The Men’s Attitude is reader-supported! We might get a small commission if you purchase something after clicking our links, at no extra charge for you.
If you are in your mid-30s and have had a beard for a while the chances of seeing grey hair on your beard are really high. Grey hair is something natural, and you have to accept it. If you don’t like it or you think it makes you look older, you can dye your beard, but the truth is you can’t reverse it.
Because we get asked a lot about how to stop beards greying, we decided to create this article. So, if you are looking for an answer to this question, keep reading.
Can a grey beard be reversed naturally?
The short answer to this question is that no you can’t reverse a grey beard naturally. Beards are turning grey by the lack of melanin caused by aging and other factors we will discuss below. While you can’t reverse a grey beard naturally, you can do many things to delay greying. But before we get there, let’s talk a bit about melanin.
What is melanin, and how does it work?
Melanin is the substance that gives your hair color and is produced by melanocytes. Melanocytes are the skin cells responsible for melanin production in your body. After you reach 30, fewer melanocytes are produced by melanocyte stem cells, and the color of your hair and beard changes, turning grey. In fact, studies have shown that after you get 30 years old, melatonin production slows down by 20% every 10 years, turning your hair grey and eventually white.
This happens because the normal color of human hair is white and melanin is the substance coloring it. Depending on genetic factors, melanin produces hair-darkening pigments that form your hair color when combined with hair proteins and keratin. So when there is no melanin, your hair will turn white. Some guys like this look, and we have written a guide on how to dye your beard white.
Health Conditions and premature grey hair
Sometimes other factors than aging can affect melanin production resulting in premature hair greying. There are 4 conditions that can lead to premature grey beards and hair. Thyroid disease, Alopecia areata, pernicious anemia, and Vitiligo. If you get diagnosed with one of these 4 conditions, there is not much to do, and you should dye your beard if you don’t like your grey beard.
Nutrition and grey hair
The number one factor you can control and has to do with beard greying is your nutrition. Melatonin is produced by the skin cells’ melanocytes, and bad nutrition can affect the rate at which new melanocytes are produced.
The best thing you can do to maximize melatonin production in your organism is to give melanocytes the nutrients they need. Some of the nutrients you should get are iron, copper, vitamin B-12, and folate. The right intake of these nutrients will ensure that melanocytes work properly and produce the maximum possible amount of melatonin.
Grey hair and smoking
Several studies have associated smoking with grey hair; you can read more about them here and here. These studies mention that the free chemicals from tobacco smoke can damage melanin cells. To support even more their arguments, they state that smokers’ melanocytes get highly vacuolated, a common reaction to oxidative stress. So smoking can cause premature greying, and if you want to slow it down, you should quit smoking.
Grey hair and Stress
Stress can have many negative effects on your organism, one of which is premature hair greying. When people get stressed, your body’s adrenal glands produce a neurotransmitter called noradrenaline. This substance is released to your hair follicles through the sympathetic nervous system. The release of this substance makes the melanocytes’ stem cells activate and leave their position in the hair follicles. So, no melatonin can be produced, turning your hair grey. So if you feel stressed lately and see your hair turning grey, make sure to reduce your stress levels. I know it is not that easy, but you should do it for your overall health and not only your beard color.
Natural ways of stopping Beard greying
As mentioned above, certain nutrients like iron, Vitamin B-12, copper, and folate can help melatonin production. The best way to get these nutrients is by having a healthy balanced diet. Some foods that are rich in the above nutrients:
- Iron: liver, red meat, beans, dried fruit, and nuts
- Vitamin B-12: fish, cheese, eggs, and milk
- Copper: shellfish, seeds, nuts, and whole-grain products
- Folate: broccoli, leafy green vegetables, chickpeas, and peas
In addition to the above nutrients, you should increase your intake of foods rich in antioxidants. Oxidation causes the production of free radicals that can cause oxidative stress. The best way to neutralize these free radicals is to supply your organism with antioxidants.
