It’s a painful part of being a modern man: not being able to grow a lovely, thick beard. Many men struggle to produce respectable facial hair (myself included) and it’s frustrating knowing that however long you let it grow, it’s still embarrassingly patchy - not even the best beard trimmer in the world can make it work.
Well now scientists have started to shed some light on this all-important problem.
According to experts at Beard Profile, it all comes down to something called dihydrotestosterone. Dihydrotestosterone, or DHT, is a hormone derived from testosterone that is responsible for developing secondary sex characteristics like facial hair and the male reproductive system.
Joshua Zeichner, a director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology, explained to Men’s Health: “DHT is a modified, more active form of testosterone. In your body, testosterone is transformed into DHT, which exerts stronger effects than testosterone itself.”
Essentially it’s all down to how your body reacts to testosterone. If your body is more sensitive to it then you’ll grow a thicker beard but if your body’s not as sensitive, you won’t. Genetics also play a big role here; if your dad can grow a thick beard, chances are you’ll be able to as well.
“Capacity to grow a beard has nothing to do with manliness, virility or testosterone levels, it is a matter of genetics,” Dr Thomy Kouremada-Zioga, a hair loss specialist and transplant surgeon, told Lad Bible.
So now we know the science behind it, what can you do about it?
Experts suggest there’s a few things you can do to restore hormone balance and grow a thicker beard:
- Get more exercise
- Try to lose some weight
- Reduce or cut out alcohol
- Eat more healthy fats like nuts, seeds and olive oil
And now we know how to improve our facial hair, we thought it would be good to provide some beard-spiration to help you along.
Here’s some of the best and bushiest beards that we look up to:
(Images: iStock / Rex)