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August 16, 2022 5 min read
In the past year or so, I’ve started to see grey hairs popping up in my beard! Most guys my age will start seeing some grey around their 30s, and for many, grey hair is visible on the face before it appears on the top of our head. While I was one of those weirdos who wanted my hair to go grey in my 20s, you might not feel the same when you notice your first greys. Don’t sweat it; we’ve been helping guys with grey beards for years, and I’ve got a ton of advice on keeping your facial hair healthy!
First off, don’t freak out. While grey hair may remind you of your impending mortality, it’s also entirely normal for it to show up when you’re young. If you’re feeling a little freaked out, you can rest assured that most people find guys with grey hair attractive, and many style icons have at least a little salt & pepper. I think it looks badass, so I’m pretty chuffed to be getting them.
Now that your hair is starting to lose some pigment, you want to focus on good beard care to keep things happy, and if it's your goal, slow down the greying process as much as possible. The fundamentals of beard care will never change:
If you’re new to the process, you can learn all about the essential steps of beard care here, but if you already have a solid routine, you’re off to a great start! Now that we’ve got a course plotted let's talk about a couple of forks in the road you’ll be tempted to take.
Don't freak out if you find greys! Take a deep breath and start taking care of that beard.
No! Plucking may eliminate the grey, but it’s a bandaid solution that doesn’t address the root issue. Hairs change colour due to age, genetics, and stress, and plucking won’t change any of that. Furthermore, plucking can damage the hair follicle, leading to thinning of your beard if done often.
This one is totally up to personal preference, and you should absolutely pursue whatever will help you feel happy and confident, but I would personally not dye my beard. Having dyed the hair on my head before, I know how much of a pain it is to upkeep and the kind of damage dye can do to your hair. Harsh box dyes from the drug store will be very tough on your coarse, dry beard hair, made even more delicate from the lack of pigment. Even the thickest of beards are sure to suffer from frequent dyeing.
When I dyed my hair, I didn’t mind having some roots show my original colour, especially if it was a dark root under a lighter colour. Once the roots get too long, though, you have to dye your roots. With a greying beard, the lighter roots under a dark colour can look odd, especially in a prominent location like your face. While a freshly dyed beard will look good on day one, consider how it’ll look in a few days or weeks. Additionally, beards have way more tones than the hair on your head. Many caucasian folks, myself included, have brown, red, blonde, black, and grey hair in their beard. Turning your mixed whiskers monotone is sure to look unusual if your hair isn’t usually one solid colour.
Johnny has embraced the grey, and it suits him marvelously!
I hope by now, you’re willing to accept the grey. If not, no judgment! I encourage you to experiment with some of the natural dyes out there or even try a clean shave to see how you like it; just stay away from tweezers and cheap nasty dyes. If you’re going to shave for the first time in years, I have some great advice to help you get started. Otherwise, continue here for the best grey beard care advice!
Start with those three essentials I stated earlier: wash, moisturize, and brush. Grey hairs tend to be more delicate and dryer, as older skin produces less oil, so keep that in mind when selecting products. Wash your beard with the most gentle option, like a PH balanced Beard shampoo or a gentle beard bar. Consider doubling up on the moisture to get things as hydrated as possible. I like Tremendous in-shower beard conditioner to start as it gives my hair some deep conditioning and prevents breakage. I then follow with a leave-in cream and/ or beard oil daily.
You may want to consider a heavier option when it comes to oil. While all our oils saturate well, entirely grey beards will soak up way more oil. To save some $$$, snag a bottle of Mammoth Argan-based beard oil, which is much thicker and goes much further than thinner oils. I always follow oil with a beard balm to really lock in that moisture. The oil absorbs deep into the hair, but the balm creates a waxy seal that prevents it from drying out again, especially in dry or windy weather.
A common myth is that grey hairs are coarser, but they just feel that way because they get dried out easily. If anything, they tend to be more delicate than regular hair, so go easy on them! I’m a massive advocate of brushing one’s beard often, but you may want to switch up your super-stiff brush for something more gentle, like our Kent of Inglewood beard brush or a soft Kent of England brush. I also like to use my brush after I oil, so the hair is pre-softened and less likely to break.
Finally, think about colour. Common advice to slow greying hair is to quit smoking, as stressing your body less will slow the aging process that causes greyness in the first place. Another reason to drop the analogue vape is to prevent staining. Cigarette smoke will quickly turn the hair around your mouth an unappealing yellow colour, which is likely to affect the number of folks who want to smooch you. Similarly, you’ll want to use a colourless moustache wax such as D.R. Harris or Uncle Normans and work them into your hair well, as white hair shows clumpy, yellow wax much more obviously than dark whiskers.
Ultimately, the better you care for your body and beard, the healthier it will be, and the more slowly the colour will change. Yes, that’s obvious, but maybe this is just the motivation you need to make those changes in your life! If you need more help taking care of your beard, check out our other handy articles or visit us in person for more advice.