Two essential male hormones that promote beard growth are testosterone and its more potent downstream metabolite known as dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
Masculine traits like facial hair growth and deep voice are caused by a group of hormones called androgens (Kowal et al., 2021).
The 5-alpha reductase is an enzyme in the body that converts testosterone (an androgen hormone) into another hormone called dihydrotestosterone (DHT).
The enzyme 5-alpha-reductase converts testosterone to DHT in the gonads, but this hormone conversion process takes place in other parts of the body like the skin and prostrate.
Many different areas of the body are affected by this hormone conversion apart from the beard. Over 10% of testosterone is converted to DHT every day.
This percentage is significantly lower before puberty, which is the key reason why there aren’t any children roaming around with beards.
As DHT travels through the body, it gets attached to its receptors, including those in hair follicles, and stimulates hair growth. More potent than testosterone, DHT is the driving force behind men’s characteristic looks, particularly their beards.
The growth rate of Beard
The growth rates of beard can differ considerably among different individuals. It might be challenging to predict how long a person’s beard will grow. Your beard will grow about a half-inch every month once your growth pattern is established.
It’s much easier to grow a beard when you’re in your teenage or early twenties. Many men’s beards continue to thicken even when they hit their 30s. A common fallacy is that shaving results in fuller, longer beards. In reality, shaving does not affect the root of your hair or the way your hair grows below your skin.
Effect of Testosterone and DHT on Beard growth
Beards require DHT to initiate their growth pattern and eventually reach their full potential. Higher testosterone and DHT levels are the two best buddies for growing a beard naturally and at a faster pace.
In some cases, a lack of testosterone may contribute to the poor growth of the beard. People having deficient levels of testosterone have almost no facial hair.
Facial hair production is not likely to be influenced unless your testosterone levels are at a clinically low level. Men with low levels of testosterone and DHT will certainly have significantly less facial hair than men with higher levels of these two hormones.
Your beard may begin to grow sooner or at an earlier age if your body is more susceptible to the effects of these hormones.
Role of Genetics
Some men find it quite simple and easy to develop fuller beards, while others find it quite tricky. This does not necessarily suggest that their testosterone levels are low.
For various reasons, men’s beards are notoriously challenging to grow. A short beard may be genetically inclined even if you have normal testosterone levels. Heredity, ethnicity, and genetics all play a part in the beard growth process.
Your body may produce more testosterone and DHT if you are genetically predisposed to have higher levels of the two hormones, which you need to get thicker hair.
If you’re genetically inclined to low amounts of testosterone and DHT production and your body has difficulty utilizing the hormones in respective receptor sites, you won’t be able to grow a thick and fuller beard (Reiches & Ellison, 2022).
Supplementation for Faster Beard growth
If you’re suffering from low testosterone and DHT levels, there are many ways to supplement and eventually improve them.
For example, you can increase your stamina and muscle-building capacities by using testosterone supplements made from natural sources.
Boosted is 100% natural and may help growing a beard and muscles at the same time.
Still, the problem here is that its conversion to androgen DHT is not always possible. It’s possible to utilize anabolic steroids, which have been proven effective in aiding in facial and body hair growth.
The drawback of using anabolic steroids is that it shuts down the natural synthesis of a healthy testosterone level by the body, making you more dependent on artificial testosterone supplements. Hence, instead, one should focus on ways to naturally raise the body’s testosterone levels.
Role of Diet
The type and amount of food you eat are also vital since the energy you consume each day affects testosterone production.
Routine consumption of a low-calorie diet drastically lowers testosterone production, whereas regularly consuming a calorie-maintained diet helps maintain a stable testosterone production level.
In addition to that, having the right amounts of essential minerals and vitamins is also critical for maintaining healthy testosterone levels. Men who are protein deficient can raise their testosterone levels if they consume a protein-rich diet.
The recommended daily protein intake for testosterone is between 15% and 25% of total calories per day. Consuming a healthy level of protein daily can help you maintain and grow lean muscle mass, but too much protein consumption can also suppress hormone synthesis.
The most important thing to remember when it comes to fat consumption is to pay attention to the fat type you’re going to consume. Researchers have found that a diet containing 10% protein and 70% carbohydrates produced a considerably higher testosterone level than a diet containing 44% protein and 35% carbohydrates (Anderson et al., 1987).
Most nuts, vegetable oils, fast foods, and margarine contain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs), which have been reported to reduce testosterone levels. But the saturated and monounsaturated fatty acids (SFAs and MUFAs) commonly found in meats positively affect testosterone and eventually on beard growth.
Role of Exercise
An increase in both testosterone production and hormone uptake by the androgen receptors has been found to occur with resistance training (Hayes et al., 2010).
Major muscle groups like the hamstrings, glutes, and pecs are particularly effective when it comes to compound movements.
To get your body in better shape, start with exercises such as deadlifts, pushups, lunges, and bench presses with and without weights. One of the reasons these drills have been around for a long time is their effectiveness.
When it comes to how thick your beard grows, your genetics is the essential factor to consider.
Even though you can’t change your genes, a healthy lifestyle and a balanced diet can help you achieve your maximum beard potential.
Kowal, M., Sorokowski, P., Żelaźniewicz, A., Nowak, J., Orzechowski, S., Żurek, G., & Nawrat, M. (2021). Are Beards Honest Signals of Male Dominance and Testosterone?. Archives of Sexual Behavior, 50(8), 3703-3710.
Anderson, K. E., Rosner, W., Khan, M. S., New, M. I., Pang, S., Wissel, P. S., & Kappas, A. (1987). Diet-hormone interactions: protein/carbohydrate ratio alters the plasma levels of testosterone and cortisol and their respective binding globulins in man reciprocally. Life sciences, 40(18), 1761-1768.
Reiches, M. W., & Ellison, P. T. (2022). Puberty. In Human Growth and Development (pp. 125-153). Academic Press.
Hayes, L. D., Bickerstaff, G. F., & Baker, J. S. (2010). Interactions of cortisol, testosterone, and resistance training: influence of circadian rhythms. Chronobiology International, 27(4), 675-705.
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