Graying is considered a significant rite of passage towards a more mature and fulfilled life, but often, graying of hair and beard has quite a negative connotation. However, graying of beard is a natural process that highly varies from one individual to another. Therefore, if you have noticed a few gray strands on your beard, it is time to understand the entire concept in depth. Our article will guide you through the main culprits of grays while offering various solutions to keep your magnificent beard- black.
How does graying initiate?
Humans have millions of hair follicles that are systematically lined against the skin. These follicles produce shiny hair and pigment, which contains melanin. This melanin is the main reason for dark hair; as your age increases, the capacity of your body to produce melanin drastically reduces, and thus your hair follicles end up losing pigment cells. The pigment becomes nonexistent, and you get the infamous gray hair. Graying usually initiates at the temples and slowly spreads to your frontal area, vertex, parietal region, lastly, affecting the occipital region. But many men start seeing their first gray hair in their beards.
Reasons for a gray beard
Medical professionals have a consensus that the root cause of gray hair is related to genetics. Therefore, your genetics play a crucial role in determining the occurrence of grays. Therefore, if your family history shows early signs of grays, there is very little you can do to delay it. Sometimes, graying can start because of various autoimmune disorders like vitiligo or rare premature aging syndromes like Hutchinson Gilford. Lastly, men can undergo premature graying, indicating various underlying nutrition deficiencies. Graying of hair usually starts from the late 40s to early 50s, but premature graying can occur from the early 20s. This article sheds light on various valuable nuggets to keep premature grays in control.
How to stop graying of beard?
Let’s crack the massive myth related to hair! You cannot make white hair go black naturally. Likewise, if the beard turns gray through a natural course like aging or genetics, one cannot reverse it. However, if you’re facing nutritional deficiency, you can change it by altering your lifestyle and diets to achieve impressive results.
How to prevent getting a gray beard?
A. Stress a little less
You must have heard that stress is the number one cause of gray hair; this theory is now backed by science. According to an ultra-recent study published in Nature, scientists have found that stress does play a crucial role in speeding up the graying process. In addition, the research found that all the stem cells that control the hair pigment get damaged under intense stress. So, if you have spotted a few light grays in your beard, we highly suggest altering your lifestyle. These stressors will not only speed your graying but also affect your overall health.
B. Get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals
As mentioned in the introduction, a severe lack of vitamins and minerals can result in premature graying. In addition, these dietary deficiencies undoubtedly contribute to the rapid speeding of the graying process. Therefore, we highly suggest intaking Vitamin B-12 and Vitamin D along with various minerals.
Vitamin D is one of the most principal and vital vitamins to help your beard stay dark and healthy. Research published under The International Journal of Trichology shows that many children with premature graying have deficient levels of vitamin D. Apart from vitamin D, you should try to include a healthy dose of vitamin A and vitamin E to keep the body healthy. Even lower levels of B12 are considered a primary culprit when it comes to grays. A study published in the same journal points that vitamin B12 is directly related to the speeding of graying in humans. Vitamin supplements can prove to be beneficial in these deficiency events.
Minerals like magnesium, iron, zinc, selenium, and copper play a vital role in general hair repair and growth. In addition, food groups like cereals, meats, fish, dairy, fruits, and high protein nuts contain reasonable amounts of minerals that can help balance the mineral levels in the body.
Men who wish to tackle the problem of the gray beard should start including antioxidant-rich foods in their diet. These antioxidants help reduce the oxidative stress produced by the body, which finally reduces the overall speeding of the grays. Foods like olive oil, fish, green tea, fruits, and vegetables are excellent sources of natural antioxidants.
C. Quit smoking
Smoking is one of the big culprits that paves the way for premature gray hair. Among other harmful negatives, smoking tends to shrink and damage your hair follicles resulting in unhealthy hair. You can find various researches that feature the correlation of smoking with graying of hair. Smoking can also accelerate your aging process and show its effects on your skin and hair. If you wish to enjoy your deep dark beard for a few more years, we highly recommend quitting the habit of smoking.
D. Protect your beard from natural elements and pollution
Keeping your beard away from direct sun and pollution will help it stay healthier and dark. You should cover your face with a hat and try to avoid extra polluted environments in general. Many studies note a strong link between gray hair and free radical exposure. Therefore, keeping your beard safe can help in protecting the follicles. Protecting your beard is especially necessary if you are an avid user of dyes. Direct heat and pollution tend to fade the color, thus quickly exposing your gray strands.
E. Stop damaging your beard
To avoid weakening your hair follicles, we strongly recommend staying away from bleach. While the new trend of bleaching your beard and eyebrows might catch your attention, it will make your hair fragile. Also, avoid combing your beard with a fine-tooth comb, especially on a wet beard. Lastly, stay away from harsh face washes and beard shampoos.
