Grey Matter | What makes my beard grey?

It’s no revelation that as we get older, grey or white hair is inevitable. As you may remember, our genetics are responsible for our hair colour, with melanin being the pigment that determines the tint - a higher concentration of eumelanin makes your hair darker and more pheomelanin gives it a red hue.

During the aging process, the pigment cells in our hair follicles deplete, leaving the hair shaft colourless. This can happen from your teens onwards, so whatever age you go grey, blame your parents!

So what are your options? 


Lifestyle changes

There are a few things you can try to reduce the possibility of greys:

  • Stop smoking
    A study in the journal Science News revealed smokers are a staggering four times more likely than nonsmokers to have grey hair.
  • Cut the coffee
    As caffeine is a diuertic, high intake will dehydrate your body and interfere with the supply of moisture to the hair.
  • Up your copper and B12 intake
    Your diet is the most direct link to your health, as brilliantly illustrated in Netflix’s viral documentary
    What The Health. Sunflower seeds, lentils, almonds, dried apricots, mushrooms and turnip greens are excellent vegan sources of copper, and turn to bananas and soy products for B12. These vitamins and minerals can help to prevent premature greyness.


If you do decide to cover up the greys, Just For Men have a dedicated range to beard and moustache dyeing, which has a small precision brush to help you neatly coat the edges and target areas with the conditioning colour gel. It takes just five minutes, which is ideal if you have a last-minute meeting or date.

As an alternative to synthetic dye, Lush do a great range of henna bricks in four different shades: rouge, brun, marron and noir. A little messier and you’ll need a couple of hours for it to develop, but the pros are that it’s safe to use as often as you like, it’ll leave your beard glossy and it’s natural.

Embrace it!

Fortunately, the general consensus is that men age like a fine wine. According to a 2010 study reported by The Independent, women often prefer older men as it signals greater power and financial security. If you look up ‘silver fox’ in the dictionary, you’d find ‘George Clooney’ as the definition - one of the most widely-regarded desirable men in the world. Another George (Lamb, the radio and TV presenter) nails the look too with his dapper dress sense. People are even deliberately dyeing their hair grey nowadays - so count yourself lucky that you’re saving yourself a buck or two by going au naturel. 

As grey hair lacks the proteins that keep it smooth and shiny, it can become brittle and dull if not cared for properly. That’s where we come in. Unashamedly blowing our own horn, we have just the ticket for keeping that salt and pepper beard looking tip top. Via our natural, super nourishing blend of Argan, Jojoba, Sweet Almond and Vitamin E oils, our Old Joll’s Beard Oil will soften, condition and tame frizz. You can find out more about our blend of oils here.

Grey Beard Styles.

If you're still not convinced check out these celebs that have completely nailed going grey, I'd even go as far as saying they look better than ever.

george clooney grey

George Clooney (of course) - his beard here isn't trimmed to perfection, it's a little rough and he looks great, so don't think just because you're going grey it needs to be on point all of the time, a little scruff almost adds to the charm. There is a mix of tones in his beard too which not only looks good (so you don't end up looking like santa) but it's nice to see that leaving things natural is making a comeback.

 jeff Goldblum

Not someone you would perhaps initially think of as a silver fox but Jeff Goldblum is looking damn fine in his older years! So his beard is a little shorter in length on the sides than the the goatee area and I think you'll agree he looks very chiselled. Again just like George loving the light and dark grey beard leaving it au naturel.

Peirce Brosnan

Now pierce usually opts for the neat and tidy trim and boy does he look good, but this more rugged, untamed beard is really working for him. Going grey has far from aged the man he of course now falls in the silver fox category and he completely owns it whether neat and tidy or a bit more wild.

steve carrell

Who would have thought Steve Carell + Grey beard (albeit dark grey) would be such a winning combo. His decidedly neat trim and shorter beard length all over is really defining his face too, making him look very dashing.

Tom Hanks

In his mid 60's his beard is now almost completely light grey and still very thick and full, making the most of what he's got.

Mark Ruffalo

This handsome chap has in recent years started to embrace the grey, not super neat or primed with strays along his cheek bones and neck but again looking very devil may care. 


If your face suits a thicker, longer beard Mandy Patinkin prime example of a great rustic greying beard. A very unique look with the almost straight transition between the dark hairs around his lips to the grey at the end of his beard. 

Do you rock a silver beard? Send us your selfies to or use hashtag #BRIGHTONBEARD

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