Why Do Beards Turn Grey First?

You may have noticed a few grey hairs in the mirror when you woke up one morning. The gray hair question isn’t a big deal, but why does the beard turn grey first?

Your hair turns gray, silver, or white as a result of a depletion of melanin in the hair follicles. As you age, the follicles produce less melanin, which causes your hair to appear grey, silver, or white. The hair in your beard grows more quickly than the hair on your head. That is why you will observe depletion of melanin first in your beard, then on your head.

Why Do Beards Turn Gray First?

Nowadays, gray hair is considered a sign of dignity and wisdom, as opposed to being a sign of someone’s fatherhood. Most men start greying in their 30s, but some begin as early as 23.

Sometimes the beard and head will grey simultaneously, but sometimes the beard will begin to grey before the head. With time, your bearded face will get more white, until it’s completely white.

Scientists aren’t entirely sure why beards go gray first. However, there have been few scientific studies on hair graying patterns. What is clear about going gray is that by the age of 65, 44% of the population have, on average, become 27% gray. A man goes gray faster than a woman, and Caucasian people go gray faster than other people of different racial backgrounds.

Hair turns gray because it contains melanocytes, which produce pigment. Your hair’s natural color comes from melanocytes (including the hair on your beard). As we age, our melanocytes begin to wear out and stop working, causing our hair to turn gray.

It is thought that different areas of the beard are linked to different genetic origins in the womb, so the hair on those areas will turn gray first. Likewise, the hair on your beard may be genetically predisposed to go gray earlier than your scalp hair. That is why it is very common for men to grow beard hair that is different from the hair on their heads.

Here are a few reasons beards go grey.

How Hair Turns Grey (What We Know)

You are not alone if your hair turns gray. According to several studies, three-quarters of the population aged 45-65 years have hair covering most of their scalps.

How Hair Turns Grey (What We Know)

How Hair Turns Grey (What We Know)

Color is determined by melanin being produced by hair follicles. A person’s hair may turn white, grey, or silver depending on how much melanin they produce.

At some point, everyone will go grey, but it is usually around the age of 30 for most people.

Why Do Beards Turn Grey? The Cause

If your grandfather had gray hair at a young age, you are more likely to have it as well. Premature gray hair is linked to genetics. If someone from your family had gray hair at an early age, you are more likely to have it as well.


The condition of graying is linked to genetics. In other words, your hair follicles fail to produce melanin – the substance that gives your skin its color – after years of using them.

You can find out if you are going to begin greying by looking at your father’s or grandfather’s beards since the trait is inherited. They probably started greying earlier in life as well, if you started greying early in life.

In addition to determining the onset of grey hair, genetics play a significant role in its intensity, progression, and color.

Bleaching from the inside out

Hydrogen peroxide, which builds up frequently in the hair cells, may also contribute to gray hair. It works like a bleaching agent, removing all the pigment from your beard.

Natural cells hold some hydrogen peroxide, it is broken down into oxygen and water by a chemical called catalase, and this is the reason for keeping the oxygen concentration at the ideal level.

During aging, the body produces less catalase, so hydrogen peroxide builds up. Apparently, this blocks the synthesis of melanin, resulting in hair that appears to be grey in color because it has been bleached with hydrogen peroxide.


Although some researchers suggest that genes are responsible for grey hair, others believe that greying may be connected to stress, and there is a link.

However, stress will indirectly cause greying, due to the condition of Telogen effluvium.

When hair falls out in this disorder, it is always less pigmented when it grows back, which can ultimately cause it to become grey.


Studies have shown that smoking causes early greying before the age of 30 and has been linked to an increased risk of premature aging.

An investigation by the University of Washington in 2013 revealed that smoking may lead to grey hair. It was found that smokers are more likely than those who do not smoke to suffer from premature hair greying (PHG).

The New York Times reports that smoking is also associated with balding where chemicals present in smoke can break down the hair cells, which in turn damage the hair.

Can You Prevent Going Grey?

Just as there is no way to stop graying of hair, there is also no way to stop graying of a beard at a young age.

You can’t reverse genetics, but you can avoid it. Staying healthy, improving your diet, and avoiding activities including smoking can all help reduce the risk for premature aging.

There are some factors that are believed to cause hair to grow more quickly. Among these factors are smoking, stress, and an unhealthy diet. By cutting down on stress and quitting smoking, you may reduce your chances of developing a gray beard.

Vitamin B12 deficiency, thyroid dysfunction, and pituitary issues have been linked to premature greying.

The condition can be reversed if you don’t lack these vital elements. Eating heart-healthy foods including Omega 3’s, fish, and vegetables can help keep your hair from falling out.

Additionally, allot at least a couple of minutes each day to the sun to receive vitamin D naturally.

Quit Smoking

Those who smoke lose their pigment quicker than those who do not smoke.

Control Stress Levels

It is true that stress cannot be eliminated completely, but practices like meditation and yoga can be beneficial to calming your mind.

Take A Healthy Diet

Like seafood, berries, garlic, citrus fruits and other foods that are a great source of iron, minerals, vitamins, fish is also a great food that can help you produce collagen, biotin, and fight free radicals.

Protect Your Beard From The Sun

Drink water, use a hat, and protect your beard from UV rays. Oxidative stress from the sun can result in grey hair. Apply beard oil or balm before you enter the pool and wet your hair before you go swimming. Rinsing your beard immediately after swimming your beard will avoid the effects of chlorine and the sun.

How to Maintain Your Grey Beard

Our understanding of hair biology is interesting, but how our hair follicles fail to transition from color to colorless at once is obscure. What we do not know, however, is how to prevent greying or rejuvenate it.

The use of natural remedies works like a sham, and although many studies promise good results, the rumors about a cure for grey hair are just that – rumors.

How to Maintain Your Grey Beard

How to Maintain Your Grey Beard

Having a grey beard is fine if you maintain it, otherwise, you will look like a homeless person. It is possible to try a variety of classic styles that will keep your stubble looking neat and trimmed.

In fact, there are many role models with grey hair already and they are looking amazing! So embrace your new grey looks, your newfound wisdom, and your beard with pride.

Color Your Hair

A number of men, including their beards, dye their hair in an attempt to eliminate gray hair. For coloring your beard, select a beard hair coloring kit. A lot of barbers and hairstylists are also willing to provide this service.

Have Your Hair Shaved or Trimmed

To keep it looking neat and trimmed, you can try shaping your stubble to a variety of classic styles.


In the end, it all boils down to one thing – the grey hair is inevitable, only that it may occur earlier for some and later for others.

Melanin provides the hair with an elastic quality and silky texture. When you have grey hair, and it does not contain enough melanin, the hair tends to be straight and coarse.

Because it’s nothing new, you could invest in a moisture-rich shampoo and conditioner to help maintain the hair and hydrate the beard. When it’s out of the way, you can embrace that majestic grey beard.