If you are growing a beard for the first time, or if you are starting to…
Can everyone grow a beard? To put it bluntly, some men can’t – and never will – grow a beard. And for some other men, a thin beard is achievable, but they won’t be able to grow a thick beard. For others, it can be a seemingly impossible task to grow beard hair. Several different things can decide if you’re going to be able to grow a beard or not, including genetics, age, ethnicity, and more.
Today, we will look at all of these things to help give you a better idea of why some men can’t grow a full beard.
Your genetics determine how thick your beard is going to be. If your grandparents or father have thick beards, chances are you will too.
There are hormones known as androgens that are behind masculine traits. Some of these traits include a deep voice and the ability to grow a full beard. There is also an enzyme in your body known as 5-alpha reductase. This enzyme converts testosterone into dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
DHT binds to receptors located in your facial hair follicles to stimulate the growth of your facial hair. The DHT sensitivity of your hair follicle is what determines how much of a beard you’ll have. This is determined mostly by your genes.
Most men find that their beard grows thicker year until they are around the age of 30. So, if you’re a teenager or you have reached your early 20’s, you can most likely look forward to a beard that continues to grow and thicken.
When you’re younger, your hormone levels are just starting to spike. This means that your testosterone levels are still climbing to the correct level in your body. It would be best if you didn’t automatically assume that you’re going to be beardless when you’re a teenager because your body isn’t fully developed yet.
Ethnicity also plays a part in answering the question, “can everyone grow a beard?” People who originate from Mediterranean countries tend to grow thicker beards than people from other areas.
Studies have also been done that show that Chinese men tend to have less facial hair growth than Caucasian men. The growth of Chinese men’s facial hair tends to be concentrated around the mouth, while Caucasian men tend to have more facial hair on the chin, cheeks, and neck.
According to that same study, the diameter of human hair can vary from 17 to 180 micrometers. This can also contribute to the thickness of your beard because having thicker hair can result in a beard that looks more grown in.
This is an autoimmune condition where your body combats your hair follicles. Alopecia areata can cause the hair in your beard and head to fall out in clumps and leave behind patches.
While there is no cure for alopecia areata, you can discuss treatment options with your doctor, including:
- Minoxidil (Rogaine)
- Oral immunosuppressants
- Cortisone tablets
- Corticosteroid creams
- Steroid injections
- Topical immunotherapy
Keep in mind that this is a rare occurrence, so it’s probably not the answer to why you can’t grow facial hair. If you think that you’re suffering from this disease, speak to your doctor.
Low Testosterone Levels
In other cases, the culprit to why some people can’t grow facial hair is because of low testosterone levels. Men who have very low testosterone levels tend to have no facial hair whatsoever.
Unless your doctor has told you that you have extremely low testosterone levels, it probably doesn’t impact your facial hair growth. You might have low testosterone levels if you experience any of these symptoms:
- Mood changes and irritability
- Low sex drive
- Increased body fat
- Erectile dysfunction
- Trouble building muscle
What Can I Do?
Can everyone grow a beard? No, but there are things that you can do to help increase your chances of growing a beard. There is no magic pill that you can take that will magically make you grow a beard overnight, and unless you have a severe medical condition, the only way to make your beard thicker is to change your lifestyle.
The following changes to your lifestyle can help maximize your genetic potential to grow facial hair:
By eating a more balanced diet, you can make sure that your body is getting all of the nutrients it needs to avoid micronutrient deficiencies that can negatively impact hair growth. If you’re anxious that you’re not getting all of the necessary nutrients, you can add supplements to your routine.
Vitamins will help increase your nutrient levels in a healthy way, but please talk to your doctor before adding random vitamins to your routine!
If you’re in your teens or early 20’s, you might experience a patchy, thin beard. This is because your hormone levels are just starting to spike, so your beard will continue to get thicker as you grow older.
Research has been done that shows that stress can be a cause for the loss of hair on your head. Stress could also affect your beard’s thickness, but at this time, there isn’t any research backing this claim up.
Get More Sleep
Sleep helps your body repair itself and can improve your overall health.
Smoking negatively impacts both your hair and skin health. So, if you smoke and want a thicker beard, you might try limiting how much you smoke or stop smoking entirely.
Can everyone grow a beard? This is determined mostly by your genetics. If most of the men in your family have big, thick beards, you’ll be able to grow one too. But if they don’t, this could mean that you can’t either.
While you can’t change your genetics, if you have an overall healthy lifestyle and are eating a balanced diet, you can help increase your chances of having a thick beard.
If you’re in your teens or early 20’s, don’t stress too much about not having a thick beard: your beard will continue to get thicker as you age.