The Mystery Behind Guys With a Ginger Beards

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One of the biggest mysteries when it comes to beards is: Why are there so many guys with ginger beards yet they don’t have red hair?

Many dark-haired guys have full red beards and it all comes down to the genes that are responsible for determining the color of a beard.

With facial hair becoming more widely accepted in the workplace than ever, it’s becoming more obvious when a guy has a full brown head of hair yet is sporting a red beard.

This article will help expose the reasons behind the mystery of the ginger beards!

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To really get a better understanding of why some guys have a rich, red, flowing beard, we need to look closer at the genes.

Many people believe that your genes determine your hair color and this is true but more complicated than you think.

Ginger beard gene

The genes that will determine the color of the hair are incomplete dominant hereditary traits, meaning one gene doesn’t determine hair color – all of them influence one another.

The same genes might express themselves differently from one person to another. One trait is that the color of the hair on your head can differ from your facial hair.

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What Is a Ginger Beard

Strictly speaking, a ginger beard is one that grows naturally on a redheaded person’s face. However, several people are not redheaded yet somehow have ginger beards. Some speculate that these are artificially done, but it is actually a thing that occurs naturally in black-haired and brown-haired men.

If you are wondering why you have a red beard, even if you are not a redhead, then the answer is in your genes. To become a full redhead, you need to get the red-haired gene from both of your parents, meaning you have to get two sets of this gene for it to be fully dominant. However, to have just a red-haired beard, you only need a set of the redhead gene from either one of your parents.

Benefits of a Ginger Beard

Are you interested in growing a ginger beard? Then here are some fascinating benefits you can get from doing so:

Protects the Skin

Gingers are very prone to getting sunburned, so having anything that can protect their sensitive skin from the harsh rays of the sun is always a good thing. Also, the harmful UV rays of the sun tend to dry your skin and cause wrinkles, so having a beard will surely make you look younger.

Keeps You Warm During Winter

This is not just beneficial for those with ginger beards. It is something that benefits all bearded gentlemen out there. A thick beard will help insulate your face and keep it warm even without wearing a scarf or a balaclava.

Keeps Your Skin Moisturized

The skin has a natural way of keeping itself moisturized, and these are the sebaceous glands, the ones that secrete natural oils that prevent the skin from drying out. Having a thick beard will help moisturize dry skin under your beard by preventing you from wiping off too much of the natural oil from your skin.

Makes You More Confident

One of the reasons why men, in general, want to grow a beard is that they want to feel more masculine, and it really does help a lot. It is hard to look at the mirror and not feel instantly more manly when you see a majestic beard on your face, is it not?

Pros and Cons of Ginger Beards

Pros and Cons of Ginger Beards


  • Gingers have no problems growing a beard. Here is the thing. If you are a natural redhead, growing a ginger beard will not be a challenge at all. Redheaded males are usually genetically predisposed to growing thick beards.
  • It gives your face character. Having a ginger bear makes it easier for you to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Not everyone can grow a beard or has the patience to grow one, so having a thick and luscious beard will make you recognizable, especially if you have a ginger beard.
  • Beards make you look more mature. Gingers are naturally baby-faced, which means they look much younger than they really are if they are clean-shaven. If you have a goal of looking more mature, having a beard will certainly help you with that.


  • Starting a beard can be very itchy. If you do not use the right skin and hair products, the stubble can be quite itchy. You may even need to deal with a couple of ingrown hairs during the process.
  • Beards can sometimes be gross. If you are not careful and groom your beard every now and then, you might end up spending the rest of the day with bits of your lunch caught in your facial hair for an entire afternoon.
  • Ginger beards dry out faster. Red hairs are thicker and coarser than other hair colors, so they tend to dry faster. It also makes them more frizzy and hard to manage.

Facts and Myths About Growing a Ginger Beard

If you are truly interested in growing a ginger beard, then familiarizing yourself with this style is necessary. Gather plenty of information about it. Here are just a few facts about a ginger beard that you have to be aware of:

  • Ginger beards do not turn grey. You do not have to worry about getting gray hair in your beard. Ginger beards will turn blonde, sometimes even copper, but never gray or white.
  • Ginger beards are not just for redheaded men. Even if you do not have a single strand of red in your head, if any of your ancestors had red hair, the chances are that you are carrying a recessive gene that will allow you to grow a ginger beard.
  • Gingers are more sensitive to changes in temperature. It is not just a fact about ginger beards, but of being ginger in general. The gene that causes red hair in gingers is also the one that makes them sensitive to temperature fluctuations.

Aside from that, know that there are some myths revolving around the beard style. It is advisable to know about these myths to improve your knowledge about ginger beards. Here are some common myths:

  • Gingers have no soul. It is more of a running gag rather than a myth, but there are actually quite a lot of religious people who believe that redheads have no soul. The reason for this might be the fact that their skin is so pasty white.
  • Gingers are short-tempered. This belief stems from them having fiery red hair, which many people correlate to being overly passionate over everything. However, the truth is that redheads have different temperaments, just like with all other normal human beings.

Mystery of the Ginger Beards

The shade of your hair color is determined by the pigments in your hair.

Your individual DNA encodes the pigment of the hair color and the amount of that color. In white people, there are two distinct pigments, black and red.

Dark-haired people have black pigment, blondes have less black pigment and redheads have only red pigments.

