Are you trying to grow out your first real beard? Great.
Like most men, you would probably want to make it grow a little faster naturally, and to do that, the first thing you need to do is to eliminate your incorrect beliefs about facial hair; the beard myths.
1. Shaving Makes your Facial Hair Grow Faster
Out of all the beard myths out there, this one is easily the most prevalent.
From our aunts to grandpa’s, everyone tells a young boy asking for beard growth advice the same old song;
“If you shave it, it will grow back faster, thicker, and darker.”
Because of that claim, many women are scared to death about shaving their top lip, and many teenage boys are shaving their faces multiple times a day.
This is all for nothing. The evidence suggests that there are no physiological or biological explanations as to why that would happen.
The only time you will ever get any beard thickening effects from shaving is the very first time you do it, as you cut the pointy tips of the facial hair off, leaving rougher tips on the face, but after the first-cut, shaving does not affect facial hair growth rate.
Moreover, it never did.
2. Facial Hair Makes You Stand Out
As a first time-facial hair farmer, it may feel like you’re the only one doing it like it’s your beard against the clean-shaven World having a stand.
The truth is, you’re not alone with your whiskers.
One study saw that globally, 55% of the men sport some style of facial hair. Majority of men that is.
In the U.S, this number was 33%, which is still a lot, and in no way, shape, or form makes you the lone beardsman.
3. Every Man Can Grow a Beard
Some men – with the genetic beard potential – live under the notion that all men could grow facial hair if they just had the patience to let it grow.
From my experience, some women also hold this view.
This couldn’t be further from the truth, as it happens that most men can’t grow full face beards, and some populations are even genetically prone to struggling with beard growth.
You see, beard growth is all about the androgenic hormones, testosterone (T) and dihydrotestosterone (DHT), and if you lack those, it will be tough to grow facial hair (1).
And even in some men who have high levels of these hormones, beard growth doesn’t take place, at least not in the full face area. That’s because of the human androgen receptor cells, which are the crucial “gate-keepers” in your face, allowing T and DHT to bind into them and enter DNA.
If your androgenic hormones are high, but the sensitivity of the androgen receptor is low, then beard growth also becomes an issue.
Genetically, this is the case with Eastern Asian and Native American men, their genes have more human androgen receptor copies than, say, Caucasian men have, and more copies equal to less sensitivity. This is the key reason why some Asian men – but not all – struggle to grow full beards (2).
4. Beards are Unattractive
A lot of women like to say that they don’t like beards. Or that they like very specific beards only on very specific movie stars.
However, when scientists presented images of the same man, with certain modifications to a large group of 8,520 women, to rate based on attractiveness, they found the following results: (3).
- The first spot went to the “heavy stubble” growth of 10 days.
- The second spot went to the “short stubble” growth of five days.
- The third spot went to the men with full beards edited on them.
- The fourth place belonged to the unfortunate clean-shaven gentlemen.
I guess it’s safe to say that either the women didn’t know what they wanted, or science is badly mistaken. My bet is on the former.
1.Farthing M, Mattei A, Edwards C, Dawson A. Relationship between plasma testosterone and dihydrotestosterone concentrations and male facial hair growth. Br J Dermatol. 1982;107(5):559-564.
2.Bennett C, Price D, Kim S, et al. Racial variation in CAG repeat lengths within the androgen receptor gene among prostate cancer patients of lower socioeconomic status. J Clin Oncol. 2002;20(17):3599-3604.
3.Dixson-D. Sulikowski-M. Rantala-R. Brooks, et al. The Masculinity Paradox: Facial Masculinity and Beardedness Interact To Determine Women’s Ratings Of Men’s Facial Attractiveness – https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jeb.12958
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