Here's why some men can't grow a beard

Bushy Vs bum fluff – here’s why some men can’t grow a beard [Photo: Getty]
Bushy Vs bum fluff – here’s why some men can’t grow a beard [Photo: Getty]

The beard has been having a moment.

Thanks largely to hipsters and Prince Harry, who was votest the sexiest beard owner in the world.

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Those men, who are able to grow facial hair, wear their bushy beards with pride, (particularly as they are judged to be more attractive), but for others a thick chin and cheek covering is the hairy holy grail.

For the latter group, a facial face full is more like a smattering of sparse whiskers.

But why are some men blessed with bushy beard growing capabilities while others have to put up with mere ‘bum fluff’?

Turns out it’s all to do with a hormonal chemical called dihydrotestosterone or DHT.

According to Your Hormones DHT is “a hormone with powerful androgenic actions, causes the body to mature during puberty and is responsible for many of the physical characteristics associated with adult males.”

In other words beards.

But men who can’t grow beards shouldn’t be thinking they are lacking in the testosterone department.

Turns out you can have a whole abundance of testosterone but you’re not going to be joining the beardy brigade unless it is actually converted into DHT.

“DHT is a modified, more active form of testosterone. In your body, testosterone is transformed into DHT, which exerts stronger effects than testosterone itself,” Joshua Zeichner, a Director of Cosmetic and Clinical Research in Dermatology, told Men’s Health.

No matter how hard they try some men can’t grow a beard [Photo: Getty]
No matter how hard they try some men can’t grow a beard [Photo: Getty]

It’s not all about the DHT though, as genetics also has a role to play in determining how face follicle-ly challenged some men are.

So if your dad was more of a smooth-chin kinda chap you’re more likely to be too.

And that’s ok.

Besides it’s not all beard baubles and glitter beards for men with an abundance of facial furniture because a recent study revealed that beards can be a breeding ground for all sorts of nasties.

A study by Fragrance Direct and Manchester Metropolitan University reveals almost 50% of male beards feature faecal bacteria. Gross!

Researchers found that the facial hair on 47% of the men sampled contained the microorganism ‘Enterococcus spp’, which is also found in the human bowel and in faecal matter.

Commenting on the findings a spokesperson for Fragrance Direct said: “Caring for your beard is essential for its health, helping it stay fresh to keep the bacteria at bay.

“Everyone knows to shampoo their hair, but beards need some attention too. Men should use beard shampoo when they shower, along with conditioner afterwards.

“Between washes, beard serum can be used to keep it in good condition and the keep hair soft and well-groomed.”

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