Aging is a phenomenon even the toughest of men can only hold off for so long. Ultimately, it’ll always catch up. Some men value their chest hair as essential to their masculinity and even youth. That begs the question, does chest hair go gray?
Yes, chest hair does go gray. As with other types of hair, over time it becomes less and less likely to regrow with pigment. It can be difficult to predict when chest hair will start going gray, as it may not be the same time as your scalp hair does. Genetics does play a role, however. Many men do turn to dyeing their chest hair in order to reclaim some youth.
That’s it in a nutshell. But I wanted to dig deeper into this topic, as it does cause a degree of distress in men who feel that white hair is just around the corner.
We’ll talk about the why, the when, and what to do about it. The aim of this article is to reassure and inform, not to worry.
The stereotype that men age well does hold truth. When embraced, it’s not hard to look distinguished. But if you were keen to ditch those grays, you do have options.
Why Does Chest Hair Go Gray?
It’s important to know that a hair strand doesn’t lose its color once it’s set.
Once the hair sprouts out of its follicle, it stays that way until the end of its growth cycle when it falls out.
But as you get older, the new hairs are less and less likely to grow with color attached as the follicles produce less pigment. It doesn’t mean that existing hairs are losing color. Just that the new ones don’t have as much, or any at all.
It’s a very natural part of the aging process.
However, if you do feel as though you’ve started graying at a young age, it’s important to see a professional as they may want to look into things further.
When Does Chest Hair Go Gray?
Beyond the age of 35, it becomes more and more likely that you’ll see a gray sprout out here and there. Your chest hair is no different.
But this is a difficult one to answer. Every man is different, and genetics definitely does play a role.
It’s quite impossible to predict, but the best indicator would probably be your elder family members. If you really are curious, perhaps ask them to see when they started going gray.
Not all of the chest will start graying at the same time. Some follicles will start to produce gray hairs before others. That’s why some men see gray chest hair on one side of their chest but not the other.
These men often choose to dye their chest hair, as the asymmetry can be jarring. But just know that it isn’t unusual to see.
Does Chest Hair Go Gray When Head Hair Does?
Not necessarily. In fact, it often doesn’t. You’ll never really know which parts of your body will start to gray first. But it almost never happens all at the same time.
It is very common to see a full head of jet black hair on the head, but with a tuft of graying hair on the chest or in the pubic region.
This isn’t unusual.
It’s useful to see every hair follicle as an individual, with a certain amount of color it has to spare. Some may go gray a lot sooner than others.
So, you may be in a position where you’ll need to dye your chest hair or your pubic hair, but not your head hair. Don’t be alarmed by this.
Also, I say you’ll need to, but of course, this isn’t true. You don’t need to do anything. Like I mentioned above, some men and women do see a scattering of grays and whites as very distinguished. I mean just look at George Clooney.
That sort of brings me on to the next section.
What Does Gray Chest Hair Look Like?
It looks like this.
As you can see, distinguished. But, it may not be to everyone’s taste. Chest hair is one of the most divisive topics in men’s grooming today.
It isn’t as universal as it was a few decades ago. Shifts in mainstream culture have led more and more men reaching for their clippers, trimmers, razors, and wax to get rid of it.
People definitely talk less about the color of chest hair and more about whether it should exist in the first place.
At the end of the day, chest hair is a testosterone-fuelled, ancient pillar of masculinity. I don’t see that ingrained perception changing permanently any time soon.
Graying hair is also often seen as a sign of wisdom and experience.
As you can see, gray chest hair can be perceived and valued in different ways due to culture and personal preference.
Ultimately, it’s up to you how you choose to see it and deal with it. The opinions of your closest friends and family may also play a role.
Can You Prevent Chest Hair From Going Gray?
No. That’s the easiest one to answer. Unfortunately, as I mentioned, graying is a natural part of aging and cannot be stopped.
If I knew, trust me I’d be trying to patent that solution as we speak.
Having said that, if you did want to do something about chest hair you can see that’s already gone gray, you do have two options:
- Trim it off. This may be the simplest and most practical solution for you. Trimming your chest hair is pretty quick and painless when done correctly. If you weren’t particularly fond of your chest hair anyway, this may be the option for you.
- Dye it. Yes, men do dye their chest hair. I’ve written plenty of articles on beard dyeing – another trend that’s increasing in popularity. Chest hair dyeing is also popular, especially among the subgroup of men who do want to hold on to their chest hair. It’s a pretty straightforward way to reclaim some youth in a non-invasive way.
If you want to give dyeing that chest hair a try, I’m about to tell you how to do it.
How To Dye Gray Chest Hair
It wouldn’t make sense for me to give you a specific step-by-step routine, as this really depends on the product you choose to use. Each one will have their own specific instructions you should follow.
