Beards are back in style these days, and this time around they seem to be as popular in the boardroom as they are at the pool hall. Growing a beard, however, isn’t always as simple as sidelining the razor. Some men imagine growing a thick, bushy beard and wind up with long, scraggly chin hairs instead.
If growing a beard is a “manliness” symbol, is not growing one a testosterone issue? Fortunately, it isn’t. Once a man makes it through puberty, he has the testosterone he needs to grow a beard. The actual growth of his beard, however, is determined by genetics.
Absent nutritional deficiencies and other health problems, heredity determines how thick a man’s beard can grow. It also determines the age at which his beard will reach its full potential. Some men inherit the ability to grow a thick, luxuriant beard and some men inherit long, scraggly, chin hairs. Some men inherit the ability to have their best possible beard at an early age and some men have to wait until age 30.
As with all bodily issues, nutrition and overall health also affect beard growth. Not smoking, eating right and getting plenty of sleep will help keep your beard healthy in the same way good habits keep the rest of you healthy. Good habits, however, won’t trump genetics. You can be completely healthy and still be unable to grow a beard.
If you are having trouble growing a beard, and you want to rule out health issues, you can visit your primary care provider or a dermatologist.