As you are growing older your beard may be going grey and the hair on your head (if you are lucky enough to have some) may also be going grey. Studies suggest that 66% of men between the ages of 45 and 65 have grey hair covering about one-third of their scalp. As you are slowly graying you may be wondering are gray beards attractive to people? Here we shall look at the science, studies, and opinions of people on gray beards!
I have got some great news for you! There is a huge portion of people who think that grey makes a man look more attractive! The results from scouring the forums is that the attractiveness of a beard is due to it’s grooming (shape, styles etc.) rather than the colour in it. Also, people are saying that confidence when going gray is more important and that dying it can look insecure! So rock that well-groomed beard with confidence and you cannot go wrong!
Are grey beards attractive?
According to a poll by a famous matchmaking site – Match.com – 72 % of respondents said that having grey hair makes a man look more attractive.
Responses to this question from around the web on forums and Reddit also yield some interesting responses.
From my fitness pal:
- Personally, I don’t care for hair dyed, but especially a beard. Natural is the way to go!! It’s part of the ‘real’ you – shows character.
- I think men with a little grey is sexy.. but that is me. I am not sure about the beard, is it a uniform grey or patchy?
- My hubby is 40 and he’s getting some salt in his pepper and I LOVE IT.
- grey = sexy, so long as it is short and well groomed. It makes a man look more sophisticated, I think.
- Go grey!! Its all about how you feel, if you like then swag with it. If you think your sexy, we will think your sexy!
- For more responses click here.
- Any beard is a good beard, as long as it’s well kept.
- Agreed. Something closer to George Clooney’s salt and pepper beard than a Duck Dynasty hobo look, thanks.
- 100% yes if it is trimmed.
- Yeah, grey beards are sexy if they are groomed.
- For more responses – click here.
It seems from the forum questions and responses that the attractiveness of a beard is about how well it is groomed and less about whether or not it has any grey in it.
What turns a beard grey?
I’m afraid to say that genes are the biggest cause of you turning gray. A 2016 study highlighted the first ever gene that the researchers were able to associate with graying.
Haid hair and beard hair go grey for the same reason. Hair contains cells called melanocytes which are pigments that create colour in the hair (eumelanin =black and brown, pheomelanin = yellow and red). It’s the eyelashes that contain the most of these pigmented cells and that is why they are a little darker than most on your head.
As time goes on, the pigment cells start to dye away. They are normally replenished by stem cells at the bottom of the hair root – but that process simply stops working.
Does stress turn your beard gray?
Despite a load of posts on the internet claiming that stress causes your hair to turn grey – the experts have proved that this is not true!
Professor Rodney Sinclair from the University of Melbourne told the daily mail that this stress doesn’t cause hair or beards to go gray.
Professor Sinclair says that the genetic factor is the single biggest determinant in causing graying of head and beard hair. Despite many studies looking into it, there is nothing to suggest that stress, diet or lifestyle has any impact on the colour of hair.
Caring for a gray beard?
A grey beard is no different to a coloured beard – it just lacks the pigment that a typical beard would have. Here is the routine that I use daily, weekly and monthly to ensure my beard is growing the way I want it to!
I wash my beard with beard shampoo and conditioner every other day but always get it wet during my daily morning shower. I then blowdry the beard to how I want it to sit and use beard oil and wax sparingly until I get the shape to stay in. By using the boar’s hair brush lightly on the surface of my beard I have found that it helps control hairs that otherwise fly away from my face.
I use scissors to remove any single hairs that are causing me an issue. I do not use trimmers on a daily basis. In the past, I have had a tendency to over prune if I use trimmer daily. I shave the neckline with the safety razor and check to see if the cheek line needs the same treatment.
My daily routine lasts no more than five minutes and gets quicker as you become comfortable with what needs to happen to keep your beard looking its best.
Weekly I take my small beard trimmers and remove any obviously overgrown hairs and shape up my sideburns.
I also cut the hair on my head on the weekends so I ensure that there is a nice fade going into my beard.
Monthly is when I take a bit of time on a Saturday or Sunday to make sure that my beard is trimmed to how I want it. Every month I do a harder trim under my chin and shape up anything that throws off the line of my beard.
Taking the time once a month allows you to rebalance the beard that you have to the beard that you want.
The question is – when do you need a professional to look over your beard and take it to the next level of style?
I recommend going to see a professional barber at least once every six months!
Do your research and ask people with beards that you like the look of where they go to get their beard trimmed up and styled. You need to find someone that you trust as their influence on your beard will last many months.
Ask questions, be polite and take advice from them. Let them know what you want from your beard. A true professional will put your needs and wants before anything else. It’s also OK to double-check you have communicated things the right way if you are not sure that they will deliver the best results for you and your beard!
Can you prevent gray beard hair?
Based on all of the science we know there is only one thing that we can do to prevent beards going grey. We need to restore the bodies ability to produce melanocytes at the root of the hair.
The good news is that a group of French scientists have identified a series of chemical agents that could protect the stem cells that produce the hair pigments.
This enables pigment production to restart as soon as the next hair cycle begins.
The chemicals are said to work by mimicking the action of an enzyme called DOPAchrome tautomerase. This enzyme is the naturally occurring antioxidant in the hair bulb that protects melanocytes from damage. By mimicking that action we may have a way to prolong the production of the pigments.
The final word
Well, the good news for you is that yes, gray beards do indeed appear to be attractive to people. You just have to make sure that you keep the beard well-groomed and something closer to a hipster beard rather than an unkempt mess.
Go gray with confidence and rock it! That is what people seem to really care about!
I am an avid beard grower and after many years of growing and trialing different beard styles, I want to share the tips and tricks that I have learned along the way!