Why Is My Beard Turning Orange?

Ok, Why Is My Beard Turning Orange? So, you’ve been growing out that awesome luscious beard for so long and it’s finally filled in, and ready to go.

Now, seeing as you’ve got brown, black, or blond hair, you’re expecting your beard to come out the same color as your hair, right?….. Right? Oh no, it’s changing colors! Perhaps it’s a few hairs here and there going lighter, grayer, or even…red?

Why Is My Beard Turning Orange?

Why Is My Beard Turning Orange?

Fret not, it’s perfectly normal but a little bit unfair. Want to know why your beard is suddenly coloring outside the lines? Let’s find out!


To answer that question, we must first know how beards are colored in the first place; science time! Like most things in your body, the color of your beard (and your entire body hair) is determined by genetics.

We all know that there are dominant and recessive genes, right? And that the dominant genes determine certain aspects of our body.

Well, that’s all true except for when it comes to hair color. Truth is, there are no dominant and recessive genes when it comes to hair. Instead, the genes all influence each other.

However, that doesn’t mean it’s not hereditary. Your hair and beard colors are ultimately linked to the hair color of your parents, grandparents, or even your ancestors!

Now, what does determine hair color? A pigment called melanin (which also decides on skin color). Now, we have two kinds of melanin: pheomelanin and eumelanin.

Eumelanin is responsible for dark colors like black and brown hair. Black eumelanin produces black hair and brown eumelanin produces brown hair and of course, mixes happen. Reduced levels of eumelanin can cause blond hair.

On the other hand, you’ve got pheomelanin which is responsible for red hair. In fact, red hair is the rarest hair in the world. Okay so now that we know how hair works, we still don’t know why it’s changing.

Well, that depends on what color it’s changing too. If it’s going grey, then you need to ask yourself a very important question: “Am I getting old?” If the answer is yes, then that’s normal.

As we age, we produce less melanin and so our hair loses its color. “But I’m not getting old.” Then we have a bigger problem. Grey hair in younger people is usually a sign that needs addressing.

High levels of stress can cause grey hair, and stress is bad business all around. Another reason could be a poor diet and an unhealthy lifestyle. If you’re not getting enough vitamins, then your hair could get significantly weaker and turn grey.

See Also: Are Gray Beards Attractive?


Okay, so it’s not going grey, but going light or golden. That’s great right? Who wouldn’t want a golden Thor-like beard? Actually, you don’t. If your beard wasn’t naturally like this, then it means there’s a problem afoot.

The biggest suspect here is coincidentally also golden: the sun. Sun exposure can impact the health of your hair and beard to a large degree. Getting too much sun not only lightens up the color of your beard but also makes the hairs weaker.

Another possible suspect is whatever soap or wash you’re using on your face. Some products include bleach which could end up changing your beard’s color, so make sure you read the ingredients label and perhaps it’s time for a skincare routine change.


Neither grey nor golden, you say, it has actually gone red! “But my hair isn’t even red!” Yes, and you’d be surprised how it doesn’t need to be. Let’s go back a bit to the science of hair.

We’ve mentioned the pigment melanin, but what about the gene itself (Since we said it’s all about genetics)? That would be Melanocortin 1 Receptor (Or MC1R for short). MC1R produces a protein that turns pheomelanin to eumelanin making your hair dark.

However, sometimes the MC1R gene is mutated and it can either come from one parent or two parents. If you get both mutated genes from both your parents, you end up with red hair and a red beard.

But what about inheriting only one mutated gene? Yes, it’s possible, and that’s what leads to a difference in hair and beard color. If you get one mutated MC1R, you only get the red beard.

If you’re thinking “But neither of my parents even have red hair.”, then you need to know that it can come from your grandparents or even your ancestors.

The gene is present in the family somehow, it just decided to appear on you now. As your beard grows out, this becomes more and more evident.


Can you control your beard’s sudden color change? Yes and no. If we’re talking premature greying or your beard turning lighter, here are some things you can do:

Control your stress

Once you get your stress levels down, the hair can return to its natural color. Your body will also thank you.

Fix Up Your Diet

If your diet is lacking vitamins, you need to make a change. Malnutrition is one of the causes for a weak and changing beard, so you need to add more vegetables, fruits, iron-rich foods and you can even take a biotin supplement.

Get Less Sun

Remember when we said sun exposure can mess up the beard hair’s strength? Then, it’s easy, just get less sun. You can also use a leave-in conditioner or beard oil that will make your beard appear darker.

Get enough sleep

Make sure you hit those 7-8 golden hours every day.

Check Your Skincare Products

Make sure none of them include bleach. You could also add herbal shampoo to the mix instead of your normal shampoo or beard wash.

What if it’s turning red though? You really only have three options: 

Dye Your Beard

There are a number of both temporary and long-term beard dyes now. You can choose the color closest to your hair and give it a go.

Shave Your Beard

You can’t have red hairs on your beard if there is no beard, right? (See Best Clippers For Beards)

Trim Your Beard

This is obviously the best option. If the hairs started turning red as you grew it out, then just “ungrow” it out and trim off those ends.

The shorter you go, the darker it gets. You can even go down to stubble and you’ll probably have no red at all unless your beard was red from the getgo.

Read Also; How To Dye Your Beard White Like a Pro.