Some foods rich in antioxidants are:
Use of Beard Oil
Essential oils like peppermint oil, lavender oil, tea tree oil, sage oil, eucalyptus oil, and others boost melatonin production and reduce hair greying. Using beard oil has many benefits, and one of them is slowing down beard greying. If you want to make your own homemade beard oil, read our guide. If you want to buy one, read our beard oil reviews here
- Vitamins and Supplements
If you cannot take all the nutrients mentioned above by having a balanced diet, the second-best way is to take supplements. Before taking any supplements, the best thing you have to do is to pay a visit to your dermatologist and ask his opinion on the matter.
- Protect your beard from UV rays
Like smoking, exposure to the sun causes oxidative stress to your organism resulting in premature aging and hair greying. You need to be really careful and not get exposed to the sun for a long period of time, and if you have to, make sure to wear a hat and sunscreen. If you go swimming, wash your beard when you are done and apply beard oil.
- Diy Mixes
The methods we are going to share below are not scientifically proven. But they are shared across the web, and we thought to include them in our article. We can’t guarantee the results, but they all contain healthy ingredients that will help your beard and skin either way.
1. Curry leaves and Buttermilk or Oil
You Will Need :
- A bunch of curry leaves
- Oil or buttermilk
Mix the curry leaves with the oil or buttermilk, bring to a boil and let the mix cool. Massage your beard with the mixture and leave it for 10 minutes. Rinse.
2. Coconut milk, Aloe Vera, and Amla Juice
You will need:
- Coconut oil
- Coconut milk
- Aloe Vera extract
- Amla Juice
Mix equal amounts of coconut milk, aloe vera extract, and Amla juice. Add them to a pot and bring them to a boil. Let the mix cool, and add 10 drops of coconut oil. Massage your beard and leave it for 15 minutes. Wash your beard.
Read More: Aloe Vera For Beard Growth: Does It Really Work?
3. Almond oil and lemon mix
You will need:
- Almond Oil
- Lemon Juice
Mix ⅔ of almond oil with ⅓ of lemon juice. Apply it to your beard. Let it dry.
4. Henna and coffee beard mask
You will need:
- Henna powder
Add a tablespoon of coffee to a cup of water and bring to a boil. Let it cool, add henna powder and mix to a paste. Massage your beard with the DIY mask and leave it on for an hour. Wash your beard.
Why is my beard turning grey so fast?
The main reason for beards turning grey really fast if it is not a health condition is stress anxiety and bad nutrition. Visit a doctor to check if everything is ok with your health and make sure to have balanced nutrition and reduce your stress levels.
Can a white beard turn black again?
As grey beards can’t turn black again, white beards can’t turn black either. It is a genetic thing and as long as melatonin is not produced by your organism there is not something to reverse it. If you don’t like your white beard and you want to have a black beard again all you have to do is to dye it black. You can check our article about the best beard byes, and if you are into natural solutions, read this article to learn about how to dye your beard with a homemade beard dye.
At what age does a beard start Greying?
As we mentioned above your beard starts greying at 30. But take this with a grain of salt. Every man is different and you can see guys at 25 with grey beards and guys at 40 with jet black beards but as a rule of thumb, your beard will start greying at 30.
Is a grey beard attractive?
Yes, a grey beard is attractive and studies have shown that ladies like guys with grey beards. When having a grey beard you get a more sophisticated and mature look and ladies like it. Some people are going for the famous salt and pepper beard even before they get grey bears.
Does shaving increase grey beard hair?
No, shaving your beard will not increase beard hair. This is a common myth we hear about a lot online. Shaving has nothing to do with hair follicles structure and melanin.
We know that a lot of guys freak out when they see grey hair on their beards and start searching about how to stop it. Now you have read our article; you know what science says about stopping greying of beard and learned some tips and tricks on how to slow it down. Make sure to have a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet, keep low-stress levels and quit smoking if you do. If you do everything we mentioned, you will be able to prevent premature hair greying. If you have a health disease that causes your beard to get gray at an early age, there is not much to do; embrace your uniqueness and rock on your grey beard.
If you have any cool tips to share with our readers and us, let us know in the comments section.
Russell is the founder of themensattitude.com. He is a barber a beard enthusiast and he is obsessed with trying men’s lifestyle products and blog about them. If you have any questions you can hit him up via the contact page.