Why Do Men Grow Facial Hair
— “A man doesn’t grow a beard, the beard grows a man”
Among the typical secondary sex characteristics in males is facial hair growth. Beards can start appearing as early as fourteen years of age, or it can take a man until his early twenties, or even later. For some people, a beard is the art of manliness. They contend that a man’s facial hair separates men from boys. With today’s men’s style, it appears that beards are back in fashion. This article is a rough guide to facial hair growth in men.
Trivia: Do you know that a man who never shaves in his lifetime can grow a beard as long as 30 feet!
Trivia: Do you know that a man who never shaves in his lifetime can grow a beard as long as 30 feet!
Why Do Only Men Have Facial Hair
Actually, women grow facial hair too. Like men, women have facial hair, but the strands are very light and are barely noticed. When a boy reaches puberty, his hair starts to grow thick and dark. The adolescent stage brings a lot of physical changes in men, including facial hair growth. When a child hits the age of 15 or 16, facial hair becomes more noticeable. All these are caused by male hormone called testosterone. Females have testosterone too, but only in negligible amounts. In males, the quantity is enormous. This is where men get their masculine looks including their facial hairs. In a nutshell, men have pronounced facial hair growth due to higher levels of androgens found in their bodies. Because androgen is significantly higher in males than women, men’s hair is darker and coarser.
It should be mentioned that facial hair growth is variable from one person to another. Some can grow beards faster than others, while others grow more slowly. Also, the color and the amount of facial growth may vary. Factors causing these differences can be attributed to the natural testosterone and/or genetics. If you feel you have too little testosterone, consider taking a safe testosterone booster, or adopting a testosterone-friendly health regimen.
Factors that Influence Facial Hair Growth
- The Role of Testosterone in Facial Hair Growth. Testosterone is a hormone belonging to a group called androgen, a chemical substance that plays a role in development of secondary characteristics in males and females such as deepening of the voice in males and development of breasts in females.
Testosterone is produced by gonads specifically in male testes and female ovaries. When the production of the hormone is completed, testosterones start circulating in the body and attach to specific androgen receptors such as the androgen receptors found in hair. This explains how testosterone regulates facial hair growth.
- The Role of Genetics in Facial Hair Growth. Besides testosterone, another major factor that can influence facial hair growth is genetics. Some would argue that facial hair growth is purely hereditary. Scientists explain that hair follicles have variable expressions of genes. Every gene within the follicle may react differently to androgen. This means that there are genes that increase follicle health while some others cancel the androgen-binding action.
If you belong to a family with strong pogonotrophy (beard growing), there is a strong likelihood that the upcoming generations are likely to inherit similar genetic expression. Conversely, if you came from a family with sparse facial hair growth, you are likely to get similar trait.
10 Shocking and Interesting Facts about Facial Hair
- Facial hair was once prohibited in military.
- Abraham Lincoln grew a beard because an 11-year old child told him that he looked better with it.
- Prehistoric men grew beards for three reasons — warmth, protection and intimation.
- In the ancient civilization, having a beard was a sign of honor. It was only cut as punitive measure.
- Sikhism, which believes in birth and rebirth, promotes facial hair growth.
- During the Middle Ages, anyone who touched other man’s beard was considered offensive. The act was grounds for a duel.
- For women, a fully-beard man appears to be older, more respected and more powerful.
- Alexander the Great asked his soldiers to keep clean-shaven all the time to avoid their beards being pulled by their enemy armies.
- Scientists think that some men are clean shaven to make women feel safer.
- The idea that a beard grows thicker once shaved is a common myth.
Top 5 Natural Oils and Substances that Improve Facial Hair Growth
The present market is rife with natural oils and substances that improve facial hair growth. Below is the list of the top 5 most commonly used natural oils for beards.
- Eucalyptus Oil. Eucalyptus has many uses including promoting facial hair growth. Apply 15 to 30 drops of the essential oil to the beard area in the morning and in the night and massage the area. Results may not happen overnight, thus it advised to use the oil long-term.
- Firdaus oil. This natural oil for facial hair growth is a mixture of vitamins and minerals designed to stimulate hair growth including facial hair. It smells amazing, which is why it is often used as a purfume or cologne. Before applying the oil, wash face to clear impurities. Using a sponge or a bare hand, put the oil onto the face and massage using the fingertips. Leave Firdaus oil for several minutes. Facial hair growth can start appear as early as 6 weeks. However, if the oil causes break outs, discontinue its use.
