and conditioner is, and we’re not talking about the hair on your head. Buy a quality beard shampoo and wash at least twice a week to add shine and make it easier to style.
Invest in grooming tools
Have a beard grooming kit that features a beard brush or comb, trimmers, and beard balm and oil. The oil keeps it shiny and soft, the balm will help you style it into place, and the trimmers and brush are essential for a neat and tidy beard.
Know your face shape
Choose a beard style that accentuates your natural features. An oval face can work any style, a square jaw needs sharp angles, and a heart faced shape should have a long, thick beard.
Take some time to learn your face to see how to make the greys work best for it.
No matching necessary
Don’t stress about whether your beard matches your hair, and let your natural colors come through. It’s natural for the beard and the head hair to be a little different so even if you don’t have grey on top it’ll still look great.
Are Grey Beards Attractive?
We’ve all seen the pictures of George Clooney and other male celebrities showing off their grey beards and hair, but what’s the reality for us normal folk?
Are grey beards really attractive and is it a look we can pull off, or are we fooling ourselves?
It all comes down to the man and how he chooses to wear it, so it’s certainly possible for you.
While looks are an objective thing, most women would agree that there’s nothing wrong with a man sporting a grey beard, as long as it’s done right.
You can’t simply let your grey hair grow out without styling it or keeping it groomed, so you won’t be achieving that distinguished look by just being lazy and grey.
Putting in the effort to trim and style your beard is a given for men, but it’s even more important when you start to go grey.
Now’s the time to experiment with styles, choose a beard style that matches the shape of your face, and invest in some beard products that are going to make it healthy, shiny, and easy to style.
What matters most is that you love your grey beard, and if you truly do, that confidence is going to come through as an attractive quality.
While you might not feel like Clooney all the time, taking care of your beard is going to do wonders for your physical appearance and self-esteem, so take charge of your new greys and let them work for you, not against you.
Grey beards are something to be embraced by men so if you’ve been trying to hide yours, there’s no need to anymore.
If you’re new to grey facial hair and are sitting on the fence about what to do with it, we’ve got the answers to some questions that might make your decision easier.
How Long Should My Beard Be Before I Dye It?
If you want to get rid of your grey beard by dyeing it, you’ll need at least an inch or two of hair for it to be effective.
Beard dye will last around two weeks before it needs retouching because of the fast rate of growth this area of hair has.
Does a Beard Make You Look Younger?
Some studies have shown that having a beard can make you look up to eight years older than without, so a grey beard won’t necessarily be the most youthful appearance.
That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be worn though, as most men suit the more distinguished look that a grey beard can offer.
Does Shaving Turn Hair Grey?
The color of our hair is determined by melanin pigmentation so shaving regularly won’t make the grey hair come in any faster.