Why You Can’t Grow Facial Hair and What To Do About It

By: Ali Sakr

Whether this is a question you might be asking out of pure curiosity, or because you’ve just never understood that one friend who’s had a full beard since 8th grade and you just didn’t get what you were doing wrong, this one’s for you. Before I get into the details, though, let’s just make one thing clear; there probably isn’t that much you can do about it. Of all the factors that contribute to the growth and thickness of one’s facial hair, quite few are actually within our control or even under our influence, so remember not to take this too personally.

So, as you probably guessed, the main factor that decides pretty much anything that has to do with facial hair is your genetics. What you might want to do now is to take a quick look at your family – if your father, grandfather, older brother or pretty much any male within your primary relatives has, or can grow, a full bear then chances are you’ll probably be able to as well. But that brings us to the second point. Time.

This might be a bit surprising, and trust me I found this pretty strange as well, but a beard can continue to develop before reaching its full potential until you’re around 30. So, no, if you know someone who’s had a seemingly full bear since they were 16, first thing to note is that that’s not exactly what you should expect to happen (it’s really not very normal), and second is that their beard might actually still have more growing and thickening to do – as might yours. Your genes don’t just determine how you’re beard is going to end up, it also determines when, so stay patient. It’s not like you absolutely need to grow it out next week – these things don’t happen overnight, so just let your body do its thing.

Another factor that might come into play here is your ethnicity. People of primarily Caucasian decent, or those who come from Mediterranean countries often grow more facial hair than other ethnicities, such as for example people from Asia. This probably means you’re in luck, but even if it doesn’t, it’s really not that big of a deal, and it’s not something you have a hand in either.  What you can have a hand in, though, is what we’re going to be addressing next.

Once more stressing the fact that growing your beard is mainly just straight up not up to you, there are still a few general things you can do to ease the process. First off, make sure you’re getting enough rest. Being sleep deprived for a large number of successive days can significantly reduce your testosterone levels, which while the effects of which on facial hair growth are often exaggerated, can still definitely affect the thickness of your facial hair. This also brings us to exercise, which increases your testosterone levels, as well as improves your blood circulation, both of which will aid in growing a beard more easily. Managing your stress is also very important, as it can constrict your blood vessels, as well as even directly reduce testosterone as well. And lastly, eating a balanced diet, which is rich in vitamins, minerals and protein can also prove to be helpful in this regard, though eating well is something I think we should just all be doing regardless.

There are a few common myths about hair growth, such as that shaving makes it thicker – this isn’t exactly true at all, as it just makes it seem thicker in some cases. This can be due to a few reasons, some of which is that new hairs which aren’t yet exposed to any sunlight can appear darker that older hairs, as well as the fact that you’re cutting off the hair at the end of the follicles which can make it feel sharper when you touch it.  

It’s also important to note that if you experience any kind of abnormal patchiness in an area which previously did have normal hair growth, it’s very much recommended to visit a dermatologist to make sure everything is fine and to receive proper treatment in the case of any condition that can affect beard growth, such as Alopecia Areata, which causes patchy hair loss.

Lastly, don’t sweat it. At the end of the day, this really isn’t that much of a big deal, so just make sure you make the most of what you’ve been given and you don’t obsess about incessantly trying to change it. Pretty much all the things that can be done anyway are just simple lifestyle changes which are generally good for you in a lot more ways that just facial hair growth, so I’d recommend just trying to take them up for you, not for your goddamn facial hair, and then maybe enjoy any positive side-effects that come along the way.

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