With a head of dark brown or black hair, you’re probably anticipating a similarly dark beard. After all, if your hair is one hue, shouldn’t the rest of your hair be the same color?
When you start to discover red hairs in your beard, it must feel strange. However, one or two darkened hairs aren’t a cause for concern. However, there is one problem. When you start noticing those hairs, you’ll notice that formerly dark hairs are beginning to turn red. What’s going on? Is something wrong with you?
There’s nothing wrong with you if your beard becomes red, and it’s also not a sign that something is wrong with your facial hair. A spontaneous mutation of the genes is to blame for this. When two mutant MC1R genes are inherited, red hair, as well as head hair, results. However, having only one MC1R gene causes red hair to grow solely in some areas of the body. This can occur anywhere on your body, including your legs, armpits, and even your face. Red hair genes can coexist with brown hair genes (or any other color), and these two genes “battle” to determine which will be generated. This can cause hair to change color as the genes that control growth swap positions.
How Your Beard Turns Red Due to a Single MC1R Gene
The Melanocortin 1 receptor is the scientific name for the MC1R gene. This gene creates a protein that has a direct impact on the body’s melanin levels. Melanin is most frequently thought of as the pigment that determines whether our skin is light or dark. However, many people are unaware that melanin also determines the color of our eyes and hair.
The MC1R gene does not usually result in red hair. It functions to assess the levels of eumelanin and pheomelanin in the body when it comes to beards. Darker hues are produced by eumelanin, while lighter colors are produced by pheomelanin. When the MC1R gene is altered, it can create red, but there must be less eumelanin than pheomelanin for this to happen.
You can inherit two MC1R genes of the same color, however, due to variances in their parents’ DNA, many people inherit two. When the MC1R genes aren’t altered, blonde hair with a black beard or vice versa can arise. When one of the MC1R genes is mutated, the consequence is red body hair. If both were mutated, you’d have red hair all over your body.
One of the things that have astonished people about this is that their beards will often become red despite the fact that their parents have never had red hair. You might think that because red hair is caused by a mutant gene, one of your genes has been mutated since birth, but this isn’t true.
We refer to red hair as a recessive gene. These genes, like the rest, are inherited from our ancestors, but they are buried by more dominant genes. So, while your parents may have a faulty MC1R gene, their genes for brown/black/blonde hair are stronger, masking the mutation. It was always there; it was just difficult to see.
What Can I Do If I Don’t Want a Red Beard?
When this happens, you only have three choices. The first option is to shave your beard. If you don’t want a red beard, shaving it off will solve the issue. But isn’t this a little unsatisfying? No, I don’t believe so.
So, how about a product that allows us to keep our beards?
We can keep our beards without the red in the second choice. I’m talking about dying your beard, as you’ve obviously figured. Just For Men provides a selection of fantastic beard colors that will help you quickly darken your beard. You can even keep some of the red to give your beard a more vibrant appearance. To leave some red, apply a bit of Touch of Gray or try their deep dark brown color for complete coverage.
The third choice is to accept your red beard and learn to appreciate it. It contributes to your individuality, allowing you to stand out from the throng. This might be a blessing in disguise, as it can help you stand out among your work and personal partners.
Is There Anything Else That Can Affect the Color of my Beard?
There is, of course. Hair follicles on your body (and head) produce less melanin as you get older. This results in color shifts. Gray is one of the most frequent colors, but we’ll get to that in a minute. It could also imply that your beard gets darker rather than lighter at times, as these adjustments don’t always go as planned.
Hair color can also be affected by sun exposure and stress. Certain soaps and facial creams can also alter the color of your beard, though this is largely controlled by your genetics and how your body reacts to the substances.
If you aren’t eating properly and maintaining your physical health, you may notice that the color of your beard fades. Your body needs the right nutrients and minerals to keep manufacturing melanin.
Is This the Cause of Gray Beards?
Beards tend to grow gray as they get older due to a decrease in melanin production. This has nothing to do with the MC1R genes your parents passed down to you. This is a normal part of growing older, and if you’re over 40, you shouldn’t be concerned.
However, if you are young and have noticed gray or white hairs, it is typically a sign that you have an issue that needs to be addressed. If the hairs on your beard begin to lighten as a result of too much sun, this isn’t necessarily a symptom of a health concern, but it is a clue that your beard hairs are weaker than they were previously.
The bigger issue arises when a young person’s beard begins to gray due to lack of sun exposure or a vitamin deficiency in their diet. When this happens, it’s a symptom that they’re stressed out, and the increased production of cortisol (the stress hormone) is negatively impacting their health.
If this is the case, the color of your facial hair is the least of your concerns: excessive stress has been related to higher blood pressure, a higher chance of heart attack, and a shorter lifespan.
Keep an eye on your beard when you’re grooming it since it can be the signal you need to start addressing your stress levels.
Is it Possible for a Red Beard to Return to its Original Color of Black or Brown?
While a red beard turning black or brown is uncommon, it is possible. If you have a single mutant MC1R gene, you will most likely have red hair mixed in with your other color.
This can cause a beard to grow in dark and then turn red as it emerges, or a beard to grow in red and then turn black. Another common occurrence is having a beard of one color over a length of time before switching to another. This transformation may or may not last the remainder of your life. Your hair can change color again if it has previously changed color.
This, however, should not be relied upon. It isn’t always the case. If you’re worried about your beard turning red, shave or color it rather than waiting for it to change on its own.
It’s possible that your beard becoming red isn’t what you wanted out of life, but it’s not a sign that something is wrong with you. It simply indicates you have a mutant MC1R gene. This has no effect on your health in any manner.
You can always color your red beard if you have one. You should, however, try wearing it for a while. A red beard may not be what you were expecting, but it may be really appealing. Celebrities Both Michael C. Hall and Michael Fassbender have red beards, which ladies find highly appealing. So don’t shave it or dye it until you’ve given it a chance to perform its magic.