So what I’ve done is constructed a general routine you can expect to follow for most appropriate products.
As always, I don’t advise using hair dye on anything other than your scalp hair. It’s just too harsh for facial and body skin.
The dye you use on your body should ideally be all-natural or nearly all-natural, gentle, and appropriate for use on the chest.
It’s important to note that you won’t be able to find a specific “chest dye” yet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t exist yet. Maybe it will one day. But dyes created for other parts of the body or face would most likely be suitable.
Here are a few products I can recommend.
- Betty Beauty. It’s designed for women’s pubic hair, but funnily enough, that makes it perfect. Because it was made with ultra-sensitive skin in mind, you’ll be able to use it on your chest with no trouble. It comes in a wide range of available colors – click here to check them out. It’s “no-drip”, so staining and irritation of surrounding skin is minimal. Plus it’s almost all-natural, semi-permanent and should last around 4 to 5 weeks.
- Grizzly Mountain Beard Dye. It was designed with beards in mind, but that’s OK. It’s all-natural, with henna being the key ingredient. You’ll most likely have to re-apply it every 1 to 2 weeks. Click here to check it out on Amazon.
- Just For Men Mustache And Beard Dye. The classic drugstore brand. It can be a little harsher on the skin, but at least it’s ammonia-free. There’s no doubt about it – it’s certainly effective and can last up to 6 weeks. Click here to check it out on Amazon. Again, it may have been made for beards, but it certainly works on chest hair too.
Those are a few options you can choose from, but by no means are they the only ones. If you do choose a different one, just be sure to pick one that’s gentle on sensitive skin.
Let’s briefly run through the general routine you’ll most likely be following when you dye your chest hair.
Step 1 – Perform a patch test 48 hours before
Apply a small amount of your dyeing product of choice on to your elbow. I’ve chosen elbow, but it could really be any part of your skin that’s easy to hide and be left unwashed for a short while.
Review the area in 48 hours. If you notice any sort of irritation or rash where you’ve applied the product, don’t proceed to use it.
There’s a strong chance you’re intolerant or even allergic to it. Pick a different one and try again.
Step 2. Apply some Vaseline to the border
If you’re all set after your patch test, let’s get to work.
What I mean by this is to apply a line of Vaseline (petroleum jelly) around the border of the area of your chest that’ll be dyed.
Although it isn’t perfect, it should reduce staining of the surrounding skin. Products like Betty Beauty are “no-drip” as well which should certainly help with this too.
Step 3. Prepare the dye
You would probably have prepared a small amount for your patch test, but it’s time for the main event now.
Most dyes come with a color base and a developer that need to be mixed together to form the final dye. Again, I can’t speak for all dyes, as some come pre-mixed. So just follow the instructions for your specific product and you’ll be fine.
It’s quite easy to make the mixture usually. It’ll usually come with a mixing tray and an applicator brush you can use to apply the product.
Once the mixture has been prepared, you’re set.
Step 4. Apply the dye onto your chest hair
Using the applicator brush or “wand” (as it may be called) provided, start applying the dye in an upwards motion. If you notice any irritation, stop immediately and rinse it off.
If you do notice any staining of the surrounding skin or of your hands, wipe it quickly using a damp washcloth or towel. The sooner you do so, the easier it is to remove.
Once you’re happy you’ve applied the dye to all of the hair you want to cover, let it sit. The time you need to leave it on is very dependent on the product you use, so read the instructions carefully.
Step 5. Rinse it off in the shower
Once you’ve left it on for the specified amount of time, it’s time to get the stuff off. The longer you leave it on, the darker the dyeing effect will be.
This may be what you want and is something you might want to test over time.
However, leaving it on for too long does increase the risk of skin irritation, so is never a good idea.
Step 6. Towel-dry
Once you’ve rinsed the dye off in the shower, dry it gently with a towel you don’t mind getting stained. There’s almost always some residual dye on the hair and on the underlying chest skin.
It’s important to remove this sooner rather than later.
Step 7. Review the results
As you can see, it’s a pretty straightforward routine. The product you use is just as important as your technique.
Be wary of the time you leave the dye on, and your results will be more impressive.
Very dark chest hair usually looks unnatural, so be sure not to leave the dye on for too long.
There you have it. I hope that was therapeutic.
A guide to graying chest hair for men who want to reclaim the past, or are anxious about the future.
Hopefully, you’ve been able to see that whitening chest hair isn’t a “good” or a “bad” thing. It’s simply a thing that happens, should be expected, and shouldn’t be feared.
This article aims to do one of two things. It may have changed your own perception of white or gray chest hair to one which is more positive. Or, it has given you a couple of ways of correcting it if you really aren’t a fan.
Or, you may have just been curious as to whether it actually even happens or not.
Whatever the reason, thanks for sticking around until the end. I hope you found what you were looking for.