How Genetics Affect Beard Growth

Growing up, there were always two people on the opposite end of the facial hair spectrum as there was someone that had a full beard as well as someone else who couldn’t grow a beard even if he wanted to, yet they were the same age. Maybe you have a full beard and you have a friend that shaves once a month or you could be on the other end of the scale and are jealous as all of your friends look great in their well-groomed facial hair. In a recent survey, a group of men were asked at what age they had a fully developed beard; although many said 20s and some said 30s, there were even a couple that hadn’t had a full beard until their 40s.

Despite various rumors and false truths going around, this is largely due to genetics. In the same way that our height and many other physical attributes are gained from our parents, facial hair is also largely a result of our genes. If your father has never really had a beard or has always struggled to grow facial hair, it quite often means that you will have the same problems. However, if you can’t grow a beard right now but your father has one, you could be set for a change in fortunes in the future.

Basically, you are born with a set of hair follicles everywhere on your body including of course, your face and scalp. These hair follicles become active at different stages in a man’s life and compared to others, the follicles on your face are the last ones to be activated. This is especially true in men that go through puberty at a later age; if you hit puberty at or after the age of 15, your facial hair follicles may activate at a later age than those who hit puberty earlier.

Although genetics do make up a large chunk of the reason for facial hair growth, there are also other factors to consider as well. Your levels of testosterone will also have a huge effect on your ability to grow facial hair as this is the main factor behind puberty. The main reason we start to grow more hair after puberty is because our levels of testosterone have increased so if your testosterone levels are low even after puberty, you will find it hard to grow a beard or any beard you do grow may be patchy and not ‘full’. Furthermore, your location will also contribute as to whether you will be able to easily grow facial hair or not. It has now been proved that people in Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece are more likely to have facial hair. On the other end of the scale; Asians, Latin Americans and Native Americans are less likely to have facial hair.

So there we have it, it seems as though genetics plays a huge part in your ability to grow facial hair but if you are still young, times may change (especially if your dad or uncles have a fully developed beard)!

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