Facial hair; why do some grow it well, while others don't?
The VITL Nutrition Team
Our in-house nutritionist discusses facial hair and how it differs from person to person.
Thanks to a few edgy people in East London, the beard has become fashionable again, so unshaven men are no longer considered sloppy! The question is ultimately what happens to those whose beards don’t grow fast, or those who can only grow fluff!
According to experts, a hormonal chemical called dihydrotestosterone (DHT) - which is associated with both baldness and the androgen hormone testosterone levels - is responsible for the rate at which beards grow.
An enzyme in your body called 5-alpha reductase converts testosterone into DHT. When DHT binds to your hair follicle receptors, it stimulates the growth of facial hair. However, the strength of its effect is also determined by the sensitivity of your hair follicles to DHT.
Therefore, it all depends on how the body reacts to DHT, i.e. if you are more sensitive to it, then your beard will grow more. This sensitivity is linked to your genetics; if your father or grandfathers struggled to grow a beard then you can hold them responsible for the same thing happening to you!
Age and ethnicity can also affect the fullness and thickness of your beard. In men, facial hair often grows until around the age of 30. If you are struggling to grow a beard in your teens or early 20s, it's likely that your beard will grow thicker as you age. As for your race, Chinese men generally have less facial hair growth than white men, according to a 2016 study. 1 Facial hair growth tends to be more concentrated around the mouth area for Chinese men, while white men tend to grow hair on their cheeks, neck, and chin. According to the same study, the diameter of human hair can vary from 17 to 180 micrometers, which can be an important factor in the thickness of the beard, as thicker hair makes the beard look fuller.
However, if you want to have a long and rich beard, you can turn to a specialist to check the hormones in your body, and seek supplementation or specific therapy.
To keep on top of your overall health, check out our Male Multivitamin here.
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