Tags: hair | beard | color | variation

Why is My Beard a Different Color?

By    |   Monday, 28 April 2014 11:08 AM

Question: I have sandy blonde hair, but my beard is brownish red. Is this normal, or should I be worried that I have some kind of underlying health problem?

Dr. Hibberd's answer:
This is normal. The pigmentation of our hair follicles is what gives hair its color. The melanin content of hair varies in differing parts of our bodies and is genetically inherited, as well as moderated by sun exposure.
Eumelanin and pheomalanin are the pigments that give our hair its color. Eumelanin comes in a brown or black variety, and determines the darkness of our hair. Low levels of brown eumelanin will produce blond hair, while low levels of black eumelanin will produce gray hair. Red hair has the highest amounts of pheomelanin and usually low levels of eumelanin. Pubic hair is usually darker than scalp hair in most people, and will usually match the color of the eyebrows.
Facial hair is often a blend of the color on the scalp and eyebrows. This is normal. We do notice increased premature graying in smokers and premature graying may be seen in some chronic health conditions such as hypothyroidism and malnutrition. Sometimes chemotherapy patients have a transient return of color on newly grown hair, but this is usually short lived and transient.
There does not seem to be any reason for you to worry based on your hair color difference alone. Much is yet to be learned about hair color manipulation. Perhaps one day we can learn to safely preserve melanin production in graying hair or perhaps stimulate melanin production in the graying hair selectively.

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Facial hair is often a blend of the color on the scalp and eyebrows. This is normal.
hair, beard, color, variation
Monday, 28 April 2014 11:08 AM
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