Why some non-ginger haired guys get ginger beards

1 min read

We've always wondered this!

Beards are very popular nowadays, many men opt to go unshaven and us women don’t mind. However, because it’s such a big thing now, we’ve seen more and more that a lot of guys’ beards will grow red, despite them having brown or even blonde hair.

If you’re a guy and you’ve been growing your stubble and wondering why it grows red or may have splashes of red throughout it, we’ve got the answer thanks to science!

Petra Haak-Bloem, a specialist at Erfocentrum, the Dutch national information centre for genetics told Motherboard:

"The genes that determine hair color are so-called ‘incomplete dominant hereditary traits.’ This means that there isn’t one single gene that’s dominant over the rest, but all genes influence each other.” 


The red hair is caused by a mutation in the MC1R gene. If you have two mutated genes you’ll have all red hair, but if you have just one you’ll have red hair in unexpected places. So even if brown hair is dominant in your family, another gene for red hair could still be present in your genetic code.

If you’ve got a red beard it’s likely that someone at some point in your family had red hair, and those genes can express themselves differently in different people across different generations. 

Haak-Bloem added:

"It’s entirely possible that one distant ancestor had a hair color that suddenly appears again through a certain combination of genes—and that can be quite unexpected for parents.”

So if you’re like, “where did this red hair come from?!” It’s entirely possible it’s your mum’s grandfather’s cousin’s fault!  

Images: DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS/AFP/Getty Images, Kevin Mazur/WireImage

Written By Marni Dixit

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