So then why do some dark-haired people have the red pigment in their beards?

Scientists discovered only recently that there is one specific gene, MC1R, that plays a huge role in the development of the red hair.

It only takes one of the mutated MC1R genes in your body for the red hairs to appear on different parts of the body.

Luck of the Draw

So to put it in the most basic terms, guys who have a thick flowing head of chestnut brown hair and sport cool ginger beards are just lucky.

It only takes a single mutated gene to cause the red hair to appear in the beard, allowing less black pigment and more red to appear in the facial hair.

If you know how many genes there are in the human body, you probably also know how remarkable it’s to think that a single gene can have such a drastic impact on the appearance of a ginger beard.

The good thing is that this gene is not dangerous, life-threatening and actually gives you the ability to really stand out in a crowd.

If you happen to be one of the guys who have the ability to grow red facial hair, definitely embrace your individuality.

Not only is a red beard, a head-turner, but it can also really add some mystery to your persona.

People will do a double-take when they see your dark hair and reddish beard and it will certainly give you a look that not too many men are sporting today.

How to Grow and Style a Ginger Beard

How to Grow and Style a Ginger Beard

Step 1 – Resist the urge to shave

This is the most important part of growing all kinds of beards. The stubble can be quite itchy, especially during the first week or so. However, if you can power through the itch, you will be able to grow thick facial hair.

Step 2 – Eat more proteins and essential vitamins

Consuming more proteins is one of the natural ways of growing a beard faster, while vitamins like Vitamin C will make the hair stronger and less prone to breakage.

Step 3 – Get enough exercise

Physical activity will make your body release more testosterone, which, in turn, will accelerate beard growth.

Step 3 – Use beard oils and balms

A good quality beard oil and/or beard balm will make the hairs softer and more manageable as they grow. These products will also help keep your skin from drying out and getting itchy.

Step 4 – Use a good quality beard brush

Brushing your beard while it is still in the process of growing will help train the hair to grow in the direction that you want.

Step 5 – Trim your beard when needed

More importantly, choose your beard type according to your beard’s density.


How to Maintain a Ginger Beard

Step 1 – Use a moisturizing beard shampoo and conditioner

Beard hairs dry out faster, so they need more moisturizing, more than what regular hair products provide.

Step 2 – Use a quality beard oil to keep the hairs soft and manageable

Beard oil is a great facial hair moisturizer and helps make it easier to style.

Step 3 – Cut your beard short

If you want to highlight the fiery color of your beard, cut it short, and keep it close to the skin.

5 Famous People With Ginger Beards

When it comes to ginger beards, you have to know that there are quite a few famous and prominent people who successfully sported here. Some of those who rocked this specific beard style is the following:

Ewan McGregor

Ask any Star Wars fan who they think has the most awesome beard in the galaxy, and surely a majority of them will tell you that it is Obi-Wan Kenobi. This character was played by Ewan in the prequels.

Conan O’Brien

Who can forget that time when Conan grew a beard during the Hollywood writers’ strike? That was one of the funniest beards in television history, which happened to be the ginger beard.

Seth Green

Although this actor is known for portraying particularly whiny characters, he does not seem that way when he started sporting a ginger beard.

Michael Fassbender  

Known mostly for his performance as a clean-shaven Magneto in the recent X-men movies, Fassbender can actually grow a rocking ginger beard when he wants to.

Michael C. Hall

Known best for his portrayal of the benevolent serial killer, Dexter, he is a prime example of someone having a ginger beard despite not having a single red hair on his head.

Do’s and Don’ts With a Ginger Beard

  • Do resist the urge to shave your beard.
  • Do condition your beard regularly to keep it from drying.
  • Do shape your beard to match your face features. Do not let it get too wild and frazzled.
  • Do use the world’s best beard comb and brush to keep your beard under control.
  • Do not let your beard get too long as it will dry out faster.
  • Do not dye your beard. These are harsh chemicals that can severely dry out your beard.

FAQ About Ginger Beards

Are ginger beards attractive?

All styles of facial hair, when kept properly, are attractive, especially a ginger beard. In fact, balding or even totally bald men with a ginger beard look attractive and oozing with confidence.

How can I make my beard ginger?

Aside from dying your beard a fiery red color, the only way that you can get a ginger beard is if you are genetically inclined to growing one.

Are red beards rare?

Not really. It is just that not many men have the patience to grow a beard, which is why you rarely see men sporting a ginger beard.

What should I do with my ginger beard?

First of all, you need to prepare the best beard care products to make maintaining one more bearable. Also, you have to research on how to use them properly. For instance, you need to rub a pea-sized amount of a specific beard product in your palms to melt beard butter and spread it evenly over your facial hair.

Should I dye my ginger beard?

If you are not a big fan of the color of your beard, it is highly advisable to avoid dying your beard a different color. You should either find a style of beard that complements your ginger beard or just shave it off. Aside from making it look unnatural, dying your beard might also cause your facial hair to get damaged because of the product’s harsh chemicals.


No one can turn their beard ginger naturally. If they dyed it that way, it would not look right at all. The only way that you can sport a ginger beard is if you are lucky with the genetic lottery. If you are, then you should take care of your beard so that it will also take care of you. 

Do you have a ginger beard? Share your experience and comment on your beard with us in the comments below.

Photos from: avemario © and Sergey Nivens ©