Possible new treatments for beard
Along with a healthy diet and wise lifestyle choices, you can try these two methods that tackle the root cause of graying. Since these are newer theories and products, the experts are still pondering over their efficacy. However, we feel that these options are worth exploring.
An NYC dermatologist, Dr. Joshua Zeichner, feels that using shampoos containing zinc pyrithione may slow down the graying process. According to a study, zinc pyrithione is considered to provide antioxidant benefits while preventing UV damage. The doctor has very little data to support his theory, but he feels that using these shampoos may help minimize graying of hair.
Note: These shampoos tend to strip away dyes and hair color, so men with a dyed beard should apply with caution.
A famous hair wellness brand named Arey has launched a daily supplement called Not Today, Grey. This supplement is formulated using various antioxidants, minerals, vitamins, and potent botanicals that delay the graying process. The brand agrees that there is no way to change your genetics. But the ingredients used in the supplement work flawlessly to protect against free radicals, fuel melanin production, and strengthen the hair’s protein structure. Again, as the product is a newer invention, not many experts can comment on its efficiency. But, even if it doesn’t fulfill its promises, your body will indeed receive a good dose of powerful nutrients.
Is plucking grays a good solution?
It is usually believed that plucking gray hair will rapidly increase the growth of other gray hair and encourage the eruption of newer grays. However, it is utterly untrue. The development of gray hair does not depend on plucking, but one should not be tempted to pick them out. The only reason behind this is the apparent weakening of your hair follicle. Constant plucking can close the hair follicle, thus creating a bald patch. We are sure that no one wishes to see a bald patch on their beard. Therefore while the action itself should be restricted, the reason behind it stays completely different.
Cosmetic methods- Dyeing or shaving?
If your hair graying is related to genetics, you have two cosmetic options (dyeing and shaving) to keep your hair dark and young.
The market is flooded with various chemical dyes that can help your beard attain any color according to your preference. These quick dyes take mere minutes to work and give you rich and deep-colored beards for weeks. You can use products like Cremo to make your beard look as natural as possible without any mess. These foamy pre-mixed hair dyes are excellent as they do not create any confusion. Another great example is Just For Men beard dye that gives more excellent coverage with a simple application. Busy men who wish to make a few last moment touch-ups can rely on Blackbeard instant touch-up wand-dye. It requires no washing; simply apply and go on with your day! That being said, you should avoid continuous use of hair dyes as they can drastically weaken your beard by removing all the natural oils. If you are worried about chemicals, we recommend trying alternative dyes that contain zero chemicals. You can try Grizzly Mountain Beard Dye or Lush Cosmetics Henna Bricks to get rid of the pesky grays with the power of natural botanicals. These natural dyes are entirely safe, natural and do not contain any harmful chemicals.
Are you eager to try your hands on several homemade natural dyes that work? Then, follow these quick recipes to get a deeper tint on your grays in no time.
1. Black Tea Dye
Ingredients: Black tea loose or bagged, water
- Boil two heaped teaspoons of black tea in water and let it simmer.
- Wait for 5 minutes till the water is saturated with the tea.
- Cool the mixture and strain the tea leaves.
- Apply this mixture to your beard and let it sit for an hour.
- Wash the natural dye with cold water and avoid using shampoo. The tea will produce a mild tint that looks way more natural than any other hair dye. To darken the effect, apply the water a few times.
2. Carrot Juice Dye
Ingredients: Fresh carrot juice, any carrier oil, apple cider vinegar
- Mix carrot juice with your choice of carrier oil.
- Apply this carrot mixture to your beard quite generously.
- Cover the beard with a plastic wrap and let the dye set for an hour.
- Rinse the beard with apple cider vinegar and avoid using shampoo. The result will give your hair an orangish-red tint. To intensify the shade, apply the mixture twice or thrice.
Shaving is yet another option for people who wish to hide their gray beards. You can opt for a clean shave to avoid any traces of grays. This option can be tedious and time-consuming as you might need to shave every day to prevent regrowth. But many men prefer a completely clean shave for a more polished look.
Embracing the grays
With the newer waves of high street fashion trends, people have graciously started admiring and embracing their grays. If you are a man who does not feel the need to dye, cover or run behind a dark beard, we highly suggest rocking a salt and pepper beard. With time, it will turn to total platinum giving a more elite and premium look. After all, a few black strands do not determine your eligibility for being a youthful person!
We hope this article about gray beard treatment cleared your various doubts. As mentioned earlier, it is pretty impossible to turn your white hair to black naturally. However, constant efforts in maintaining a balanced diet and nutrients can surely slow the graying process. If you need to use dyes, feel free to delve into various types and shades according to your preference. If you like a clean shaved look, whip out your razor and give yourself a clean shave! Lastly, embracing your naturally gray hair won’t make your beard any less handsome! What is your take?