I recently had a conversation with a friend of mine who asked if I had dyed my beard as it appeared to be a little lighter than usual. The answer was of course, no. I have not really gave much of a thought, if any to ever wanting to colour my beard. That isn't that I disapprove of those who do. It's just a case of each to their own, I guess.
Since the very first facial hair sprouted out upon my face it has always had a reddish ginger tint to it. It didn't at all put me off like it might to another, In fact it only boosted me on further to want to grow out a glorious red beard for the world to see.
After talking with my friend I began taking that little extra notice in the mirror and have to agree that it did appear somewhat lighter than it's usual ginger self, It quickly got me wondering what could have changed the colour of my beard, if only ever so slightly.
Of course, as a man reaches a certain age he may begin to notice the odd white and grey hair strand appear, maybe a little more than he might care to admit. But that just comes with the aging process. But mine was different. It was almost as if someone had bottle bleached sections and strands of hair in my face fluff, which granted a much lighter appearance.
I knew for sure it was nothing I had done deliberately, and the many stories I discovered on the web also believed the same, so I searched into things a little further.
It seems that the sun's UV rays can change the appearance of hair in general, be it facial hair, or the hair upon you had, if you are lucky enough to have any, unlike me.
Long, lengthy exposure to the sun can act much like a the bleaching process and begin stripping back your natural hair colour. This was completely new information to me, as up until sitting in front on my notebook screen and searching information out about this I wasn't even aware that this was even possible.
But how on earth can this be? And how does this even begin to work? I hear you all gasp. Unlike your skin, which can regenerate melanin after damage caused by UV light, I.E the sunlight, your hair is dead and can no longer begin to produce its own melanin. Sunlight quickly kills the melanin remaining in your hair which in turn fades out the natural colour, making it appear much lighter.
Unlike your skin, which darkens under sun exposure your hair doesn't work in the same way. The simplified explanation for this is when you 'top up your tan' so to speak, you are in fact cooking your skin. As gruesome as that might sound that is the reality. Then, over time your skin repairs itself and often peels, freeing itself from the old layer of damaged skin befor leaving you with a darker, tanned appearance.
Of if you are really unlucky like me, 10 minutes unprotected out in the sun will result in severe sunburn that will sting like a busy butler for days, making you look like an extra from 'Attack Of The Killer Tomatoes' (extra kudos to anyone who recalls that classic movie from their childhood!) before peeling like a prune and turning back to a lily white shade.
So in short, yes, long term exposure to the sun can change the colour of your beard, although we wouldn't recommend this as a safe way to add a shade or tint, so make sure you protect both your beard and yourself when spending time outdoors in the sunshine with your friends and your loved ones. Use plenty of sun lotion and remember, the shade is your friend, so use it to your advantage every now and again.
Of course, you can also help keep that face rug of yours safe from any further damage by applying good helping of 'TBS' beard oils and balms, of which can be found online in our exclusive store.
As always, be sure to leave us your thoughts and feedback in the comments section provided below.