Why Beards Turn Gray First?
July 07, 2020For men, a good beard can catch people's attention in the same way a flowy mane of hair does for women. After hours of grooming it to perfection, a beard turns into a source of pride and self-confidence that many people appreciate. On the flip side, beards also reveal the first hints of gray hairs and, in many cases, the grayness in them spreads like wildfire until it's impossible to ignore the contrast between the beard and the hairs on your head. If you like wearing a beard, you need to be on the lookout because this is likely the area where the first gray hairs will show up. Luckily, gray beards are not invulnerable to the effects of a good root concealer, so this is a problem you can solve as soon as it appears. We give you al the information you need to deal with gray hairs before they take over your beard.
About Going GrayYou're probably familiar with all the inner changes entailed in going gray. Gray hairs result from a lack of melanin production on the hair follicles. This is what makes the hairs take a gray, white, or silvery tone as they grow. When the cell reservoirs responsible for producing melanocytes start dying, the gray hairs start making their entrance. Gray hairs can show up at any point in life after turning 23 and most commonly in your 30s. Men usually start going gray sooner than women and this can be particularly upsetting for those rocking a beard, since beards are located on a very visible area and are usually styled with the express purpose of getting all the looks. Caucasians are also more likely to get gray hairs sooner than people from other origins.
Despite all this, genetics still play the biggest role in determining the age where you start going gray, with the temples being another common area where the first gray hairs show up. Genes are also the main cause of all instances of premature grayness, so it's useful to look at your parents/grandparents to get an idea of what to expect.
The Secret Behind Gray BeardsThe beard will only grow fully gray after a couple of decades, but the gray hairs can spread particularly quickly because the beard hair grows faster than the hair on the head. Since melanin protects the structure of the strands and gives them elasticity, the lack of it also affects their texture and overall resistance. When it comes to your beard, gray strands can be all the more visible because they are brittle and often grow in different directions, so it might be necessary to trim your beard more often as the number of gray hairs increases.
Even though the topic is still the object of many studies, there is some evidence of gray hair being determined by different genetic origins, with multiple areas of hair having different beginnings in the womb. This would explain the slight differences some people find between the color of their beards and the color of the hairs on the scalp, while other studies state that this distinction is simply a result of increased production of pheomelanin (pigments of a lighter tone) on the areas where the hair has a lighter shade.
Can I Stop Gray Hairs from Growing on my Beard?Gray hairs are hereditary and the beard is no exception. You can't prevent the appearance of gray strands if they're meant to show up and you can't slow down the process after they do, but a healthy lifestyle can still be of great use: Firstly, it will help you retain the strength on the strands even after they lose their pigmentation and this will make them easier to take care of, minimizing the risk of hair loss in the process. Secondly, healthy habits kept from a young age will reduce the chances of going gray prematurely. Here are some tips to consider:
- Let go of your Bad Habits: Smoking and excessive drinking are proven causes of premature aging and can easily trigger the untimely appearance of gray hairs. Stress and anxiety alone can't lead to gray hairs, but they can accelerate their appearance in the same way that they add to hair loss (Telogen effluvium).
- Healthy Diet and Regular Vitamins: Be sure to include antioxidants and foods rich in vitamins B12, C, and Omega 3 in your diet (oats, veggies, fish, dairy products, etc). Small doses of sunlight are also a healthy way to get your daily supply of vitamin D.
- Grooming: Don't stop styling your beard and getting regular trims after finding gray hairs on it. If your graying beard makes a negative impression, it will be because you don't look after the gray hairs and let them grow brittle, uneven, and shabby. You can maintain a great look and work on a more dignified style as you grow older.
- Cover the Gray Hairs: There is no way to restore the color on gray strands but you can still disguise them in a way that fully matches the rest of your beard. In a few minutes, the root concealer can fully cover the gray spots on your beard if you select the correct tone to suit your beard's color. You can help yourself with a small-tipped brush to get more precision if your beard's style involves really short hairs or when the gray areas are too small.
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