Why Beards Turn Gray First Man with gray beard with gray background Toppik Hair blog

Why Beards Turn Gray First


Have you noticed your first gray hair in your beard? If so, we’re here to help.

It’s normal for your first gray hair to appear in your beard. If you’re curious about why beard hair turns white and gray before head hair and how to prevent it, keep reading! 

Why Is My Beard Turning Gray?

Genetics are usually the reason why you have gray hairs in your beard. Just as your genetics determine your hair type, it also determines when your hair begins to gray. 

Hair turns gray because your follicles stop producing pigment cells or melanocytes. These cells create your natural hair color. As you age, the amount of melanocytes you have goes down, leading to gray and white hair. 

Look at your mom and dad to know when your hair will start to gray. When they began to show gray hair is a fair sign of when you will start to see gray hairs. 

Two men with beards greeting each other Toppik hair blog

What Causes Premature Gray Hair in Beards?

Contrary to popular belief, stress does not cause early gray hair. Genetics is, once again, the common reason for premature gray hair. If your biological mother or father had gray hair earlier in life, there’s a greater chance you will too. 

Although rare, some illnesses can cause early graying. A vitamin B12 deficiency, or decreased thyroid hormones, can cause premature gray hairs. It’s possible to reverse gray hair with proper medication to treat these illnesses. 

​​Why Does Facial Hair Go Gray Before Head Hair?

Why do you get gray hairs in your beard before your head? Other than genetics, it could be because beard hair grows faster than head hair. The hair life cycle of your beard hair is shorter than your head hair. As a result, more melanocytes may be used at a faster rate. 

Another reason your beard hair appears gray faster than your head is visual. Your beard is front and center on your face, so you’ll likely notice every gray hair growing. 

Can You Prevent Gray Hair in Beards?

If the gray hair in your beard is linked with genetics, there’s nothing you can do to prevent or slow it down. If it’s health-related, there could be a treatment plan to help stop gray hair growth. 

Implementing these healthy hair habits may help slow down gray hair:

  • Avoid the sun – The sun can cause oxidative stress on your follicles. Sun exposure can impact hair health and the melanocytes in your hair.  
  • Avoid heat – Avoiding heating tools, which can make your hair dry and brittle, may also help prevent gray hair. Dry and brittle hair can break off or cause faster hair fall. More hair fall means a shorter hair growth cycle, which might exhaust the number of melanocytes you have.
  • Eat well – As previously mentioned, a vitamin B12 deficiency can cause premature gray hair. Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet might help prevent this. 

Can Gray Beard Hair Be Reversed?

Just as you can’t prevent gray hairs from growing, you can’t reverse gray hair either. But there are ways to manage hair graying: 

  • Beard Dye – Dyeing your beard can help conceal and minimize gray and white hair from showing. You can color your beard at home with home dye kits or ask your barber about dye options.
  • Use Hair Fibers – If you want a faster way to conceal gray and white beard hair without using dye, try Toppik Hair Building Fibers. They are statically charged fibers that create a magnetic effect, clinging to even the tiniest hairs. They help create a natural look that lasts until you wash your hair.
man having premature gray hair treatment of hair dye applied to his beard Toppik blog

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How do you manage gray hair in your beard? Tell us about it in the comments below!

Colleen Welsch is a freelance beauty writer and blogger specializing in hair care, hair growth education and beauty.

1 Response

  1. Mike Rafone

    my beard started going gray in my 30s, im 44 now and have a super full gray beard amd some gray wings on the side of my head. i havent had the most stress free, good eating, non smoking life, and ive been on heroin since 2002. so theres that.

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