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Why Does Beard Turn Red But Not Hair?

Why is my beard red? This is possibly the first question that might come to mind when you notice how your beard grows. Your beard might be a brighter shade of red than your hair, or you might see some small red strands popping out here and there.

So, if you’re confused about why something like this could happen, this guide will go over everything you need to know about why some men have red hair in their black beards.

We’ll also review the rare occurrence of your beard turning red but your hair is black or brown.


Why is Your Beard Red?

The key reason behind your red beard is your unique genetic makeup. The genes that determine your beard color produce more pheomelanin than eumelanin, which is responsible for your red beard. These genes were passed down to you from your parent or ancestors and they made your beard red!

Pigmentation for your beard depends on melanin and is responsible for the color of your eyes, skin, and hair. Melanin breaks down into two major components: pheomelanin and eumelanin.

Pheomelanin makes up for lighter shades in your hair, and eumelanin makes up the darker shades. A certain balance between the two gives you black, brown, red, or even blonde hair. 

When it comes to red hair, the MC1R gene binds to the 16th chromosome, which leads to the secretion of melanocortin. As a result, the eumelanin changes to pheomelanin, giving you a reddish shade of hair.

The genes that determine hair color on the head and beard are often different, leading to differences in color between the two. In many cases, the genes that determine hair color on the beard produce more pheomelanin than your head, leading to red or ginger beards.

So, if you have a red beard despite having brown or black hair, here it is because the MC1R genes of your beard hair are producing more pheomelanin than the MC1R genes of your head hair.


What Causes Beard To Turn Red

Your genetic makeup can completely alter your beard hair’s color, which can even kick in later in life. So, you could initially have a brownish beard, which eventually grows into a red beard.

But when answering the question, “why my beard turned red?” There can be factors other than genetics that can contribute to your red beard. These external factors can include the sun, smoking, and stress. Being out in the sun for too long means that the sun’s UV rays will be able to penetrate and damage your beard hair.

As a result of UV damage, your hair will start to lighten, and it can cause your hair to turn a lighter shade of red. You can easily avoid this by being careful and avoiding the sun or using the right products to protect your beard from sun exposure.

A lack of various nutrients means that an individual’s hair would not get enough melanin, which would cause their hair to redden. You can still grow red hair if you have a mineral deficiency. The red hairs will just be few and far between.


Why Some Men Have Red Hairs in Their Black Beards?

A simple answer to this question is you have red hairs in your black beard because some individual beard hair genes are producing more pheomelanin than the rest. So those individual hairs are turning red while other hairs are black. 

As mentioned earlier, external factors like the sun, stress and smoking can change the color of your beard, but it mostly comes down to genetics.

The MC1R gene can manifest differently, even in small patches or strands of red hair in your beard. The sun and stress can affect the amount of melanin your body produces, which can usually lead to white hair.

But if you have the genes sunburn and stress will turn your beard red. As sun exposure will be more or less in individual hair strands, and it will cause red hairs in black beards.  


How to Deal with Red Hairs in Black Beards?

Having a little bit of red in your beard can be a little distracting, or it can look a little unkempt. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to solve the issue of having red hair in your black beard.

Pick Them Off with Tweezers

If these red hairs are just a few and far between, then you can pick them off with a tweezer. This could result from UV rays, lack of nutrients, or even genetics.

Regardless, a few strands here and there will look alright if you have a full beard. You should be careful, though, since you don’t want to break the hair. You can just pull gently and be patient with it coming out. 

Trim Your Beard

The red hairs in your beard will usually only be noticeable when you grow it out. No one will notice those tiny red hairs without growing out your beard. So why not try out some new beard styles to keep both a light beard and make sure that you look good?

Dye Your Beard

Now if that bright red beard is bothering you, and there are just too many red hairs to pluck out, you can always dye your beard. Choose a shade that fits you best, and make sure that you contact a professional to properly color your beard and give it that proper texture.

Accept the Red Hairs

Finally, you could just accept the red hairs. Everyone’s beard is a little different, and you can really stand out when you embrace the redness in your beard.

Another reason you might consider embracing your red beard is that it is rare. In fact, only about 1% to 2% of the population has a red beard. So, if you manage to grow one, you should consider keeping it.


So, Plenty of factors like the sun, smoking, and stress can make your beard red. However, most of it really comes down to just your genetics.