You may have already asked yourself or someone you know: why do men have red beard hair? After the article about holes in the beard, we're going to tackle red hair by giving you some ideas on how to remedy it! Indeed, it is quite common that when you let your beard grow, hairs of a different colour may appear: lighter hairs, darker hairs, or even hairs of a completely different colour, or even a beard of the opposite colour to your hair! But where does this come from and what can we do about it? Let's not delay any longer and get to the heart of the matter!
Why do we have red hair in our beards?
Why do we have red hair in our beards? There are two simple reasons: Genetics, and the daily environment. But first you must understand how the pigmentation of your beard works. As with your skin, eyes, and hair, it is melanin that is responsible for the colour of your beard hair, and this melanin will divide into eumelanin and pheomelanin, two components present in mammals, and whose combination will give your final colour. Pheomelanin is responsible for the lighter, orange-red tones, while eumelanin is responsible for the darker, brown, or even black tones. The mixture of the two will give your hair a browner colour if you have a lot of eumelanin, and conversely a redder shade if you have a lot of pheomelanin. What about blonds? It's the same as for albinos who have no melanin: you only have a few of the two components.
For genetics, it is the MC1R gene, sometimes present in 16th chromosome of your genetic code (you know, the 23 pairs of chromosomes of which the 23rd will define your sex?), which has a particularity: it secretes melanocortin, which changes eumelanin into pheomelanin (but not only), i.e., it causes the change of colour towards shades closer to red. And if you have this gene on both chromosomes 16 (or alleles), because each one comes from one of your respective parents, you are probably a redhead. If, on the other hand, you only have one, then it is slightly more complicated. This one can be recessive and not intervene, in which case you will not see any change in the colour of your hair. Or it may occur in a more punctual, localised manner, or even only at a certain age! The result is all sorts of phenomena, from the appearance of 3 red hairs on the beard, to a total change of hair towards a beard where all the hairs are red!
So, if you notice red hair on your beard appearing, it's probably due to your genetics, but not necessarily! Indeed, the other factor that has a strong influence on your hair is your environment. We won't go into detail here, but pollution, cigarette smoke, the heat of a lighter, straightener or hairdryer, stress and skin aggression in general are all factors that can influence the secretion of melanin and can change the colour of your hair. We can take the example of our former French Prime Minister Mr Philippe, whose political duties (and the resulting stress?) impacted his facial hair in such a way as to transform entire sections of his beard into white in a few months. For the white, it is not the dosage of the two components that changes, but the total absence of melanin secreted in certain places that directly impacts the colour, making the hair white. The last thing that has a significant impact is the sun. Melanin is produced in response to UVA (sunlight), and as with skin that darkens to protect itself from the sun, beard hair will turn a lighter shade, even red.
Finally, you know all about the changing colours of beard hair, why beards and hair sometimes have different colours, and why some people only have red hair on one side of their beard. Now let's see what can be done about it.
My beard got red hairs, what can I do?
My beard got red hairs, what can I do? We're going to give you a simple answer, but you should know in advance that there is no miracle solution, as those who tell you otherwise are trying to sell you a bogus product. First, the very first solution when you have red hair in your beard is to accept it! Because every beard is unique, and it's the colour palette that makes your beard special. Whether it's a salt-and-pepper hue, shades in your beard or something else, learning to accept your beard is the most lasting and effective solution to the brassy hairs that dot your fleece! But if you are reading this article, it is because you are looking for a concrete solution for your red hair in the beard! In this case, the only solution you have is to dye your beard. However, dyeing is only a temporary solution that can be perfect for a photo shoot, a party, or a specific event. But it requires maintenance as well, and whatever dye you choose will have a negative impact on the strength of your hair. Moreover, if you bleach, your beard will feel the effects even more. Be careful, however, to choose your products carefully, to follow the instructions for using them, to test them on a small area before applying them to your beard to check that you are not allergic, and to give preference to dyes without ammonia. But despite everything, it will be the only solution to transform red beard hair to brown...
Finally, if you only have a few stubborn hairs even in their shade, you can remove them. But how do you remove red hairs from your beard? With tweezers, of course! But ok, this is only applicable for a few hairs, otherwise it can create holes in your beard and unevenness that can be worse than a few different coloured areas. You can also trim your beard, because as said before, the change in colour can be due to external factors such as stress or pollution, so by trimming your beard, the hairs that will grow in will surely be back to "normal".
Finally, to counter the effects of external factors such as pollution or the sun, there is nothing like protecting your beard! A shot of sun cream on the beard to filter UV rays (again, be careful of the quality of the cream used!), and a well-calibrated ritual for your beard, to clean and moisturise it to prevent external aggressions from altering the colour of your hair. For more information on beard care, please read our other blog posts!
To sum up, red hair in the beard is a matter of genetics, but not only! It depends on your environment, whether you are a smoker, or if you are often exposed to the sun. So, there is not much to do, except to trim it, maintain it regularly (check out the beard care products for that), and protect it from the sun. You can also dye it but be sure to get all the information you need before doing so! Finally, you can accept your beard as it is, and make it your own! That's all for us, thank you for reading this article and happy new year 2022!