Why Do I Have a Ginger Beard?

Ever wondered why your natural head hair colour is brown or blonde, but your facial hair and beard grows with a ginger tinge? Your eyes aren’t playing tricks on you – ginger beards are super common – regardless of your hair colour!

So, why do beards go ginger? Is it normal for your beard hair to grow ginger?

To be clear, facial hair growing with a red tinge is entirely natural and is no cause for concern. Within this article, Jericho are going to answer all of your burning questions regarding ginger beards and red hair. If you’re looking for answers, read on.

Why Do Beards Go Ginger?

If you’re wondering “why do I have a ginger beard?” without red head hair the answer comes down to genetics.

The scientific reason for why beards go ginger for some men is due to a genetic mutation of the MC1R gene. The MC1R gene is responsible for controlling the production of pigment in cells – including red hair. Like our hair, this gene also produces pigmentation for our skin.

MC1R produces two types of pigments that determine hair colour. Eumelanin creates black tones, while pheomelanin causes red tones. Everyone has two kinds of pigments; it just depends on how much of each pigment someone has. People with black or dark brown hair will have more eumelanin than pheomelanin, and blondes will have fewer pigment. Thus, creating their lighter hair colour.

Gingers will mostly have pheomelanin responsible for creating that striking red hair colour. 

Why do beards go ginger

What Causes This Specific Genetic Mutation?

Here’s where the mutation can occur for those that do not necessarily have red hair on their heads. Part of the MC1R gene’s role is also to code for melanocortin. This is a type of protein that alters red pigments to black. When someone has a double mutation of this gene, melanocortin production is weakened, leading to a wider red pigment range. As a result, a non-ginger man will grow a red beard that is either all ginger hair or will have a ginger tinge.

This also explains why some people will have patches of ginger in their beards. For these people, the melanocortin protein is not entirely weakened but is also not capable of working to its full capability. 

Who Is Likely to Have Ginger in Their Beard?

Only 1% to 2% of the world’s population have red hair, but when it comes to red beards and red facial hair colour, it’s hard to provide a definitive number due to most of it being luck.

Just like having children with blonde, red, or brown hair is hard to guess if both parents have different hair colours. It is all a result of how our genetic formation is.

However, if your male family members are non-redheads with ginger beards, you are more likely to adopt this look when your facial hair grows and thickens.

How Do I Stop My Beard Going Ginger?

If you aren’t a fan of this new development in your appearance and would prefer a more cohesive look that matches the head hair, there is a way for your beard hair not to go ginger.

As we know, ginger beards are biological for some and cannot be naturally altered.

However, the only practical solution would be to dye the red beard using permanent or temporary hair dye. Men using hair dye on their beards is not uncommon – keeping your beard all one colour is something many do when they start to grow grey hairs.

Our advice? Embrace it! 

Which Celebrities Have Ginger Beards?

If you’re feeling insecure about having ginger in your beard and aren’t sure if it’s a look you want to keep, here are some celebs who have decided to embrace these mutated genes.

Michael C Hall 

Hall is an American actor best known for his role as serial killer Dexter Morgan. He has kept his ginger beard for a unique look that fits his character quite well.

Tom Hardy

Tom Hardy is an English Actor known for his roles in action movies like Inception and Mad Max. He tends to keep a shorter, scruffy-looking beard that is perfect for his on-screen characters. He is also a natural brunette with a ginger beard.

Bradley Cooper

Bradley Cooper is an American Actor who has had three back-to-back Oscar nominations. Cooper rocked a medium-length ginger beard in his thirties and early forties. His beard has slowly gone grey, and he seems to be keeping it that way.

Michael Fassbender

Michael Fassbender, an Irish actor, known for his roles in Inglorious Bastards and X-Men, has light brown and bright ginger hair. He’s one of the celebs with a more prominent detail in the mismatch of colours.

Are Ginger Beards Rare?

It really all comes down to luck and your genetic makeup. Being a full redhead is already rare and having a ginger red beard is just as rare. That’s why some non-ginger-haired men will have the genetic mutation and have red beards, while other non-ginger men won’t.

Do Ginger Beards Turn Grey?

You may have heard that redheads don’t go grey. The truth is, they do eventually get grey or white hair like the rest of us as they age, but just not as fast.

Those with ginger beards will retain the red colour a lot longer than a black, brown, or blonde beard hair. Ginger beards will actually turn light brown or blonde before they fade into grey or white.

As we age its normal for the MC1R gene to weaken and have trouble producing pigment, which leads to that silvery white colour. 

Final Thoughts

Mystery Solved!

Now you know that a bit of ginger growing in your beard hair does not necessarily mean you have Scottish or Irish in your blood! It just means that you have a small genetic mutation, causing pigmentation. The best bit? You’re not alone – it’s super common for non-redheads to have a tinge of ginger in their beards.

Whether you’ve got black, brown, blonde, or ginger hair, Jericho Australia has the best beard oils, balms, shampoos and more to keep those locks as shiny and healthy as possible.

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