Photo by Bruno Bueno
Beards are more than just a fashion statement. Studies show that beards are an essential factor for women choosing long-term partners. Did you know that that “symbol of dominance” in males is just dead cells?
That’s right. All hair is formed by cells in the hair bulb that divide and grow to create the hair shaft. Several factors determine how these dead cells are built, and they could either earn you a full thick beard, patchy wisps of unhealthy hair or simply nothing
Some people even don’t have those patches and are continually looking for ways to grow that beard. It is essential to know the necessities for facial hair growth.
Testosterone is primarily responsible for developing male characteristics. However, it’s not the only determinant. DHT, dihydrotestosterone is the primary determinant of secondary masculine traits including facial and pubic hair. It is converted from 10% of produced testosterone by enzymes.
You may have sufficient amounts of testosterone but not enough androgen receptors. Remember those cells we talked about earlier? I hope you remember your basic cell anatomy. Androgen receptors are activated by binding testosterone or DHT in the cytoplasm and then translocated in the cell nucleus. Here, DHT is synthesized and expressed in hair follicles. There is no way to increase these receptors, but we can stimulate sensitivity to DHT.
Now that the science part is out of the way let us discuss how this manifests as facial hair growth.
What Affects Facial Hair growth?
Genetics determine the amount of testosterone produced in the body, but most importantly, they determine the number of androgen receptors especially on facial skin. There is no way to go around the role genes play in the development of facial hair.
Genetics also determine the length to which hair grows. Knowing how to maintain hair length through the use of products and minimal manipulation is crucial if you want to sport a full beard.
Time. Everybody is different, concerning genetics, health, etc. Activating facial hair is one of the less critical functions of DHT. As such, this may be one of the last things DHT does. They can be activated as late as when one is 35.
Stress. Young adults are plagued with stress while transitioning to adulthood. Stress affects hormone production, and as we discussed, hormones are vital to being able to grow facial hair. Ease up on the tension. It could be a reason you’re not sporting that beard.
Nutrition is just as important. Hair needs protein, Iron, Fatty acids and Vitamins to grow. Go for those green leafy vegetables and don’t forget your protein.
Sleep. Not only does sleeping reduce stress, but high levels of testosterone are also produced during REM sleep.
Don’t forget to Exercise! Fat affects male hormone conversion. Not only does resistance training keep fat in check, but it also strengthens and helps build muscle mass but most importantly keep testosterone in production.
So if you don’t have that beard yet, stop worrying. Eat well and exercise and you might be well on your way to the World Beard and Moustache Championships.