Gray hair gets a bad rap. Most people associate gray hair and beards with getting old, so it has quite a negative connotation to say the least. But graying hair is a completely normal and healthy part of life. Father Time is undefeated, so don’t battle it, embrace it, own it.
The good news is that most gray beard tips fall in line with normal beard care, but there are a few things you can do specifically for your graying beard. Here’s how you can help maintain your gray hair beard, to keep it looking healthy, stylish, and amazing. Let’s get started!
Why Do Beards Turn Gray?
Not to get all Bill Nye the Science Guy on you, but we’re sure you are just as curious as us as to why we go gray. As we age, our hair turns gray through a process called achromotrichia. Put simply, as we age, the melanin (which is what is responsible for the natural hair colors humans produce) is reduced and the pigmentation of our hair becomes nonexistent. These clear hairs reflect light and appear white. This happens for most guys around their 30’s, but some see gray hair sprouting around their late 40’s! This deviation is because of one’s genetics (and some bad habits), so everyone experiences graying at different times (with some luckier than others).
Gray Beard Maintenance
You must stay dedicated to your beard; you cannot just trim it once in a while and think that's good enough! And on top of that, don’t drop your beard care once it starts to gray. Your gray hairs need love too. Before managing your gray beard, you must know how to grow your beard in the first place! Here’s some tips to get your beard length and style up to par.
- While you are in the process of growing out your beard, always keep it well-trimmed, especially on the outer edges. This not only helps the growing process, but makes it look neat and well-cared for. We promise a well-cared for beard won’t go unnoticed.
- Beards can take months to completely fill out, so patience is key. Patchy spots on a beard look bad, we know. However, it’s important to give your beard time to flourish. Patchy beards will fill in given enough time!
- Most guys give up within 2 weeks because it just gets too itchy and annoying; but there are ways to easily avoid this itchiness and discomfort. Something as simple as a great beard oil can go a long way to fighting through the discomfort with minimal maintenance.
Tips to Improve Your Beards Natural Texture and Shine
Gray or not, it’s important that your beard is well-maintained and looking amazing. Here’s a quick recap on how to maintain a healthy-looking beard, regardless of color.
- Wash Your Beard: Make sure to use a natural face wash to keep your entire face (even the skin under your beard) clean to prevent breakouts and ingrown hairs. If you’re in a bind, you can even use a great shampoo.
- Keep Your Beard Hydrated: Never forget to follow your wash with a natural face moisturizer for men. Conditioning is very important for beards, especially for gray beards. This is because gray hair grows thicker and quicker than your natural-colored hair. Pro Tip: Peppermint conditioner is an easy way to moisturize your beard. If your beard is dry, you will literally feel your hairs come to life!
- Keep Your Beard Well Groomed: Using a great beard comb regularly will keep it untangled and smooth, helping the growing process and keeping your beard looking amazing. Using trimming scissors also work great for keeping your beard edges tight, and removing any straggling beard hairs that don’t cooperate. Grab a great set for easy maintenance!
- Use A Beard Balm or Beard Oil: Natural beard oils and balms will not only help with hydrating your hair and skin; but will also enhance that natural shine and texture, while providing a layer of protection to those follicles. This is especially important for gray hair because gray hairs don’t have as much of the necessary proteins that colored hair contains, making it much more susceptible to damage. Not only that, beard oils and balms will also help to avoid the itchiness that makes it difficult to let your beard grow, and will help you style to perfection.
Face Shape Matters for Your Beard Style!
As you ponder what gray beard styles you might try, here are a few popular beard styles to consider for specific face shapes:
- Square Faces: Keeping the sides shorter and the chin thicker will help define the jawline
- Round Faces: Longer length at bottom with trimmed shorter on the sides will make the face appear longer
- Rectangular Faces: Letting the beard be fuller on the sides and shorter length at the bottom will help accentuate the jawline
- Oval Faces: Most styles work great for oval faces (they have it easy!).
Tips for Slowing Down the Graying Process
You’ve probably figured out by now that we are fans of the gray beard, but that doesn’t mean we need to rush into things. Here’s a few tips to slow down that gray.
- Try not to stress: True, this is easier said than done, but stress and anxiety can actually increase your graying. When you stress, certain hormones are produced in response to it, and this overabundance of hormones cause your melanocyte cells to deplete which prevents any color from growing into your beard.
- Avoid These Things: If you are trying to slow down the graying process, avoid smoking. A study in the Science News journal found that smokers are 4 times more likely to grow gray hair faster than those who do not smoke. Also try to limit that caffeine intake. Don’t get us wrong, for most of us the morning coffee is a must. However, caffeine has been proven to dehydrate our hair, which is no Bueno to a healthy and attractive beard. So, skip that second cup, and hydrate up instead.
- Use a Supplement: Don’t underestimate the power of supplements! Vitamins and minerals can be incredibly helpful to prevent early graying, such as copper and B12. There are supplements that are great for your hair’s health, many of which will also help keep your skin and nails looking amazing as well. Add these bad boys to your morning routine, and take the guess work out of healthy hair, skin, and nails.
Beard Hair Color
Any hair coloring product is going to have some negative effects on your beard hair as beards are sensitive and more prone to damage. Dyeing your beard regularly will lead to split ends and dehydration. If you do decide to color your beard, remember that coloring products contain some damaging substances, so moisturizing and cleansing are necessities.
In our opinion, keeping your beard natural is the best plan. The salt and pepper look is in right now; so rock that gray beard with confidence. According to a poll by Match.com, 72% of responses said that having grey hair makes a man look more attractive. If you're struggling with some random patches of white in one area and some gray on another and some of your natural color in another, try trimming specific parts of your beard. By trimming the whiter hairs tighter and letting the gray or natural color stay longer, it will help blend the colors nicely into something more consistent.
Beard Balms & Oils
We've touched on the amazing benefits of using a beard balm and oil; but in case you missed it, balms and oils are key to hydrating, styling, and taming beards, to keeping you stylish and itchiness free!
With these tips, your beard will look and feel rejuvenated and youthful, even as you gray. Don’t forget, confidence is key. The gray beard isn’t a sign of age, it’s a sign of maturity. The spicy senoritas approve of the gray beard. It’s time we embrace it gents!
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