With Men’s Beards well and truly back in fashion amongst the 20 something generation and beyond, it’s about time I tackled the subject of beards and ageing. We all need to know what to do when that first grey hair appears. Will our beard still look great when we are older or should we ditch it? I sport some stubble or a short beard occasionally so thought it best to turn my attention to an expert on this….someone with a decent bit of growth!
Niall Sullivan likes to blog about beards and runs a hugely successful blog, you can find him @thebeardedniall . I caught up with him recently to find out more about beards and grooming as we get older.
Does the hair quality of the beard change as we age?
Like the rest of the body, beard hair does change as we get older. As we all know, going grey is a quite common! But in terms of the quality? Not so much. The growth potential of any individual is mainly down to genetics, which starts to be more noticeable during the teenage years. So if you’re able to grow a great beard when you’re younger, then you’re going to be able to do it when you’re older. The opposite of this is also true for some people. Unlike the hair on your head that tends to get thinner, beards tend to only change in colour, rather than quality.
Why do we seem to develop grey more around the chin area first?
I think that there is a simple reason for this – because you grow more hair on your chin, compared to your cheeks. The cheek area also tends to have slightly thinner or sometimes patchier hair, so even if you do grow grey hairs in that area first, it’s going to be very difficult for anyone to spot them. When there is so much hair in one space on your chin, it is much easier to spot a grey amongst the others – especially if you have darker hair.
Should you dye your beard or leave it au natural?
Dyeing head hair can look good when done in a tasteful way. But for me, beards should be left as they are. Having flecks of grey or even ginger hairs in your beard in my opinion adds character and ultimately looks more natural. Recently I had a friend who was considering dyeing his beard, as he was worried about the grey hairs in it. But the fact is, by dyeing it, he would be drawing more attention to himself, but not in a good way! You can spot a dyed beard a mile off as nearly all beards, whatever someone’s age, contains hairs of more than one colour. Keep it natural guys! The salt and pepper look is still a popular option.
What style of beard is most youthful?
I think that you’ve got to stick to the classic look – the full beard. Although many people say that a beard makes you look older, it is actually a fact that beards can stop you from ageing. A study by the University of Queensland found that beards can protect men from 90 to 95% of dangerous UV rays. This lower UV exposure could slow the ageing process, meaning less wrinkles and age spots on the face and a lower risk of skin cancer.
What style of beard ages a person?
From my own personal experience and experimentation with facial hair, I find that having a goatee tends to age you. There is no real science behind this choice, but it might be the fact that you see a lot of older people than younger people with one, compared to other styles. Maybe someone should bring it back in fashion!?
Are large beards with lots of grey hair too ageing?
As mentioned above, beards are an underrated anti-ageing measure. But if you’ve got a big beard, it does without saying that the grey hairs will stand out more, even on your cheeks where usually this is not the case. This can unfortunately make you look older than you seem. If you wish to look younger, you should keep your beard neatly trimmed by doing it yourself or by going to your local barber.Any grey hair will blend in with the rest of your beard rather than standing out.
Some great advice from Niall there and don’t forget if you want to learn more about ageing well, check out the brand new Milesyounger Podcast, How To Age Well– simply by clicking HERE