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Beard Care

Why Do I Have Red Hairs In My Beard

By November 24, 2020October 19th, 2022No Comments
red hairs in beard

If you have ever looked closely at a beard, perhaps your own, you may notice that is has different color stray hairs in it. While your beard is the same color as the hair on your head, these stray ones may be different colors. One of the most common colors of stray beard hair is red. While this may seem odd, a lot of men do have some red hair in their beard.

Beards have become more popular over the last decade, and for a lot of men growing one out for the first time, they may notice some stray hairs that are a different color. This is normal, and guys should not get worried if they see that. One of the most common colors that stands out is the red beard hair because it is such an uncommon color for people. Men and women with red hair are certainly in the minority, and seeing a few pop up in your beard can make you curious as a first time beard grower.

Red Hairs In My Black Beard

Red hair in your beard is caused by a mutation in the MC1R gene. When you inherit 2 MC1R genes, you will have red hair all over your body. However, if you are born with one MC1R gene, then you can have random red hair grow in unexpected places like your beard.

So, for guys who have red hair all over like Ed Sheeran, they have both mutated genes. But, if you notice a stray red beard hair here and there, this means you only have 1 of the mutated genes.

red hair in black beard

The Red Hair Gene

To understand how you get random red hairs in your beard, it is important to understand your genetics. Red hair is caused by the MC1R gene, and if you have 2 of these genes, you will have red hair all over. Having one of these can cause you to get unexpected red hair in different places like your beard. So, if you have random red hairs in your beard, one of your ancestors likely had red hair and passed the MC1R gene down to you.

So, ultimately red beard hair comes from have either one or 2 gene defects that cause it. If you have ginger beard, then you will have both. If you only have some random red hairs here and there in your beard, then you have 1 MC1R gene.

Another factor that can cause this is of course the pigment pheomelanin. Even if it is not the dominant pigment for you, having some of it in your genetic makeup can cause a spotty red hair in your beard. This is of course true for any stray hair you find on your body that is a different color. It all comes down to your genes, and there is nothing that you can do about it. You are stuck with your beard color as well as the random stray colors that you may or may not have.

Understanding The Science Behind Hair Pigmentation

The color of your hair is determined by the amount of a pigment called melanin. As an example, if you have a lot of the pigment called eumelanin, then you will have black or brown hair. The greater the amount of eumelanin means that you will have hair color that is more black.

There is also pheomelanin which is what causes red hair, so if you have a lot of this, then you are likely going to have red hair.

The amounts of the melanin that you have come from your genes. There are many genes that determine the amount of each pigment that you have. Also, your hair pigment can change as you age due to certain proteins that become activated. There isn’t one gene that dominates hair color, but all genes influence each other to determine your beard hair color.

What About Hispanic Men With Red In Their Beards?

A lot of Mexican men wonder how they can have black hair, black beards, and darker skin, but with some red in their beards. This means that one of your ancestors carried the mutated MC1R gene, and that gene has been passed down to you. It is as simple as that.

It is not uncommon for Hispanics to have diversity in previous generations. This includes men with red hair like Irish.


If you are guy who decides to grow out a beard, you may notice that you have some stray hairs that are a different color. These may be red, brown, blond, and of course grey as you get older. Most beard hair is not a single color, and if you take a look at your own or a buddies, you can see that. This is due to genetics so you can blame your great uncle from your mother’s side for giving you some random colored hair in your glorious beard.

James Woods

James Woods

Hi, I am James Woods, the founder of Beardedblade. I have extensive experience working in the men's grooming industry. I have worked in the beard care and shaving industries, so I have first hand experience working with products in those areas. I also enjoy all things outdoors and topics related to men's lifestyle. I am an avid camper, hiker, biker, and all around outdoor enthusiast.

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