5 Tips for an Epic White Beard
The graying of our facial hair is inevitable. But it doesn’t mean you have to lose your confidence as your beard loses its color.
Look on the bright side, you silver fox (or silver fox to be) — distinguished, wise, and experienced are all words associated with a white beard. Being viewed in such a favorable light is nothing to feel down about.
Still, there’s more to rocking an epic white beard than aging and not shaving. After all, you probably don’t want to be mistaken for Kris Kringle… unless it’s December.
White beards, gray beards, and silver beards all require a little extra care and attention to detail to keep them looking their best.
We’ll cover five things you can do to turn your white beard into zaddy material.
1. FIND THE RIGHT WHITE BEARD LENGTH AND SHAPE
The longer and more out of control your white beard gets, the more you will have people referring to you as Santa Claus, Merlin, and Gandalf. There’s no way around this — it’s human nature.
On the flip side, going too short can also be an issue. As your hair loses its pigmentation, it becomes finer. This can leave you with more holes and patches in your beard than you’re accustomed to or a beard that is easy to see through.
The sweet spot for a white beard tends to be between two and six inches — long enough to provide complete, even coverage but not so long that you enter wizard territory.
Hard angles are your friend when it comes to shaping a white beard. As we age, our bodies and faces soften and become rounder. You can fight back by opting for a beard style with sharper lines, such as a spade shape or boxed beard.
Check out the video below to see Robert’s epic white beard transformation.
2. DOUBLE DOWN ON SOFTENING
There’s a common misconception that gray hair is coarser than pigmented hair. But your silver hair is actually finer in texture than it was when you were younger. It only feels coarse and wiry because white hair tends to be drier.
Why is that?
Generally speaking, our hair follicles produce less sebum the older we get. Sebum is the natural oil your skin produces that helps keep your beard hair hydrated, conditioned, and protected. With less sebum being produced, your white beard feels coarser and drier than in your heyday. Not only is a dry beard more uncomfortable, but it’s also more challenging to manage and style.
To combat this, you want to double down on conditioning and softening your beard. Below are a few products that can help you do just that:
BEARDBRAND UTILITY SOFTENER
Getting a softer beard starts in the shower with a versatile conditioning product like Beardbrand Utility Softener. Utility Softener features natural ingredients like coconut oil and shea butter that hydrate your beard hair and help prevent split ends (heads up, it works on head hair, too).
Most men notice results the first time they use Beardbrand Utility Softener.
We recommend trying the advanced beard-softening techniques below when working with a white beard.
Co-washing (conditioner washing)
It sounds counter-intuitive, but Instead of using a beard wash or shampoo every time you shower, try using Utility Softener in its place. Beardbrand Utility Softener contains enough cleansing ingredients to take care of any common bacteria in your beard while keeping it moisturized. Reserve the stronger beard wash or shampoo for a weekly deep clean or for days when your beard is extra soiled with sweat and dirt.
Let it soak
Apply the Utility Softener at the start of your shower and let it soak in while you wash the rest of your body. The more time it spends on your beard and hair, the more time it has to work its magic.
Leave it in
For the ultimate beard-softening boost, apply a small amount of Utility Softener to a damp beard, and skip the rinse altogether. Set it and forget it while you go about your day. Just be sure to give your beard a thorough rinse before adding more the next day.
Keep in mind that everyone’s beard is different, so experiment with these three techniques to find what works best for you.
BEARDBRAND UTILITY OIL
Beardbrand Utility Oil work by replicating the sebum that your body naturally produces. That sebum gets stripped away in the shower just from the water alone. And as mentioned above, our hair follicles tend to produce less sebum as we age.
When working with a white beard, add a few extra drops of Utility Oil to your routine, and don’t be afraid to reapply later in the day if your beard and skin are feeling dry.
While your beard oil works its magic on the skin beneath your beard, you can also add a slow-releasing conditioner like Beardbrand Utility Balm to the ends of your beard. This will help add a little extra hydration to your beard throughout the day. Just be wary not to overdo it and weigh down your beard, which, again, becomes a little thinner as we age.
3. TEXTURIZE YOUR WHITE BEARD
We’ve already talked about hair becoming finer as it loses color. For some men, this can lead to a white beard that is wispy, thin, and falls flat. Or you might find that your white beard is not as full-looking as it once was and is now easier to see through it clear to your jaw.
If this sounds like you, consider adding a few sprays of Sea Salt Spray to your beard.
Beardbrand Sea Salt Spray is loaded with vitamin-rich magnesium chloride—actual salt from the Dead Sea—that nourishes and strengthens hair follicles. It’s full of curl-enhancing magnesium sulfate that helps add volume and light hold to your hair.
Essentially, Sea Salt Spray enhances any natural curl or wave in your beard. It also adds a bit of grit that helps the beard hairs look thicker. This all helps give the appearance of a fuller beard.
Now, salt does have a minor drying effect on hair, so it's not going to be a solution for you if dryness is your biggest issue. But if your beard is getting thinner as you age and you don't find it to be overly dry, it could be a good solution for you.
You can learn more by reading Sea Salt Spray: The Pros and Cons.
4. EASE UP ON THE HEAT
If we haven’t already talked enough about the finer texture of white hair, here’s a little more to chew on. The fineness and porosity of your aging beard make it more susceptible to heat damage.
Now, you don’t need to remove heat from your beard grooming routine altogether, but you do want to be conscious of your beard’s increasing susceptibility to getting burned. Try a lower temperature setting if you usually use a beard straightening brush. Or try reducing the number of days you use the brush per week. You shouldn’t have issues using a hair dryer, but again, be mindful of the temperature and distance you hold it from your beard.
5. MAINTAIN YOUR WHITE BEARD
When your first gray hairs start showing up in your beard, it’s natural to feel some resistance toward them. Over time, that resistance gives way to acceptance and even pride in sporting a full white beard. At this point, the biggest challenge is keeping your beard white.
Your beard loses its youthful hue as the melanin in the hair follicle fades away, but the silvery hairs are still at risk of absorbing color from surrounding elements. Sunshine, chlorine, and water can all be absorbed into your beard, tinting the color. This is often referred to as yellowing or bronzing. This bronzing can be one of the most frustrating parts of having a white beard.
So, how do you stop your beard from taking on that yellow or bronze color?
Your best bet is a purple shampoo designed for white or gray hair. There is a variety of these available for all skin types.
So how does it work?
If you know the color wheel, you know that purple sits opposite yellow. So essentially, purple shampoos work by adding trace amounts of purple pigmentation to your hair and neutralizing the appearance of yellow tones.
Does it work? Greg Berzinsky tested some in his beard in the video below.
Aside from being harsh on your skin, sulfates can also tint your white hair. Opt for a purple shampoo that is free of sulfates and silicones.
Now, if your beard hasn’t gone entirely white yet and you’re feeling impatient waiting for the last colorful hairs to lose their pigmentation, you can opt to dye your beard, as demonstrated by Greg Berzinsky below. Bleach can be harsh, so if you are thinking about going this route, we recommend going to a professional colorist.
Need help with your gray, silver, or white beard? Text "STYLE" to 512-879-3297 for free, ongoing personalized style consultations.
Keep on Growing.
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