- Jojoba oil. Jojoba oil is a liquid wash ester that is extracted freshly from jojoba seeds. Known to treat wounds, jojoba oil is now gaining popularity as natural oil for facial hair growth. The good thing about jojoba oil is it is non-allergic and non-comedogenic, thus very safe to use for people with sensitive and acne-prone skin. Unrefined jojoba oil not only facilitates facial hair growth but it also moisturizes and strengthens beards. Jojoba oil can also be used as a pre-shave oil.
- Sesame oil. One of the most common ingredients found in commercial beard oils is sesame oil. Sesame oil contains natural properties that are similarly produced by sebaceous glands found in skin. Due to its innate property, they are more easily absorbed. This essential oil for facial hair growth also has anti-inflammatory effect that thwarts itching and irritation which are common occurrence in facial hair growth.
- Grapeseed oil. Grapeseed oil is one of the many others commercialized natural oils for facial hair growth. It not only promotes beard growth, but more than that, a quarter teaspoon of grapeseed oil will make facial hair shinier and softer.
Tips on How to Grow Facial Hair Quickly and Effectively
Facial hair growth is not only a form of self-expression but it also entails commitment just like your nails that need weekly trimming. The following tips will help you master your beard.
– Use shampoo and conditioner. One of the common beliefs of men is to never wash beards. Experts say to wash beards just like your hair using specialized shampoos and a conditioners. Conditioners for beards not only moisturize facial hair but also prevent it from getting brittle. Using regular bar soap or detergent is not recommended as it can dry skin.
– Get it trimmed. On average, beard grows .5 inches per month. Trimming is a healthy upkeep for beards. Nevertheless, know when to do it. Never hurry to cut facial hair; let it grow. The secret to successful facial hair growth is to avoid frequent reshaping and excessive trimming. Trimming of facial hair growth also thwarts split ends. Both scissors and electric trimmers work well for trimming beards. See my review of the top beard trimmers for more ideas.
– Consume nutritious foods. There are no special foods that improve facial hair growth, but fruits and vegetables are in general good for hair. Vitamins supplements particularly Vitamin A, B, C and E are known to have positive effect on facial hair growth. Protein-rich diet (e.g tofu and salmon) is also recommended for those who want to have their beards and mustache grown. If you lack these foods in your diet, then consider taking beard growth vitamins.
– Take enough sleep and rest. Studies show that there is a strong link between sleep deprivation and facial hair growth. In a clinical research conducted in France, lack of sleep for 48 hours resulted in 19% reduction of facial hair growth in the subjects in the study. Remember this the next time you feel guilty for sleeping in!
– Manage itchiness. Itchiness is a common occurrence especially when men are just starting to have their beards grown. This is a normal side effect, so never give up the art of manliness just because of itch! Management for itchy beard includes washing the beard completely after every shower, applying facial moisturizer to the facial hair, drying the beard and applying topical creams. Read my article on reducing beard itch for more.
– Allow your beard to grow before trimming or shaping it. As mentioned previously, don’t cut beards short too early; instead, wait until the hair grows about an inch and a half. However, if you have been growing facial hairs for months now and still appear patchy, then you may want to start taking some beard growth vitamins, or using beard growth serum.
– Keep it clean. Proper cleaning can actually stimulate facial hair growth. Wash your face, including your beard, with warm water followed by a mild cleanser before going to bed. Exfoliate your skin once or twice a week to remove dead skin cells, thus promoting new cellular growth.
– Shun social vices and illicit activities. Smoking can impede facial hair growth by decreasing blood circulation to the area. Nicotine in cigarettes constricts blood vessels, hence restricting nutrients from going to its desired destination.
– Manage stress. The impact of stress on your physical health is no secret to society. As much as possible, know how to manage daily stress by performing relaxation and stress-relieving techniques.
– Try Rogaine (Minoxidil). The most popular drug for facial hair growth, Rogaine can be brought over the counter. It is widely available in foam form and is applied directly onto the area. Side effects are common which includes irritation and itchiness. Chronic use of Rogaine can cause skin dryness.